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Author Topic: Caramel as an Ingredient  (Read 391 times)

Offline Clint Yeastwood

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Caramel as an Ingredient
« on: November 08, 2023, 03:37:28 pm »
Anyone here ever use caramel in beer? I mean caramel the ingredient, not Kraft caramels or Smucker's caramel sauce. You take sugar and a little water, and you burn it in a saucepan until you get a delicious brown liquid. It's used in things like flan. It's just burned table sugar. Period.

I asked about this somewhere else, and the discussion instantly descended into the Hell of Unsuccessful Internet Pedantry, with people Googling and scrambling, trying to redefine "caramel."

I like a little caramel flavor in some beers. I was thinking that even if the sugar remaining in the caramel got eaten by yeast, the new ingredients created by the burning might remain and flavor the beer a little.

Seems like it should work in any recipe calling for candi sugar or table sugar.

I left some Sierra Nevada Torpedo in my un-air-conditioned workshop for at least a year, and then I chilled some and drank it anyway, because that's how I am. It seemed to have developed a nice caramel flavor. I liked it better than Torpedo fresh from the store. I set it aside to age now. There was also a beer I liked when I was in college. Altenmuenster something or other, I think.
Go ahead. Make my IPA.

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Online denny

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Re: Caramel as an Ingredient
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2023, 04:05:56 pm »
Caramel will likely ferment out completely and leave no flavor. Based on what you said, it seems the flavors you like likely come from oxidation. Try using a bit of crystal 60 to recreate that.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Kevin

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Re: Caramel as an Ingredient
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2023, 06:53:45 am »
Have you ever tried invert sugar? Invert #3 offers a wonderful, caramel like character. It also adds a lot of color too however. I have not used the lighter colored #1 or #2 but they might provide some of that flavor without so much color.
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Offline Clint Yeastwood

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Re: Caramel as an Ingredient
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2023, 05:53:37 pm »
I have not tried it.
Go ahead. Make my IPA.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Caramel as an Ingredient
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2023, 08:07:01 pm »
Have you ever tried invert sugar? Invert #3 offers a wonderful, caramel like character. It also adds a lot of color too however. I have not used the lighter colored #1 or #2 but they might provide some of that flavor without so much color.
I use Invert #2 all the time, and yes the color contribution is lower than #3. I find the flavor to be less in-your-face than #3, with a nice toffee/caramel note. I've subbed in #3 in place of Invert #2 in recipes and found the caramel flavor to be noticibly more potent.
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Caramel as an Ingredient
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2023, 01:53:17 pm »
btw, the same people who saw your post at hbt are also here.  ;)
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Offline brewthru

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Re: Caramel as an Ingredient
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2023, 02:25:48 pm »
Don't British yeast have somewhat of a caramel profile? Thoughts?

Offline BrewnWKopperKat

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Re: Caramel as an Ingredient
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2023, 02:58:33 pm »
btw, the same people who saw your post at hbt are also here.  ;)
There are a small number of personas who cross post questions -and- (almost always) bring out the best in each forum. 

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing more of "Clint" here (and there). 


Online denny

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Re: Caramel as an Ingredient
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2023, 03:40:11 pm »
Don't British yeast have somewhat of a caramel profile? Thoughts?

Not necessarily,  but many British beers use crystal malt, which would give that flavor
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Offline Clint Yeastwood

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Re: Caramel as an Ingredient
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2023, 06:34:51 pm »
btw, the same people who saw your post at hbt are also here.  ;)
There are a small number of personas who cross post questions -and- (almost always) bring out the best in each forum. 

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing more of "Clint" here (and there).

Thanks. This time, I brought out the worst over there, so I thought I would have better luck here. And I did.

Sometimes I irritate people because I'm an unorthodox brewer, and I ask questions that seem weird to people who are working hard to make the most of existing doctrine instead of wandering off on eccentric tangents that may or may not pay off. Can't really help that.
Go ahead. Make my IPA.

Eccentricity is its own reward.