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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: lazydog79 on February 04, 2011, 04:43:24 AM

Title: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: lazydog79 on February 04, 2011, 04:43:24 AM
As I'm planning my brews for the year, I'm setting up to do a Standard Bitter - the Boddington's clone in Beer Captured.  As with my Bitter recipes, it calls for invert sugar.  Where is a handy place to get a hold of that?  The recipe only calls for 1/3 of a pound so I don't want a ton of it.  What if I substituted dextrose?
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: punatic on February 04, 2011, 05:20:34 AM
It's very easy to make your own.  You need:

4 cups cane sugar
2 cups of water
1/4 tsp citric acid (available from LHBS)

Mix the sugar and water in a pot and apply heat.  When the mixture is dissolved add the citric acid and bring to boil for around 20 - 30 minutes, stir often.  Some darkening of the solution will occur.  No worries.

Cane sugar is sucrose.  Inverting the sugar splits the sucrose molecules into glucose and fructose molecules.  These two taste sweeter than sucrose.  

Yeast produces invertase enzyme to invert sucrose to glucose and fructose before fermentation.  Bees produce invertase to invert nectars to honey.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: brewmasternpb on February 04, 2011, 05:32:28 AM
Agreed.  But I just squeeze a lemon over my sugar while I'm cooking it with the water.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: punatic on February 04, 2011, 05:36:07 AM
I was going to suggest that, but did not because lemon flavor may persist and make its way into the beer.  I don't know if it will.  I always use citric acid to invert sucrose before I ferment.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: 1vertical on February 04, 2011, 06:01:32 AM
+1 make your own.  Citric Acid worked for us. We make it for Mojitos in the summer.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: rbclay on February 04, 2011, 03:20:23 PM
recipes call for different colors of invert as well. you can do this at home too. the longer you cook it, the darker it gets. this can be a bit tricky and dangerous if you are not careful. you need to keep the temp under 235F if you want it to remain liquid. you get to the "harder" stages of candy at higher temps. you can find all these temp stages with a quick search of candy making.  you have to add small amounts of water to help control the temp and consistency. i did this for the first time last year. i inverted plain table sugar, dark brown sugar and turbinado (raw) sugars. used them in some brown ales. nice thing is you can keep them in a jar and use them later. you can also go the hard tack route. most Belgian Candi sugars are sold hard.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: bluedog on February 04, 2011, 07:08:11 PM
I was going to start a new thread but saw this and thought I may as well ask here. Do I really need to invert sugar? I am asking because I intend to make some invert sugar tonight for a recipe this weekend. I know that the process "breaks" sucrose into glucose and fructose by using heat and an acid to speed the process. Wouldn't boiling wort do this - it's acidic and hot. And while I'm at it isn't clear (light) Belgian candi syrup just inverted beet sugar? I get there is a difference in the darker Belgian syrups but I wonder if I could save some cash and time by just using cane or beet sugar instead of syrup.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: richardt on February 04, 2011, 09:21:49 PM
You need very little lemon juice (not even a tsp), if you want to make it separately and add it to the boil or to the primary.
Boiling wort in the BK will do the same (but the pH is higher and will likely take a little longer).
IIRC, the yeast can break down regular table sugar (sucrose) as is--it just takes a little more work.
Not a big deal.  I've made invert sugar just to be able to say "I've done it." 
However, I've not noticed a difference in the final product.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: tubercle on February 05, 2011, 12:20:36 AM
For brewing purposes it doesn't matter. Its a waste of time.

Yeast are going to convert to co2 and alcohol inverted or not.

 The only advantage would be the darkening, ie, candy.

Think about it.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: tygo on February 05, 2011, 12:38:33 AM
For brewing purposes it doesn't matter. Its a waste of time.

