Originally Posted by BillTheSlink
You have answered the question about the dark, but I wonder about the clear.
I'm studing to prepare a belgian triple and I had the same wondering. After some web crawling, I came up with this:
sugar (normally used here in Italy and I presume in Belgium too) is made of sucrose, which is a complex sugar. The yeast can't eat it as well, so it has to produce an enzyme (invertase) to brake it into two simpler sugars: fructose and glucose. Invertase has a sour taste, so if you break the sucrose yourself, the yeast will not produce it.
Heat + acid will be able to invert the sugar. The best temp is the 50-60°C (122-140°F) range, so yesterday I tried the process descripted in the URL you posted and I added this step to it (5 mins, don't really know how much time is needed).
Then I took it to 120°C (250°F) for a pair of mins and then turned the heat off. After the sugar got cold, it became more dense than honey, but still liquid, transparent and I can see some pale reflexes.
A different process and different components are used to make the darker one: in this case you use corn
sugar and a source of nitrogen (ammonium carbonate or diammonia phosphate) to introduce the Maillard reaction, which is used to get the color. Corn sugar is composed of simple sugars, so it has not to be inverted. So, why it's used inverted sugar instead of using directly corn sugar? Because it's cheaper.
Here the references I used:
Hope it helps,
cheers from Italy