In the passage below a point is made that I've often seen disputed (especially by know-it-all homebrewers): that more effort is asked of the yeast when sucrose is used because it has to invert it before it can be consumed. It seems to make sense to me, but feel free to argue the opposite.
Class II.—The necessity of treating cereals, before they could be available as a source of extract in the brewery, led to the wide use of materials, that require no preliminary treatment, which moreover are not acted upon or modified during the mashing process. These articles are the different brewing sugars. They comprise glucose, invert sugar, and cane sugar.
Glucose, or saccharum, as it is sometimes called, is prepared by submitting starch derived from maize, rice, potato, or other source, to the action of acid at a high temperature. The processes involved in its manufacture may be arranged in the following order: (I) The conversion; (2) the neutralisation ; (3) the filtration ; (4) the decolorisation; (5) the concentration; (6) the purification.
(1) The conversion. In this country the materials usually employed in the manufacture of glucose or saccharum are sago, maize, and rice starch. In Germany, potato starch is employed, and in America, green maize. The vessel, in which the conversion is carried out, is termed a converter. It consists of a closed lead-lined iron vessel, provided with stirring gear, manhole, discharging mains, etc. Generally sulphuric acid is used as the converting agent, although other acids may be used. One half of the quantity of acid is mixed with water, and the temperature of the mixture is so adjusted, that it is a little below the gelatinising point of the starch. The acid is then mixed with the starch. The remaining half of the mixture of acid and water is introduced into the converter, and rapidly heated to boiling-point; then the mixture of starch and acid is run in, at such a rate that the temperature does not fall far below boiling. The converter is closed, the stirring gear is set in motion, and the conversion carried to the desired limit. The time for the complete conversion of the starch into glucose varies according to the pressure and temperature in the converter.
(2 and 3) The neutralisation, and filtration. This is effected by mixing chalk with water, and adding it gradually to the solution of sugar. It is generally done in a separate vessel. The neutralised liquid is kept stirred for some time, and is then allowed to settle and run through filter presses, to separate the calcium sulphate.
(4) Decolorisation. The clear, filtered solution is passed through towers packed with animal charcoal.
(5) The concentration is effected in vacuum pans until a specific gravity of 1.50 (water = 1.0) is reached; it is then run into moulds, or casks, and allowed to solidify. The solidified mass is broken up into lumps, in which form it is generally seen on the market. The colour of commercial glucose varies from pure white to light brown, and depends upon the nature of the material used, and upon the extent to which the decolorisation has been carried. The product consists of glucose, varying proportions of dextrin, and water, with small quantities of other sugars.
The manufacture of invert sugar is carried out in a manner very similar to that of glucose. The cane sugar is dissolved in water, and is heated with acid in a converter. The acid is neutralised by chalk, and the filtration, purification by charcoal, and evaporation, are conducted in much the same way as described above. Invert sugar as used in breweries is a syrup pale yellow to dark brown in colour, and consists of invert sugar, water, small quantities of unaltered cane sugar, and mineral matter. Some breweries effect economy by preparing their own invert sugar, either by the acid process, or by heating the solution of cane sugar with yeast at a temperature of 140° F. for three or four hours. The inverting agent in this case is an active principle, or enzyme, known as invertase, contained in the yeast cell. For some kinds of beer, more especially for running porters, raw cane sugar is used; but it is generally advisable to employ invert sugar, as cane sugar is unfermentable, so that in addition to fermenting the other constituents of the wort, the yeast has to invert the added cane sugar. Throwing this extra work upon the yeast tends to weaken it. For this reason, the use of untreated cane sugar is resorted to only in the preparation of certain beers. None but the better-class raw cane sugars are employed."
"The Brewing Industry", by Julian L. Baker, 1905, pages 48-51.
That made a change from all the stuff about 1950's British beer, didn't it? Back to the 1950's tomorrow. Probably.