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Old 03-25-2013, 03:59 PM   #311
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Hi everyone - I've just started making home brews in the past 6 months. I can honestly say this is my favorite hobby ever and really haven't had a true hobby since collecting comics when I was 10 (now going on 30).

To give you a background on how I got into it, my bro-in-law bought me a Mr. Beer kit a couple holidays back and after being bored one Sunday morning I decided to open it up, make my first 2.5 gallon batch and then I got hooked. I've been into enjoying micro, home-brewed and some of those favorite Belgian/German, etc brews for a while now and being such a noob, wondered - how am I ever going to get to make a batch that could come close to something so unique, so delicious and complex as something I've had at a brew pub or that someone suggested I pair with a meal? I came across all-grain v. partial v. extract and all-grain brewing seemed to be the path for me - I love how detailed the process is and how a little change here or there can alter the outcome of your brew - customization is key for me as well as making something tried and true. and now much to my wife's amazement (thanks goodness she loves this hobby), i have gotten pretty adventurous while trying to become an amateur student of various styles.

My first batch was a Kolsch - I decided to add Caramunich and Crystal to give it a darker color and a toasty flavor - not traditional by any means, its good but, can you say gusher? Something went haywire with the first one (sanitizing but I thought I did a good job) - but, I spent a lot of time on it and heck its still drinkable even if I have to let it sit a little bit before enjoying.

Next was a Saison I adapted from I believe it was Reaper's recipe I found on these forums - this is where I learned patience in letting it ferment. It was so hard not to drink it while it was still "green" but yea, after a couple months it was even better. This is also where I found out that Saison is my favorite style to make and that 3711 is a monster and very kind to a noob like me. I can never say I perfected the style because I also learned what I really love in a brew - dryness and silky mouthfeel - this one had both oddly enough with a 1.00 OG and the flaked oats really made a huge difference

Next I wanted to try a hybrid of a triple and dubbel - so, I made my "2.5" - I didn't get it to the amber color I wanted, but it ended up more like Delirium Tremens/ Golden Strong - I got my clarity in check with this one and started messing around with candi sugar - made my own, it was tasty enough - just carmelly though and just added ABV, no flavors or color liked I hoped it would - probably relying too much on the sugar and not enough on the malt bill to darken it

Now, onto this topic of candi sugar - I just made what I call "All Hallows' Evening Saison" for next fall - I want to try and perfect the process and take notes on what I like/don't like about it before I really brew it come mid-summer. It is a Pumpkin Saison. I took some ques from the Stingy Jack recipe on here and then I found about about the debate over candi sugar. I purchased some Wyeast DAP and followed Snick's directions. IMO, whether the debate continues or not, my adaptation from his toilings had a direct positive effect on my Pumpkin Saison. I got mine up to 275, between light and dark amber with the DAP. I cooled it down with a steeped spice mix I had made 24 hours before and brought it up to hard crack (I prefer it hard, seems to stay better for me). The spice mix was Cinnamon sticks, whole clove, nutmeg powder, and a pinch of vanilla extract in Green Mountain's French Toast Coffee. The hard candy smelled and tasted like Pumpkin! I added a half a pound total of my "Pumpkin Candi Sugar" with 8, 6, 4 minute increments left in the boil. I tried a green bottle at the 7 day fermentation mark to see if I noticed this sugar I made and used - heck, if it didn't work I was still going to eat it! But, it absolutely made the Saison better - it smells and tastes like the pumpkin candy I made without it being overpowering - you can still tell it has the peppery and tang finish of a 3711 Saison.

Thought I would add this to the convo as Snick's contributions were a big help for my beer-making journey and that adding a cold, steeped spice mix to cool it down before bring it to soft or hard crack did the trick for me.

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Old 04-16-2013, 01:42 AM   #312
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Default Wyeast Yeast nutrient works too!

Hi all,
Long time lurker on the site, but this thread got me to register so I could share what I tried today.

I was too lazy/cheap to buy/wait for DAP so I just used some fresh lemon juice and Wyeast yeast nutrient. I checked the Wyeast site and DAP was clearly one of the main ingredients. So, I used 2 tsp of that and a half lemon. Then I just boiled 1.5 cups H2O, added 3 lbs sugar and slowly boiled off the water until I reached 290. Poured onto aluminum foil and cooled. Samples tasted good. Mostly raisin and rum type flavors.

I'll probably get the DAP for the next attempt at this, but was glad to find a workable substitute among my collection of stuff.

Thanks for posting the guide......

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Old 04-16-2013, 12:37 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by BBB_Brewhaus View Post
Hi all,
Long time lurker on the site, but this thread got me to register so I could share what I tried today.

