Golden syrup

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Northern_Brewer

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Golden syrup is a commonly used hack by British brewers as a substitute for invert sugar - it's found in any supermarket here - but seems to be not well known among brewers outside the UK. Here's a nice video from Ragus about how it's made commercially (the first minute is just a puff piece about its use in food) :

 

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What I gathered from that video is that golden syrup is a blend of invert sugar (lightly caramelized) mixed with sugar.
Is there a noticeable flavor in the finished beer vs using 100% sugar?

I grabbed a small can of Lyle's black treacle but have yet to brew with it.
I figured the darker the invert portion, the more noticeable the flavor difference would be.

As far as usage rates go, I have read that this stuff, like invert sugars, can be used as a pound for pound substitute for crystal malts.
Agree?
 

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As far as usage rates go, I have read that this stuff, like invert sugars, can be used as a pound for pound substitute for crystal malts.
Agree?

No. The syrups have a large percentage of fermentable sugars. Crystal malts do not. Although there is some caramelization from the processing, being "inverted" means the sucrose (a disaccharide) has been split into its constituents, glucose and fructose.

You can sub the syrup on a weight basis for non-malted adjuncts.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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The comparison with "sugar" depends on what sugar you're using. Yes if the comparison is with white sucrose. No if the comparison is with a light-medium invert. But you're not looking to add too much flavour with it, you're likely to unbalance the beer, it's there to add alcohol and dry out the beer a bit.

Treacle is completely different.

Sugars are effectively anti-crystal, their high fermentability means they dry out the beer whereas the unfermentable carbohydrates in crystal adds sweetness. But most non-UK brewers use far too much crystal - a good rule of thumb is to add at least as much sugar (whether sucrose, invert, syrup) as crystal to keep the dry/sweetness balance in check.
 

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@Northern_Brewer
Any thoughts on how well the dilutions method in the link below works to create/fake darker versions of invert sugar?
http://www.unholymess.com/blog/beer-brewing-info/making-brewers-invert/comment-page-1

And flavor difference between black strap molasses and black treacle?

After seeing one of your posts recently about the US brewers misconception of crystal malt use in british beers I did some looking and found that website and got a tin of the golden syrup off of amazon. I used the golden syrup and some black strap molasses to make a strong bitters with just marris otter base malt and invert sugar/molasses, 90/10. The beer is still carbing so I don't know about the true flavor yet, but it appeared the color come out a little lighter than the color estimate in beersmith. There seemed to be something missing from the wort without crystal malt so next time I will try equal percentages of crystal and invert or at least add some crystal.
 

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If invert sugar is just sucrose being split into fructose and glucose, why not add equal amounts of fructose and glucose instead? Should be the same!
 
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Northern_Brewer

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See the video - it also gets caramelised a bit (hence invert #1,#2,#3,#4) and in the case of syrup non-invert is also added. But in general, sucrose and syrup are cheaper and more accessible than pure fructose and glucose.
 

Miraculix

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See the video - it also gets caramelised a bit (hence invert #1,#2,#3,#4) and in the case of syrup non-invert is also added. But in general, sucrose and syrup are cheaper and more accessible than pure fructose and glucose.
My bad, I was imprecise. I meant it as an alternative to invert sugar, not as an alternative to golden syrup.

I often see diy invert sugar recipes which involve so much stuff... I just thought out loud "why all the hustle if using glucose and fructose is the same (If not caramelized invert sugar is meant)?"
 
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Well the caramelisation is a big part of it - even invert #1 has an EBC of 30 or so. Also true brewers' invert is made with raw sugar, which means that the final product can contain up to 10% of stuff that's not sugar - protein, minerals etc which all seem to affect the flavour. And it's not that much of a hustle to make your own, just a bit of cooking for something that can be made in bulk and stored.
 
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The dilution thing isn't something I've done myself - I have enough on my hands with yeast and hops experiments :) - but it seems plausible and if it's OK by Kristen England then it's OK by me.

We don't see much blackstrap in the UK, but AIUI it's somewhat-similar-but-not-the-same as treacle.

I used the golden syrup and some black strap molasses to make a strong bitters with just marris otter base malt and invert sugar/molasses, 90/10. The beer is still carbing so I don't know about the true flavor yet, but it appeared the color come out a little lighter than the color estimate in beersmith. There seemed to be something missing from the wort without crystal malt so next time I will try equal percentages of crystal and invert or at least add some crystal.

