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Old 05-03-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
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Default IPA Cotton Candy. NOT Cotton candy IPA.

Cotton Candy for grownups!!!



So tomorrow is National Homebrewing Day, and at our large event I usually like to brew or do something that has a bit of a wow factor involving beer.

About a month ago I was craving good old fashioned cotton candy. Someone mentioned that machines could be had cheap at just about any store. Then someone else commented that knowing me, I'd try to make some out of beer.

An idea was born....

I remembered a few years back that some folks were making hop candys, and one of the people going into business sent me a case of them.

So I decided to follow their lead and make my own.

Before I start, a word about home cotton candy makers...



They are available nearly everywhere these days for about 40 bucks. In my research I found out there are 2 different styles on the market. 1) Uses ONLY sugar or hard candies that are ground down into sugar. 2) That can handle both sugar and hard candies as is. I opted for the one that could take both sugar and hard candies (since I'm addicted to cinnamon Jolly Ranchers.)

I chose the Bella Cotton Candy Machine from Target because it seemed less gimmicky and more solidly made than some of the others.

Also you don't have to buy one, you can DIY a simple machine from the web like this instructable.

First I decided to make and IPA hard candy.

The recipe;

1 12 ounce IPA of your choice (I had originally wanted to use my favorite Two Hearted Ale, but the night I planned on doing this, 3 stores I go to were out.) so I settled on Hoptical Illusion by BluePoint Brewing company.

1 Cup of Sugar

1 Cup of Karo Syrup

5 Tablespoons (approx) of Cascade Hop Leaves.

The Hardware;

Large pot to boil the candy in (I started too small and later had to dump the mess into a larger pot.)

Candy Thermometer

French Press Coffee Maker (Or you can just steep and strain the hops out with some other means, but a french press is easier. This one was had for about 15 bucks from Meijer's. It Only holds a couple cups of liquid.)

A shallow baking pan to pour the hot candy onto. A Silpat silicone mat makes it so much easier to work with, AND clean up after.

(Not shown) A silicon spatula. It makes cleanup easier than using a wooden spoon or something else.



Safety Warning: You are heating sugar to a temp greater than 300 degrees, it is hot and sticky so proper care needs to be had throughout the entire process. Have heat resistant gloves, and don't be tempted to touch the cooling sugar until it is rock hard. It BURNS!


Step 1.

Put 5 tablespoons of hop leafs into the bottom of the French Press.



In a small saucepan heat the beer to 150 degrees F.

When beer is warmed, add it to the French press to steep hops in the beer.



Steep beer in hops for 10 minutes or more.



Step 2

Measure out 1 cup of corn syrup, and 1 cup of table sugar into a large pan.
(I found one of these nifty Alton Brown inspired sliding measuring cups at Bed Bath and Beyond, they work great for gooey things like corn syrup or honey.)



Step 3

Heat the sugar/corn syrup to 310 degrees F. Stirring gently with a silicone spatula.

NOTE THIS PAN IS TOO SMALL! I had to switch to a larger pan for this, so use the right one to begin with....saves you from a nasty cleanup and potential burns



Step 4

When you reach 310 degrees, pour in the steeped beer.



It will be a hissing and violent reaction as the water in the beer is nearly flash boiled away. THIS is where I had to switch pans.

The temp will drop below 300 at this point.



Let the liquid boil away and the temp creep back up to 300 degrees. Stirring to mix everything.

Step 5

When you reach 300 degrees again, turn off the heat and stir constantly for 1 minute.

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Old 05-03-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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Step 6

After 1 minute of stirring has passed, pour the EXTREMELY HOT mixture out onto a silicon mat covered baking tray and let cool.



Step 7
Let it cool. It will be like a sheet of glass.

Step 8
At this point it is edible, you can shatter it and enjoy it for it’s beery goodness. (You can also, rather than pouring out a sheet, pour out little globules and add a stick to make beer lollipops.)
If you have a cotton candy machine that can accept hard candy you can just break it up and use the pieces as it. Or you can do what I did, and grind it back down into a sugar for ease of measuring.




Cotton Candy Time.
I added a couple of pre ground chunks in the machine and let it go. Note the tan color.


It was delicious. But I felt it needed something……

MORE HOPS
I felt it just didn’t have the hop freshness of a good IPA. So I thought about dry hopping and about Randals and how a fresh hop burst on top of everything else give a good IPA more depth.
So I decided to make an all hop candy.
For that recipe I went with the one in the original Hop Candy thread.
1.75 C Sugar
.75 C light corn syrup
.5 C water
Green food coloring
1 cup of water to steep hops in.
Hops of your choosing. (I went with the remaining packet of cascade which weighed out to ¾ of an ounce.)
The equipment and process is pretty much the same.

Heat water to 150 degrees and add it and hops in French press.

Bring Sugar, Corn Syrup, and ½ cup water to 310 degrees.

As you are bring the sugar solution p to temp, add green food coloring if you want it to be green and hop looking.


Note the CORRECT sized pot this time. (And the mess on the stove from the last batch.)

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Old 05-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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When you break the 300 degree mark, add in the steeped hop liquid and let the violence begin

After it heats back to 300 degrees stir it for 1 minute and pour onto baking sheet. Let it cool.

Note the intense green color (and the little hop leaf that got in there.)

A piece of each.

Loaded those in the machine to make REAL IPA Cotton Candy.


I ground it up for sugar for tomorrow.

I’m going to play around with the right combination of beer candy + hop candy to see what is most popular tomorrow.

I'll post some more pics then....

Enjoy!!!

I'm also thinking about all the other good beer flavors that could be turned into cotton candy....Pumpkin Ale in the fall, Chocolate stout....

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Old 05-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing Revvy.

I have a sweet tooth and out in the shed an industrial cotton candy machine that I have been threatening to fire up for a while now. This might just be the final inspiration to do so.

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Old 05-03-2013, 08:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohanMk1 View Post
Thanks for sharing Revvy.

I have a sweet tooth and out in the shed an industrial cotton candy machine that I have been threatening to fire up for a while now. This might just be the final inspiration to do so.
I'm thinking about getting a big one and doing this for brewing events. Seems like it'd be a good draw for brewing events.

If you make big cones of it be sure to post some pictures.
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I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

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Old 05-03-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
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That's awesome Revvy! Good work

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Old 05-03-2013, 10:01 PM   #7
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awesome Revvy. you never cease to amaze me. I'll be picking up the stuff to do this next week. Too late for homebrew day tomorrow.

cheers!

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Old 05-03-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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RAD.

Just got my wife a cotton candy machine.

Might have to try this.

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Old 05-03-2013, 10:13 PM   #9
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nice

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Old 05-03-2013, 11:26 PM   #10
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...and here I was thinking I was a smartypants for making cotton candy with dark brown sugar (yum). Well done Revvy.

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