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Old 08-06-2006, 10:21 PM   #1
Jul 2006
near Philly
Posts: 19

What sort of flavor / effect does candi sugar have on the beer? I know it adds more fermentables , but how does that affect the flavor of the beer, or does it?

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Old 08-06-2006, 11:57 PM   #2
cweston's Avatar
Feb 2006
Manhattan, KS
Posts: 2,014
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The sugars in sucrose in its various forms (including candi sugar) are nearly 100% fermentable, whereas the more complex sugars from malted barley are not.

So the main thing sucros in any form does is create more food for the yeast but contributes to a drier finish than if you brewed the same OG but from all malt.

Clear candi sugar does nothing, IMHO, that plain table sugar wont do.

Dark candi sugar (or syrup) adds carmelly sweetness and complexity to dubbels, string dark ales, etc.

The relatively large amount of sugar in several styles of Belgian ales is what allows them to have high gravities and relatively low IBUs without being cloyingly sweet.

Primary: none
Bottle conditioning: Robust Porter
Drinking: Saison Dupont clone, tripel
Coming soon: Columbus APA, Rich Red ale

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Old 09-20-2006, 10:48 PM   #3
Sep 2006
Posts: 6

I hate to rehash this but I would like to make a Belgain Golden Strong Ale and the recipe calls for Candi Sugar. I have read all the threads on this board as well as other and instead of being enlighten I am just more confused. I have read that candi sugar is:
-Rock Candy developed from beets
-Inverted sugar
-Fancy table sugar

After reading How to Brew I found that beet sugar, which is the most common source of sugar in Europe, has impurities in it that cause unpleasant off flavors in beers. Where as, the impurities in cane sugar do not cause these off flavors but pleasant flavors in beer. This has led me to believe at first that candi sugar is some type of rock candy. This is because as a solution of highly concentrated sucrose-bearing sugar water cools it precipitates out the sucrose as crystals and any impurities in the solution would be left behind. This would be a way before modern refining for the Belgians to remove the unwanted impurities in beet derived sugar. which could impart off flavors. However, as I proceeded to look into candi sugar I found a lot of websites that give recipes for inverting sugar. I am a experimental geochemist and I still don't understand how if you inverting beet derived sugar to make "candi sugar" how this would remove the unwanted impurities. The syrup that you make is only hydrolizing the sugar into its to constituents components and not allowing a way for the impurities to be removed. further the recipes call for you to pour the high temperature syrup onto foil or greased paper. This action would instantly quench the sugar and prevent the sugar from crystallizing out. This means that the impurities are still left in the quenched sugar. These recipes leave you with a large mass of hard sugar not the nice little diamonds shaped crystals that you see in you lhbs or in any picture of candi sugar I have seen. Undeterred in finding the real answer I furthered my research a little more and found that Belgian candi sugar is slowly crystallized from a syrup. Now this makes sense to me if you make a solution of sugar and water, even if it had a high viscosity (like molasses), it would either break down the sugar into its principle components fructose and glucose or hydrate the sugar. As this syrup slowly cools the sugar would be recombined or dehydrated forming ultra pure sugar crystals. Left behind in the water or waste syrup would be the impurities. Now after all of this research I am still confused. If making candi sugar is just a way to purify the sugar they why do people invert the sugar before using it in a wort. Can i just add regular refined cane table sugar to my recipe?

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Old 09-20-2006, 10:56 PM   #4
Beer, not rocket science
Brewpastor's Avatar
Feb 2006
Corrales, New Mexico
Posts: 4,574
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IMHO yes you can add good old table sugar.
Before I learned to brew I was poor, sober and lonely. Now I am just poor.

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Old 09-20-2006, 11:00 PM   #5
Chairman Cheyco
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Dec 2005
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It's being said now that most belgian brewers use a sugar syrup. There was an article in July/August BYO about how to make your own from table sugar. Basically it's as you said: invert the sugar, let it cool on tinfoil, then re-melt it into syrup. Doing this you can control the colour of the final product.
Once the wind has been broken, it cannot be fixed.

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