Unlocking the Mysteries of Making Candi Sugar

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Unlocking the Mysteries of
Making Candi Sugar
Some Right, and “Not So
Correct” Techniques and Ideas
to Boost the Flavor and
Complexity of Your Beer
Modified Sugars Used for
Centuries
• Belgians used both invert and “Candi”
sugars for confectioneries and
brewing.
• England used caramelized sugars for
many of their beers.
• Sugar browning reactions happen in
moderate and long kettle boils.
So What’s Caramelization?
• Caramelization is
destruction of
“reducing” sugars by
carbonization (heat).
• No enzymatic reactions
needed.
• English beers use
cooked sugars (Lyles
Golden Sugar, Treacle).
Invert Sugar (WTH?)
• Process of converting
sucrose into fructose &
glucose.
• Sucrose is “nonreducing, so will burn &
not caramelize well.
• Inverting happens with
heat, or acid condition.
• Invert sugar is not
“Belgian Candi Sugar”
How to Make Invert Sugar
•
• In a pan with 5x more capacity
than the volume of sugar/water,
add 10% distilled or RO water to
sucrose plus 1/4tsp cream of
tartar, or citric acid (acid not
needed when experienced), stir.
• Monitor temperature while heating
on low, with lid off & stir
occasionally.
• Slow down heating when sugar
gets to 235F. Put on lid. Let vent.
• Maintain that temp ramp for 15-20
min, don’t go above 280F.
*Tip: A turkey
thermometer
with remote
probe works
well for
monitoring
temperatures.
This will keep
the display out
of the pan’s
steam, for easy
reading.
Caramelizing Invert Sugar
• Browning reaction/flavor needs
alkaline conditions (reduces
burning of sugar at high temps).
• Calcium Hydroxide (CaOH2)(pickling lime) most common but
NaOH, KOH, NH3OH can be used,
albeit more dangerous from
chemical safety standpoint
• Reaction happens quickly after
adding alkaline material.
*Tip: Pickling
lime has limited
solubility. Add
lime to water &
let it clear over
10+ minutes,
then use only
the liquid to
avoid mineral
flavors.
Caramelizing Process
• Sucrose inverted, heat reduced.
(Eyewear, gloves recommended!).
• Limewater slowly added, stirred.
• Heat mixture on low, monitor temp &
go above 275F+ for dark caramel.
• Have shallow cup ice water to drop
sugar into, to taste, as browning
progresses. Add limewater again.
• 300F+ produces darkest sugar.
• Monitor burnt sugar notes!
• Can pour onto non-stick cookie sheet
for hard sugar, or carefully add back
water to make syrup.
*Tip: When
inverting is
happening,
there will be a
change in
aroma to a
more fruity
note, similar
to cooking
apples.
Belgian-Style Candi Sugar
• Uses more complex Maillard
Browning, not enzymatic.
• Needs reducing sugar and
amino acids (Cu ions help!).
• Beet sugar OR cane sugar
works equally well!
• Most complex (and tasty IMO)
of the sugar browning
processes.
• Many candies & syrups use
Maillard Browning Reactions
Candi Sugar Ingredients
• Invert is “base sugar” for Candi.
• Other partial addition sugars such as
date, coconut, maple, etc, add amino
acids, add flavor complexity.
• Wheat, Barley malt liquid, or extract,
a favorite due to flavor, amino acids.
• Start with 10% to invert, to taste.
• Other amino acid sources such as
whey powder, apple cider, (DAP) are
candidates.
Making Candi Sugar
• After inverting sucrose, remove from
heat, add source for alkaline syrup
(Mix lime with water, let settle and
use liquid, not undissolved solids).
• Remove from heat, slowly add amino
acid source (malt, date sugar, apple •
cider, etc. Recommended to make a
water solution to enhance mixing.
• Heat slowly, after 260F, monitor taste
by dropping candi into ice water.
• Can go over 295F to get dark fruit
flavors. When syrup is to-taste, either
pour into a nonstick pan, or slowly
add water to make syrup (lower temp
candi won’t harden, so no choice)
*Tip: Using a
nonstick pan
and silicone
spatula will
reduce
burned sites
and ease
cleanup. Wear
gloves to
reduce
accidental
skin burns
from sugar.
Candi Starter Recipes
Light Candi Syrup
1. 1 lb invert sugar
2. 1 oz wheat malt (wort or
extract).
3. ¼ tsp cream of tartar
4. 3 grams (1/2 tsp lime) to
4 oz (100 mg) H2O
Dark Candi Syrup
• Replace wheat malt with date
sugar (recipe on left)
• Repeat steps 1-4
• Slowly heat to 295F, stirring
to avoid scorching bottom
layer of sugar.
• Take off heat source, add
5. After inverting, remove
back 2 oz limewater, repeat
from heat, add limewater
heating. (*Keeping mix
then malt, mix. Ramp temp
alkaline reduces burning of
to 270F. Cover with lid,
candi).
maintain temp for 30 min • Add final H2O for syrup or
or to taste. Cool, add 4 oz
place on cookie sheet for
H2O, pour into container.
hard candi.
Freeze/refrigerate.

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