• We have a new forum and it needs your help! Homebrewing Deals is a forum to post whatever deals and specials you find that other homebrewers might value! Includes coupon layering, Craigslist finds, eBay finds, Amazon specials, etc.

How to Make Candi Sugar

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Orfy

For the love of beer!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
114
Location
Cheshire, England
How to Make Candi Sugar

From : http://kotmf.com/articles/candisugar.php

Generally we craft brewers tend to shy away from using sugar instead of malt. After all it wasn't originally used at all in the making of beer. And if we do use sugar, its dextrose (wheat sugar) in preference to sucrose (cane sugar). But for every rule there always seems to be an exception, and so it is in Belgium where sugar is as part of many beers as malt and hops. Anyone who eventually explores how to make these beers will come across the main sugar they use - candy sugar. So, what is it and how to make it, because you will not easily get Belgian candy sugar in Australia ?
Now for those who don't know, this region produces a wide variety of beers, probably the most diverse range of beers anywhere in the world. They include Belgian Strong Ales, Abby and Trappist beers, including Dubbels and Trippels, and Biere de Gardes. All these beers have one thing in common - they are strong (high gravity beers). Well above 6% v/v, they can even go above 10% v/v. But these beers are very popular, one reason being that they are very easy drinking. If they were made out of all malt, they would be "thick and heavy", like an old fashioned stout. But they are as light in body as a normal beer, due to the substitution of some of the malt with sugar. This adds alcohol but no body to the beer.
So, Belgian brewers use sugar in beer making, and they use sucrose. Ordinary white cane sugar that is so frowned upon in general in this hobby. But the difference is, they do not use plain white sugar like you buy from the supermarket. The sugar is processed to make candy sugar. And candy sugar has a number of effects on a beer. It has been caramelised, and this gives nice complex flavours, including a nice sweet edge, a distinct aroma, and most importantly, a dense mousse-like head that is so characteristic of Belgian beers.
Now, how to make it. Well you need a good high temperature thermometer. Mercury thermometers that go up to 350 ° C will be very accurate, but are clumsy to use, and can easily break as you plunge them in and out of a hot sugar solution. Spilt mercury is not something you really want to have to deal with. Still they do work. But I have found the proper candy thermometers that clip on the side of the pot are ideal. You get them from kitchen supply shops and they cost only about $10.00.
Now any good cook will tell you there are certain temps you boil sugar water at for different lollies. Basically, this is the temperature that the boiling syrup will reach as the water evaporates concentrating the sugar and hence raising the boiling point of the solution
Soft Ball 115°C = 239°F
Hard Ball 127°C = 260°F
Soft Crack 135°C = 275°F
Hard Crack 150°C = 302°F
The terms refer to how the sugar will behave on cooling.

So let's say you want to make 500 grams of candy sugar. You weigh 500 g of white sugar and into a small pot. Add enough water to make thick syrup. Add a pinch of citric acid (I will explain why later). Now bring to a boil and keep the temperature between hard ball and soft crack (127-135 °C). As evaporation will cause the temperature to rise, have a small amount of water and add a tablespoon every now and then.
The colour will gradually change from clear to light amber to deep red as the boil proceeds. Light candy sugar is a very light pee colour (yes, that type of pee). This can take only 15 minutes. Dark candy sugar is very deep red. This can take hours. Once you are at the colour you desire (and a lot of that is on taste), you let the temp go to hard crack (150 °C). Once it hits hard crack, turn off the heat and pour it into some greaseproof paper. As it cools it will go rock hard. I then put it in the freezer until I'm ready to use it.
Now why add citric acid? This is to 'invert' some of the sugar. Simply put, cane sugar (sucrose) is made up of two other sugars (glucose and fructose) joined together. Yeast must spend time and effort breaking the joining bonds to allow them to get at the simple sugars they need for metabolism. This can also be done chemically in an acid environment with heat. The citric acid supplies the acid, and the heat is there when you make the candy sugar. Invert sugar tastes a bit sweeter than regular sucrose. This is all just so easy there is no reason not to give it a try. It will make your Belgian beers really special.
 

wild

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2005
Messages
1,476
Reaction score
5
Location
Surprise, AZ.
Making Candi Sugar for Belgian Brews
Belgians are no strangers to adjuncts and one of their favorites is "Candi Sugar" which is basically invert sugar, or simple table sugar that is hydrolyzed -- table sugar transformed into glucose and fructose -- which speeds fermentation.

Some say that table sugar is fine, as a boiling wort is acidic enough to invert the sugar in the boil, but my opinion is that any unexpected change in chemistry is sure to detract from the authenticity of the style of Belgian you are trying to achieve. While I do not necessarily disagree with this viewpoint, it's my opinion that if you are trying to achieve a given style then you should probably try to use the ingredients and methods as closely as possible to what's called for.


