Brewing with caramel?

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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby Liquid Bread » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:45 am

oldsock wrote:He was very specific that they use pure refined sucrose from beets.

"Candi sugar starts as white refined sugar(molasses removed) which is then heated and when ready, rock sugar is allowed to form. This is then removed and what is left is then centrifuged to remove super saturated crystals(moist candi sugar) After that you have candi syrup."

Here is how the website ( http://www.darkcandi.com/ ) describes the production of the D2: "Sugar syrup obtained from repeated heating and cooling of beet sugar. Intense caramel flavor and color."


You're just repeating yourself now and not making any sense. That description really doesn't itemize the chemical/nutritional makeup, the production process, or the fermentability. Where does the invert sucrose come from if you're starting with "refined sucrose"? "Pure" is quite subjective. It's not like they simply take sugar beets and squeeze out refined sugar.

Is it syrup or molasses? If it's refined (as you keep saying), it sounds like molasses:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet
The thick juice is fed to the crystallizers, recycled sugar is dissolved into it and the resulting syrup is called "mother liquor". This is concentrated further by boiling under vacuum in large vessels and seeded with fine sugar crystals. These crystals grow, as sugar from the mother liquor forms around them. The resulting sugar crystal and syrup mix is called a massecuite (from French "cooked mass"). The massecuite is passed to a centrifuge where the liquid is removed from the sugar crystals. Remaining syrup is rinsed off with water and the crystals dried in a granulator using warm air. The remaining syrup is fed to another crystallizer from which a second batch of sugar is produced. This sugar ("raw") is of lower quality with a lot of colour and impurities and is the main source of the sugar that is re-dissolved into the mother liquor. The syrup from the raw is also sent to a crystalliser. From this a very low quality sugar crystal is produced (known in some systems as "AP sugar") that is also redissolved. The syrup separated is molasses; still containing sugar but with too much impurity to be economically processed further.


I guess the question comes down to, why pay $8/lb when you can pay $4/lb:
http://market.treasureshidden.com/index ... cts_id=678

There's way too much mystery going on regarding this magic sugar syrup.
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby oldsock » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:01 am

Liquid Bread wrote:You're just repeating yourself now and not making any sense. That description really doesn't itemize the chemical/nutritional makeup, the production process, or the fermentability. Where does the invert sucrose come from if you're starting with "refined sucrose"? "Pure" is quite subjective. It's not like they simply take sugar beets and squeeze out refined sugar.

Is it syrup or molasses? If it's refined (as you keep saying), it sounds like molasses:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet

I guess the question comes down to, why pay $8/lb when you can pay $4/lb:
http://market.treasureshidden.com/index ... cts_id=678

There's way too much mystery going on regarding this magic sugar syrup.


What did I say that didn’t make sense?

I think the point that you are missing is what refined sugar means. The refined sugar is what is left when the molasses is taken away. Generally refined white sugar is over 99.9% pure sucrose (whether it comes from sugar cane or sugar beets).

Sucrose molecules can split into glucose and fructose (invert) with time and heat alone. As I understand it sucrose will not caramelize directly, it first breaks down into glucose and fructose which then caramelize.

I’ve never used beet molasses, it is certainly possible that it could make an interesting addition to a Belgian beer, but it is not the same thing as the dark candi syrup. Give both of them a try and see which one you like better. I have now used about 15 different sugars in my Belgian beers and none of the other options come close to the color/flavor I have gotten from the syrup.

Just FYI the containers are 1.5 lbs, so it is a better deal than $8/lb.
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby Liquid Bread » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:06 pm

Okay. So how is it that beet sugar crystals (at 99.9% sucrose) is any different than plain ole sugar cane crystals one gets at the supermarket? If you're saying that refining removes nearly all the impurities (all but 0.01% anyway), then obviously table sugar could be used to create this Belgian candy syrup (kandijstroop). However, we know that is not the case as making basic caramel syrup with table sugar using heat and and acid doesn't result in the same flavor profile (as you've noted).

Something is wonky with the proclamation that this "Dark Candi Syrup" is 100% sucrose.

My error on the price quotation. I confused fluid ounce with mass ounce. So $8/pint versus $4/pint.
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby Denny » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:10 pm

Liquid Bread wrote:Something is wonky with the proclamation that this "Dark Candi Syrup" is 100% sucrose.


