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Belgian Dubbel: My candi sugar success story

Out of all the ideas I had for this project, the candi sugar was by far the craziest. Making candi sugar out of my home grown sugar beets took a  very long time and judging by the flavor of the sugar I made I was pretty skeptical that I would produce anything short of a disastrous brew with it. But low and behold, wow what a contribution it made to my belgian dubbel. The bitterness and corn flavor did not show up in the beer at all. Only the caramel, molasses and anise flavors are present. It’s a great beer, one of my best, but to be critical it could have used more alcohol. I was disappointed the fermentation stopped a little short of my target. Ending up with a lower gravity would have added more complexity to this beer. It would have also helped boost the aroma a little too. I’m still giving this beer an A+. I’m still surprised I’m even making beer out of barley I grew, let alone a quality beer that’s true to it’s style.

  • 52.6% 2 row pale
  • 13.2% light caramel malt 10L
  • 13.2% aromatic malt
  • 13.2% chocolate caramel malt
  • 7.9% beet sugar candi sugar
  • Goldings or Northern brewer (mystery hops) aprox. 6%
  • 50% 60 min
  • 25% 20 min
  • 25% 5 min
  • Total bitterness 20.7 IBU
  • Wyeast Belgian Ardennes yeast
  • Direct heat mash
  • 101 F 30 min
  • 133 F 20 min
  • 158 F 3 hrs
  • OG. 1.066
  • FG  1.021
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in The beers

 

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Candi Sugar

Here’s something I won’t do again. This summer I sent away for some sugar beet seeds from Quebec. Since I’ve been brewing a lot of belgian style beers, I wanted to see if I could make candi sugar out of beets. I’ve made candi sugar out of regular white sugar and it was surprisingly easy. But this is Brewing Beer The Hard Way not the easy way! Not many seeds germinated but I did manage to grow two massive ones and a few smaller ones for a total weight of 8 lbs. From what I’ve read sugar beets contain up to 13 % sugar. A regular beet has about 8%. The leaves on the plants are edible too and were mild enough to eat raw in a salad, kind of like spinach. Unfortunately what you don’t see in the video is the clip where the syrup reached 250F and started to change colour. I lost this clip accidentally. I believe it was about to burn due to all the extra stuff in the sugar, in such an unrefined state  so that’s why I didn’t let it reach 300F. No big deal though, I’m just curious to see what kind of flavors it imparts to my beer. Why won’t I do this again? Well, this is slow food at it’s slowest, too slow even for me.

Here’s the procedure I used:

Slice up the beats very thin or shred them and boil for 1 hr with water just to cover.

strain off the water through a coffee filter and boil this water down.

Repeat 4 times

Boiled down until temp. reached 250 (use a candy thermometer for this)

Pour off into a pyrex dish lined with parchment paper or foil.

This will give you a dark taffy like sugar that tastes similar to molasses and is slightly bitter.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Candi Sugar

 

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