Yeah, I tend to agree.  I bet it's pretty good in mojitos though.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: punatic on February 05, 2011, 01:04:39 AM
Sugar ferments faster and cleaner when it has been inverted first.  The yeasties can concentrate on fermentation only instead of conversion and fermentation.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: rbclay on February 05, 2011, 02:25:55 AM
Quote
For brewing purposes it doesn't matter. Its a waste of time

I disagree, sort of. Yes, sugar will invert in the boil. But if it really doesn't matter, why have the Belgians and Brits been using invert for centuries? Specifically the Belgians use inverted beet sugars and the Brits cane. Why is there a market (us!) for $8/lb. Belgian Candi sugars?!? I wouldn't pay that when I can make it myself. Some day I'd love to do a side-by-side taste of beers made with homemade invert and pricey Belgian Candi sugar to see if there really is a difference...
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: uthristy on February 05, 2011, 11:57:26 AM

 Specifically the Belgians use inverted beet sugars and the Brits cane. Why is there a market (us!) for $8/lb. Belgian Candi sugars?!? I wouldn't pay that when I can make it myself. Some day I'd love to do a side-by-side taste of beers made with homemade invert and pricey Belgian Candi sugar to see if there really is a difference...

One of the  Belgian`s source of sugars (mixed syrup on the base of glucose syrup, invert sugar and sugar) {mixed syrup with liquid dextrose, sugar, fructose syrup and glucose syrup} (Beet melasse) (Cane melasse)
http://www.belgosuc.be/EN/productgamma.asp?groep=4


If you can make a clone of D2 you'll have a huge market but the truth is you can't on the homebrew scale.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: tygo on February 05, 2011, 12:41:18 PM
If you're trying to make darker invert sugars then I agree it would have an impact on the taste.  But if you're just trying to invert it to get glucose and fructose as opposed to sucrose and keep the color the same then I doubt there is any impact.  It's all going to get fermented out anyway.

The only difference I see would be that it might be easier for the yeast to ferment the glucose and fructose.  But if you're not having a fermentation problem in the first place (and as said above not going for color) then it would seem to be an unnecessary step.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: denny on February 05, 2011, 02:33:54 PM
Sugar ferments faster and cleaner when it has been inverted first.  The yeasties can concentrate on fermentation only instead of conversion and fermentation.

That's the theory.  In real life brewing I haven't found that it makes any difference.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: Steve on February 05, 2011, 02:47:48 PM
It's very easy to make your own.  You need:

4 cups cane sugar
2 cups of water
1/4 tsp citric acid (available from LHBS)

Here is a pastry chef's recipe, much like Punatic's (with some differences). http://www.chefeddy.com/2009/11/invert-sugar/ (http://www.chefeddy.com/2009/11/invert-sugar/) The recipe is half way down the page. There are some photos with metric conversions.   He writes that the sugar can be stored for up to 6 months in closed container in the fridge so you could make a load of it.
(http://www.chefeddy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/DSC_0057-1024x680.jpg)
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: tygo on February 05, 2011, 03:29:23 PM
Sugar ferments faster and cleaner when it has been inverted first.  The yeasties can concentrate on fermentation only instead of conversion and fermentation.

That's the theory.  In real life brewing I haven't found that it makes any difference.

I haven't used invert sugar so I can't say whether it makes a difference from my personal experience.  But I've never had any problems with the yeasties tackling a beer with 20% sucrose.  I've got one like that in the kettle right now as a matter of fact and another carbing up in the bottles as I speak.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: tubercle on February 05, 2011, 05:44:44 PM
Quote
For brewing purposes it doesn't matter. Its a waste of time

Why is there a market (us!) for $8/lb. Belgian Candi sugars?!?

 Marketing (see also: P.T. Barnum).

If there wasn't a demand there wouldn't be a supply. Economics 101.
Title: Re: source for Invert Sugar?
Post by: punatic on February 05, 2011, 10:30:25 PM
Sugar ferments faster and cleaner when it has been inverted first.  The yeasties can concentrate on fermentation only instead of conversion and fermentation.

That's the theory.  In real life brewing I haven't found that it makes any difference.


Brewing?  Hmmm...  I hadn't thought about it that way...   ;)