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The basic ideas for the recipe are from “Radical Brewing” –Randy Mosher, and from “Brew Like a Monk” –Stan Hieronymus. I spent some time working on a procedure that seems to work really well. The procedures came from various books on candy making and internet resources. Both recipes are temperature sensitive and absolutely dependent on the use of a candy or deep fry thermometer. Do not turn the temperature up past medium. This will result in bitterness and a burnt flavor.

These recipes make ~1 quart.

Sugar #4
This is a simple caramel that can be made into syrups with different colors and flavor characteristics. I made and took notes on six different terminal temperatures from 250F – 300F.

The procedure for making the syrups starts with 2 lbs of sugar, a varied amount of Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP Yeast Nutrient), and 1 cup of water. You bring these three ingredients to a boil over medium heat. You do not want to stir, the gentle convections will do all the mixing that is necessary. Using a thermometer, stop the boil at the desired terminal temperature by adding a varied amount of water while gently stirring the solution. This is the dangerous part, a fair amount of spitting and sputtering might occur. After adding the water you will need to dissolve the syrup by stirring gently until the solution reaches the stage called soft ball (240F). This is when the syrup is done. Stop the cooking by submerging the pan in cool water or by transferring the syrup to a preheated mason jar.

Rose (250F)
-Clear, slightly rosy color. This syrup is sweet and sugary with very little to no character flavors.
2 Lbs Sugar
1 Cup Water
1/2 tsp DAP
1/2 Cup Water

Light (260F)
-Apricot colored with mild flavors reminiscent of peaches and white grape juice. Some very mild warm flavors like soft rounded vanilla.
2 Lbs Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 tsp DAP
3/4 Cup Water

Light Amber (270F)
-Apricot to light amber in color with some red tones developing. Mild caramel flavors with some soft sweet fruit characters developing. Mellow flat vanilla flavor with some warm cardamom tones. Maybe plums and dried apricots in the distant background.
2 Lbs Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 – 1/2 tsp DAP
1 Cup Water

Medium Amber (280F)
-Amber colored. Strong caramels and intensifying cardamom and plum flavors. Some roasted flavor developing but not bitter.
2 Lbs Sugar
1 Cup Water
2 tsp DAP
1 – 1/4 Cup Water

Deep Amber (290F)
-Deep amber with full red colors. Raisins and plums are the dominant flavors with a hint of toast and coffee. Some rummy and mildly woody flavors. Strong complex caramels are present. It is a sophisticated sweetness with a robust, full characteristic. This is my favorite.
2 Lbs Sugar
1 Cup Water
2 – 1/2 tsp DAP
1 – 1/2 Cup Water

Mahogany (300F)
-Mahogany, more brown than red in color. Raisins and figs with some mild bitterness developing. There is a tart sweetness, and a loss of complex caramel flavors. The caramels are replaced by bittersweet toast and burnt sugar characters. It is rich and decadent but not as complex as 290F.
2 Lbs Sugar
1 Cup Water
3 tsp DAP
1 – 3/4 Cup Water


Sugar #5

This is a double cooked sugar that further increases the flavors of 290F without compromising the complex caramels. Think of this sugar as an extension of the 290F recipe. Everything about it is intensified. The procedure is a bit more complicated and it takes nearly an hour to complete, but it is worth the time and effort.
Over medium heat bring to a boil
2 Lbs Sugar
1 Cup Water
3 tsp DAP
Raise this to the terminal temperature of 290F. At 290F begin stirring and add in:
1 Cup Water
Continue stirring until the sugars are dissolved. Again, bring the solution up to 290F over medium heat. At 290F begin stirring and add in:
1 Cup of Water
Stir this until the sugars are dissolved and the temperature starts to rise a couple degrees. This Should be right at or just above soft ball (240F). This is when the syrup is done. Stop the cooking by submerging the pan in cool water or by transferring the syrup to a preheated mason jar.

Happy sugar making and good brewing.

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The exquisite itch

October 2015

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