I was too lazy/cheap to buy/wait for DAP so I just used some fresh lemon juice and Wyeast yeast nutrient. I checked the Wyeast site and DAP was clearly one of the main ingredients. So, I used 2 tsp of that and a half lemon. Then I just boiled 1.5 cups H2O, added 3 lbs sugar and slowly boiled off the water until I reached 290. Poured onto aluminum foil and cooled. Samples tasted good. Mostly raisin and rum type flavors.

I'll probably get the DAP for the next attempt at this, but was glad to find a workable substitute among my collection of stuff.

Thanks for posting the guide......
I love the DAP method with 290 - I did a side by side comparison with D-45 and I'll bet yours was just like mine - almost exact same taste, and probably a little better / more complex - I also made the equivalent of 90 and 180 and again, tastes similar if not better - it isn't worth buying the stuff and I won't pay attention to what is considered authentic and what is not ever again - good beer is good beer - you can make any style with this home made stuff and it will taste within style, regardless if you decided to lay down change for store ordered syrup

It's funny because just about everything is from semi-scratch/scratch and you put in a lot of effort, then, you untwist these plastic bags and just "dump" - anytime I can do it myself, I will because I think it just makes the beer more of my creation - not to say those that buy the premade stuff don't make their own beer, but, i just don't buy in to the hype of your beer not being authentic enough without it - I've read plenty of people use plain old cane sugar or home made stuff, even just the caramelized sugar without the DAP, and have won competitions. Just because someone tells you to jump doesn't mean you have to.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:55 PM   #314
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dap huh? interesting....

i have had good success with this recipe from:http://www.brew365.com/technique_candi.php

Make Your Own Candi Sugar
How To
In preparing to brew my first Belgian Saison style beer, I came across many references to the use of Candi Sugar as an adjunct in many recipes. Apparently the term 'candi sugar' is somewhat mistranslated or otherwise misinterpreted here in the US. Most homebrew shops sell these little rock-candy like crystals of varying shades of amber that we use here as the candi sugar adjunct. In Belgium, however, they make their own sugar syrup. As it turns out, this is quite easy to make ...
First off, you're going to need some sugar. Nothing fancy, just plain sugar. Second ingredient is some citric acid. If you have citric acid, great - if not, some lemon juice will be perfect too.
We're going to make a syrup out of your two ingredients so, you guessed it, we're gonna need to cook this up. Now, don't get excited and start digging out your brewpot and burner ... some Medium heat and a smooth-bottomed pan of some sort on the stove should do just fine. Put about 1 cup of sugar and 1 TSP of lemon juice (or pinch of citric acid) together over medium heat and stir (and keep stirring). The sugar will eventually start to melt. This is the part where you need to pay attention and know what style of syrup you're after. I was after a very light one, so I just barely let the sugar turn the palest of yellowish-brown. If you're making a darker beer, let it go a bit more but DO NOT let it burn or, worse, catch fire. Please!
When the sugar is at the right doneness, scrape it from the pan onto an aluminum foil covered surface. Take care as this is HOT and sticky. Not a good combination for exposed skin. Let this cool and harden up. Eat some if you want, it's not great.
Once the sugar is cool, you will need to re-add this to a pan over medium heat and add some water to achieve a consistency somewhere between maple syrup and honey. Let this come to a boil if you want and, voila! - candi sugar syrup the way the Belgian brewers do it.

simple and i like natural ingredients....

GD

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Old 04-16-2013, 01:52 PM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmodog51 View Post
dap huh? interesting....

i have had good success with this recipe from:http://www.brew365.com/technique_candi.php

Make Your Own Candi Sugar
How To
In preparing to brew my first Belgian Saison style beer, I came across many references to the use of Candi Sugar as an adjunct in many recipes. Apparently the term 'candi sugar' is somewhat mistranslated or otherwise misinterpreted here in the US. Most homebrew shops sell these little rock-candy like crystals of varying shades of amber that we use here as the candi sugar adjunct. In Belgium, however, they make their own sugar syrup. As it turns out, this is quite easy to make ...
First off, you're going to need some sugar. Nothing fancy, just plain sugar. Second ingredient is some citric acid. If you have citric acid, great - if not, some lemon juice will be perfect too.
We're going to make a syrup out of your two ingredients so, you guessed it, we're gonna need to cook this up. Now, don't get excited and start digging out your brewpot and burner ... some Medium heat and a smooth-bottomed pan of some sort on the stove should do just fine. Put about 1 cup of sugar and 1 TSP of lemon juice (or pinch of citric acid) together over medium heat and stir (and keep stirring). The sugar will eventually start to melt. This is the part where you need to pay attention and know what style of syrup you're after. I was after a very light one, so I just barely let the sugar turn the palest of yellowish-brown. If you're making a darker beer, let it go a bit more but DO NOT let it burn or, worse, catch fire. Please!
When the sugar is at the right doneness, scrape it from the pan onto an aluminum foil covered surface. Take care as this is HOT and sticky. Not a good combination for exposed skin. Let this cool and harden up. Eat some if you want, it's not great.
Once the sugar is cool, you will need to re-add this to a pan over medium heat and add some water to achieve a consistency somewhere between maple syrup and honey. Let this come to a boil if you want and, voila! - candi sugar syrup the way the Belgian brewers do it.

simple and i like natural ingredients....

