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Old 02-09-2006, 02:40 PM   #1
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Default Experience with substituting table sugar for candi sugar

I know there are a lot of opinions on this, but for those who have tried substituting table sugar for clear candi sugar in Belgians, how were the results?

For a dubbel, I'd probably go to the trouble of making my own dark candi sugar, but I'm thinking of doing a Saison soon and then pitching a trippel on the trub. Both typically call for a lb or so of clear candi sugar.

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Old 02-09-2006, 03:51 PM   #2
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Just go pound for pound. For my tripel I opted for turbinado sure, but table sure is just fine. You only get into trouble with it if you use "too much" (regardless if it's candi or table sugar), which seems to be around 1/3 of total fermentables, but I can't attest to that from personal experience.

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Old 02-09-2006, 05:17 PM   #3
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I'm wondering about the supposed problems with using table sugar. It's just glucose and fructose, just like corn sugar, fruit adjuncts, etc. I suspect that sucrose's bad rep is caused by bad brewers, or bad recipes, not the sucrose. My read is that sucrose is so pure, it adds NO flavor, and lets your other short cuts show.

Maybe I'll try a really cheap batch, 5# sucrose, 2# of someting malty, cara or crystal for example. $5 for fermentables ? Bottle it in canning jars?

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Old 02-09-2006, 05:48 PM   #4
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From the best that I can tell, it looks like the problem comes from the fact that it is just sugar. Fermentable wort has alot of nutrients that yeast like to have around to be healthy. When they don't have an adequate supply of nutrients (ie, a wort comprising mostly of table sugar) the yeast will be "stressed" and produce off flavors.

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Old 02-09-2006, 06:10 PM   #5
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I agree, there is a reason that malt extracts and grains are used. I have heard of people making beer that tastes just fine out of table sugar, but is it really worth the time? Why not do a half and half, 3.3# sucrose and 3.3# something else? Maybe an amber malt or honey?

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Old 02-09-2006, 06:18 PM   #6
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Isn't candi sugar just beet sugar? If so, they have beet sugar at the supermarket near me for a comprable price to cane sugar. Would it be good to use or not?

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Old 02-09-2006, 06:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatsOnTap
Isn't candi sugar just beet sugar? If so, they have beet sugar at the supermarket near me for a comprable price to cane sugar. Would it be good to use or not?
I believe a chemist would say that processed beet sugar and processed cane sugar are the same thing (sucrose), and therefore it wouldn't really matter. In a raw state, I'm sure they are different--i.e. different "impurities" (non-sucrose ingredients).
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:08 PM   #8
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I would make my own clear candi sugar instead of using table sugar. When you make candi sugar you add citric acid which converts the sucrose into a different form of sugar. I've got a link on how to make candi sugar on my other computer, so I can't post it from work.

I would avoid putting any table sugar in any brew I made. Back when I was in college, I made Mr. Beer beer and used table sugar instead of other forms of sugar. Every single batch would have a cidery taste. The level of ciderness would depending on what else there was to try to cover it up, but it was always there just the same.

P.S. Making clear candi sugar won't take that much expense or trouble, so you should do it if I or someone else can post the link. Dark or amber candi sugar might be a different story due to difficulty in creating it, but not the clear stuff.

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Old 02-09-2006, 08:22 PM   #9
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Hmmm, I thought I had the candi sugar making link but now I can't find it. I'll post it here if I can find it.

Basically you are making invert sugar by doing so, which makes it a little easier for the yeast to consume. With enough nutrition, healthy yeast will do this on their own.

edit: I've found it. It's a thread on the green boards, hope that's cool with the mods How to Make Candi Sugar

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Old 02-09-2006, 09:37 PM   #10
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I stole this from amother site.

Invert Sugar - (Also called Nulomoline) Invert sugar is created by combining a SUGAR SYRUP with a small amount of acid (such as CREAM OF TARTAR or lemon juice) and heating. This inverts, or breaks down, the SUCROSE into its two components, GLUCOSE and FRUCTOSE, thereby reducing the size of the sugar crystals. Because of its fine crystal structure, invert sugar produces a smoother product and is used in making candies such as fondant, and some syrups. The process of making jams and jellies automatically produces invert sugar by combining the natural acid in the fruit with granulated sugar and heating the mixture.

So, perhaps yeast makes 'off flavors' when it has to break the sucrose bond? Or does the beer have enough acid to do it for the yeasties?

SOoo, start my cheeep beer by making a syrup in the brewpot, add citric acid, heat while mashin grains, add wort from mash, continue as usual. Hmmm, buy 5# of sugar, for $2, cut my pale malt, 5# @ .79= $4, save $2...on 5 hours of work....I guess I'll let one of you guys try it.

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So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had brewing....you don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

72 batches so far,
48 wine, mostly Loquat, peach, plum, prickly pear
23 beers and ciders
1 sauerkraut
1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"

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