That said, this is not much work to make "the real thing" so give it a try. Read on:


Method #1: From Brewmaxer http://www.brewmaxer.com/tips/invert_sugar.html


Invert sugar is made by mixing two parts sugar to one part water, adding two teaspoons lemon juice per pound of sugar. This is brought almost to a boil and held there for 30 minutes (do NOT allow to boil). This is poured into a sealable jar, sealed and cooled in refrigerator. This process hydrolyzes sucrose into glucose and fructose and speeds fermentation. Invert sugar should NOT be used to sweeten finished wine as it will encourage refermentation.

For 1 pound invert sugar:
• 2 cups finely granulated sugar
• 1 cup water
• 2 tsp lemon juice


Expand the recipe above to make the amount required by a particular recipe. For example, to make 2½ pounds of invert sugar, use 5 cups sugar, 2½ cups water and 5 tsp lemon juice. Make the invert sugar at least 2 hours ahead of time (to give it sufficient time to cool).


Method #2
From Homebrewer's Digest:
http://hbd.org/franklin/public_html/docs/candi_sugar.html

Making Belgian Candi Sugar


Belgian brewers often use sugar in beer making to produce high alcohol beers without a thick body. They normally will use what is called Candi Sugar, but this stuff is pretty expensive, costing homebrewers around $4-5 per pound. Basically, candi sugar is ordinary white cane/beet sugar (sucrose) that has been modified by an 'inversion' process, producing 'invert sugar'.

You can make your own 'invert sugar' from ordinary table sugar with just a few simple items. Sucrose is made up of two simpler sugars (glucose and fructose) joined together. Yeast must spend time and effort breaking the joining bonds to allow them to get at the simple sugars they need for metabolism. This can be done chemically in an acid environment with heat. You will need a candy thermometer that goes up to about 350°F and a 2 qt saucepan. The ingredients are sugar, water, and citric acid to provide the acidic environment needed.

There are certain temperatures that relate to the process of candy making as shown in the table below. The terms refer to how the sugar will behave on cooling.

Term Used Temperature
Soft Ball 240°F
Hard Ball 260°F
Soft Crack 275°F
Hard Crack 300°F


To make a pound of Candi Sugar, measure a pound of sugar into the 2 qt saucepan. Add just enough water to make a thick syrup, and mix in a pinch of citric acid. Now bring to a boil and keep the temperature between hard ball and soft crack (260°-275°F). As you boil, evaporation will cause the temperature to begin rising, so have a small amount of water on hand and add a tablespoon whenever the temperature gets above 275°F.


The color will gradually change from clear to light amber to deep red as the boil proceeds. Light candi sugar is a very light amber-yellow. This can take as little as 15 minutes. Dark candi sugar is very deep red. This can take several hours. Once you are at the color you desire, you stop adding water and let the temperature rise to hard crack (300°F). Once it hits hard crack, turn off the heat and pour it into a shallow pan (like a cake pan) lined with a sheet of waxed paper. As it cools it will go rock hard, and you can break it into 'rocks', bag in a Ziplock bag and store in the freezer until you are ready to use it.

Wild
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
37
Location
Wichita Falls, Tx
I had a thread on this not long ago, I've been making it over and over now. One thing that is VITALLY important is to use a silicon cooking mat to let the sugar cool. Both aluminum and wax paper stuck to the candi sugar and I couldn't get it off. It's not as easy as that description either. I had a couple batches burn. Once you get it down, it's worth it though. About 50 cents a pound instead of 5-7 bucks.

Here's the thread following my progress: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=40694&highlight=candi

Here's some pics:



 
OP
Orfy

Orfy

For the love of beer!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
114
Location
Cheshire, England
I've added a link in the Hall of fame so it won't get lost.

Any one fancy doing a wiki article based on the info in this and the linked thread?
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
37
Location
Wichita Falls, Tx
I will orfy, I'm actually going to make some more tommorow, or possibly later this evening for tommorow's brew. I'll photo document it a lot better then.
 

brewt00l

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
3,725
Reaction score
15
Location
Doylestown, PA
Ó Flannagáin said:
I had a thread on this not long ago, I've been making it over and over now. One thing that is VITALLY important is to use a silicon cooking mat to let the sugar cool. Both aluminum and wax paper stuck to the candi sugar and I couldn't get it off. It's not as easy as that description either. I had a couple batches burn. Once you get it down, it's worth it though. About 50 cents a pound instead of 5-7 bucks.
As I mentioned in that thread, I honestly found it really simple and used wax paper with out anywhere near the difficulty that you experienced. I totally agree that when you get the hang, it beats paying for the rocks!
 

