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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » How To Make Rock Candy Syrup
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How To Make Rock Candy Syrup
The Gnomon
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1293
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-02-19 05:57 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-15 21:43, kleptic wrote:
do i need to put this in the fridge or is it ok left out?



I've never refrigerated mine.


 
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The Gnomon
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1293
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-02-19 06:37 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-16 06:30, Scottes wrote:
So it sound like 18oz water and 3.5 pounds of sugar is a good starting place to yield 1.5 quarts of RCS (though having some more sugar around is a good idea). Sounds about right Gnomon?

18:56 ratio, though that's using liquid measure to weight.
That's 9:28, or about 1:3 but you'll add a little more sugar most likely.

Well, that gives us a decent starting place. Thanks!




Whenever I use any kind of measuring cup for the sugar, when I've measured the amount that the package says is inside (e.g., 2 lb/ 32 oz), I always have a little sugar left in the package. The kinds of sugar I use evidently take up more volume than what the graduations on the measuring cups are based on, which logically is heavily processed refined white sugar.

I would recommend that you adjust the formula so that the package is your sugar measuring cup. Whatever quantity of sugar you're using, adjust the water accordingly. At the 1:3 ratio, for 2 lb of sugar you'd use 11 oz (10.67) of water or a touch more.

I've never made any RCS that was not brown, and not brown due to caramelization. You can see from the recently posted pic of the 365 organic cane sugar, it looks fairly white in its granulated state, and when you dissolve a small quantity in water the change in color is almost indiscernible. But if you dissolve any significant quantity into water, even without heating, it reveals its natural color. I think if you want to make clear RCS you have to use refined sugar, which I don't recommend.

When you pour brown RCS into a shaker, it's still brown, of course, but after you shake it up with other ingredients, it makes no contribution to the darkness in a drink. I'd use it with confidence in any light drink.


 
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kleptic
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 15
Posted: 2008-02-25 06:21 am   Permalink

Quote:

I would recommend that you adjust the formula so that the package is your sugar measuring cup. Whatever quantity of sugar you're using, adjust the water accordingly. At the 1:3 ratio, for 2 lb of sugar you'd use 11 oz (10.67) of water or a touch more.



thats awesome information since almost all the high quality sugars come in 2 pound containers. The standard of RCS is born? 2 pounds sugar, 11 oz water.

I have enough rcs to last awhile right now but next time I'll try that ratio.

on another note, somebody said something about adding a little lemon juice. does that stop the rock candy from forming completely or what? I was curious what kind of things people put in besides water and sugar to keep really unstable batches from turning into bricks.






 
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The Gnomon
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Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1293
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-02-25 06:37 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-25 06:21, kleptic wrote:
on another note, somebody said something about adding a little lemon juice. does that stop the rock candy from forming completely or what? I was curious what kind of things people put in besides water and sugar to keep really unstable batches from turning into bricks.




Candy makers use acidity to make their candy soft. The acidity inhibits the formation of crystals.


 
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Martiki-bird
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Joined: Mar 23, 2007
Posts: 136
From: Blue Lory Lounge, NJ
Posted: 2008-02-25 09:48 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-25 06:37, The Gnomon wrote:
Quote:

On 2008-02-25 06:21, kleptic wrote:
on another note, somebody said something about adding a little lemon juice. does that stop the rock candy from forming completely or what? I was curious what kind of things people put in besides water and sugar to keep really unstable batches from turning into bricks.




Candy makers use acidity to make their candy soft. The acidity inhibits the formation of crystals.



Yay! Candymaking! Finally, something I can contribute to.

Adding some form of acid to sugar syrup creates an invert syrup. In candymaking, invert syrup is really only used in soft fillings or soft candies (like York Peppermint Patties or fondants). Invert syrups are used when moisture retention is key. Bakers more regularly use simple or inverted syrups, and there are different formulas depending on what result is deired. (I’ll put the ratios at the end of this post.)

Anyway, back to the acid thing: Sugar (sucrose) is a disaccharide (I hope I spelled that right), the two parts being dextrose and fructose. When you add heat to a mixture of water and sugar, a chemical reaction process called "hydrolysis" begins break down the sucrose into dextrose and fructose (dextrose is a humectant-it binds easily with water.) The end result will be a relatively stable solution of nearly equal dextrose:fructose proportions. Over time, water evaporates and the dextrose and fructose recombine as new sucrose crystals. How quickly this happens (and how large the crystals are) depends on how disproportionate the ratio is and how much water is available.

From my breadmaking days: Adding a pinch of citric acid, ascorbic acid, cream of tarter or a couple of dashes of lemon juice to your water/sugar/heat formula starts the "acid hydrolysis" process. The acid acts as a catalyst and speeds up the conversion process. Flashback to chemistry 101: a catalyst is an agent that speeds up the chemical process, but doesn’t become part of the result. Hydrolysis the breakdown of a componant by water. There are tons of sites that explain this way better than I can. The result is a very stable syrup with an equal dextrose:fructose ratio. The equal ratio gives invert syrup the ability to attract and retain moisture (i.e. hygroscoptic properties) which helps prevent formation of sugar crystals.

What the heck does this have to do with Rock Candy syrup? Well, if you want an unstable syrup, don't add the acid. Adding the acid halfway through the process won't work either as the end-result will have a funny taste.

Random simple syrup stuff
Simple syrup ratios (in order of viscosity) with some general use notes, but it’s not an all-inclusive list, so don’t view it as such.

Hummingbird syrup
1 part sugar to 4 parts water
For feeding the winged ones, or for very lightly swetened drinks such as water with a squeeze of lime.

Glazing syrup
1 part sugar to 2 parts water
For thinning icings, brushing on sponge cake; in compotes and desserts; some candy-making.

Basic simple syrup
1 part sugar to 1 part water
For baking; some candies; candying fruit; as sweetener for beverages and mixed drinks; soda, liqueur and and wine making.

Sorbet syrup (supersaturated syrup)
2 parts sugar to 1 part water
For old-fashioned rock candy; sorbets and other iced confections; some baking; in beverages, syrups and liqueurs when a thick viscosity or higher atomic mass is needed (as in layered drinks).

Basic syrup recipe
Combine the water and sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan (don’t use aluminum). Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not necessary.

If you are planning to add the pinch of acid to the syrup, be sure to allow the solution to boil for 20 minutes (covered) or so to complete the “acid hydrolysis” process. If you want the syrup to form rock crystals, use the sorbet syrup recipe, omit the acid but boil it uncoverd for 20 minutes. After it’s cooled slightly, “seed” it with some loose granules of sugar which will help encourage the crystal formation. Another option is to grow some rock candy crystals in a bottle, then add invert syrup for a pretty but stable bar presentation.

Lastly, freshly prepared simple syrup right off the stove will result in 2nd or 3rd degree burns (as my hands will attest), so be careful!

-Martiki-bird (gina)


 
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BostonTikiTed
Member

Joined: Jul 27, 2011
Posts: 2
Posted: 2011-07-27 5:50 pm   Permalink

Excellent instructions, has anyone tried making a flavored rcs? Cooking up two batches, one with water the other with pineapple juice as a base, I'll post how it comes out.

 
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