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The Brewing Forum • View topic - Invert Sugar

Invert Sugar

Sugars, finings and anything else

Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sun Apr 13, 2014 18:07

When I first started brewing, I frowned at recipes that used sugar and followed the general advice to just substitute the sugar with more malt. So it wasn't until I started to look (research is not quite right) at old recipes, courtesy of Ron Pattinson (he does the research) that I realised that sugar, or invert sugar has a long history with brewing. Now I don't know why it was introduced, but I'm now trying it out with some of these old recipes. The names from the old brew logs are quite interesting; Gartons, Martineau, Hay, Pale Trint, No.3 F, Luscious Priming, S&M, and they came in grades of colour; No.1 25-35EBC, No.2 60-70EBC and No.3 120-140EBC. Some of the sugars were also a sugar caramel mix. They would have added colour and flavour to the beer and also dried it out somewhat.

So how to make it, this isn't a "how to" but there is a very good post by Lucky Eddie on Another Place in the "how to" section for making candi sugar (I'm not posting a link) and also a good one from Kristen England here . So the important thing is to use unrefined cane sugar because it's the impurities that give it flavour.

This is my experience from last week making some No 1. I used Billingtons unrefined golden granulated sugar (from Waitrose) and you will need a non stick saucepan, wooden spoon and a jam thermometer. I followed Kirsten's recipe and used Fahrenheit as it was easier. The first lesson to learn is to use the minimum amount of water you can, I used too much and you then have to boil that off before the temperature will rise, as you want to get to 240F. Otherwise it went ok, but this is only No.1 and I think No.3 will be a bit more of a challenge standing at the stove for 3 hours.

So just to summarise, use unrefined sugar with minimum water, I used citric acid at 1/4 level spoon for 1kg sugar (you can go into this a bit more and also use CaCl at the end to neutralise the acid), careful with the boil as it can boil over or rise over the temperature you want, handy to have a dish of cold water that you can spoon in if required. But then you just maintain temperature of 240F (this is marked "soft ball" on my thermometer) for the required time. No.1 EBC 25-35 20 mins, No.2 EBC 60-70 90-120 mins, and No.3 EBC 120-140 150-240 mins. When you have reached your colour add some cold water a spoon at a time and when settled down a bit, reduce it with more water to get a light syrup (otherwise you will end up with a rock) and store. I ended up diluting mine to give a total of 1200ml for 1kg sugar.

Sugar



Start of boil at 240F



colour after 5 mins



about 15 mins in



Final colour on a dish



Final product 1kg of sugar in a 1200ml syrup, colour seems alright to me at an average of 30 EBC


Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sun Apr 13, 2014 18:10

this is 300ml or 250g of sugar before adding to last week's brew


Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
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Lives as he ought to live,
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- Old English folk song
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby krazypara3165 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 18:18

Looking forward to seeing the results of this one!

Kegged:
Simecoe APA (HBF Donation)

Bottled:
Galaxy Pale Ale, Woodfordes Wherry, Bella Brew Pale Ale, Strawberry and vanilla Pale Ale, Mixed fruits cider, Elderflower and grapefruit fizz.

Maturing:
Rhubarb Wine, WOW rose', Elderberry wine, Mixed berries wine, Elderflower and grapefruit wine, Elderberry wine.

Next Up:
German Pilsner, Guinness Clone, Chateau De Roi selection kit, Strawberry and lime cider.
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Frogfurlong » Sun Apr 13, 2014 18:19

Nice tutorial :thumb:

People assume that Brewing is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big glass of wibbly wobbly... beery weery... stuff.
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Dennis King » Sun Apr 13, 2014 18:21

:clap: Nicely presented.
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Re: Odp: Invert Sugar

Postby zgoda » Tue Apr 15, 2014 07:51

How such diluted syrup stores? Stone hard stores for a year in dark without problems.
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby EvansTheSteam » Tue Apr 15, 2014 09:05

Very interesting article, but is there a problem with a well known Golden Syrup?

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Re: Odp: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Tue Apr 15, 2014 09:13


Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Odp: Invert Sugar

Postby EvansTheSteam » Tue Apr 15, 2014 09:59


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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:02

I normally add some sugar if I want a beer that's thinner on the mouth, maybe around 3%. :thumb:

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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby itbrvilla » Sat Jun 14, 2014 00:54

What does the colour mean as I've seen online stores selling light and dark candied sugar? What effect does this have with on the beer?
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:38


Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:53





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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby itbrvilla » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:25

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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sat Jun 14, 2014 21:03


Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby EvansTheSteam » Sat Jun 14, 2014 21:32

I always thought that yeast had to invert sugar its self before it could make alcohol.
Using invert sugar just saves it a job.
I could be wrong again.
+ I thought it was citric acid that was used for inversion.

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Re: Odp: Invert Sugar

Postby zgoda » Sat Jun 14, 2014 21:53

I make invert sugars with lactic acid, it's much easier to dose.
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sat Jun 14, 2014 22:43


Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby jkp » Sun Jun 15, 2014 04:05

What is the advantage of using inverted sugar as opposed to different coloured sugars? Just seems like a lot work when you can already get white, light brown, dark brown sugars.
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Re: Odp: Invert Sugar

Postby zgoda » Sun Jun 15, 2014 15:20

Less effort for yeast, it's already inverted. And flavours, although some disagree. ;)
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Re: Odp: Invert Sugar

Postby Aleman » Sun Jun 15, 2014 18:04

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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby EvansTheSteam » Sun Jun 15, 2014 18:32

I get the bit about dehydration, but the rest...................... :scratch:

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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sun Jun 15, 2014 19:18


Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby EvansTheSteam » Sun Jun 15, 2014 21:25

It's great with sponge and custard!

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Re: Invert Sugar

Postby itbrvilla » Sun Jun 15, 2014 23:05

Lots of interesting stuff here. Got a Brewferm Grand Cru and Triple waiting for brewday, what colour invert sugar should I be aiming for in these brews?
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