Originally Posted by pintail78
hey has anyone used a little (1/2 #) brown sugar in their beers? I tried a little of the Brown (BR) belgium candy sugar with good results, and theoretically should be the same, any ideas/experience out there?
I've used both brown sugar and belgian candi sugar...and home-made belgian candi sugar.
They aren't all 'the same' though.
Ordinary brown sugar is white sugar, that has then has some molasses added back into it.
Belgian Candi sugar is a topic of some discussion, but basically it appears to be white sugar that has been caramelized (most likely after being inverted, since this lowers the temperature at which it caramelizes). It can be either syrup or solid (the solid has just had more water boiled off and then crystallized).
There are some instructions about if you want to caramelize some sugar yourself, it is basically simply a process of dissolving the sugar in water, adding an acid to invert it (citric acid, lemon juice, etc), then cooking it to the desired color.
Taste a small sample of each, and you'll detect a slight difference. It is mostly overwhelmed by the sweetness of either, but brown sugar tastes like...well, molasses, while candi sugar varies with color, but starts just pure sweetness, darkens to caramel, and very dark gives an almost burnt, toffee flavor. I'm sure if you kept going on the stove it would hit that distinct burnt sugar flavor, but I'd kill the heat and dump it in some wort before that point