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.