Author Topic: making invert sugar  (Read 618 times)

Offline case thrower

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making invert sugar
« on: May 08, 2018, 11:36:56 AM »
In another thread, there was a post about a Ron Pattinson recipe (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=31727.0) and that recipe used invert sugar.  I contacted Ron and he was kind enough to reply with these directions.

No. 1 invert is a specific type of sugar used in brewing. It's very different to table sugar.

This is how to make it youirself at home:

Making invert sugar

As brewers’ invert sugars aren’t easily available, making them yourself is probably the best option. It doesn’t take a huge amount of ingredients or equipment. You’ll need:

•   cane sugar (not table sugar)
•   citric acid
•   water
•   a candy thermometer
•   a saucepan

This is what you do:

•   For each pound (455 g) of sugar you use, bring 1 pint (473 ml) of water to the boil.
•   Switch off the heat and add the sugar slowly, dissolving it.
•   Add 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) of citric acid per pound of sugar.
•   Turn on the heat again (not too high) and set the alarm on the candy thermometer to 230ºF (110ºC).
•   Stir frequently while it starts to simmer.
•   When the temperature hits 230ºF (110, reset the alarm for 240ºF (115.6ºC).
•   Heat slowly (the slower the better) until the temperature gets to 240ºF (115.6ºC).
•   Lower the heat to keep at 240ºF–250ºF (115.6ºC –121.1ºC).
•   For No. 1 maintain at heat for 20–30 minutes.
•   For No. 2 maintain at heat for 90–120 minutes.
•   For No. 3 maintain at heat for 150–210 minutes.
•   For No. 4 maintain at heat for 240–300 minutes.

The colors you’re aiming for are:

•   No. 1, 12-16 SRM
•   No. 2, 30-35 SRM
•   No. 3, 60-70 SRM
•   No. 4, 275-325 SRM

Thank you, Ron!
Dave C.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 12:25:51 PM »
One of these days I will need to try making some invert.

I picked up a pound can of liquid cane syrup a while back in TX. That may be my first attempt.
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Offline Robert

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 01:07:22 PM »
One of these days I will need to try making some invert.

I picked up a pound can of liquid cane syrup a while back in TX. That may be my first attempt.
These are exactly the instructions in Ron's Vintage book.  I think he intends regular granulated sugar, not cane syrup, as he gives a specific sugar to water ratio.  I think the distinction he makes between "cane" and "table" sugar relates to the fact that some cheaper table sugars (read labels in the supermarket) blend cane sugar and dextrose or other sugars; this may be more common across the pond.  Most regular sugar brands in the US are 100% cane sugar.  My sincere admiration to any of you who actually try this, it seems like a helluva effort! The cane syrup will make a delicious pecan pie, Jeff.  Or maybe a tasty kettle sugar on its own?
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 01:28:42 PM »
One of these days I will need to try making some invert.

I picked up a pound can of liquid cane syrup a while back in TX. That may be my first attempt.
These are exactly the instructions in Ron's Vintage book.  I think he intends regular granulated sugar, not cane syrup, as he gives a specific sugar to water ratio.  I think the distinction he makes between "cane" and "table" sugar relates to the fact that some cheaper table sugars (read labels in the supermarket) blend cane sugar and dextrose or other sugars; this may be more common across the pond.  Most regular sugar brands in the US are 100% cane sugar.  My sincere admiration to any of you who actually try this, it seems like a helluva effort! The cane syrup will make a delicious pecan pie, Jeff.  Or maybe a tasty kettle sugar on its own?
I have thought of just using the Syrup as a kettle sugar, might work really well in a Best Bitter.

Table sugar is highly refined. Some table sugar says cane sugar, but that differentiates it from beet sugar (both are 99+% glucose). Instructions I have read say to use Turbinado or Demerara sugar, “raw sugars”. The syrup would be closer to the Turbinado.

http://www.unholymess.com/blog/beer-brewing-info/making-brewers-invert/comment-page-1

The UK has a lot of cane sugar from the Caribbean, Barbados IIRC.

Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Robert

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 03:40:07 PM »
Hmm.  Less refined sugars will have small amounts of acetic acid and other stuff that might affect chemistry as well as flavor? I'd still think the dry sugars would give a more accurate ratio of sugar to water.  I like the idea of cane syrup in a best bitter; I've used jaggery and piloncillo in them to good effect. 
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline kramerog

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 03:48:23 PM »
The Maillard reactions for invert sugar needs proteins/amino acids so some kind of raw cane sugar is necessary.

Here is a shortcut: dissolve 2 pounds of sugar in a pint of water.  The first pound can be easily dissolved before the boil and the second once the boil has started.  Ron's approach requires boiling out 1 lb of excess water to hit the target temperature, which takes some time.  The acid can also be added with the first pound of sugar so that inversion can get underway before the boil. 

Invert no. 1 and 2 can be made fairly easily with enough time.  I've had no success getting to invert no. 3 following Ron's info.  I have seen some information that suggests the invert should be neutralized after invert no. 1 is achieved.  I don't brew enough with invert sugar to have gotten around to figuring out the best way to neutralize the invert.

 

Offline Kevin

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 11:55:39 PM »
Use sugar in the raw.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2018, 07:28:30 PM »
I posted about my attempt at making brewer's invert sugar syrup back in early 2017.
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=28727.msg377557#msg377557
It was easy and fun and made good beer.
edit:  After clicking on the link, scroll up to see the recipe.  Sorry that the picture is gone.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 07:34:31 PM by Philbrew »
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2018, 09:04:45 PM »
I love that lead in to the Unholy Mess reason to make invert. It cracks me up every time I read it. LOL.


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Offline chumley

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 10:45:25 PM »
I made some invert a couple of weeks ago for a throwback mild.  Used a raw cane sugar per recommendations here:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/invert-syrups-making-simple-sugars-complex-beers/

I simmered it for a couple of hours while I mashed and sparged, and a poured the molten sugar into my boil.  Glad I made it at the time, as the syrup left if the bottom of the pot turned hard as a rock when it cooled to room temperature. 

I kegged the beer yesterday, and am looking forward to tasting the results in a couple of weeks.

Offline stpug

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2018, 12:40:22 AM »
I do invert a few times a year for various beers.  It's easy and only takes waiting for the duration you're after in terms of color/flavor characteristics.  I just made up a few pounds a week ago; pulled half at 150min for Invert2 and left the rest to get Invert3 at about 225min.  The difference between the two is remarkable, and the results from both are a gestalt (you'd never guess it's just turbinado sugar with all the fruit character going on, and you'd never guess they came from the same batch)!  I use lactic as opposed to citric acid, and now I think I need to give the citric a shot to see what kind of difference it makes.

The oven is your friend when making invert, and as much as it seems like a "quickening of the process" to exclude the majority of the water (and I've done that a couple times), the results are better by NOT reducing the water amount.  I believe the initial watery solution allows the inversion to take place in a way that's not the same with less water - not to mention the overall time savings is only about 10min.  Get your solution to 240F and put your covered, oven-proof pot in the oven (I have to maintain my oven at ~255F to keep 240F in the sugar solution).  Temper your canning jars with hot water for several minutes prior to pouring your invert into them so they don't crack.

I've used homemade invert exclusively since discovering it several years ago.  Homemade belgian candy syrups are equally as fascinating, and unique - requiring a difference set of ingredients and instructions.