jdoiv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
8
Location
Nashville, TN
I was watching a cooking show just the other night ("Good Eats" with Alton Brown on Food Network) and he was making candy. One of his tricks to prevent burning was to place a large cast iron skillet between the burner and the pot you have the sugar in to act as a heat diffuser. It will give you a nice even boil on the sugar. I can't wait to try doing this on my next Belgian. The candy at the LHBS is damn expensive.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
37
Location
Wichita Falls, Tx
jdoiv said:
I was watching a cooking show just the other night ("Good Eats" with Alton Brown on Food Network) and he was making candy. One of his tricks to prevent burning was to place a large cast iron skillet between the burner and the pot you have the sugar in to act as a heat diffuser. It will give you a nice even boil on the sugar. I can't wait to try doing this on my next Belgian. The candy at the LHBS is damn expensive.
I love that dude. What a killer idea, I'm gonna do that tonight.
 

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
16
Location
NEK, VT
Why not do it in a double boiler? One pot with boiling water, one above that with the sugar water mixture? might take a bit longer but more controllable heat from the steam. Maybe?
 

Cookiebaggs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Messages
538
Reaction score
7
Location
Oak Creek, WI
I have invert sugar in liquid form at work for baking applications. It's called nulomoline and comes in 5 gallon pails. Anyone know if this would work?
 

brewt00l

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
3,725
Reaction score
15
Location
Doylestown, PA
knights of Gambrinus said:
Why not do it in a double boiler? One pot with boiling water, one above that with the sugar water mixture? might take a bit longer but more controllable heat from the steam. Maybe?
Didn't really find that necessary. Keeping some water on hand and adding small amounts (as suggested in the second linked article) as the cooking progresses maintains your viscosity a bit and makes easy to cook with out burning/scorching issues.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
37
Location
Wichita Falls, Tx
knights of Gambrinus said:
Why not do it in a double boiler? One pot with boiling water, one above that with the sugar water mixture? might take a bit longer but more controllable heat from the steam. Maybe?
Heating it up after getting it the color you want is kind of important to do quick I've found, or it will get darker and darker.
 
OP
Orfy

Orfy

For the love of beer!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
114
Location
Cheshire, England
Cookiebaggs said:
I have invert sugar in liquid form at work for baking applications. It's called nulomoline and comes in 5 gallon pails. Anyone know if this would work?
It will but I don't think I'd want 5 gallon.
 

brewt00l

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
3,725
Reaction score
15
Location
Doylestown, PA
Cookiebaggs said:
I have invert sugar in liquid form at work for baking applications. It's called nulomoline and comes in 5 gallon pails. Anyone know if this would work?
...from a quick search online it appears to be significantly more expensive than making your own
52361 Nulomoline, 2 1/2 lb. $ 7.19 pkg.
http://sweetc.com/ingrednt.htm#n
 

Reverend JC

2500 gallons year to date
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
1,878
Reaction score
3
Location
Your Mom's
could a person add other flavors to the candi sugar while making it? Or is it just as easy to add the desired flavors to the fermentor?
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
37
Location
Wichita Falls, Tx
Reverend JC said:
could a person add other flavors to the candi sugar while making it? Or is it just as easy to add the desired flavors to the fermentor?
I dunno, probably? If you go to candy shops you can get all sorts of rock candy flavors. They are probably doing the same process and just adding some extracts to the sugar as it boils. I just made 2lbs of some amber and took lots of pics. It smells great. Once it cools and I crush it up and store it, I'll post in the wiki.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
37
Location
Wichita Falls, Tx
Cookiebaggs said:
A 60 lb bucket is running me $31. 52 cents per pound. ;)
Bout the same as table sugar. But I guess you wouldn't have to make it. Sound like you have the hook up. Although, there are three main different levels, clear, amber and dark. They all have different flavor/aroma profiles, so if you want to vary it up, you will still need to make it. Unless you have them in different levels.
 

mrkristofo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
917
Reaction score
7
Location
Behind the zion curtain
knights of Gambrinus said:
Why not do it in a double boiler? One pot with boiling water, one above that with the sugar water mixture? might take a bit longer but more controllable heat from the steam. Maybe?
Because that simply would not work. Look at the temps involved:

Soft Ball 115°C = 239°F
Hard Ball 127°C = 260°F
Soft Crack 135°C = 275°F
Hard Crack 150°C = 302°F

Water boils at 100˚C.
 

