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Author Replies
10/28/08 01:04 PM  
Clear candy syrup
Wanted to know about this stuff and could not find any. Danm, and I had designs on a tripple. So I asked Brian where it could be found. No surprise, the answer was my doorstep a week later!

I can't say this from the prespective of knowing the finished beer, but I have to say this syrup is what tripple brewing has always needed IMO. Clear as water and as tastey as you would expect from the liquid candy lineup. I suggest looking for it come tripple brewing time.

10/28/08 01:08 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
Northern Brewer sells it.

10/29/08 08:14 AM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
I should have mentioned, also in the box were a few experimental syrups. Included was a second clear syrup based on maltose.
Brian Mercer
10/30/08 05:54 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
The Maltose syrup can be used to increase gravity, increase mouthfeel and have a fermentation that is more normal due to the syrup having the same sugar profile as wort except that in this case it contributes no flavor. Great for a tripel!
11/01/08 01:32 AM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
I just can't justify spending 8.99 on 8 oz of syrup anymore...
Brian Mercer
11/01/08 01:55 AM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
8 oz for 8.99 is a bit high. Our syrups are 8.99 for 16 oz. We offer twice as much for the same price!

But seriously, If you are happy with your beer, then you should not change it for ANY price.

11/01/08 02:20 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
Sorry, that's what I meant, 16 oz....

I just don't have the extra cash these days.... that's almost as much as three lbs. of DME. It's a large bump to the overall cost of my beer. I used to use the syrups more but now I just tend to add dextrose to boost alcohol and lighten body, MUCH cheaper.

Brian I'm curious what your thoughts are on dextrose vs. candi syrup (or rock candi for that matter). People always say there's no difference but I find the candi sugar definitely lends flavor, not just alcohol and lighter body. Even for the clear syrup. What do you think?

Brian Mercer
11/01/08 02:50 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
I understand the price issue. In fact from my side we have a price issue too. We are making the syrups available to homebrewer but we are just breaking even. Our business is commercial supply. The volumes for homebrew are just too low to make any profit at the current retail price. But, since I am a homebrewer and I really want homebrewers to have access to them. But thats my problem and not yours.

As for the Dextrose vs. Candi Syrup. We have to make sure that we are comparing the clear candi syrup and not dark syrup to dextrose. If so, then the difference would be:

dextrose= dryer, with no flavor added from addition

Clear candi syrup= less dry, typical sweet candi flavor from addition

Clear candi sugar (ROCKS)= same a the dextrose, only dryness and alcohol

It's important to understand that this stuff is not magic, in that no sugar will make a bad beer suddenly good. Rather, different sugars are flavors or tools to achieve a desired effect. No sugar choice will be wrong. In fact, every sugar will offer exactly what it can based on the brewers usage and brewing conditions. Just like grain or yeast or water. Just decide what you want in a beer and figure out what you need to get there. For instance, Duvel uses dextrose and it is a fine beer. Saison Dupont uses no sugar and it too is a fine beer. But they are not the same beer. (Thank God)

I hope my opinion and small amount of knowledge has helped in some way.

11/01/08 03:40 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
Thanks for the insight Brian. I know sugar wont make a not so good beer better, that's not really what I was getting at. I was just curious about the "flavor" aspect really. I have heard and read over and over that people don't see any difference between candi sugar and dextrose. But I disagree, I've always found the candi sugar to add that "sweet" flavor you describe, even when the resulting beer is dry. I'm glad to hear that you too believe there's a difference. I prefer dextrose in saisons because it's so clean, but prefer to use candi sugar in tripels, for the flavor it lends.

I did not realize you guys do mostly commercial supply, makes sense that the homebrew supply is much smaller and therefore more expensive. I certainly do appreciate someone making quality brewing sugars available to the homebrewer.... but for awhile I was brewing so much that again the cost was tough.

Brian, where can I find your contact info? I'd like to talk to you about getting some syrup on the commercial level.

Brian Mercer
11/03/08 03:52 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup

I know that there is a flavor difference between dextrose/plain sugar- and White/Clear candi syrup.

Send me your address and I ship out a few samples to you. Or I can be reached at:mercer@darkcandi.com

11/03/08 03:52 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
>>I'm curious what your thoughts are on dextrose vs. candi syrup<<

Ben, I've always taken a very un-achedemic but, IMO, very practical approach here. Got this from a shop owner in my early days. I asked which of two crystals he preferred, he said "Who cares, you taste them. Crunch a few kernals of each, decide what you'd rather put in your beer". Well, OK, duh. It's easy to loose sight of that simple test and get wrapped up in specs and math. Tastes the syrup, taste detrose. If you feel there is little difference use the cheaper one. But if you feel there is a notable difference, and you are making a commercially expensive style like triple, then is $9 really all that much?

11/03/08 04:11 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
In my experience, that isnt' a fair test steve.

Dextrose and corn sugar taste NOTHING alike, but have very similar effects on a finished beer. I don't think that when it comes to sugar, a simple taste test is enough. I haven't tried the clear syrup (though I'm really curious) but the dark and D2 do not themselves taste anything like the flavor contributions they add to the finished beer. As you yourself have noted elsewhere on this forum, variables as simple as "time spent in the boil" will change the flavor profile of sugars.

Just my 0.02.

Brian, if you're willing to send me a clear sample, I'd love to give it a whirl as well.


11/03/08 04:22 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
I too am curious to try the clear. I have plans to make a Golden Strong or two in the near future, and have always used table sugar in the past. Might have to try this now.

So it's basically just invert sugar, right? Would home-inverted sugar provide a similar flavor contribution?

11/03/08 05:52 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
Steve, that's pretty much what I'm saying... I have always used one or the other depending on simple sensory analysis - flavor - but the technical types seem to say there's no difference. I beg to differ. I was simply curious of Brian's opinion, who's profession is sugar, and would probably know more than anyone else what the real differences are. I do guess it really comes down to what people taste for themselves, it's just that - an opinion.

In terms of $9 being worth it....sure it's worth it every once and awhile for that special trippel or golden strong, in fact I bought a bottle of the dark not too long ago, and that certainly wasn't my first time. But, for awhile, late spring through mid summer, I was brewing AT LEAST once a week, many of those being saisons or belgian in nature, which I added sugar to. It really would have racked up if I used clear candi syrup all the time.

Brian Mercer
11/03/08 06:25 PM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
No problem for the samples. Send me an e-mail.

11/04/08 11:16 AM  
Re: Clear candy syrup
Hey Ryan, its definately true that brewing is not nearly as simple as "taste this, that's how your beer will taste". Yeah, boil the syrup for a while and it does very different things then in late additions. I have to say though, I know of no other sugar source where that happens. If you add the stuff much later or at knock out you get a very direct expression of the syrups taste. Given the impact other candy syrups have had on beers, its hard for me to accept that it is no different from detrose or corn sugar. Its just not what I've come to expect from Brian's line of syrups.

A while back I remember a guy who helped Tom Baker tell me one year he assisted with production of Old Salty and they added Lyles Golden. I found the stuff and tasted it, its as delicious as syrups get. I mentioned this to a home brew shop owner who schrugged it off, saying "its just invert sugar", like its taste was not a viable factor. I tend to resist that perspective.

I thought the clear syrup tasted very nice, not as delectable as Lyles but then Lyles is golden where this stuff is the color of water.

But you're right in that the taste test is not a crystal ball predicting precisely what you'll get. But I do believe it is an indication of what you'll get, sometimes an excellent one. A blurrier crystal ball if you will. And I wanted to also say that I do think the expense of the syrup is justifyable if its effect is what you are looking for.

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