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home made candy sugar

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Lyrebird_Cycles

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technobabble66 said:
suigeneris posted an update

I now usually add corn sugar (fructose) at a rate of 1% volume/mass (i.e. 1 ml corn sugar per 100g sugar). This does not change the flavour of the final candi, but does reduce crystallization. It is easier to then blend the mix into a syrup or cast rocks with the non-crystallized sugar.
Corn sugar is glucose*, not fructose. I think he might mean high fructose corn syrup.

I use about 1/4 glucose in the sugar mix when making golden toffee for a Belgian blond, suppresses crystallisation as desired.

BTW since I'm not looking for the browning you are, I just use lemon juice to accelerate the inversion and to develop a little colour. If I wanted more browning I'd just add a gram of lysine, available from health food shops.


*For reasons I don't understand home brewers insist on calling glucose "dextrose" but never call fructose "levulose".
 

technobabble66

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^^ yep, seen both before (i've done a *lot* of reading! ;) ) but good to post for others to note.
Thanks for popping it in, plus the link to the explanation of the chemistry involved.

Re: lysine, most reasoning is kinda covered in the previous few posts of mine. But I'll go through the main couple of reasons I haven't gone down that path.
The main reason was because it seemed unlikely the "real", traditional Candi syrup is made using a single amino. The object here is to create something as close to the real Candi, rather than simply replicating some chemical reaction pathways. Similarly, I'm assuming the spectrum of proteins/aminos in whatever the natural source is would create/contribute to a complex array of low molecular and advanced MRPs that produce the equally complex flavour of the Candi syrups. So the assumption is using a single amino would produce only a smaller chunk of that spectrum.
Furthermore, I'd guesstimate that the manufacturers may not even add a specific amino source, so the aminos may come from the small percentage of impurities.
So I'm currently looking at keeping the contribution of aminos to be small and simple (and "natural"). Obviously this means I'm also assuming the vast majority of browning comes from caramelisation/pyrolysis reactions and their downstream products/reactions.

Secondly, it's easy but expensive to get the various forms of lysine supplements. Also, they all seemed to be impure. The powders come with various agents, in particular flavoring and sweetening agents; tablets come with tableting or casing agents. But mainly the price was just very unappealing.

Does that make sense (and seem reasonable)?



EDIT - apparently i hadn't saved that Maillard reactions document to my hard drive. Done that now, so my archive thanks you again for posting!
 

technobabble66

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Bugger - forgot a detail in my post#80!

At the caramelisation step, where i initially hit 126°C, i poured in 1/2 tsp of Lye (75% w/v Potassium Carbonate).

So it should read:
"Added some water to drop down to 116°C, held for ~5mins, and gradually rose up to 126°C. Added 1/2 tsp Lye and allowed to simmer ~126°C for a few mins.
The lye addition was to err on the side of covering any trickiness the manufacturers might have going on in their process - it should provide for some extra Maillard reactions, without really adding a large amount that might interfere too heavily with the majority of flavours developed from the caramelisation reactions (in case it's unnecessary)."


If the mods could edit that in, that'd be great!
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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technobabble66 said:
^

Does that make sense (and seem reasonable)?
Yep, entirely reasonable. I agree that in the original the most likely nitrogen source is a bit of remnant molasses, which is high in nitrogen (it's good yeast food). Since you are looking for a dark syrup anyway, have you tried a bit of muscovado sugar? I put muscovado in my dark ale (and on my porridge. Must not get them mixed up). I love the flavour.

I was more suggesting lysine as a sub for DAP. I'm not fond of DAP, though I deal with literally tonnes of it used for yeast nutrient each year.

BTW I think we pay 80c / kilo for food grade DAP.
 

technobabble66

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Done the DAP.
Not happy with the result, where i suspect the DAP lends a "chemical" flavour to the resulting syrup. Also, not wanting to push the "natural" too hard, but it just doesn't quite seem "right" that the traditional method would use a raw chemical like DAP.
This is obviously more subjective opinion rather than anything based on fact. The second point probably came into focus after the first point/result.

I'll probably revisit the DAP thing later on after i improve other aspects of the process, but i'm fairly comfortable ATM that DAP is not the way to go.

WRT the sugar options, yeah, in the last 6 months i've bought almost every type of sugar ready to trial, including muscovado.
I must admit, though i like it in certain uses, i find it has a bit of liquorice/aniseed come through that I'm not a fan of for making candy syrup - doesn't seem appropriate.
Having said that, i'll give it a go at some point to see if that opinion os bollocks - i've obviously already over-thought a few things along the road.

FWIW, Date sugar/syrup seems the best way to go, partly as it's listed as an ingredient in D-180 (CSI) and some others of the darker candy syrups. So the plan is to trial a combo of Cane sugar + Date sugar/syrup soon.
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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technobabble66 said:
i find it has a bit of liquorice/aniseed come through that I'm not a fan of for making candy syrup - doesn't seem appropriate.
That's probably what I like about it but you are right, it isn't the correct flavour profile for Belgian candi syrup.
 

technobabble66

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Next update.
The last batch turned out really well. I'm totally guessing, but it might be the equivalent of Amber or D-45 (largely because its dark, but not semi-black like D-90 & D-180 seem to be). Anyway, tasted great - deep caramel & toffee elements.

