HOMEBREW Digest #5487 Mon 19 January 2009

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  RE: Belgian Candi Sugar (Josh Knarr)
  A hard day's brew ("Jerry \"Beaver\" Pelt")
  candi sugar (steve alexander)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 09:06:12 -0500 From: Josh Knarr <josh.knarr at gmail.com> Subject: RE: Belgian Candi Sugar I just had this same discussion over on beer advocate - what's people's observations about the "cider" taste from table sugar? Just for gits and shiggles, I brewed up a 1 gallon batch of the following: * ENTIRELY TABLE SUGAR * 50/50 Table Sugar, Muntons "Light" Dry Malt Extract * 20/80 Table Sugar, Muntons "Light" Dry Malt Extract This was to repeat the Great Belgian Experiment from homebrew radio. Since the flavor threshhold was supposedly 20%, I figured I would make one at 20% and see what happened. I also used a bread yeast, which aggressively converts everything it can while being relatively neutral in flavor. (This was "all purpose whole grain bread yeast" from giant). All of them (to me) came out cidery. The 100% sugar one was amazing, it somehow came out to be the woodchuck dry cider flavor. It actually wasn't bad at all chilled, but don't expect beer. I am ashamed to admit I would probably make this again as a "hard cider" recipe for parties, but using a better yeast. The 50/50 one was the worst of the lot, it was beer-y, but then finished dry and cidery (but less so). Tossing a lemon in there only remedied it a bit. I would not drink this one again. The final one almost passed as Chimay's White. If I had used hops (fuggles comes to mind), it MIGHT have covered up the taste. Of all the "cidery" "beers", this was the least cidery but still detectable without other factors like hops. I think if I was brewing (now that I've ruined my palette tracking down that taste) I would use any of the darker sugars various places have for sale which are specficly for brewing, rather than risk it. Also viable now is the DIY guide - http://www.franklinbrew.org/brewinfo/candi_sugar.html - which looks doable for any homebrewer. If you've read SACRED HERBAL AND HEALING BEERS, also notice that a lot of the beers which call for sugar also call for Lemon or Orange. It's my guess that medieval brewers were doing the "sugar invert" before it really was understood. - -- Katharine Hepburn - "Death will be a great relief. No more interviews." Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 08:10:37 -0800 (PST) From: "Jerry \"Beaver\" Pelt" <beaverplt at yahoo.com> Subject: A hard day's brew After a two year hiatus from brewing, (unemployment sucks) I finally was able to get back in the game so to speak. Got all the goodies to make a 6 gallon batch of pilsner and set to work yesterday. Everything went fine and dandy until the third temperature rest at 158 degrees when I accidentally turned the stove down to low instead of off. Considering the volume I believe I still achieved a complete conversion. My iodine test was ok. I finished the mash, lautered, and started the boil. While things were cooking I grabbed my 6 gal carboy, cleaned it thoroughly, and promptly dropped it in the sink shattering it into lots of pieces. All I had to put the brew in then is 5 gal carboys. My question is this, knowing that most of you have probably been through this same type of thing, will my 5 gal batch be OK with 6 gal of ingredients? My OG was right on target, so I think so, but I'm just looking for a little confirmation. (OK, and I wanted to whine) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 11:24:18 -0500 From: steve alexander <steve-alexander at roadrunner.com> Subject: candi sugar I'm no expert on Belgian beers or candi sugar but a few points .... Most NA sugar is sucrose made from refined sugar cane. Our common "brown sugar" is less refined and the brown coloration has the same basic content as molasses (which is made from the residue of the cane refining process). Molasses can have significant levels of iron which can lead to a not-so-great flavor in beer and is one of the metal ions we'd prefer to not introduce in beer. I can't say whether a brown sugar addition can be harmful to beer flavor but it's generally not in moderation. For mostly political reasons the EU underwrite sugar beet farming in the EU, tho' it is clearly cost-ineffective, so most "table sugar" in Europe is sucrose from sugar beets. In my experience there is no discernible flavor difference in a white sugar from beets or cane source when added modately to a beverage or dish, but several sources note thet beet sugar has a bitter aftertaste so it can't be used for certain purposes - perhaps soft drinks - I don't recall at the moment. Perhaps it's a matter of the degree of refining. UK brewing texts also refer to "chip sugar" a sort of dark confectioners sugar, which is/was made by acid hydrolysis of starch and has a high content of glucose and a deep color (200-500EBC). These *were* processed in the past by adding some nitrogenous compounds and heating. This would cause not only caramelization but would also produce Maillard products that would additionally add to the flavor and color. Processing with nitrogen compounds is now frowned upon as potentially carcinogenic in quantity. Hardly surprising that of the thousands of Maillard products some are naughty. FWIW even caramel is considered a potential mutagen. Anyway, anyone drinking beer is probably taking much bigger health risks than from Maillard products and caramel. In the US, corn syrup is a form of hydrolyzed starch - mostly glucose, but typically the hydrolysis is enzymatic these days and often vanilla is added to the light colored stuff. Dark corn syrup is said to be colored with molasses products leading in a dubious flavor direction. It *seems* like caramelising pure corn syrup or a solution of corn sugar or glucose to a dark color would approach the goal, but I can easily imaging some scorching before you hit 200EBC in a home setup ... double boilers come to mind ... toil & trouble too. Apparently UK types and some Europeans & Aussies use a slightly caramelized golden sucrose (Lyles the most famous) syrup on their waffles. The Japanese use a hydrolysed clear syrup from rice or barley starch to the same end. The Algonquin delicacy of maple syrup seems to limited to parts of NA. Any attempt to insert maple syrup in beers requires a light touch. I've had exactly one good example of an ale w/ maple syrup addition but it's very easy to over-do the maple flavor impact and ruin the beer. What I'd like to see is a dark caramelized glucose syrup w/o much molasses or beet residue as an adjunct but aside from caramelizing it myself I don't see an easy source. Rather then emulate the Brits and Belgians with very dark sugar adjunct perhaps the approach should be to get caramel and melanoidins from malt and use light sugar to thin out the body & maltiness. Sounds more practical to one who isn't a fundamentalist wrt brewing tradition. -S Return to table of contents
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