Candi sugar question

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Northern Brewer
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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by Northern Brewer » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:14 pm

Certainly you can approximate the darker British invert sugars with a blend of syrup and treacle - you don't need very much treacle at all. There's some recipes kicking around the interwebs somewhere.

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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by london_lhr » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:10 pm

Recipies for British invert sugar equivalents :

Invert No. 1 = 500g Golden Syrup
Invert No. 2 = 494.17 Golden Syrup + 5.83g Blackstrap
Invert No. 3 = 483.33 Golden Syrup + 16.67 Blackstrap
Black Invert = 446.67 Golden Syrup + 53.33 Blackstrap
Invert No. 4 = 405 Godlen Syrup + 95 Blackstrap

This is not for candi sugar/syrup, though.
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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:07 am

Thanks for the replies. I had discovered the formulations for the British invert sugar before. I suspect we are probably overthinking the Candi sugar issues. Impressions from various places, suggest the Belgians use what is available and cheap for them and easy to incorporate in their brewing processes??

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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by MTW » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:21 pm

I've recently taken on the hobby-within-a-hobby that is making your own candi sugar (or syrup, in my preference). Quite a bit of experimentation so far, and the best method for me has been with varied amounts of DAP and a touch of invert from the start, to prevent crystallisation. The results are far better than the rocks, and you can taste it as you're making it to ensure it's what you want. I'm still tweaking the method for each grade of colour, but I've experienced the full range of Maillard flavours over the range, from light caramel, through toffee and raisiny, dark fruit. I prefer to liquor it back to a syrup after reaching whatever terminal temperature I've gone for, still leaving it just above 100C as it goes into a pre-heated Kilner jar. It then goes into the FV on the second day.
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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by orlando » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:49 pm

Northern Brewer wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:14 pm
Certainly you can approximate the darker British invert sugars with a blend of syrup and treacle - you don't need very much treacle at all. There's some recipes kicking around the interwebs somewhere.
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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by asd » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:28 pm

[quote=Jocky post_id=764241 time=1442391129 user_id=8935]
If invert sugar is made by heating sucrose in an acidic liquid, wouldn't putting sucrose straight into the boil (wort is acidic) invert it?

When I was reading stuff around Belgian ales earlier this year it seemed that breweries only used dark candy syrup as a flavouring component - those that do use light syrup only do so purely for ease of use in their brewing process - they just as easily could use plain old sugar.
[/quote]

Yes, I've been saying the exact same thing for a couple of years now - about sugar inverting in the boil.

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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by McMullan » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:18 pm

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:07 am
Impressions from various places, suggest the Belgians use what is available and cheap for them and easy to incorporate in their brewing processes??
Yes, mainly due to the British blocking sugar trade to the French Empire during the early 19th century. The European sugar industry was founded on sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) from South America (Brazil mainly) and the West Indies prior to the Napoleonic wars.

Due to sugar shortages, Napoleon established a French sugar industry based on sugar beet (Beta vulgaris), using a method developed by the Germany chemist Andreas Marggraf back in 1747. Sugar beet became the main source of sugar in Europe. Even up to the present day it's the main source of sugar in Europe. (And the EC plan to flood the global market with the stuff.) The UK remains the leading European market for sugarcane. Europeans these days don't generally appreciate the finer qualities of sugarcane, unlike their ancestors. The syrups (molasses) derived from sugar beet are described as 'nauseous' and not of any particular use in brewing, or anything culinary, unlike the syrups derived from refining sugarcane.

Prior to the 18th century sugar was an expensive commodity considered a luxury in Europe therefore it wasn't widely available to the 'great unwashed'. However, during the 18th century its price dropped considerably when supplies increased dramatically, due to the introductions of sugarcane and its industrial farming in colonies of European empires. So Belgian Brewers likely used sugars derived from sugarcane for at least some decades.