FWIW, i also forgot to mention i'd added ~0.3g Bicarb Soda with the first heating of the Caramelisation Step, to neutralise the CoT.
----------------------
The Next Batch
Started this yesterday:

400g White Cane sugar
100g Date Syrup
25g LDME
20g Dark Brown Cane sugar

0.65g Cream of Tartar
3/4 cup water

(Later, 0.35g Bicarb Soda, later again 1/2tsp Lye)

So similar process, for the inversion i got it up to ~115°C and kept it there for ~10-15mins, then turned off the heat and let it sit for 30mins.
Then started heating again, once it hit something like 115°C, added the Bicarb Soda. Continued heating to ~125°C, added the Lye gradually.
Then began the heating cycles - generally holding a min temp of 116°C, but peaking at either 125°C, 135°C and a couple at 145-155°C.

Note i've started relying more on temp at the base of the pot - i.e.: the thermometer is touching the metal of the pot's base. I started doing this as it occurred to me that even though it's a tiny fraction of the syrup, whatever is touching that surface could be a lot hotter than the rest, and that's where the burning will occur (obvious, i know!), so i decided it might be better to take readings there to prevent critical temps being exceeded. Also, i kinda figured even though it's a tiny proportion of the syrup, the way these things permeate the flavour, it may still be significant, Plus, i'll do many cycles over a few days, so lots of tiny fractions may add up to a lot!.
FWIW, it's probably a good thing i've started measuring temp like this, as the Date Syrup may increase the likelihood of charring - certainly this batch is the first where it's a problem. Twice i heated to a high temp, then turned off the heat and let it sit for a few mins before adding the water - so the sustained higher temps might push the caramelisation reactions more, with less risk of the temp jumping too high and scorching the syrup. Unfortunately the opposite seems to be the case. The first time i hit 155°C, and this may simply be too high for the date/cane mix. The second time was only 135°C, which i've since hit safely a few times, so i think that verifies leaving the pot without heat (continuous bubbling seems to help dissipate the syrup before it chars) or water (to quench the temp) at that temp is a No No.
Anyway, a quick transfer to another pot, clean the first one (luckily the char seems to clean of easily once a green scrubby sponge is applied), then transfer back seems to address the problem, and the syrup doesn't seem to have been negatively affected by the slight charring at either stage. Fingers crossed!
Also, FWIW, curiosity got the better of me, so i tasted the char in case it might have some beneficial flavour element for the syrup that i didn't realise i was missing out on (caramel is really just carefully burnt sugar, after all!). Nope, just tasted like ash, so hopefully i'm not removing important flavours.


But on to impact of the Date Syrup.
Whoa. Nelly.
Instant awesomeness!
After the first couple of heating cycles, the difference was pronounced - there's a significant fruity depth to the caramel sweetness. It doesn't stand out in an obvious way, but having done a fair few batches now, it's really noticeable that it achieves an added depth. As i've done more heat cycles, its also noticeable that the "date" flavour dissipated fairly quickly to be replaced by a "fig" element, and now it's more like just a fantastic depth that has a kinda rounded fruitiness.

Date Syrup FTW!!
 

EalingDrop

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Hi technobabble,
Thanks for the posts, good to know how it can be done here in Oz considering the difficultly that ingredients are hard to come by.

Recently bottled (Sep 2016) a Westvleteren 12 clone using the Sui Generis Belgium Candi. I cracked open one last week and felt it lacked the raisins/plum character which I think was let down by the DIY inverted sugar.

Interested in how the Date Syrup 'adjunct' work out. Also are all your syrups in liquid or crystal states?
 

manticle

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If you can really work out how to make d2 at home techno, I'll buy you a jeep.

For once, I reckon your continually analytical/slightly overthinking brain bits might pay dividends and should not be discouraged.
 

technobabble66

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Ok, minor update.
I actually have some Dark Candi Inc syrup now to compare with: Amber & D2.

On tasting there's a few things worth noting.

First up, i'd be pretty certain the D2 uses some sort of alkalising agent &/or amino source - it has a particular flavour in the background that i was getting while using some of the ammonia sources (e.g. Ammonium Bicarb, Lye) to drive melanoidin formation. It's absent in the Amber, so maybe it's either not driven far enough to produce those flavours, or they simply don't bother trying to drive melanoidin formation and just stick to caramelisation reactions.

Secondly, the Amber and D2 are very smooth caramel flavours, whereas mine has more of a sharper toffee element, which i'm assuming is from me pushing the higher temps too much and getting a slight scorching in the sugars.
My last 2 efforts (one with & one without some date syrup) seem to be somewhere between the Amber & D2 - probably more like Amber with a little more oomph, though the sharper "scorch" element might be influencing that assessment somewhat.
Obviously the intention is to eliminate that sharper scorched flavour - it's not unpleasant and might work well in the right beers, but i'm trying to replicate what the Belgians do, and they definitely don't have this element in the Amber & D2.

FWIW, the Date syrup in my last effort seems to round out the fruitier flavour a bit, kinda similar to flavour profile of the D2 (i think). So i'd probably stick with some Date syrup if i was looking to replicate the D2, maybe even increasing the amount to ~30-40%.

@ED, all mine are syrups. It just seemed the easiest way to go.

@Manticle, I'll take a red one, thanks. ;) :lol: I've got a sneaking suspicion the true process requires high pressure heating, to achieve stable high temps without the issue of gradual boil-off slowly ramping up the temp. I suspect i need to do something like "hold x temp for 1 hr" etc, where x=115°C and so on. 115°C is tricky but doable. It starts getting more hard to hold stable for long periods of time once it goes over 120°C.


(& thanks to Clever Brewing for supplying the Dark Candi syrups - obviously critically important to finally have some real ones to compare against :) )
 

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