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Old 12-29-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default Recipe help...Belgian Quad

Hey all, I am brewing up a quad tomorrow and wanted to get some last minute insight before I take the plunge. My recipe calls for two bottles of D180 candi syrup in a 5.5 gallon batch, which puts my color in the ballpark of 40SRM with my specialty malts. I was hoping to about cut that color contribution in half without losing the flavor the candi brings to the beer. If I add only 1 pound of D180 my color comes closer to 27 which I find acceptable. Do you think I would be able to cut to 1lb D180 and add 1lb of corn or plain white sugar to replace my lost gravity? Looking for options... Thanks!

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Old 12-29-2012, 11:51 PM   #2
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What is the rest of the recipe? What malts/grains/extracts are you using other than the d-180? There could be other flavor/color contributors in the recipe that may need to be adjusted.

If you feel comfortable with the rest of the recipe and all you want to do is sub out the D-180, then I would use 1 pound of clear candi sugar in place of the second pound of dark syrup. I feel that this would be better than cane or corn sugar, and would be more "style appropriate" for a Belgian brew. Cane sugar or corn sugar can be used with little or no problem, but I personally prefer candi sugar in Belgian beers.

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Old 12-30-2012, 02:18 AM   #3
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SRM calculations with candi syrup are almost never right, so don't sweat it too much. Yes the syrup itself is dark as all hell, but the actual colour contribution to the beer is going to be significantly less. Treat the D180 as giving a color contribution of about 75 SRM instead of whatever preposterous number you've been given (I'll assume 180) and you'll get a more realistic estimate. If you're still getting a really high colour after making that adjustment you might be going too heavy on the specialty grains, although I have a feeling you'll be fine.

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1 pound of clear candi sugar in place of the second pound of dark syrup. I feel that this would be better than cane or corn sugar, and would be more "style appropriate" for a Belgian brew. Cane sugar or corn sugar can be used with little or no problem, but I personally prefer candi sugar in Belgian beers.
Eh, it's my experience the difference between clear candi sugar and table sugar is pretty much only in price. Throw some sucrose in during the boil and you've got yourself a perfect substitute for clear candi sugar.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:31 AM   #4
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Two pounds of D-180. will make it very dark. I have used. 1lb D-180 and then a pound of turbinado. It adds a nice flavor that regular sugar does not. Nice combo in a Belgian.

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Old 12-30-2012, 03:21 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, I just went to the manufacturers website and just as SixString said, and the color of the syrup is listed at 80SRM. 2lbs would then put my finished color around 25...perfect. Specialty malts in this recipe are 1lb CaraMunich, 1/2lb Biscuit, 4oz Special B, 3oz Chocolate.

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Old 12-30-2012, 03:41 AM   #6
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If you want to lighten it up further I'd suggest dropping the chocolate malt, and perhaps even the special b. For how little is going in you're probably not going to miss either of those malts, especially with 2lbs of syrup providing the kinds of fruity and chocolatey flavours you'd associate with them anyway.

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Old 12-30-2012, 08:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SixStringBeer View Post
SRM calculations with candi syrup are almost never right, so don't sweat it too much. Yes the syrup itself is dark as all hell, but the actual colour contribution to the beer is going to be significantly less. Treat the D180 as giving a color contribution of about 75 SRM instead of whatever preposterous number you've been given (I'll assume 180) and you'll get a more realistic estimate. If you're still getting a really high colour after making that adjustment you might be going too heavy on the specialty grains, although I have a feeling you'll be fine.



Eh, it's my experience the difference between clear candi sugar and table sugar is pretty much only in price. Throw some sucrose in during the boil and you've got yourself a perfect substitute for clear candi sugar.
You may well be right. It is only an opinion of mine, certainly not any established fact, but I am just more comfortable using candi sugar in place of cane sugar. Maybe it is all in my mind, or maybe the O.C.D. in me makes me want to use the "right" sugar, but I have heard too many horror-stories of cider-flavored beer due to large refined sugar additions. I am almost certain that these brews had many flaws other than just table sugar (fermentation temp control, yeast selection, maltose to sucrose ratio, etc...) that caused the poor results, but I hesitate to accept table sugar as a "viable" beer ingredient. It is probably all my perception, but table sugar makes me think of teenagers making cheap hooch, and I hold myself to a higher standard than that when it comes to my brewing.

Table sugar is probably a fine substitute for candi in most recipes, but for some reason, I just cannot bring myself to do it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:10 PM   #8
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Eh, if you really want to use the "right" (read: authentic) sugar you should make friends with beet sugar fast, as that's what most (if not all) Belgian/Trappist breweries use for their "candi sugar". Slight difference in the level of quality between monks brewing Trappist ales, and kids making hooch, no?

I know the idea of adding table sugar to beer for a lot of homebrewers is considered a minor heresy given the prevalence of cidery off-flavour stories, but that's long since been proven to be (at least in part) inaccurate. As long as you're inverting (read: boiling) the sugar you're not going to get weird off flavours. Invert sucrose in kettle, ????, profit!

Edit: Of course, using candi sugars does afford a certain level of control you're less likely to get with just inverting sucrose in the kettle, so I can understand justifying the extra cash in that sense. Still, for clear candi syrup I'd suggest saving the few dollars as that's a relatively easy reaction to control.

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Old 12-31-2012, 12:26 AM   #9
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Perhaps, it seems, we just fall on different sides of the opinion spectrum. As with almost every brewing choice regarding ingredients, techniques, and equipment there are usually multiple opinions about what is the "right" way of doing things. As long as a process or ingredient gives the brewer the desired result, it is likely that it will be seen as the "right" solution to that brewer. We have all seen the debates regarding "how long is too long in primary" and "do I need to secondary" I really think it all boils down to what you are comfortable with as a brewer. Perhaps some day I will feel more comfortable using table sugar in my recipes, but for now, I will stick with what I know works for me. Right now, that means candi sugar for my brews.

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