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Old 10-16-2012, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default Belgian Syrup vs homemade

Is there any difference? I've heard and read mixed reviews.... Anyone actually try each with the same recipe before and see how they differ? Anyone have any experience with this?
i am planning on doing a dubbel soon and was thinking of creating my own inverted sugar/rock candy from recipes off the net and was just trying to decide if I wanted to do that or spend the extra $$ on the syrups from the store.

Thanks!

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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I think this is a great question and look forward to those with more experience chiming in. I am currently reading Brew Like a Monk, and in the book it says that most old Belgian ales use syrup not just sugar. Basically it said that Candi (the rock candy like crystals) was not used back in the day. The book implied that different colors (how long you cook and invert) are what accounts for variation in the color. I have also read elsewhere that darker syrups and crystal sugar (Candi) is somewhat less fermentable. I think that if true it really presents an additional challenge when using syrups.

I am planning a belgian dubbel soon as well and intend to make my own inverted syrup using the acidity of a lemon and boiling the water. I will make a few different colors of the syrup.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #3
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I've done both, and seen no difference. Sugar is sugar is sugar...whether you make it yourself, or buy it, you won't notice the difference. I'd much rather save money and make it.

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Old 10-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #4
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Great, thanks much for the input. I was thinking of trying it myself also to see how it tastes. maybe do my own experiment with syrup at another time with a different batch but that's what i've heard as well (what Revvy said, "Sugar is sugar is sugar...".

Thanks!

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Old 10-16-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
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If you're talking about the dark syrup, I've yet to taste a homemade version of my own or anyone else's that tastes like what is available from CSI or Dark Candi. Doesn't mean it can't be good in its own way, it just won't have the same flavor profile.

If you are just making a light/clear syrup, yeah, no need to pay extra money for what is basically table sugar turned into a simple syrup.

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Old 10-16-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster
If you're talking about the dark syrup, I've yet to taste a homemade version of my own or anyone else's that tastes like what is available from CSI or Dark Candi. Doesn't mean it can't be good in its own way, it just won't have the same flavor profile.

If you are just making a light/clear syrup, yeah, no need to pay extra money for what is basically table sugar turned into a simple syrup.
I agree. I used table sugar in one of my dubbels and D90 syrup in another (same recipe), and definitely noticed a difference. The D90 syrup has a very unique taste to it, both before and after fermentation. I don't see how the flavor could be reproduced just by inverting regular sugar. According to jamil, table sugar and rock sugar are basically the same thing, sugar. Making a syrup with table sugar won't add the flavor found in Dark Candi syrup, especially the D180 that is a mix of beet sugar and date sugar. Although it can give you some caramel flavors if cooked long/hot enough, you won't get the raisin/date/prune type flavors found in most dubbels and quads. While, it's true that table sugar can be either cane or beet sugar, it's still refined and I think that's what makes the difference. My experience is limited with this, so take it for what it's worth.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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Some excellent information in this thread: twenty pounds of sugar. I don't know how the flavor compares, because these recipes use DAP as the inverting agent. But it's easy, cheap, fun, and works just fine in the beer. Just get yourself a candy thermometer and go for it!

Cheers!

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