Why no just email Brian Mercer and ask him? He's a very nice guy and I'm sure he'd be forthcoming with the info. It's not like he's a huge conglomerate trying to protect company secrets.
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby oldsock » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:54 pm

Liquid Bread wrote:Okay. So how is it that beet sugar crystals (at 99.9% sucrose) is any different than plain ole sugar cane crystals one gets at the supermarket? If you're saying that refining removes nearly all the impurities (all but 0.01% anyway), then obviously table sugar could be used to create this Belgian candy syrup (kandijstroop). However, we know that is not the case as making basic caramel syrup with table sugar using heat and and acid doesn't result in the same flavor profile (as you've noted).

Something is wonky with the proclamation that this "Dark Candi Syrup" is 100% sucrose.


That’s the point, there is no difference! In fact many Belgian brewers use granulated or liquid clear/white refined sucrose in their beers. I’ve used table sugar in a number of pale Belgian style beers with great results.

I believe the key to getting the dark color and rich flavor is in exactly how you heat/cool the sugar. It sounds like what he is doing is holding the sugar in a specific range. The way cooking sugar works it is the ratio of sugar to water that determines how hot it can get, so as it heats you can occasionally add some water back to keep the temperature from climbing too high. In addition when you make caramel of the stove you are not removing the crystallized sucrose so you will never get the same concentration of reaction byproducts.

When I tired to do it I held the sugar syrup in the high 200s for 3 hours (adding 1 tbls of water ever 3-4 minutes, what a fun evening), this clearly wasn’t hot enough and/or long enough. Next time I plan to go hotter, sucrose doesn’t completely break down until 340, so I figure hold the temp around 320 might give better results.

I agree with Denny, Brian always seems happy to answer homebrewers questions.
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby Liquid Bread » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:15 pm

Denny wrote:
Liquid Bread wrote:Something is wonky with the proclamation that this "Dark Candi Syrup" is 100% sucrose.


Why no just email Brian Mercer and ask him? He's a very nice guy and I'm sure he'd be forthcoming with the info. It's not like he's a huge conglomerate trying to protect company secrets.


Along those lines, I decided to go to the source and shot off a couple emails to brewferm.be and candico.be.

oldsock wrote:That’s the point, there is no difference! In fact many Belgian brewers use granulated or liquid clear/white refined sucrose in their beers. I’ve used table sugar in a number of pale Belgian style beers with great results.

I believe that, though we're not discussing the use of unmolested white sugar.

oldsock wrote:I believe the key to getting the dark color and rich flavor is in exactly how you heat/cool the sugar. It sounds like what he is doing is holding the sugar in a specific range. The way cooking sugar works it is the ratio of sugar to water that determines how hot it can get, so as it heats you can occasionally add some water back to keep the temperature from climbing too high. In addition when you make caramel of the stove you are not removing the crystallized sucrose so you will never get the same concentration of reaction byproducts.


Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the chemistry behind it (only took a year of it of it in college), but how is the heating process going to create anything but glucose, fructose, and leftover sucrose when you start with 100% sucrose? What sorts of byproducts are created? If removing the crystallized sucrose is the solution, then an option would be to heat longer (at a lower temperature) to increase the conversion. In reference to this:

wikipedia wrote:Inverted sugar syrup can be easily made by adding roughly one gram of citric acid or ascorbic acid, per kilogram of sugar. Cream of tartar (one gram per kilogram) or fresh lemon juice (10 milliliters per kilogram) may also be used (1 tsp lemon juice per 1 pound sugar).

The mixture is boiled for 20 minutes, and will convert enough of the sucrose to effectively prevent crystallization, without giving a noticeably sour taste. Invert sugar syrup may also be produced without the use of acids or enzymes by thermal means alone: two parts granulated sucrose and one part water simmered for five to seven minutes will convert a modest portion to invert sugar.

All invert syrups are created by hydrolysing sucrose to glucose (dextrose) and fructose by heating a sucrose solution, then relying either on time alone, or time and the catalysis reaction of an acid or enzymes to speed the reaction. Commercially prepared acid catalyzed solutions are neutralised when the desired level of inversion is reached.


oldsock wrote:
When I tired to do it I held the sugar syrup in the high 200s for 3 hours (adding 1 tbls of water ever 3-4 minutes, what a fun evening), this clearly wasn’t hot enough and/or long enough. Next time I plan to go hotter, sucrose doesn’t completely break down until 340, so I figure hold the temp around 320 might give better results.


I'm not sure higher temperatures are the answer. Despite Mercer's claim of 100% sucrose, Mosher seems to think that candi syrup is a class III caramel which is made using ammonia to accelerate browning and will affect the flavor.
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby oldsock » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:58 pm

Looking forward to what you hear back.

