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Author Replies
Tremens
01/04/06 01:03 PM  
Dark Candy Syrup
Does anyone know where I can find candico dark candy syrup (or a substitute) to purchase to have shipped to the US? The only place I have been able to find has been a local supermarket in Belgium and they don't ship.

Thanks!

SteveG
01/04/06 01:15 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
If you get to know people on the BBB you could probably arrange for someone to carry over for you, loads of travelers here. But would not candi syrup be uncrystalized candi sugar? I'm no expert here, but do you have reason to believe it would differ in any meaningful way from crystalized dark candi sugar that has been disolved in a little water?
Tremens
01/04/06 01:30 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
According to the Candico.be site, candy syrup is a by-product of the candy sugar production. My assumption is that it will contain more burnt/toffee flavors.
SteveG
01/04/06 01:53 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Did you have a chance to taste it when you found it in that Belgian supermarket? I mean not right there in the aisle of course! Did you buy some to check it out? No doubt it will take some doing to find the stuff, man what a shame if it turned out not living up to your expectations.
Tremens
01/04/06 02:08 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Actually, I am planning my first trip to Belgium this spring. No, I have not tried it... it has certainly crossed my mind that the stuff could be awful, but it does say on the website that it's used in high-gravity beers. As long as it's not too costly, I'll give it a shot.
SteveG
01/04/06 02:49 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Ah, excellent! It would be really interesting to do a sort of taste off, this syrup from Belgium, treacle syrup (I think that is made by the same people who make the fantastic Lyles Golden syrup - ever try that?), maybe maple, hell even dark corn syrup. There must be more. I knew this home brew shop owner who convinced me its a good idea to taste grain before you buy it to see exactly what you are putting in your beer. The same would have to hold true here. I hope you find what you are looking for, even if it has to wait till spring. A descriptive piece on various dark sugar syrups would be a valuable resource. Keep us in mind please!!
Tremens
01/04/06 03:01 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
I'll keep you updated. Thanks!
Sean Paxton
01/04/06 03:23 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Tremens, Are you reading “Brew Like a Monk”?

I was reading last night about what sugars are really used by the Monks and Stan says that sugar with an “i” is not used in brewing but a dark syrup instead.

What beer are you looking to brew with this Dark Candy Syrup?

Anyone know how they make this syrup? Inverted Sugar?

Tremens
01/04/06 03:51 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Sean,

No, I'm not reading that book, but some of the newsgroup postings that I have come across have made reference to that part, specifically.

I'm planning to brew a 12 with light grains, using such a syrup for the color and much of the flavor.

Dark Candi
01/04/06 11:41 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Hello Everyone,

I am Importing the Dark Candi Syrup into the U.S. I will be distributing the syrup to homebrew shops starting in February, and through our website at the same time. The syrup will come in 500ml containers, roughly equal to 2lbs candi sugar rocks in terms of gravity.

The color is about 1000 SRM or around 2600 EBC

Sugar profile

Fructose........16.34%

Sucrose.........29.84%

Glucose.........18.10%

Carbohydrates...64.28%

The Syrup has more intensity than any dark candi rocks that I have ever tasted. It also has more color. Lots of red and brown, black.

I have made four test batches, in the "only light grains" method, using the dark syrup to add color and flavor. It provides the flavor and color that I could never find using speciality grains and "Dark Candi Rocks", brown sugar, maple, treacle, or muscovado. It is more than dark candi sugar disolved in water. Think concentrated Candi Sugar, it's the molasses of Candi Sugar.

Any questions?

SteveG
01/05/06 07:02 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
At first I saw the name field said "Dark Candi", I was hoping you weren't a stripper! :) But yeah, my question is will you stay in touch with us? This sounds like a great thing to have access to, please keep us in the loop with your importing efforts.
Tremens
01/05/06 09:22 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
That sounds great! Yes, please keep us informed. I would like to purchase some as soon as it is available. Do you have a list of homebrew shops that will get the first shipments?

Thank you!

SteveG
01/05/06 09:47 AM  
I thought of a question!
Have you tasted it lateral to black treacle syrup?
Dark Candi
01/05/06 09:56 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Stripper? No, just a homebrewer and a father of two, with a love of belgian beer. Especially the dubbel/dark strong family. I have been chasing these beers for a few years, and this syrup is the first sugar to get my beer to have that flavor. Not to mention color. You can use the "only light grains" approach and get dark, deep color and that missing flavor.

I will keep everyone informed as to the when and where.

