Candi Syrup, before/mid/end of boil?

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SMD

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Monday I’m going to be brewing a Belgian Dubbel, my first Belgian beer actually and I’m not sure if I should add the candi syrup at the beginning of the boil, mid boil or end of boil. I know to be wary of scorching and thoroughly integrate, but is there a perceivable difference depending on when you add it?
 

IslandLizard

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I prefer to add syrups toward the end of fermentation, when it starts to slow down.
Doing that prevents the yeast from binging early, and arguably may leave more of the syrup's flavor.

I'd never add it to the boil, because... some of that delicious (and expensive) syrup will stay in the kettle with the trub. Add it to the fermenter instead. You can always heat it up somewhat to make it more pourable, or add some wort or (hot) water to it.

I also make my own sugar syrups, using leftover wort instead of water.
 

BrewChem

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What IslandLizard said… I add to the primary when the yeast are done with the wort sugars. Pour it in and give it a good swirl to mix, degas and rouse the yeast.
 
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SMD

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If you add it into primary toward the end of fermentation, is there any concern about enough oxygen in the beer/wort? I usually try to ensure I’ve aerated the wort well when I put it in primary, would it require additional aeration?
 

BrewChem

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The oxygen you put in the wort when you first go to the primary is consumed pretty quickly (hours) by the yeast as they reproduce. Once it’s all gone, they start fermenting sugars. Further aeration will only oxidize the beer and produce off flavors
 

Ninoid

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I add the sugar just before the wort up to boil with vigorous stirring to avoid scortching. I did not notice any problem with fermentation, if the amount of sugar is not more than 20% of grist, especially with Belgian yeasts that are intended for working with sugars.
 
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Monday I’m going to be brewing a Belgian Dubbel, my first Belgian beer actually and I’m not sure if I should add the candi syrup at the beginning of the boil, mid boil or end of boil. I know to be wary of scorching and thoroughly integrate, but is there a perceivable difference depending on when you add it?
At the 2018 Home Brew Con Greg Snow did an excellent presentation on Whirlpool techniques; he suggests adding candied sugars in the whirlpool at 160 degrees.
 

Bobo1898

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I prefer to add syrups toward the end of fermentation, when it starts to slow down
Are you looking for activity or close to within a certain amount of points to terminal gravity?

I'd never add it to the boil, because... some of that delicious (and expensive) syrup will stay in the kettle with the trub. Add it to the fermenter instead. You can always heat it up somewhat to make it more pourable, or add some wort or (hot) water to it.
There's no concern with some of it being left in the fermenter? How are you incorporating this so it doesn't fall to the bottom? I assume you're giving it a mix or stir without concern of oxidizing because fermentation is still active?
 
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I brewed my Dubbel Saturday. I turned off the flame with Five Mins to go, mixed it in, and then turned the burner back on to finish the boil.
 

IslandLizard

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Are you looking for activity or close to within a certain amount of points to terminal gravity?
Yes, mostly activity slowing down. Timing is not that critical, but definitely toward the end when things have slowed down. I guess with 5-15 points left, I sometimes measure gravity when I want to make sure.

There's no concern with some of it being left in the fermenter? How are you incorporating this so it doesn't fall to the bottom? I assume you're giving it a mix or stir without concern of oxidizing because fermentation is still active?
The syrup is thinnish or thinned down, it pours well when added. It's not thick, honey-like. It should disperse and dissolve quickly. It gets added through a 1" port the airlock hole in the lid, while CO2 is streaming in through the airlock hole.
When in doubt or to help faster integration, I stir it through the same 1" port in the bucket lid with CO2 streaming in, same procedure I use for dry hopping.

Any air (oxygen) ingress after fermentation has started should be avoided.
Oxygen added when pitching yeast gets used up by her to propagate. Whatever remains gets driven off quickly by fermentation CO2. It doesn't linger around for long.
 

odie

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I always add candi, honey, maple after peak krausen or add it to the keg when fermentation is done. I don't want heat taking any flavor away and the yeast has slowed down so perhaps there is some residual characteristic/flavors left that won't get completely fermented out.
 

CascadesBrewer

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My thoughts on adding Candi Syrup to a Belgian is:
  1. If I want the complexity that dark syrup brings to a Belgian, then I add the syrup in at the start of the boil with hopes of increasing Millard reactions.
  2. If I don't want the complexity then I won't waste my money on syrup and will just add some cane sugar toward the end of the boil.
I am not positive it actually makes a difference though.
 

day_trippr

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Unless there's like 99% boil off and that wort is down to syrup, the chance of significantly darkening belgian candi syrup boiling it in "wort" is statistically indistinguishable from zero.

Imo, the characters provided by candi syrup are so close to ephemeral that it's crazy to lose them in the boil and frankly should be reserved to post-pitch and even then only until there are only a few fermentation points left, so as to preserve said ephemeral characters...

Cheers!
 

CascadesBrewer

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Honest question...Why would somebody think that the flavors of a Belgian Sugar would boil off or be reduced in the boil?

I have zero concerns about boiling my wort full of sugars and tasty flavors of Munich, Crystal, and Roasted malts. I am quite certain I got more complex malty flavors on the few batches I have done 2 hour boils. While I have not done a side-by-side, I would be fairly certain that a 1 hour boil would help to build up some of those same flavors. On the other hand, there is common advice to not boil sugars or extract for a full boil because of the addition darkening that occurs. I recall seeing some experiments showing that boiling extract based beers for a full hour does darken the final beer.

I recently made a Quad with 1 lb of D-180 and 1 lb of Demerara sugar added to the start of the 1-hour vigorous boil with a grist that is just Pale + Wheat + Munich (no dark grains). It is a wonderfully complex beer (that took first place in a recent competition) and I have to think that the sugars in the boil helped with the complexity. The open fermentation with WLP530 seemed to help as well.
 

day_trippr

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"Demerera"?
If that's actually a real question I would respond by asking if the positer had ever made candi sugar. There's a lot of energy involved per unit volume per "degree shade" that won't happen in simply boiling a five gallon batch with a random pound of sucrose added...

Cheers!
 

bwible

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The only difference I can see it make might would be a slight difference in bitterness (IBU) due to the gravity correction depending on how much sugar and the gravity of the beer. Candi sugar is mostly used in Belgian beers, some of which are higher in gravity - Dubbels and Tripels. Probably not enough to be concerned over though.
 

yoop89

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Im also in the "end of fermentation" boat. I treat candi syrup as any other flavor adjunct that I choose to spend money on. I wouldn't add vanilla beans or fruit to the boil so why would I add an expensive syrup to the boil? I'd like to think that subtle flavors are preserved better as has been mentioned above.
 

hamachi

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In deciding whether to do an early versus late addition of a flavor-rich adjunct, I'd think the two relevant questions would be:
  1. Are the flavor compounds volatile?
  2. Are the flavor compounds heat stable?
If the answer to (1) is "no" and the answer to (2) is "yes", then what's wrong with an addition early in the boil? Given the way they are made, I suspect the flavor compounds in dark Belgian candi sugars are both non-volatile and heat stable (at boiling temperatures at least).
 

MicroMickey

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Such sugars provide color, flavor, and fermentables. To avoid adding little "beasties" to your wort, add to boil at least 10 min. before knock out. If you're brewing something light in color, a longer boil will develop a darker shade that you might not want.
 

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