Author Topic: Caramelization temperature  (Read 657 times)

Offline Roanokay

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Caramelization temperature
« on: June 18, 2021, 07:49:59 AM »
Hi all. I saw a YouTube video about baking and Caramelization and it stated that it occurs above 350F. So I checked the Wikipedia about this and it varies with type of sugar and pH. But none seem to be at ~210F(boil). I think that I have read statements that say Caramelization occurs during a boil and am wondering if this is in fact true. Thanks.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Caramelization temperature
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2021, 11:18:33 AM »
You point out misinformation that oft repeated.  NO, 'carmelization' does not ever occur in the boil.  The temperature is too low.  However, there are Maillard reactions and browning that occurs which are mistaken for carmelization.

To carmelize wort, you have to boil it down to the point that it becomes quite thick.  The temperature can then elevate into the range that carmelization can actually occur.
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Offline denny

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Re: Caramelization temperature
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2021, 02:11:32 PM »
As Martin said, you've run across one of the myths of brewing.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Caramelization temperature
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 02:23:19 PM »
I think it really was a common misuse of the term "carmelization" for many years - as compared to a more correct description of a reduction boil  used to cause Maillard reactions (browning) and a concentrated wort that is added back to the main boil, especially in some Scottish Ales recipes.  I have done the Traquoir House reduction boil and had good results in that Scottish Ale setting.  I have heard it casually called "carmelizing" or "kettle carmelization" in that context, which is an incorrect description.  I was guilty of perpetuating that misnomer, I am sure.  I stand corrected.  We keep learning and correcting ourselves in this hobby, which is a good thing!

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Offline Kevin

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Re: Caramelization temperature
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2021, 12:08:33 AM »
And then there is issue that the major Scottish brewers boiled the same as and no longer than ...and sometimes less than London brewers. Carmelization is one of those Scottish brewing myths that just are not supported by the brewing records.
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Offline denny

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Re: Caramelization temperature
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2021, 12:13:01 AM »
And then there is issue that the major Scottish brewers boiled the same as and no longer than ...and sometimes less than London brewers. Carmelization is one of those Scottish brewing myths that just are not supported by the brewing records.

In this case, you don't do it because they did...you do it because of the result it produces.  I certainly don't think it's historical and I don't believe many do.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Caramelization temperature
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2021, 01:32:02 AM »
I think part of the myth is the confusion between "caramelizing" and "melanoidin". The wort does get darker if you boil it longer. Decoctions cause a darker end product as well.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Caramelization temperature
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2021, 12:08:33 PM »
I think part of the myth is the confusion between "caramelizing" and "melanoidin". The wort does get darker if you boil it longer. Decoctions cause a darker end product as well.

I agree! 

I did a decoction last weekend on an Oktoberfest and the mash darkened quite a lot.  Seemed like I finally did one correctly.  I didn't expect and did not get any caramelizing just darker color.

Good discussion!

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Offline Kevin

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Re: Caramelization temperature
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2021, 01:52:07 PM »
And then there is issue that the major Scottish brewers boiled the same as and no longer than ...and sometimes less than London brewers. Carmelization is one of those Scottish brewing myths that just are not supported by the brewing records.

In this case, you don't do it because they did...you do it because of the result it produces.  I certainly don't think it's historical and I don't believe many do.

You know as well as I do Denny that many brewers, homebrewers and otherwise, think that to make a "Scottish" style beer they need to caramelize the wort. The problem is not whether you should caramelize or not... the problem is in perpetuating the myth that carmelization somehow makes it Scottish. It doesn't and it is not.
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Offline denny

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Re: Caramelization temperature
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2021, 02:24:13 PM »
And then there is issue that the major Scottish brewers boiled the same as and no longer than ...and sometimes less than London brewers. Carmelization is one of those Scottish brewing myths that just are not supported by the brewing records.

In this case, you don't do it because they did...you do it because of the result it produces.  I certainly don't think it's historical and I don't believe many do.

You know as well as I do Denny that many brewers, homebrewers and otherwise, think that to make a "Scottish" style beer they need to caramelize the wort. The problem is not whether you should caramelize or not... the problem is in perpetuating the myth that carmelization somehow makes it Scottish. It doesn't and it is not.

Actually, no, I don't know that.  I know of almost no brewers who think it's a historically accurate technique.
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