How to make Candi Sugar
We at homebrewtalk like to properly attribute all writing and photography. Special thanks to Flannagan over at www.homebrewchatter.com for the technique, pictures, and instructions on how to make candi sugar.
Candi sugar is a popular ingredient in Belgian ales due to its ability to boost alcohol, keep the body of the beer light and add a non-existent to moderate aroma and flavor that is caramel like.
Making your own candi sugar is very easy and 1/10 the price you would pay for candi sugar from a brew store. There are three ingredients needed: water, table sugar (sucrose) and a form of citrus acid or cream of tartar. You will also need a pot, spoon and a dish of water. The solution will need to be set out to cool, once it is cooked. It turns rock hard and will stick to whatever surface it is touching. I recommend a silicon mat which can be found at Bed, Bath and Beyond or online at cooking stores.
The following is step-by-step to make 2lbs of Amber Candi Sugar, without a thermometer
First weigh out how much candi sugar you will want in sucrose. Here is 2lbs of sucrose ready to be inverted.
Add the sugar and enough water to the pot to create a syrupy mix. Squirt around a half tbsp of lemon juice, citric acid or a tsp of cream of tartar per pound of sugar then place on a heat source and set the temperature to high.
Syrupy water and sugar mix
The boil will start not long after. Be sure to stir a LOT. You do not want sugar getting burnt onto the bottom of the pot. You should also turn the heat down to medium/medium-high.
Once the sugar water begins to turn yellow you have clear candi sugar, here you follow the next step and proceed to have clear candi sugar (although it will actually be slightly yellow). Otherwise, you can add a tablespoon of cool water every couple minutes and keep it at this temperature. It will slowly turn darker and you can stop and follow the next step whenever it reaches the color you are after. Here we go to a nice deep amber color.
Once you reach your desired color, turn the heat all the way back up to high and let it get really hot for a minute or two. I like to cover the pot to help achieve a really hot state quicker.
After a couple minutes, pull the pot off the heat and pour onto your silicon mat.
Set the pan into a refrigerator and let cool until hardened. Once hard, pull out of fridge, break into pieces and put into a plastic bag. You will have close to the same weight of candi sugar that you had of table sugar. Store in freezer until you are ready to use!