Author Topic: homemade caramel in brewing?  (Read 2059 times)

Offline rbclay

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homemade caramel in brewing?
« on: February 13, 2012, 07:27:58 PM »
at work our Pastry Chef makes caramel by boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk. it is very tasty. of course i am intrigued and want to brew with it. i am thinking it may add the proper lactic qualities, and some caramel sweetness, to a sweet stout. any thoughts? anyone ever try this?
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 09:00:55 PM »
the sweet doesn't come from lactose, or not all of it does. so it will ferment quite a bit. laso I am not sure about the fat content. but I say give it a try. if you are worried about making a 5 gallon mess, make a 1 gallon mess instead. :D
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Offline euge

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 09:45:53 PM »
There is a fat content. I hear ya though. Flavor is more important than head and retention. Who wouldn't want that rich silky flavor against the hops?

I agree. A one gallon pilot batch to see.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline rbclay

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 09:56:09 PM »
sounds like a good plan. i'll get a recipe together.
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Offline skyler

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 11:14:58 PM »
there is such a thing as nonfat sweetened condensed milk, i think

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 11:47:51 PM »
there is such a thing as nonfat sweetened condensed milk, i think

There is non-fat condensed milk, but it might retain enough fat to mess with your beer's head. If you can't get sweetened non-fat condensed milk, you can add your own sugar to sweeten it. I guess you could even use lactose sugar.

Offline phillamb168

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 05:40:20 AM »
Not to be picky (ok, I'll be picky) but what he's making actually is dulce de leche (confiture du lait, if you will) and not caramel. If we're going to be strict about things, caramel is made by melting sugar in a pan :-)

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Offline rbclay

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 07:19:23 AM »
all good points. however, i can't add my own sugar to non-fat condensed milk in this case. the dulce de leche is made by boiling the unopened can in water for 2 hours. at work, we take a case (6 #10 cans) and boil them in a 40gal steam kettle. at home i am making it with one small 14oz. can.  the tricky part is making sure you watch it and not let the water level go below the can.

since the fat will likely ruin head retention anyhow, i am sticking with regular sweetened condensed milk. only thing in the can is milk and sugar. you couldn't do this with unsweetened condensed milk, if there is such a thing. has to have the sugar in there.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 08:17:16 AM »
Not to be picky (ok, I'll be picky) but what he's making actually is dulce de leche (confiture du lait, if you will) and not caramel. If we're going to be strict about things, caramel is made by melting sugar in a pan :-)



now that you mention that I seem to remember a beer that was made with dulce de leche. can't remember who made it or anything but...
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline euge

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 09:04:32 AM »
Not to be picky (ok, I'll be picky) but what he's making actually is dulce de leche (confiture du lait, if you will) and not caramel. If we're going to be strict about things, caramel is made by melting sugar in a pan :-)



now that you mention that I seem to remember a beer that was made with dulce de leche. can't remember who made it or anything but...

Was it Phil? Lol
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Offline majorvices

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 09:36:51 AM »
I just can't get over putting milk in beer, including lactose. Sounds revolting to me. Also, aside from barley wines, I take issue when a beer has no head retention regardless of the flavor.
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Offline hoser

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 09:53:38 AM »
IMHO opinion, the fat content concerns when using things like coconut and the like are a little overblown.  Especially if you keg your beer.  Fat and oils float, so if you are serving from a keg the beer is pulled from underneath the layer of oil on top of the beer.  I routinely make a Hawaiian porter that contains 1.5lbs of coconut with 0.25lbs of cacoa nibs and a couple of ounces of coffee all in the secondary.  When I go to clean the keg after transfer you can definitely see the remnants of the oil and fat, but the beer always has a dense luxurious head.  If it is a concern, I say do a small experimental batch first as others have mentioned.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2012, 12:01:22 PM »
I just can't get over putting milk in beer, including lactose. Sounds revolting to me. Also, aside from barley wines, I take issue when a beer has no head retention regardless of the flavor.
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Offline richardt

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Re: homemade caramel in brewing?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2012, 12:02:31 PM »
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=6702.0

Prior thread discusses Dark Candi Sugar and making Caramel.