Home Made Invert Sugar

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I wanted some clarification on Invert sugars, so any feedback or correction is appreciated.
Making it seems simple enough.
Approx 500g cane sugar and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid or similar in 1 litre of water. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 10-20 mins. Cool. And that's it as far as I can gather.
The flavour I'm a little less clear on.
I have used Golden Syrup which is an invert sugar, but I can still taste a Golden Syrup flavour. Nice in the right beer, but I'm looking to brew a dry Aussie style lager, so I don't want the Golden Syrup coming through.
My understanding is that it imparts a mild toffee flavour and ferments quite dry. Any other flavours to expect?
Any other ingredients which I may have used which impart similiar characteristics? How does it compare with straight dextrose?
Appreciate your help.
most of my beers are all malt, but when i do use sugar i've never bothered either inverting it or using dextrose, and my beers have been fine. (although i never use more than 500g at the most in a batch). i don't know if it's worth the bother.
Ahhhh Homebrew Myth Part 3!

Candi sugar is not invert sugar. Period!

Good link GL and a top explanation by Wes.

However, I have a question I'll toss out there...

Invert sugar is sucrose that has undergone "hydrolysis". That is boiled in an acidic solution at high temperature.

So if sucrose, and therefore Candi Sugar, is added to 20 odd litres of already boiling wort:

is the wort hot enough and acid enough to cause the sucrose to break into glucose and fructose, and invert the fructose?

Phew that makes it ......errr

Is the only true choice in recipes that ask for candy sugar the Sugar Beet/Chicory version ?
I think what Graham was getting at in his article is that there is a cheap,readily available alternative to those wanting to use a candy(type) sugar. Ive used it with some great results.
I've read a bit further on this and I've now seen advice which recommends neutralising the acid with chalk or similar before adding to the brew.
I've only seen this recommendation once in all I've read on invert sugars, so it doesn't seem to be a big issue.
I probably won't bother.
Any thoughts on this?
Trying to chemically invert your own sugar is going to be difficult. Manildra do this commercially with sulphuric acid - lots of it and then have to nuetralise the acidity with caustic soda. Otherwise the resulting solution would be life threatening! This perhaps goes someway towards explaining why a pinch (or teaspoon) of citric is a little like the monkey peeing in the ocean.

Yeast can split (or invert) sucrose using the enzyme invertase which the yeast produces as required. Modern day commercial processing of invert syrup overseas is mostly done enzymatically although an Indian company has developed a catalytic process that is even cleaner than the enzyme process.

As i have suggested before, talk to your local baker about getting hold of some Trimoline syrup. it is 97% invert syrup and is used in things like cake icing to stop crystalisation. Will post a pic of the container.

Here is pic of the trimoline container.


I use invert sugar in quite a few of my recipies & use the method of 1 teaspoon of citric acid to 500grms cane sugar & boiling. I've read about adding chalk but never noticed off flavours without it, so haven't bothered. I then quite often caramerlise this solution, which though maybe not candied in the true sense, still imparts a colour & candied/caramelised flavour to the brew...

Sugar will take on some of the characteristics of "Invert" sugar from heating alone - If you put the same amount of sugar in 2 cups of tea, but one hot & the other cold - you will taste that the one added to hot water is much sweeter in taste than then the cold one, due to the partial invertion of the sugar.
My understanding of the inversion process, and I could be wrong here, is thusly:

Sucrose will invert naturally on its own, but it's really bloody slow. Acid and heat speed up the reaction, the more acid and the more heat the faster it goes. However, and this is where I'm not 100% sure, I think the acid acts more as a catalyst. That is, the more acid the faster it goes, and the hydrolysis reaction perpetuates the same quantity of acid in solution as each H+ ion donated by the acid breaks the disaccharide bond, consuming one water molecule but leaving a H+ ion liberated, which then goes on to break another bond, and so on.

I don't know if the acid content of the boil is strong enough to invert all of the sucrose present, but I would expect that at the least the conditions are sufficient to do most of it.
And to confuse you a bit more see this post from Wes that candi sugar is not invert sugar.
with a more detailed post from him here

Confusing, isnt it?
(can't accuse me of not researching the question!! :rolleyes: )

It's confusing because these links no longer exist. My recipe calls for clear candi sugar (1EBC) AND invert sugar. Is there really much difference?

The only real difference I can see is that invert is boiled in water (with 1g citric acid or 10ml lemon juice per kilogram of sugar, boiled 20 minutes) but stops before crystalisation.

Candi sugar is virtually the same, but melted with little or no water at the start, because you can then caramelise to desired colour.

If so, what's the difference between 1ebc candi sugar and invert sugar?
Isn't invert sugar just sucrose split into fructose and glucose?

The yeast splits the fructose into a couple of glucoses anyway ... why not just use dextrose?
Not quite there are 4 simple sugars Glucose and Fructose are two of them, on their own they are called Monosaccharide's (literally Single Sugars) start joining them up in pairs they are called Disaccharides. Sucrose and Maltose are both disaccharides.

Sucrose is Glucose-Fructose; invert it and your back to the monosaccharide's Glucose and Fructose

Maltose is Glucose-Glucose; inverting gives you two Glucose or what we call dextrose if there's a water molecule around.

The reason Dextrose is considered better than White sugar is it gives you what brewing yeast has evolved to metabolise, inverted maltose Glucose, (without the addition of fructose you get from common sugar). Personally I think yeast is quite capable of inverting its own, without any help from us.

good wrap up there MHB. I agree, especially from my experience dabling with adjuncts. I do notice a flavour difference between using a cereal compared to sucrose. If anything, the only thing to complain about (for me) is the body is typically thinner and can border on lacklustre when using sugar, especially at high %'s. I do use sugar often in my recipes, typically around 5%, if i go above 10% its usually ends up quite thin. Although i do love a beer with a good body. ;)

Ive only just pitched the yeast on a beer ive made my own 'brewers' caramel which was esentially 200g of table sugar into a DRY pan, full whack and constant agitiation until it JUST became a liquid. i then transferred this to a cake tin and submerged into the sink full of water. i ended up with a deep ruby toffee which is my home make 'brewers' caramel.

Why make a brewers caramel? well it was historically used as a colouring agent and bumped up a few OG point to wort, on the odd occasion lowered the tax on the brewery as well. Im making a Kentucky common which used roasted malts and brewers caramel to achieve colour. 1/2 of the gravity points gone it tastes wicked! i cant wait until shes ready to pour the first pint.

Those rednecks where onto something good! :icon_drunk:
i did this not too long ago, when i was following a recipe for a belgian trippel. i used a pinch of acidic acid to invert it, if i remember correctly. also from memory you have to be very careful with your heating temperatures, otherwise what you have may come out different to what you expect.

still have 500gm of the stuff in my freezer. waiting for the weather to warm up to put down a strong ale.

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