So whatever you choose to use won't necessarily be wrong. And, as traditional brewers, home brewers can choose whatever they like :D I'll be using invert #1 (inverted cane sugar) for my next strong Belgian ale I think. If it requires a darker form then I'll dilute a little sugarcane syrup - blackstrap.

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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by Kingfisher4 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:27 pm

McMullan wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:18 pm
Kingfisher4 wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:07 am
Impressions from various places, suggest the Belgians use what is available and cheap for them and easy to incorporate in their brewing processes??
So whatever you choose to use won't necessarily be wrong. And, as traditional brewers, home brewers can choose whatever they like :D I'll be using invert #1 (inverted cane sugar) for my next strong Belgian ale I think. If it requires a darker form then I'll dilute a little sugarcane syrup - blackstrap.
Thanks, very interesting. If you wanted roughly 1kg of "dark candi sugar" equivalent from a recipe, what would your guesstimate be for the quantity of blackstrap molasses, never used blackstrap for anything so no idea of the equivalent, other than the invert quantity quoted above?

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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by McMullan » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:55 pm

I'm not sure, TBH. I haven't used it for a Belgian ale yet. I've used commercially available dark candi sugar crystals in the past. And they are pretty dark. I wouldn't try to mimic the colour using blackstrap, though, as I think that would be too much - blackstrap is pretty potent stuff. I'd prep some invert #2 or #3 based on the table above. I'm sure that would produce a very nice big Belgian ale.

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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by wanus » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:29 pm

I used 500g of Candi sugar in my most recent Belgian Abbey brew.The only difference i noticed compared to what i always used up until this point was the FG reading was where it should be at 1.010 as opposed to my best of 1.014.I`m certainly using it in my next Abbey brew instead of soft dark brown sugar.
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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by Kingfisher4 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:35 pm

wanus wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:29 pm
I used 500g of Candi sugar in my most recent Belgian Abbey brew.The only difference i noticed compared to what i always used up until this point was the FG reading was where it should be at 1.010 as opposed to my best of 1.014.I`m certainly using it in my next Abbey brew instead of soft dark brown sugar.
The more I read about this, the more I’m confused!
I thought both were essentially sucrose with more or less impurities / additional flavours?

I can understand why invert is utilised better by yeast being monosaccharides But not really different forms of sucrose as a disaccharide.

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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by McMullan » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:56 am

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:35 pm
The more I read about this, the more I’m confused!
I thought both were essentially sucrose with more or less impurities / additional flavours?
You’re almost there, Kingfisher; 'more or less impurities/additional flavours'.

The syrups derived from refining sugar cane and the syrups derived from sugar beet differ considerably. Those from sugar beet are described as ‘nauseous’ therefore it’s important to achieve a higher level of purity, in terms of the end product, sucrose. Those from sugar cane are very flavourful and widely used as culinary ingredients. Raw cane sugar, which is what inverted English brewing sugars are made from - despite being mainly sucrose - presents more than just boring, one-dimensional sweetness, according to my eyes and tastebuds. Unlike refined white sucrose derived from sugar beet, raw cane sugar isn’t ‘laboratory grade’. Raw cane sugar retains some of the flavourful molasses.

It doesn’t surprise me that people don’t notice any difference in flavour when refined white sugar is added to a brew. It makes big Belgian beers more drinkable, that's all. I’d be surprised if they didn’t notice any difference when using raw cane sugar(s), though.

Why are they so different? Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) are completely different species. Sugar cane is a grass (monocot) and sugar beet is a tuber-forming herb (dicot). Ignoring the fact they’re members of the plant kingdom, make livings out of photosynthesis and producing flowers, the only thing they have in common is the ability to concentrate sucrose in their tissues, making them commercially viable crops. One prefers growing in the tropics and the other prefers growing in temperate conditions, in completely different climates and soils. They have completely different evolutionary histories and ecologies, which is why they differ biochemically - why their ‘impurities’ differ so much.

Hopefully, this clears some common confusion. As the saying goes, suck it and see.