Untill February, anyone with questions can contact me at mercer@brianmercer.net

Dark Candi
01/05/06 10:32 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Treacle is a sugar/molasses product, a nice one too. But it gives a different flavor than the candi syrup. Not a bad one, just not in the same family as the belgian heroes.
SteveG
01/05/06 10:42 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
DC, if there is something you either have written up on this - or are planning to write up on this - to help promote your importing efforts and you need another publishing venue let me know. I'd be delighted to apply both the BBB and belgianstyle.com to help get your word out.

Is it possible to be more specific on the timing of availability here? I was planning another go at making a dubble in 2 weekends, but it sounds like it may be worth postponing a bit. Do you see this becoming available earlier or later in February or is it too soon to tell?

Dark Candi
01/05/06 10:57 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Thank you for your interest!

I have been silently watching this website for awhile, and I do not want to turn it into a store. I hope I am presenting this in the correct manner.

I really want to make it possible for homebrewers to have access to better quality ingredients.

Now, as to a specific due date it looks like the first two weeks in Feb. the syrup will sold from a website that is being set up now. As for the homebrew shops, that will be occuring at the same time. I hope to have it everywhere by the summer.

Steve,

I would be happy to send you a sample now for your batch. E-mail me with your batch size and info and it's yours. I would love to have your feedback, as I'm sure everyone else would.

Brian

mercer@brianmercer.net

Sean Paxton
01/05/06 02:05 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Good one Steve! I just got a great beer label idea for my next Westy 12 clone! Not sure in a Stripping Monk is kosher… Oh those rope belts!

I’m very interested in your product Dark Candi. My brew Club has for the last year and this year been focusing exclusively on Belgians. The release of the Belgian Brewing books has also been a great insight into those subtle but huge influences in producing better and more authentic Belgian styles. I see your product falling into this same line. To have access to better ingredients and products that we can’t get in the US, let alone California, would be wonderful.

What is your website? Will you be carrying any other products besides this Dark Candi Syrup?

Tremens, maybe we should do a Westy 12 trade with this new product. I know several members of my club would be interested in this idea.

Cheers,

Sean

SteveG
01/05/06 02:16 PM  
You have mail!
Well that is a great offer, thanks a million (see email!). One of many things that has popped up in the months this board has been around is that dubbels, which don't seem like they should be all that hard, can be really elusive. I don't generally prescribe to the notion that adding a special ingredient is the difference between hitting and missing a style, but certainly sometimes that is the case (assuming all your other ducks are in a row). I think I could believe that of a dubbel more than mostly any other style I've made. So I would love a chance to demo this new find, and big thanks to Tremens for bringing this up in the first place! Who knows, maybe the world of homebrewing just got more exciting...
Al B
01/05/06 02:20 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
I will purchase when ready - I have a dubbel-dose recipe I can't wait to brew........and a Belgian X-mas brew as well. Excellent, Smithers.

Tremens
01/05/06 02:43 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Sean,

A Westy 12 trade sounds like a great idea. Where is your brew club located?

Steve,

No need for thanks... I am very happy that I was able to get this kind of response! I was expecting that I would have to carry a suitcase full of the stuff back with me from Belgium. Without saying, this is a MUCH nicer alternative.

Thanks again!

pflickinger@gmail.com

Sean Paxton
01/05/06 07:36 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Tremens, I am president of the Bay Area Brew Crew or BABC for short. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area. You?

Next weekend we will be having our January meeting and our Annual Holiday Party. I will propose this idea of a Westy 12 clone swap. I will change the order of what I am going to brew to move this beer to the top of the list.

How much time should we give ourselves for aging? I pretty much just bottle in Champagne bottles.

Dark Candi Syrup, is the product your are looking to distribute from Candico?

I did a google search and found this website, with a Candi Syrup, but it’s all in Flemish: http://www.candico.be/industrieel/index3b800-600%20ENG.htm

I also found an interesting post on the Northernbrewer Forum (http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=21532&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=&sid=642520d7d84c813c08518088780250cb) that lists this recipe, if you will… Might give it a try this weekend.

Guys and Girls,

Just a quick note on Candii sugar, and it's differences from that of normal table sugar (sucrose). Firstly making candii sugar is to understand what it is and how it is different from sucrose or normal sugar. Candii sugar is invert sugar, in that its constituents are broken down by "inversion", simply put, splitting its atoms (how cool does that sound?). To make invert sugar or candii sugar, you are basically making toffee, by heating a sugar syrup to a high tempreature with a bit of citric acid to help the inversion along. The sugar is processed to make candy sugar. And candy sugar has a number of effects on a beer. It has been caramelised, and this gives nice complex flavours, including a nice sweet edge, a distinct aroma, and most importantly, a dense mousse-like head that is so characteristic of Belgian beers.

