I hate to rehash this but I would like to make a Belgain Golden Strong Ale and the recipe calls for Candi Sugar. I have read all the threads on this board as well as other and instead of being enlighten I am just more confused. I have read that candi sugar is:
-Rock Candy developed from beets
-Fancy table sugar
After reading How to Brew I found that beet sugar, which is the most common source of sugar in Europe, has impurities in it that cause unpleasant off flavors in beers. Where as, the impurities in cane sugar do not cause these off flavors but pleasant flavors in beer. This has led me to believe at first that candi sugar is some type of rock candy. This is because as a solution of highly concentrated sucrose-bearing sugar water cools it precipitates out the sucrose as crystals and any impurities in the solution would be left behind. This would be a way before modern refining for the Belgians to remove the unwanted impurities in beet derived sugar. which could impart off flavors. However, as I proceeded to look into candi sugar I found a lot of websites that give recipes for inverting sugar. I am a experimental geochemist and I still don't understand how if you inverting beet derived sugar to make "candi sugar" how this would remove the unwanted impurities. The syrup that you make is only hydrolizing the sugar into its to constituents components and not allowing a way for the impurities to be removed. further the recipes call for you to pour the high temperature syrup onto foil or greased paper. This action would instantly quench the sugar and prevent the sugar from crystallizing out. This means that the impurities are still left in the quenched sugar. These recipes leave you with a large mass of hard sugar not the nice little diamonds shaped crystals that you see in you lhbs or in any picture of candi sugar I have seen. Undeterred in finding the real answer I furthered my research a little more and found that Belgian candi sugar is slowly crystallized from a syrup. Now this makes sense to me if you make a solution of sugar and water, even if it had a high viscosity (like molasses), it would either break down the sugar into its principle components fructose and glucose or hydrate the sugar. As this syrup slowly cools the sugar would be recombined or dehydrated forming ultra pure sugar crystals. Left behind in the water or waste syrup would be the impurities. Now after all of this research I am still confused. If making candi sugar is just a way to purify the sugar they why do people invert the sugar before using it in a wort. Can i just add regular refined cane table sugar to my recipe?