As I posted in the other thread, Mosher's "Candi Sugar" recipe is way off base. In Radical Brewing he says class 3, and in BLAM he says class 4.

WIki seems to suggest III (but IV doesn't sound car off):
* Plain caramel, caustic caramel, or spirit caramel (Class I): E150a, contains sugar and sometimes acids, alkalis, and salts other than ammonium and sulfite compounds.
* Caustic sulfite caramel (Class II): E150b, may contain sulfite compounds.
* Ammonia caramel, baker's caramel, confectioner's caramel, or beer caramel (Class III): E150c, may contain ammonium compounds; used in beer, synthetic soy sauce, and confectionery.
* Sulfite ammonia caramel, acid-proof caramel, or soft-drink caramel (Class IV): E150d, may also contain both ammonium and sulfite compounds; used in acid environments such as soft drinks.

As to how caramelization creates such a diverse set of byproducts, again Wiki:

Caramelization is a complex, poorly understood process that produces hundreds of chemicals. Here is an overview:

1. equilibration of anomeric and ring forms
2. sucrose inversion to fructose and glucose
3. condensation
4. intramolecular bonding
5. isomerization of aldoses to ketoses
6. dehydration reactions
7. fragmentation reactions
8. unsaturated polymer formation

All of this is really inspiring me to give it another shot, even though i don't have any Belgian beers in the works
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby djaychris » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:48 pm

So the moral of this story is that I should do a 2-3 hour boil w/my porter to carmelize the sugars and get a caramel flavor....or add belgian candy syrup?

-Dan
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby Liquid Bread » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:50 pm

oldsock wrote:As I posted in the other thread, Mosher's "Candi Sugar" recipe is way off base. In Radical Brewing he says class 3, and in BLAM he says class 4.


A typo perhaps?

As to how caramelization creates such a diverse set of byproducts, again Wiki:

Caramelization is a complex, poorly understood process that produces hundreds of chemicals. Here is an overview:

1. equilibration of anomeric and ring forms
2. sucrose inversion to fructose and glucose
3. condensation
4. intramolecular bonding
5. isomerization of aldoses to ketoses
6. dehydration reactions
7. fragmentation reactions
8. unsaturated polymer formation


Touche.

All of this is really inspiring me to give it another shot, even though i don't have any Belgian beers in the works


Unfortunately I just brewed 3 batches of Belgian type beers in the last month so I'm out of room at the moment. However, that's not to say I can't make the syrup and store it. The tough part will be trying to find baker's ammonia.
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby alewife » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:30 pm

Check out the King Arthur Flour website or the new Maid of Scandinavia company, Sweet Celebrations, I think. Both will carry baker's ammonia. King Arthur calls it "Bakers Cream Powder" or something like that.

Cheers!

Alewife

Edit: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/det ... 17&id=1701
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby oldsock » Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:29 am

djaychris wrote:So the moral of this story is that I should do a 2-3 hour boil w/my porter to carmelize the sugars and get a caramel flavor....or add belgian candy syrup?

-Dan


True caramelization takes higher temperatures than you can achieve in the boil, but kettle Maillard Reactions doesn’t have the same ring as kettle caramelization. That said the extra maillard reactions byproducts that are produced during an extended boil will give you some caramel like flavor and darken the wort.

I made a great English RIS with a bottle of dark candi syrup, lots of dark fruit character which I like in a big beer.

Either way is fine, doing both might be even better.
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby mercer » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:56 am

Hello,
Just reading these posts, I have a few comments.
Its important to separate Candy Syrup from Caramel.
Caramel is produced from water, white sugar and Ammonia. It is heated and concentrated until it reaches the desired color/ thickness etc. Different caramels are produced depending on the application. Beer requires a positive caramel.
Candy syrup is made from water and sucrose, nothing else is added. The sucrose comes from beets for the simple reason that the price is right and it is everywhere in Belgium. It is the controlled heating of the mixture that is important to the fermentability and flavor.

Candy Syrup is NOT beet molasses, or dark unrefined beet syrup. I have tried both of these. If you can find them, try it. Way too salty and intense. I would not dream of putting that in beer.

I am excited there is such a debate regarding the process, ingredients, types, etc. This is exactly why I got into sugar in the first place. I find it fascinating.
If I can help with anything, please let me know.

Best regards,

Brian

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http:www.darkcandi.com
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Re: Brewing with caramel?

Postby teetotaler » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:09 pm

Here is an online resource for making various types of sugary additives:

http://www.franklinbrew.org/brewinfo/candi_sugar.html

Some respectable names are found there.
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