Invert Sugar

Sugars, finings and anything else

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby jkp » Mon Jun 16, 2014 07:38

Good Ed wrote:
jkp wrote: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.


You are able to get more subtle and luscious flavours from the sugar than you would from just using plain sugar. The impurities in unrefined cane sugar provide flavours that are beneficial to the beer, this is enhanced by the maillard reactions that take place during the process of boiling the sugar. I've made some No.3 (probably between No.2 & 3) which has a lovely toffee caramel flavour, whereas if I used a dark sugar of similar colour I know I would get more of a molasses flavour. Breweries have been using invert sugar for over a 100 years rather than just using sugar itself for that very reason.

Making it yourself is just part of home brewing imho, I've only started experimenting since brewing a few historical recipes, and it may take a bit of time to do, but then that's what a hobby is all about.


Thanks for the reply! Might give it a go.

User avatar
jkp
Brewer
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 14:34
Location: China

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby serum » Mon Jun 30, 2014 15:49

itbrvilla wrote: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?

You don't need to add anything for colour with those. You can make a brewferm kit with plain sugar and the colour will be correct.

There seems to be some debate about whether it's worth bothering with clear candi anyway.

I did the triple with brewing sugar and it came out fine. My only criticism would be that it wasn't spicy enough but I suspect that's more down to yeast.

FV - Blond Biere de Garde
Bottled: Altbier, XX Bitter
Planned: Amber Saison, Spelt Saison
User avatar
serum
Brewer
 
Posts: 1431
Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 06:30

Re: Odp: Invert Sugar

Postby Graham_W » Fri Dec 19, 2014 16:06

Aleman wrote: Some claim that hangovers from drinking homebrew are caused by invertase which has leaked out of the cell wall . . .No it's caused by drinking alcohol which leave you dehydrated :doh:

Really? I can drink a surfeit of beer to the extent that I am crawling around on my hands and knees - no hangover results - bright as a berry the following morning. However if I drink too much red wine - a hangover results, sometimes even before I get to bed. This apparently is caused by fusel oils.

I recently read a paper from the Institute of Brewing regarding nitrogen starvation of yeast caused by the use of excessive quantities of sugar in beer, and, lo and behold, the production of fusel oils and other "impurities" (sulphurous) by the yeast is greatly increased. Some fusel oils contribute to the flavour of beer, but others, it would seem, produce disproportionate hangovers. With good-quality, low nitrogen, malt, the nitrogen starvation effect can begin to show itself before the sugar content reaches 25%. Beers with sugar contents of up to 25% were not uncommon during most of the twentieth century.

This may explain why "can and a kilo" beer kits had a reputation for producing hangovers and of giving the false impression that they are much stronger than they really are. Of course kit manufacturers can overcome this deficiency by adding a yeast nutrient, and I suspect that that is the case these days.

So it is not the invertase directly, but a consequence of using sugar in any form. I doubt if it matters a jot whether it is inverted or not. It is probable that there was sufficient nitrogenous matter in the molasses content of unrefined Barbados foot sugar, the stuff that was traditionally used by brewers, to mitigate this effect, so it was only noticed when refined sugar was used. Invertase was the obvious culprit to blame with the limited knowledge of the time.

In all my reading and studying I have not come across a good explanation of why invert sugar was preferred by brewers. In my view it always was inverted from the year dot, although they did not know it at the time. The traditional way that unrefined Barbados sugar was made was by boiling the molasses down to saturation level in boiling pans, to allow the sugar to precipitate. For some unspecified reason lime juice was added to the solution. This acidity would have caused the sugar to invert, so the stuff was already inverted, or partially inverted before it reached these shores.

Another reason may simply be Excise sugar paranoia. The Excise were still paranoid about sugar in the 1980s, when I was involved in the setting up and the initial training in a number of pub breweries that were springing up at the time. A locked sugar store, a separate sugar usage log book and much other bureaucracy. It is all about leaving a paper trail so that the Excise can compare materials going into a brewery against the beer going out, and thereby detecting if any "funny stuff" is going on. Buying your sugar from an approved brewing sugar supplier was part of that trail. Invert sugar from a proper source is easily distinguished from bulk refined sugar bought from a local cash and carry. Bags of white Tate & Lyle found in a brewery would be treated with acute suspicion.

The modern sugar nearest to old-time Barbados sugar is Muscovado, although it is mostly made in the Philippines these days. Billington's Muscovado is available in most supermarkets. It is not pan dried, but is centrifuged and vacuum dried these days. As a consequence it is non-inverted. Some Muscovado is still made in the traditional way in the Philippines as a cottage industry, pan dried with added lime juice, but it will be hard to find, only in specialist delicatessens, and probably prohibitively expensive.

Billington's dark Muscovado is specified as being 24,000 to 30,000 ICUSMA units @420nm, and their light muscuvado 7,000 to 10,000 units. ICUMSA is the sugar industry’s standard test methods, like EBC in the brewing industry, but the two methods are somewhat different. However, by my calculation the EBC rating can be approximated by dividing the ICUMSA number by 48. Therefore, dark Muscovado ranges from 500 to 625 (562) EBC, and light Muscovado from 145 to 208 EBC. These spreads might seem wide, but the spreads on brewers’ invert are quite wide as well. Taking 175 EBC and 562 EBC as the medians will give good working figures. The dark Muscovado approximates to No. 4 invert, the light approximates to No. 3 invert.