GD
if you want to go strictly natural, you should try some date sugar too if you haven't already - you can just buy dates and let those suckers dry out at 350 for an hour, then left in oven overnight, puree or coffee grind those suckers - it adds a great raisin/date/rum-chewy flavor to the sugar - maybe a 1.5 cane, .5 date sugar combo - I found that I had to go through a little more water - was being ultra cautious because it is supposed to change over or brown more quickly
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:50 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by CZs View Post
if you want to go strictly natural, you should try some date sugar too if you haven't already - you can just buy dates and let those suckers dry out at 350 for an hour, then left in oven overnight, puree or coffee grind those suckers - it adds a great raisin/date/rum-chewy flavor to the sugar - maybe a 1.5 cane, .5 date sugar combo - I found that I had to go through a little more water - was being ultra cautious because it is supposed to change over or brown more quickly
thanx for that tip.....i will try date sugar on my next belgian dark!
and maybe can purchase it already made from a health food store....can't be much more expensive than whole dates....

GD51
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:50 PM   #317
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I love the DAP method with 290 - I did a side by side comparison with D-45 and I'll bet yours was just like mine - almost exact same taste, and probably a little better / more complex - I also made the equivalent of 90 and 180 and again, tastes similar if not better - it isn't worth buying the stuff and I won't pay attention to what is considered authentic and what is not ever again - good beer is good beer - you can make any style with this home made stuff and it will taste within style, regardless if you decided to lay down change for store ordered syrup

It's funny because just about everything is from semi-scratch/scratch and you put in a lot of effort, then, you untwist these plastic bags and just "dump" - anytime I can do it myself, I will because I think it just makes the beer more of my creation - not to say those that buy the premade stuff don't make their own beer, but, i just don't buy in to the hype of your beer not being authentic enough without it - I've read plenty of people use plain old cane sugar or home made stuff, even just the caramelized sugar without the DAP, and have won competitions. Just because someone tells you to jump doesn't mean you have to.
If 290 is close to D-45 how do you get the color of a D-90 or D-180 without all of the burnt sugar taste. I keep my heat really low and if I get over 290 degrees it taste burnt
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:05 PM   #318
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Add a little lime (1/4 to 1/2 as much as you use DAP) to help keep the sugar from burning.
Do not use an acid; that will accelerate the burnt candy apple taste.

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Old 04-17-2013, 06:13 PM   #319
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If 290 is close to D-45 how do you get the color of a D-90 or D-180 without all of the burnt sugar taste. I keep my heat really low and if I get over 290 degrees it taste burnt
2 things that helped me out - not sure of what type of pot you're using - I use a 3 gal boiling pot, in other words:

A. I wouldn't use something that has a lot of surface area, but that is fairly deep - I wouldn't try more than 2 lbs at a time, especially when trying to match the 180.
B. Contrary to what is said, once you get past 290, I would absolutely stir, add the cool down water, bring back up to 290. This tastes very similar to D-90, no burnt taste, just a more potent, concentrated version of D-45 - think of some cocoa / toast flavor mixed in with the warm vanilla, figs, plums, stone fruit of the D-45.

also

C. For the 180, I used the 300F directions aka "Mahogany", and cooled it down, and brought it up to around 315- be prepared to use even more water on this one and to stir even more. It has a heavy, roasted cocoa, almost 80-90% Ghiardelli bittersweet, dark chocolate taste to it. It does have a hint of burnt marshmallows in the back after you smack your mouth a couple times but in no way is it "yuck" Almost would be for someone who likes their toast, bagel, muffin a little on the charred side - not terrible, just, a little over done. I don't think my equivalent or the D-180 is for everyone - but, if I'm reading correctly - and from what I've tasted, you should get some of those characteristics mixed in there with the stone fruit. Sure, maybe you can't call my an exact clone - but, I've had myself and others taste it side by side, and maybe in exact lovibond it isn't the same - but the taste profile is REALLY REALLY close.

I would even consider just using 300F "Mahogany" in combination with the 290 for a BDS or Dubbel - like them both. The Mahogany sugar with the DAP method tasts like chocolate covered caramels with maybe even some salty pretzel mixed in - if that makes sense.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:19 PM   #320
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Do you reduce the sugar first? Using a bit of acid before you add the dap

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