Author Topic: making invert sugar  (Read 2058 times)

Offline Robert

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2019, 07:03:43 AM »
This one works well for me:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FB6IFY/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Looks like the one that didn't work so well for me; different manufacturer, same type.  I like the convenience and accuracy of the instant read having tried both.   And it's not a unitasker.
Rob Stein
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2019, 03:33:30 PM »
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.
I like the oven suggestion.

Made some invert using the cane sugar syrup. The taste changed, it reminds me of Lyle's Golden, but a little more flavor.

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Offline Robert

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2019, 03:41:41 PM »
Definitely going to try the oven. And FWIW the two acids I've used are lactic and cream of tartar.   The lactic seems to work better, and as an added benefit I can figure it as part of any kettle acid addition I need.

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« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 03:44:48 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline Robert

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2019, 12:29:34 AM »
Had some time, had some sugar, wasn't 100% satisfied with my last batch of No. 3, so I gave the oven method a try today.  This is the way to go!  Never going back.  Found a setting for my oven that swung around 240°F (remember, never, ever trust an oven thermostat.)  I also went 50% bigger than my typical batch (6 lb of cane sugar vs. 4 lb) on the assumption that the increased thermal mass would further buffer the syrup against the fluctuations of the oven.   The temperature of the syrup held steady at 240°F throughout, and I had hours free to do something besides monitor syrup on the stove.   

I also went back to the larger initial volume of water (1 pt/lb.)  I don't know why, but this really does seem to change the end result. 

Can't wait till I'm supping a pint made with this sugar.

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Rob Stein
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2019, 07:04:53 PM »
I mentioned using the oven next time to my wife. She immediately said "use the Dutch Oven for that". Get the sugar up to 240F on the burner in the Dutch Oven. Trandfer into the preheated oven at 240F. Lots of thermal mass in the cast iron Dutch Oven.
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Offline Robert

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2019, 07:21:30 PM »


I mentioned using the oven next time to my wife. She immediately said "use the Dutch Oven for that". Get the sugar up to 240F on the burner in the Dutch Oven. Trandfer into the preheated oven at 240F. Lots of thermal mass in the cast iron Dutch Oven.

Only if it's enameled and not seasoned iron.  But you probably thought of that. I used my stainless stockpot with aluminium core bottom and held perfectly steady, also it had help from my baking stone which rarely leaves the oven.  I gave a thought to using my big enameled Dutch oven, but thought pouring the syrup out into jars while balancing that weight might yield a regrettable outcome.   If you do use the Dutch oven let us know how it works.  At any rate the oven idea is a game changer.

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Rob Stein
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2019, 01:32:16 PM »
I will run a test with water to see how difficult it is to pour into Mason jars.

It is enameled. I am familiar with the bare cast iron ones. We have had many meals out of those while on Colorado River trips. Now I'm think about doing one again!
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Offline Fiddledeedee

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2019, 02:56:11 AM »
Can anyone suggest a proper candy thermometer? I bought Taylor Candy Thermometer months ago, but the temperature went all over the place.
Taylor candy thermometer was the cause of my early failures in making invert!  I don't think any traditional candy thermometer will be reliable.  I now just use an instant read digital thermometer and have great results.   It's the same one I use for all kitchen and brewing applications.  It's this one to be specific, very high quality: 

Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F59K0KA?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

It doesn't need to sit in the syrup the whole time.  Just keep dipping in to monitor progress.

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Thanks for the recommendation. Spending few hours of doing my own research, I decided to get a Harbor 22 Instant-read Thermometer and it has been accurate so far.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 05:38:59 AM by Fiddledeedee »
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Offline kramerog

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2019, 02:25:14 PM »
Regarding the more concentrated way of making invert that I do, I do a 20 minute rest for the inversion per unholymess instructions.  The instructions in the OP don't have that rest.  I imagine that without the rest the sugar wouldn't fully invert using less water initially.

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2019, 03:36:27 PM »
Is this oven method also used to create darker syrups?
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Offline Robert

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2019, 03:46:24 PM »
Is this oven method also used to create darker syrups?
Yes.  For a light syrup, you only need to hold 236°-240°F for 20-30 minutes to complete inversion, according to all the instructions on the interwebs.   That's easy enough on the  stovetop.   Holding temperature for a number of hours to reach the darker colors is where the oven is a godsend.   You just need to carefully calibrate your oven.  The batch I recently made in the oven was held at 240° for 210 minutes to target No. 3, according to the Ron Pattinson/ unholymess directions.   It darkened impressively.   Moreover, it remains a free flowing syrup, indicating that the temperature had not spiked into the temperature range producing firmer candies, which has been a problem for me in the past.


PS Martin, I use lactic acid for making Invert.  I believe I have found it to give more consistently successful results.  But the real payoff is that I can include the quantity of acid in my syrup in my total kettle acid calculations using Bru'n Water!   I use your program for kettle pH reduction by simply calculating my mash addition, recalculating for the value of my desired kettle pH, and adding the difference in acid quantities to the kettle, assuming that the residual buffering of the malt is mainly what needs to be overcome.  Results are acceptably close.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 03:58:00 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline raf

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2019, 05:18:21 PM »
So then is it possible to make hard-crack sugar by holding the oven temperature around 240° until enough of the water evaporates, or do we really need to be up around 300° for that? I've made invert syrup on the stovetop a number of times before, but wanted to experiment with hard-crack. Not sure if that's a function of cook time, temperature, or both.
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Offline Robert

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2019, 05:30:47 PM »
So then is it possible to make hard-crack sugar by holding the oven temperature around 240° until enough of the water evaporates, or do we really need to be up around 300° for that? I've made invert syrup on the stovetop a number of times before, but wanted to experiment with hard-crack. Not sure if that's a function of cook time, temperature, or both.
It's a function of temperature, 300° as you mention for hard crack.  Additional water doesn't evaporate at a given temperature,  it seems.  Covered in the oven or on the stove, at 240° I always finish with ~75% solids in the syrup.   And using the oven, you still bring it to a boil and then up to 240° on the stovetop.  But at that point you can cover it and place in the oven fo hold temperature for as long as you want.

BTW,  do you want to make hard crack sugar for brewing?  I think syrup will be much easier to dissolve in wort.
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Offline raf

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2019, 05:43:11 PM »
BTW,  do you want to make hard crack sugar for brewing?  I think syrup will be much easier to dissolve in wort.

Thanks Robert. On my last batch of syrup, I got a fair amount of stratification in the jar after it had been stored in the refrigerator. Syrup on top, and near-solid at the bottom. This may have been due to me adding a bit of corn syrup to the pan to help prevent crystallization, though. My thought was that hard-crack would make things easier to manage from a storage standpoint, but perhaps my issue was just procedural.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: making invert sugar
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2019, 06:08:04 PM »
On my last batch of syrup, I got a fair amount of stratification in the jar after it had been stored in the refrigerator. Syrup on top, and near-solid at the bottom.
I end up with something that is more like jelly when cold than a syrup, but I did this on the stovetop and reach temperatures up to 260F - I'm looking to forward to oven preparation.  If you leave the lid off after hitting 240F, you'll continue to get evaporation but not boiling so that might solve your separation issue.

Are you seeing crystals at the bottom?  If so, the inversion was not entirely successful.