90/10 pale/invert is the other end of the scale, but one I suspect that drinkers outside the UK don't see much of. As it happen, Ron Pattinson's latest recipe is a Barclay Perkins 1921 export PA that is exactly that, 5.5% 60 IBU, 1.018 FG 70% attenuation, probably bottled. The beer I grew up on was same grist but a touch under 4%, mid 20's IBU, 1.005 FG, ~85% attenuation and cask conditioned. That FG/attenuation puts Boddington's right out there at the other extreme to the sickly-sweet Thames Valley bitters, but it's an identifiable thread throughout the history of British beer. Although modern Boddies has been beaten up by 30 years of corporate mis-steps, you can see the influence in the likes of Lees MPA, Marble Pint and Track Sonoma which also show some APA influence - I'm not sure what kind of distribution they get overseas though.

So although straight pale/invert is the beer I grew up on, I can recognise that it's an extreme, which is why I suggest mixing invert and crystal in the first instance, people can tweak from there. I would say though that it's a style that's easily ruined by carbonic acid, they don't take particularly well to force-carbing, they prefer bottling or (better, if you can justify it) casking.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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It's not something that you normally look through in a glass, but "golden" sums it up pretty well - this pic from Ragus gives you an idea. Maybe 20EBC-ish? Which would make sense if it's 64% invert, to be 2/3 the colour of basic invert.
 

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The dilution thing isn't something I've done myself - I have enough on my hands with yeast and hops experiments :) - but it seems plausible and if it's OK by Kristen England then it's OK by me.

We don't see much blackstrap in the UK, but AIUI it's somewhat-similar-but-not-the-same as treacle.



90/10 pale/invert is the other end of the scale, but one I suspect that drinkers outside the UK don't see much of. As it happen, Ron Pattinson's latest recipe is a Barclay Perkins 1921 export PA that is exactly that, 5.5% 60 IBU, 1.018 FG 70% attenuation, probably bottled. The beer I grew up on was same grist but a touch under 4%, mid 20's IBU, 1.005 FG, ~85% attenuation and cask conditioned. That FG/attenuation puts Boddington's right out there at the other extreme to the sickly-sweet Thames Valley bitters, but it's an identifiable thread throughout the history of British beer. Although modern Boddies has been beaten up by 30 years of corporate mis-steps, you can see the influence in the likes of Lees MPA, Marble Pint and Track Sonoma which also show some APA influence - I'm not sure what kind of distribution they get overseas though.

So although straight pale/invert is the beer I grew up on, I can recognise that it's an extreme, which is why I suggest mixing invert and crystal in the first instance, people can tweak from there. I would say though that it's a style that's easily ruined by carbonic acid, they don't take particularly well to force-carbing, they prefer bottling or (better, if you can justify it) casking.

Thanks for the information and insight. I knew I was at the high end of sugar usage, but I wanted to see how it would taste compared to the beers I made with all grain which were at about 10% crystal. Really not setup for casking but I do have a couple small kegs so maybe next time I do a bitters I will split the batch into two kegs and do a natural carbonation on one to see how the two taste.

If I try the dilution method again I will play around amount of molasses to fine tune the color, or just use straight golden syrup and add dark crystal malt for color adjustments and darker taste notes.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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Historically British brewers adjusted their colour with caramel - a lot still do, some have moved to dark malts as a nod to the CAMRA pressure against using adjuncts. To be honest I wouldn't sweat it - it's a lot less important these days given the general move towards golden bitters, the only real reason to adjust colour is for consistency as a commercial brewer, or if you're playing the BJCP game.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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There's a new Ragus blog about the history of golden syrup - I'm not sure their old branding would work these days though!!!

1610546270532.png

 

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It's amazing isn't how things change - imagine that coming from Slough is seen as a selling point.....
Come on!

Everybody in the world knows the amazing Slough!

All the great stuff that came from there which changed the world.... Like...... Exactly! And don't forget about....... You name it!

I think I actually did some drainage design there back in my UK times, or some hydrodynamic River modelling.... But if it floods again there, wasn't me! :D


Used to take the train from Paddington to Slough, got off in Reading and changed for Newbury or Thatcham.
 
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Northern_Brewer

Northern_Brewer

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Betjeman called it, although writing this in 1937 was not the best of timing...

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow
Swarm over, Death!
 
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