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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