How to make Belgian Candi Syrup
In a previous post I have discussed the benefits of Belgian Candi Sugar and have walked through the simple process of making your own. Using the adjunct in your brews usually involves adding the sugar 5 minutes before flameout. However, when adding the sugar at this stage time is needed before the solid mass fully dissolves and incorporate itself into the wort.
One way to to lessen the amount of time needed to incorporate the candi sugar into the wort and subsequently retain as much of its characteristics as possible is to preprocess the belgian candi sugar into a syrup form. The good news is that once you have in your possession some belgian candi sugar converting it to belgian candi syrup is a very simple task that we will walk through in the following tutorial.
Since the belgian candi sugar we made in the previous tutorial (or that you have purchased from your local homebrew shop) has already been cooked to candy’s hard crack stage it will not revert back to the previous stages of consistency once heated. Therefore we simply need to dissolve the candi sugar in a minimal amount of water to create a viscous syrup.
For this tutorial we will be utilizing the previously concocted candi sugar in its entirety to create 2 pounds of amber-colored belgian candi syrup.
Step #1 – Add water to candi sugar
Place the cooking pot over medium heat and add half of the candi sugar. Note that you could go ahead and add all of the sugar to the cooking pot at this point, but in the early stages of dissolving the syrup you may end up with an overly viscous mass that can be difficult to work with.
As noted in the belgian candi sugar tutorial it doesn’t take a lot of water to dissolve a fairly large amount of sugar. This is good since we don’t want to end up adding too much water to the wort when adding the candi syrup and inadvertently messing with the target gravity of the brew.
For this example we will add one (1) cup of water to the sugar and begin stirring.
Step #2 – Heat mixture while stirring
With the mixture over medium heat stir constantly until the mixture dissolves into a smooth syrup.
Be patient and don’t be tempted to raise the heat to speed up the process- you don’t want the mixture to boil or even obtain a simmer. Things may seem to proceed at a glacial pace but for the most part it won’t take that long for everything to properly dissolve.
Step #3 – Add remaining candi sugar and stir until dissolved
Once you have a smooth syrup in your cooking vessel we will and add the remaining candi sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
When the remaining sugar is incorporated you will have your finished belgian candi syrup. If the mixture is too thick for your needs incorporate a bit of water until you have achieved your desired consistency. However, make sure to only add what is absolutely necessary as to avoid subsequently adding too much water to the wort when adding the syrup.
Step #3 – Store it
If you’re an obsessive pack-rat like me then you likely have some spare jars just waiting to be used for storage. For this example I am using an old jar from Wal-Mart that once upon a time many years ago contained some tasty black bean and corn salsa.
While the mixture is still hot go ahead and pour it into your container. Taking a cue from canning aficionados you can invert the jar for 30 minutes to an hour to aid in sealing the jar.
Note that if your container is not glass I would recommend letting the mixture cool before pouring off and storing.
Congratulations! If you have been following the tutorial up to this point you now have your very own cheap and customized belgian candi syrup. If not what are you waiting for? Now that you know how easy it is to make get thee to the kitchen and whip up your very own batch of belgian candi syrup.
Your beer will thank you.