Cookiebaggs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Messages
538
Reaction score
7
Location
Oak Creek, WI
Ó Flannagáin said:
Bout the same as table sugar. But I guess you wouldn't have to make it. Sound like you have the hook up. Although, there are three main different levels, clear, amber and dark. They all have different flavor/aroma profiles, so if you want to vary it up, you will still need to make it. Unless you have them in different levels.

I'd have to heat it up and carmalize it if I wanted it darker as it comes clear.
 

mr x

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
1,576
Reaction score
6
Location
Mainly Halifax
Is there a reason that the sugar can't be diluted with enough water to keep it in syrup form once you have your flavour?
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
37
Location
Wichita Falls, Tx
mr x said:
Is there a reason that the sugar can't be diluted with enough water to keep it in syrup form once you have your flavour?
I don't see why not, I've read about people making it th esame way, but adding more water once it's the color they like and making a syrup for storage. I guess that would help with the sticking issue I was having with aluminum and wax paper. Personally, I like the rock candy style, just for storage in bags and it looks cool ;)
 

Willie3

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
766
Reaction score
11
Location
Hackettstown
Love Candy Sugar, Love Belgian Beer, Love the raisonny taste the sugar imparts, but I hate the hangover.

- WW
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
37
Location
Wichita Falls, Tx
wilsonwj said:
Love Candy Sugar, Love Belgian Beer, Love the raisonny taste the sugar imparts, but I hate the hangover.

- WW
That's why you want to drink water while you drink beer.... or at least chug some before you hit the sack!
 

the_bird

10th-Level Beer Nerd
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
20,968
Reaction score
593
Location
Adams, MA
wilsonwj said:
Love Candy Sugar, Love Belgian Beer, Love the raisonny taste the sugar imparts, but I hate the hangover.

- WW
Start the fermentation relatively cool (65°-68°), let it get started there, let it rise up but do so gradually and not until the yeast have gone through the reproductive phase. Fusel alcohols (which cause hangovers) are formed early in the fermentation process. Keep the temps low early on to minimize those, then let it rise at the end to encourage attenuation.
 

jdoiv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
8
Location
Nashville, TN
I could be wrong, but I think if you just pull it of the heat once you get it to the color you want, it will stay in a syrup form. It's when you heat it up to Hard Crack (an no that is not the kind you smoke) that changes it to the stage where it will harden (hence hard crack). Though I could be wrong.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
37
Location
Wichita Falls, Tx
jdoiv said:
I could be wrong, but I think if you just pull it of the heat once you get it to the color you want, it will stay in a syrup form. It's when you heat it up to Hard Crack (an no that is not the kind you smoke) that changes it to the stage where it will harden (hence hard crack). Though I could be wrong.
Makes sense.. but I dunno either. Any candy-makers in the house?
 

Fingers

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
4,178
Reaction score
48
Location
Lac du Bonnet
Timely post, Orph. I have to have a go at this sometime in the next week and half for BierMuncher's Old Speckled Hen. He told me basically how it was done but it's nice to see the detailed version.
 

brewt00l

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
3,725
Reaction score
15
Location
Doylestown, PA
jdoiv said:
I could be wrong, but I think if you just pull it of the heat once you get it to the color you want, it will stay in a syrup form. It's when you heat it up to Hard Crack (an no that is not the kind you smoke) that changes it to the stage where it will harden (hence hard crack). Though I could be wrong.

The end result hardness or syrup is a function of cooking temp... if you don't have a candy thermometer, you can use a glass of water to see what stage you are at (plenty of info on this avail online).

edit: such as:
Thread begins at 230° The syrup will make a 2" thread when dropped from a spoon.
Soft Ball begins at 234° A small amount of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a ball, but flattens when picked up with fingers
Firm Ball begins at 244° The ball will hold its shape and flatten only when pressed.
Hard Ball begins at 250° The ball is more rigid but still pliable.
Soft Crack begins at 270° When a small amount of syrup is dropped into chilled water it will separate into threads which will bend when picked up.
Hard Crack begins at 300° The syrup separates into threads that are hard and brittle.
Caramelized Sugar 310° to 338° Between these temperatures the syrup will turn dark golden, but will turn black at 350°
http://southernfood.about.com/library/info/blcandy.htm
 

nugget

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
79
Reaction score
2
I know this is an old topic but when doing this it is important not to shake the pot because if a sugar crystal is on the side of the pot falls into the mixture it can ruin an entire batch. Also one way to take out a little insurance is to add some corn syrup, normally light to the mixture. It will help stabilize the entire batch. More for making caramel than hard crack but it could help someone out.
 

debaniel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
142
Reaction score
0
i don't follow you - one sugar crystal can ruin a whole batch that's currently boiling?
 
2
Top