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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by orlando » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:27 pm

McMullan wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:56 am
Kingfisher4 wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:35 pm
The more I read about this, the more I’m confused!
I thought both were essentially sucrose with more or less impurities / additional flavours?
You’re almost there, Kingfisher; 'more or less impurities/additional flavours'.

The syrups derived from refining sugar cane and the syrups derived from sugar beet differ considerably. Those from sugar beet are described as ‘nauseous’ therefore it’s important to achieve a higher level of purity, in terms of the end product, sucrose. Those from sugar cane are very flavourful and widely used as culinary ingredients. Raw cane sugar, which is what inverted English brewing sugars are made from - despite being mainly sucrose - presents more than just boring, one-dimensional sweetness, according to my eyes and tastebuds. Unlike refined white sucrose derived from sugar beet, raw cane sugar isn’t ‘laboratory grade’. Raw cane sugar retains some of the flavourful molasses.

It doesn’t surprise me that people don’t notice any difference in flavour when refined white sugar is added to a brew. It makes big Belgian beers more drinkable, that's all. I’d be surprised if they didn’t notice any difference when using raw cane sugar(s), though.

Why are they so different? Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) are completely different species. Sugar cane is a grass (monocot) and sugar beet is a tuber-forming herb (dicot). Ignoring the fact they’re members of the plant kingdom, make livings out of photosynthesis and producing flowers, the only thing they have in common is the ability to concentrate sucrose in their tissues, making them commercially viable crops. One prefers growing in the tropics and the other prefers growing in temperate conditions, in completely different climates and soils. They have completely different evolutionary histories and ecologies, which is why they differ biochemically - why their ‘impurities’ differ so much.

Hopefully, this clears some common confusion. As the saying goes, suck it and see.

Excellent explanation. =D>
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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:45 pm

McMullan wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:56 am
Kingfisher4 wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:35 pm
The more I read about this, the more I’m confused!
I thought both were essentially sucrose with more or less impurities / additional flavours?
You’re almost there, Kingfisher; 'more or less impurities/additional flavours'.

The syrups derived from refining sugar cane and the syrups derived from sugar beet differ considerably. Those from sugar beet are described as ‘nauseous’ therefore it’s important to achieve a higher level of purity, in terms of the end product, sucrose. Those from sugar cane are very flavourful and widely used as culinary ingredients. Raw cane sugar, which is what inverted English brewing sugars are made from - despite being mainly sucrose - presents more than just boring, one-dimensional sweetness, according to my eyes and tastebuds. Unlike refined white sucrose derived from sugar beet, raw cane sugar isn’t ‘laboratory grade’. Raw cane sugar retains some of the flavourful molasses.

It doesn’t surprise me that people don’t notice any difference in flavour when refined white sugar is added to a brew. It makes big Belgian beers more drinkable, that's all. I’d be surprised if they didn’t notice any difference when using raw cane sugar(s), though.

Why are they so different? Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) are completely different species. Sugar cane is a grass (monocot) and sugar beet is a tuber-forming herb (dicot). Ignoring the fact they’re members of the plant kingdom, make livings out of photosynthesis and producing flowers, the only thing they have in common is the ability to concentrate sucrose in their tissues, making them commercially viable crops. One prefers growing in the tropics and the other prefers growing in temperate conditions, in completely different climates and soils. They have completely different evolutionary histories and ecologies, which is why they differ biochemically - why their ‘impurities’ differ so much.

Hopefully, this clears some common confusion. As the saying goes, suck it and see.
Wonderful explanation. Thanks. I might try some cane sugar in my next brew. Billingtons golden granulated says it's cane sugar.

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Re: Candi sugar question

Post by Kingfisher4 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:02 pm

Fantastic clear explanation from McMullan, many thanks.

Any follow-on suggestions for which of the many varieties of derivatives of cane sugar available in the UK to attempt similarities with light and dark Candi sugar would also be most welcome.

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