Author Topic: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup  (Read 3333 times)

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« on: February 08, 2017, 05:24:11 AM »
 I’ve read that to brew an “authentic” English ale you need to include some brewer’s invert sugar syrup.  A couple months back, stpug commented that it was easy to make and posted this link on how to do it.
 http://www.unholymess.com/blog/beer-brewing-info/making-brewers-invert

Since I’ve become enamored with English ales and it sounded like a fun brewing/cooking evening’s project, I decided to give it a go.
I chose to try the first of the two methods in the link since the ingredients were easily obtainable or on hand.  I had lactic acid and the local supermarket sold a 4 lb. package of Sugar-In-The-Raw turbinado for $6.65. (No sense in making just a little)  So, recipe was:
4 pints water
4 lbs. Sugar-in-the Raw
8 ml. lactic acid (88%)
.25 lb. corn sugar
  Aside:  I didn’t have a remote reading thermometer but my quick read, pen style thermometer worked fine (Javelin Pro, similar to Thermopen).
 
Bring water to boil, turn off heat and stir in sugar.  Add lactic and resume slowly heating to 240 deg F.  This takes a lot longer than you would think (an hour +).  First you have to boil off most of the water.  Then it gets to 231.8 *F and sticks there for like 20 minutes while it makes funny looking bubbles.  I’m guessing that is when the sugar is inverting.  Then it stops bubbling and slowly increases to 240*F.
At that point it was probably invert #1 but I was going for invert #2.  So I stuck the pot in our convection oven set for 240 and checked it every 20 minutes.  After 2 hours it was at 243*F and looking nice and dark.  I poured it in pint and ½ pint jars and pressure cooker canned it at 240-250 for 30 minutes.  Should stay good for months (years?).


    Results:  It definitely got to invert #2.
 
     I think about SRM 34.  It looks a little darker in the photo than in person.  This was looking down thru 5 cm of syrup at a white sunlit background.

 
I ended up with 4.9 lbs. of syrup from 4.25 lbs of sugar so some water got bound in.  That calculates to ~86% sugar. And turbinado is ~96% sugar and 4% impurities.  (It’s that 4% that gives it the flavors that you’re after).  So, .86 x .96 = .82 or 82% yield for entering into BeerSmith.
 
Now for the flavor.  Mmmm, delicious!  Definitely lots of raisin and honey with a little caramel and a buttery mouthfeel (not flavor).
 
I tried it at 10% in a ordinary/best bitters on Monday.  I’ll report on it in 3-4 weeks.
 
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Phil_M

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1694
  • Southern Maryland
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 01:07:02 PM »
Looking forward to hearing how it turns out. I've been using unholymess's dilution method, but I've heard making it from scratch is better.

I know someone from work who makes his own candi syrup. Pretty much just like invert, but he uses DAP nutrient to provide the ammonia to "fix" the color.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3123
  • Barre, Ma
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 01:13:41 PM »
Thanks for posting. I actually am planning on doing this over the weekend to put in an English Pale ale from the shut up about Barclay Perkins blog. I have a big bag of turbinado so I'm ready to go.
I like the trick of holding it at 240 in the oven.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline stpug

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 701
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 02:44:13 PM »
Very nice write-up and the results looks very similar to what I get from the Invert #2 method (which was my favorite for sure).  I also like the oven holding-temp method (why didn't I think of that?? :D).

Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1813
    • View Profile
    • My LinkedIn page
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 02:56:43 PM »
Look forward to hear how it turned out.  A few improvements to the method: 1)Corn sugar is unnecessary.  We're  making invert syrup, not caramel.  2) You can cut the water in half; boiling off the excess water wastes a lot of time.  3) You can add 1/2 the sugar and all the acid to the water while initially heating the water and add the rest of the sugar after boiling; no need to wait until boiling to start inverting the syrup.


Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 04:32:38 PM »
Look forward to hear how it turned out.  A few improvements to the method: 1)Corn sugar is unnecessary.  We're  making invert syrup, not caramel.  2) You can cut the water in half; boiling off the excess water wastes a lot of time.  3) You can add 1/2 the sugar and all the acid to the water while initially heating the water and add the rest of the sugar after boiling; no need to wait until boiling to start inverting the syrup.
Yeah, I thought maybe the corn sugar wasn't needed.  Next time I'll just nix it.  And your recommendations 2 & 3 make sense.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6195
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 09:03:55 PM »
Can't wait to try this myself. Thanks for sharing, and keep us posted on your results!
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 06:27:21 PM »
Early results on 10% in an English Bitters brewed on 2/6: 

- Really good tasting FG sample.  Nice rich flavor.

- Much better attenuation with Lallemand ESB yeast than the last English Bitter brewed with that yeast.  1.009 vs. 1.015  Though some (much?) of that improvement could be due to lower mash temp.

Beer is cold crashing now.  Then gel fine and bottle carb.  I'll report back when it's ready to drink.  Cheers!
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Phil_M

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1694
  • Southern Maryland
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 07:38:50 PM »
Early results on 10% in an English Bitters brewed on 2/6: 

- Really good tasting FG sample.  Nice rich flavor.

- Much better attenuation with Lallemand ESB yeast than the last English Bitter brewed with that yeast.  1.009 vs. 1.015  Though some (much?) of that improvement could be due to lower mash temp.

Beer is cold crashing now.  Then gel fine and bottle carb.  I'll report back when it's ready to drink.  Cheers!

That's still a high final gravity compared to my beers using invert. Typically I'm lower than 1.005.

Wonder if that has to do with me using the Lyle's and blackstrap dilution method, and you using homemade syrup...
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 08:05:33 PM »
Any idea on shelf life if not pressure canned?

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 08:53:42 PM »
Early results on 10% in an English Bitters brewed on 2/6: 

- Really good tasting FG sample.  Nice rich flavor.

- Much better attenuation with Lallemand ESB yeast than the last English Bitter brewed with that yeast.  1.009 vs. 1.015  Though some (much?) of that improvement could be due to lower mash temp.

Beer is cold crashing now.  Then gel fine and bottle carb.  I'll report back when it's ready to drink.  Cheers!

That's still a high final gravity compared to my beers using invert. Typically I'm lower than 1.005.

Wonder if that has to do with me using the Lyle's and blackstrap dilution method, and you using homemade syrup...
Or could it be that the Lallemand ESB yeast isn't a super attenuater?
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2017, 08:59:27 PM »
Any idea on shelf life if not pressure canned?
I would think that it would have a pretty good shelf life, especially refrigerated.  After all, you're putting it in warmed-up jars at 240*F.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2017, 09:01:52 PM »
Thanks. I used to think this would be too much effort with the need for lactic acid or cream of tartar, but I think I'll give it a shot considering I have lactic on hand and could use an afternoon activity with all this rain coming down the pipe.

Offline pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3123
  • Barre, Ma
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2017, 09:07:52 PM »
Any idea on shelf life if not pressure canned?
We make syrups for cocktails and they last for months in the fridge. Add a small amount of high proof alcohol and they will last indefinitely in the fridge.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Brewer's Invert Sugar Syrup
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 02:13:00 AM »
Thanks. I used to think this would be too much effort with the need for lactic acid or cream of tartar, but I think I'll give it a shot considering I have lactic on hand and could use an afternoon activity with all this rain coming down the pipe.
It's easy and fun if you like cooking.  Let me (us all) know how it went.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.