So let's say you want to make 500 grams of candy sugar. You weigh 500 g of white sugar and into a small pot. Add enough water to make thick syrup. Add a pinch of citric acid (I will explain why later). Now bring to a boil and keep the temperature between hard ball and soft crack (127-135 °C). As evaporation will cause the temperature to rise, have a small amount of water and add a tablespoon every now and then.

The colour will gradually change from clear to light amber to deep red as the boil proceeds. Light candy sugar is a very light pee colour (yes, that type of pee). This can take only 15 minutes. Dark candy sugar is very deep red. This can take hours. Once you are at the colour you desire (and a lot of that is on taste), you let the temp go to hard crack (150 °C). Once it hits hard crack, turn off the heat and pour it into some greaseproof paper. As it cools it will go rock hard. I then put it in the freezer until I'm ready to use it.

Now why add citric acid? This is to 'invert' some of the sugar. Simply put, cane sugar (sucrose) is made up of two other sugars (glucose and fructose) joined together. Yeast must spend time and effort breaking the joining bonds to allow them to get at the simple sugars they need for metabolism. This can also be done chemically in an acid environment with heat. The citric acid supplies the acid, and the heat is there when you make the candy sugar. Invert sugar tastes a bit sweeter than regular sucrose.

Cheers,

Sean

Dark Candi
01/06/06 01:43 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Hello again,

I have tried this method of making candi sugar at home, complete with citric

acid. I found this recipe all over, and in many different forms.

What I notice, having made it six times, is that you get many interesting

flovors, and a great red color. You have to watch out for the fermentability

factor. That during the cooking of the sugar, too much of the sugar is not

converted into unfermentable sugar. This was the main problem that I found.

Another thing with the homemade candi sugar, it has a hollow taste. Not the

full, rich taste that you need from a sugar that is essentially adding a great deal of the flavor and color to your beer.

As to the Westy 12 Swap, I want in.

Brian

Geir Ove Grønmo
01/06/06 04:07 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Liquid dark candy sugar is also available from http://www.brouwland.com/ Note that this shop is located in Belgium, but provides international shipping.

The item is called "candy syrup liquid dark" and come in various sizes.

I'm ordering a couple of liters myself in the next few days. :)

SteveG
01/06/06 06:49 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Do you live in the US? If so, international shipping when it involves crossing the Atlantic can be heafty. Done it myself a bunch of times to order beer! If so you may end up kicking yourself for not waiting a couple weeks.
Chet
01/06/06 09:51 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Steve,

How about a Dubbel swap in the fall/winter (next in line after the sour swap)? Time for Dark Candi's product to become available, beers to be brewed and a few months aging...

I've been collecting different dark sugars to experiment with dubbel making - gula jawa (a dark Indonesian palm sugar) and panocha (Phillipines brown sugar - much more intense than most) were my two top choices. Perhaps I'll make one mash split three ways for boil/fermentation (same yeast).

SteveG
01/06/06 01:59 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
I'm all over that Chet, I definately plan a swap regarding this. I think instead of a dubbel swap I'd make it a swap of beers brewed with some kind of adjunct sugar product. I think that would give us some ability to see the effects of various sugar possibilities.
Tremens
01/06/06 02:36 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Sean,

I'm located in Downingtown, PA. If we want this to be a true West 12 clone, we should age it close to as long as the monks age it before selling it. Does anyone know how long this is?

I have never been involved in one of these swaps. If you could kindly go over the logistics, it would be most helpful.

Pat

Chet
01/06/06 04:37 PM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Sounds good Steve...set a minimum % of fermentables from sugar? Say 15 to 20%?
Geir Ove Grønmo
01/07/06 08:05 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
SteveG, I live in Oslo, Norway. There is still a hefty shipping charge even to Norway, but expensive candy syrup is a lot better than *no* candy syrup. :)
Sean Paxton
01/09/06 11:23 AM  
Re: Dark Candy Syrup
Tremens

I too have not done a swap, but hey, we can figure it out. I just signed up for the Dubbel Swap using the Dark Candi Syrup and after that, I’m hoping to be able to get more of this product for the Westy 12 Clone Swap.

Steve

Are you still interested in a Tripel swap? How did your Tripel turn out?

Cheers,

Sean

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