If I was writing Brew Your Own today, rather than specifying white sugar, which I did because of the non-availability of brewers' invert in the home brewing trade, I would specify blends of Muscovado and white sugar to match the colour and to impart some of the molasses character inherent in traditional brewing sugars.

I used to posses a cheap, educational, spectrophotometer, but the Ilford gelatine filters went mouldy as a consequence of brewing and experimenting in a shed, so the thing ended up in the bin after trying in vain to source another set of filters. Today I would have difficulty colour matching the sugar blends, so it is something that I should have done when I had the technology.

G.W.
User avatar
Graham_W
Brewer
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 18:48

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sat Dec 20, 2014 02:08

Very interesting. What I have gained from making my own Invert Sugar is an understanding of what it brings to a beer. The very fact of boiling sugar, and I'm talking about unrefined sugar, creates flavours, that depending on how long you boil the sugar (at 240F) give a depth of flavour and colour that is different to using grain. My understanding is that historically it was used for this very same reason.

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
User avatar
Good Ed
Brewer
 
Posts: 869
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 22:36
Location: Birmingham

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Bad 'Ed » Sun Dec 21, 2014 09:30

Why were the gvt so paranoid about sugar? Was it just because of the obvious link to abv?

Great post btw GW.

----------------------------
Edited for typo.

Last edited by Bad 'Ed on Sun Dec 21, 2014 17:09, edited 1 time in total.

Never enough time....
User avatar
Bad 'Ed
Brewer
 
Posts: 1591
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:51
Location: Skipton, North Yorkshire

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:54

I forgot to post my results for No.3 that I did sometime back. I used it in a historical 1955 Whitbread Double Brown (from Ron P) which had 19%, together with pale malt and just 50g of pale chocolate malt. The beer turned out well with caramel and roasty flavours from the sugar, also with a hint of sweetness which went well with the fruity flavours from the hops.

Used a darker Demerara sugar, which was not as nice to work with as the golden granulated used for No.1 as it was constantly foaming and it took me a little while to get a steady simmer at 240F. I was able to get a better boil going towards the end but had to stir constantly to avoid boil over. Boiled 3 1/4 hours, and while it looks dark, it's probably between No.2 and No.3

Image
Image
Image

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
User avatar
Good Ed
Brewer
 
Posts: 869
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 22:36
Location: Birmingham

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Graham_W » Sun Dec 21, 2014 13:26

Bad 'Ed wrote:Why were the gvt so paranoid about sugar? Was it just because of the obvious like to abv?

Great post btw GW.

Yes, I guess it is because it is quick and simple to add sugar to the FV, after the Excise gravity dip has been taken, to increase the strength of the beer. It can be over and done with so quickly that the chance of being caught in the act by a surprise visit from the Excise man is greatly reduced, unlike a secret unrecorded brew, which can take half a day and occupy a suspicious number of additional fermenting vessels.

G.W.
User avatar
Graham_W
Brewer
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 18:48

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby oldbloke » Sun Dec 21, 2014 13:35

Re the couple of q's about a well-known golden syrup, ISTR that stuff is a sucrose/invert mix. If you want straight invert you buy or make it.
User avatar
oldbloke
Moderator
 
Posts: 1285
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 23:26
Location: Todmorden, Wet Yorkshire

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:48

With the recent post on candi sugar, I thought I'd update this post.

So just a recap; brewing sugars have historically been used in the past by the British brewing industry and continue to be used today, and this is in the form of invert sugar made from un refined cane sugar. Belgian brewers started using candi sugar to boost the ABV without adding extra body, and this is in the form of inverted beet sugar (most commonly).

Anyway I have been following the advice by Kristen England here, by using 1kg of Billingtons Golden Granulated and boiling at 240F for various times with 1/2 tsp citric acid. The picture below shows the sugars, #1 boiled for 30min, #2 105min and #3 195min. The sugar was then kept as a syrup by topping up with water to 1L (you can see the result of this in the SG figures below.

My observations were that even boiling #3 for nearly twice as long as #2 I didn't get a much darker sugar, also that the taste of all 3 were fairly similar, this being a nice caramel flavour.

So I sent the samples for testing, and you can see the results below. You can see the % of invert sugar, and the difference between this and the total sugars represents the "other stuff" in the unrefined cane sugar, the rest is water as I have diluted to a syrup. You will also see the colour measurement, which is in EBC, and you can see these are below what you would want from the conventional 1, 2 & 3.

Image

Image

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
User avatar
Good Ed
Brewer
 
Posts: 869
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 22:36
Location: Birmingham

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby Good Ed » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:57

So what to do about it. Well invert sugar is available commercially from Ragus, the only thing is you have to order 25kg, but a couple of lads on here have been using it.

Also Graham's advise further up is very good by using the Billingtons Dark Muscovado sugar.

My plan is to still make the #1 invert by using the Golden Granulated boiled for 30 min, (you actually can invert sugar by not using such a high temperature), and adding molasses using the method from Kristen's blog. I'll be using Meridian organic blackstrap molasses, which you can get in health food shops. I'll update the next time I brew with it.

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
User avatar
Good Ed
Brewer
 
Posts: 869
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 22:36
Location: Birmingham

Re: Invert Sugar

Postby 5hats » Sun Mar 06, 2016 17:39

My effort is here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9889
User avatar
5hats
Brewer
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 14:20

Previous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest