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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
Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-12-11 12:43 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-12-11 12:09, DJ HawaiianShirt wrote:
Anyway, if the original Mai Tai called for RCS, then I would hope that proportions changed with the usage of SS. Does someone know about this?


THE ORIGINAL FORMULA

2 ounces 17-year-old J. Wray Nephew Jamaican rum
1/2 ounce French Garnier Orgeat
1/2 ounce Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao
1/4 ounce Rock Candy Syrup
juice from one fresh lime


Even though I know better, I always seem to make the first Mai Tai of the night with regular SS. I always pour more in afterwards. But all this has a tendency to change the mouthfeel as well as the sweetness...


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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1289
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-12-11 1:23 pm   Permalink

Homemade RCS is of superior quality to any you can buy. If you are into RCS, then there is no reason to buy someone else's. It's so easy to always have the best.

As for me, I don't really have any use for simple syrup. I'd use it to make a cocktail if that's all that there was available, but it would not be my choice. The main virtue I was extolling was the fact that controlling the ingredients yourself produces the best results and its too easy to do to not do it.

But I disagree with you on the SS vs RCS. The magic of RCS is that it is supersaturated. It has a lot more potential than SS. You can do everything with RCS that you can do with SS, but not vice versa. To me, that makes it significantly better for me, not necessarily for you or others.

I mainly use it for other things besides cocktails, where often the supersaturated properties of the RCS are essential, so SS is useless in those cases. I can see how inconsistency in different batches of RCS might present a challenge to those who just use it for making cocktails. This is, no doubt, why Scottes seeks to establish a standardized formula for, let's call it, bar-quality RCS (same thing for Orgeat). In so doing, people could make superior RCS (and Orgeat) that they could rely on for mixological consistency.



 
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Melintur
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Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 306
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2007-12-13 09:15 am   Permalink

Your lime juice's sourness will always be an unknown: It will be different with every lime juiced. That's why you'll need to sample the beverage with a bar straw (finger covering hole; pipette method) to make sure you've balanced with your sweetener. You do sample for balance every drink you serve, don't you?
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Swanky
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From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-12-13 10:11 am   Permalink

Add a few drops of lemon juice to the mixture to prevent the precipitation. The acid is a catalyst. You'll never taste it, but it will help emmensely.
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kleptic
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Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 15
Posted: 2008-02-08 7:18 pm   Permalink

if using the pot method instead of the jar method, how much water should you start with and how much sugar should you add to the water?

I read that simple syrup is 1 cup water, 1 pound sugar, i think a pound of sugar is roughly 2 cups. I guess that could be wrong altogether but I'm wondering what the general measurements are for sugar to water in rock candy syrup.

thanks
Kyle


[ This Message was edited by: kleptic 2008-02-08 19:19 ]


 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1289
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-02-11 04:43 am   Permalink

When I want industrial strength instability in my rock candy syrup I use the pot method. The jar method prevents you from applying too much heat to the syrup because it relies mainly on the heat of the water, which can boil faster, but not get hotter.

Take the syrup out of the jar and heat it directly in the pot and you can deliver much higher temperatures. That means you can force a lot more sugar into any given amount of water. That, in turn, means exceptionally dense RCS. Using that method you're limited by the heating capability of your stove and your resources. I occasionally run out of sugar using the pot method. You just keep stirring more in, edging the heat up, and eventually, you run out of sugar.

If, however, you have a ton of sugar on hand, you'll reach a point where your stove is as hot as it can get and stirring as fast and long as you can you can't get any more sugar to dissolve. That's the upper limit for that particular set up. That's also way beyond what you'll ever need. That kind of syrup is so unstable, as it cools rock candy starts to form kind of like marble throughout the syrup. If you let it keep going, it will completely crystallize in a few days taking on the shape of its container. If you make a batch lof RCS like that, it should be strictly to make rock candy 'cause you'll get plenty of it whether you want it or not.

The pot method gives you this capability. It can be a blessing or a curse. Using the jar method puts reins on going overboard.

In any event, I would start with 1/4 to 1/3 the volume of the container where you'll be keeping it for the water component and just keep adding sugar until the volume expands enough to fill the container.

Fill your container with water and pour it all into the pot, making note of the water level in the pot. You can take a chopstick and mark that level using it like a dip stick or just eyeball it.

Empty that water from the pot and pour in an amount equal to 1/4 to 1/3 the volume of the container you'll be filling. As that water boils, keep adding sugar until the surface of the syrup reaches the target depth of your dip stick.

You should probably try it with 1/3 first. If you like it stronger, go to 1/4 after that.



 
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swizzle
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Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 771
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2008-02-12 4:12 pm   Permalink

There is an excellent chapter in the book 'Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail'(i'm not sure if it's volume 1 or 2)called:'The definitive guide to simple syrup',by a guy called Darcy S.O'Neil.
It talks about the chemical composition of sugar,and how it is broken down into fructose and glucose when heated(the guy says he's a chemist-turned-mixologist).
He also talks about how to get 10ml(for example)of sugar syrup to be exactly the equivilant of one teaspoon of granulated sugar.
Definately worth reading.


 
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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-02-13 08:52 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-12 16:12, swizzle wrote:
There is an excellent chapter in the book 'Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail'(i'm not sure if it's volume 1 or 2)called:'The definitive guide to simple syrup',by a guy called Darcy S.O'Neil.


It's in book 2. I think. I don't have them near me right now. If you like Darcy's Alton Brown-like approach to writing about cocktails (and I do), check out his blog,
Art of Drink.

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kleptic
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Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 15
Posted: 2008-02-13 6:34 pm   Permalink

thanks, I broke down and ordered some 1.6 liter mason jars. they should be here tomorrow and I'm going to make some rock candy syrup and some orgeat. After tasting my home made passion fruit syrup and then tasting my trader vics rock candy and orgeat all I could taste was corn syrup. my wife kind of thinks I'm crazy making all these syrups myself now but man the difference seems so huge and its not that much work.

seems strange that we don't have a "rock candy standard" somebody should come up with a cup to pound ratio for perfect rock candy syrup for drinks.

I'll give the 1/3 a jar of water thing a shot tomorrow though. wish me luck.






 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1289
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-02-14 08:21 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-13 18:34, kleptic wrote:
my wife kind of thinks I'm crazy making all these syrups myself now but man the difference seems so huge and its not that much work.

seems strange that we don't have a "rock candy standard" somebody should come up with a cup to pound ratio for perfect rock candy syrup for drinks.



The RCS is the easiest thing in the world to make. The orgeat OTOH is pretty involved. If you do it right, making your own almond milk rather than store bought, use nylon straining bags rather than cheese cloth if you can. Scottes located them a while back and when I got mine I could see why he was raving about them.

As for the "rock candy standard", you're preaching to Scottes' choir.

When I do the jar method, after stirring in the maximum amount of sugar that the heat of boiling water will allow, the syrup is moderately unstable, and is a kind of standard in itself. It's regulated by the fact that it can only be heated to essentially the temperature of boiling water (it's actually slightly higher because a small amount of additional heat is transferred into the syrup from the burner, to the pot, to the glass).


 
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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2008-02-14 08:46 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-14 08:21, The Gnomon wrote:
...use nylon straining bags rather than cheese cloth if you can. Scottes located them a while back and when I got mine I could see why he was raving about them.


Search for something like "nylon straining bags" at any wine-making store, since they're often used for straining the grape solids when making wine. Imagine a bag made out of fairly fine cheese-cloth that's made out of nylon. Super strong, and re-usable many times. Just throw them in the washing machine after using. (Permanent Press Cycle, Warm Rinse, no bleach.)(just kidding)

Quote:

On 2008-02-14 08:21, The Gnomon wrote:
As for the "rock candy standard", you're preaching to Scottes' choir.


Yep. One of these days I'll make RCS and will most certainly measure the amount of water and sugar and post those measurements. Down to the gram.

And then I'll most likely recommend that you follow The Gnomon's method, but at least you'll know to have at least X pounds of sugar if you plan on making Y pints of RCS.

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kleptic
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Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 15
Posted: 2008-02-15 12:06 am   Permalink

Quote:


Yep. One of these days I'll make RCS and will most certainly measure the amount of water and sugar and post those measurements. Down to the gram.

And then I'll most likely recommend that you follow The Gnomon's method, but at least you'll know to have at least X pounds of sugar if you plan on making Y pints of RCS.





just kinda boggles my mind that so many people have gone completely nuts making mai tai's and anaylzing all the ingredients one at a time and what not but nobody cares thats one persons rock candy syrup might have twice as much sugar in it as another persons and one person's might not even have real sugar in it(trader vic's)

seems like something that would have a major effect on the outcome of any drink to me.

so its weird that there really is no correct amount.

I was going to make my rock candy syrup tonite but I slept through the UPS delivery so I have to wait to get my jars until tomorrow.



 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1289
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-02-15 12:03 pm   Permalink

Well, I shot myself in the foot trying to force four pounds of sugar (64 oz) into 18 oz of water.

In an effort to give Scottes a general idea of what proportions go into the RCS, I measured the capacity of my canning jar (52 oz) and I started with 25% water in volume (13 oz). I usually get smaller packages of sugar, but this time I decided to try the 64 oz bag of Food Whole's 365 Brand Organic Cane Sugar.



I have a beaker-like measuring cup that has graduations for sugar measurement. Can't go by that. I use a variety of sugars and those graduations never seem to match the contents of any package. It's probably designed for processed white sugar, which I don't use. Anyway, the most accurate measurement is whatever it says on the package. They never short change you, nor do they throw in extra.

The amount of sugar "product" you can force into a specific quanity of water varies from one type and/or brand of sugar to the next. By the time I had stirred in three sets of 16 oz according to my measuring cup, this batch was becoming very unstable. I still had lots of room in the jar. I added 5 oz more of water, bringing the water content up to 18 oz (slightly over 33% of the capacity) and was able to add more sugar.



By the time it reached the same degree of supersaturation that I had attained before I added the extra water, I still had not yet filled the jar. I don't like having an open package of sugar lying around, so I stirred faster (another technique for forcing more sugar in; heat and stirring speed). Well, I never got all four pounds in before I called it quits.

This morning after it had a chance to cool overnight, I can see that it is so unstable that rock candy is already forming, suspended in the syrup. That's kind of hard to do using the jar method because of the heating limitations. But because I was a stirring so intensely to try to finish off the sugar package (and know that I had used 64 oz exactly) I made it way too unstable for everyday use.

Tonight I'll decant some, since I'm out, heat it up again, add more water, and the rest of the sugar. Unfortunately, that will screw up the measurements, so I I'm doing the measurements, it will be a little while before I make another batch.


 
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kleptic
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Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 15
Posted: 2008-02-15 9:43 pm   Permalink

do i need to put this in the fridge or is it ok left out?

 
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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2008-02-16 06:30 am   Permalink

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!
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