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jgarner53

Simple Syrup

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most simple syrup recipes are just 1:1 by weight of sugar to water.  if you're really lazy, you can do it by volume, but you won't get as much sugar in there...depends on what you're using it for.

For cocktail use, the modern standard is 1:1 by volume. This is what is specified in almost every modern professional cocktail recipe you will see. It does not need to be heated, as equal volumes of sugar and water will form a solution without heating.

Clearly, of course, it is possible to get a highly concentrated sugar syrup without crystalization. A good example would be Lyle's Golden Syrup.

Pastry-types will likely know better than I, but doesn't around 10% glucose help to prevent crystalization even in highly concentrated syrups?

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if you supersaturate your solution, even with a doctor such as glucose or corn syrup, there's still a possibility of crystallization. usually brought on by agitation of the syrup.

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FYI - I have made very concentrated syrups (3:1), about the consistency of corn syrup, by adding cream of tartar or lemon juice and simmering very slowly until it reaches the right concentration, still taking the normal steps to prevent crystallization (clean pan, no stray crystal, don't bump the pan, etc.). The acid hydrolyzes a good bit of the disaccharide sucrose into its constituent monosaccharides fructose+glucose, essentially making a partially inverted syrup which is much less prone to crystallization. I start off with more water than I need, since it should simmer for a while (to allows the acid to work on the sucrose), and simmer until it reaches the right target temperature (e.g. 217F=60% sugar, 222F=70%, 227F=75%). I've still had the more concentrated syrups crystallize on me, but they've lasted at least a couple of weeks with little or no crystallization.

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as patrick notes, the long simmering process also helps inversion...even without a doctor. that is why, if you're attempting to not invert your syrup/solution, you should cook over relatively high heat which would also equal less time.

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if you supersaturate your solution, even with a doctor such as glucose or corn syrup, there's still a possibility of crystallization.  usually brought on by agitation of the syrup.

How do they manage it for something like Lyle's Golden Syrup, then? I mean, that stuff is incredibly thick at room temperature -- way too thick to be useful in cocktails -- and has to be supersaturated. And yet, I've never had any crystallization in a jar or can or Lyle's. Not once. Honey is also a lot thicker than even a highly concentrated simple syrup, and while crystallization does sometimes happen with honey, it's not all that often.

Re supersaturation: I assume that any sugar syrup that has to be heated in order to dissolve the sugar into the water is technically supersaturated at room temperature, yes?

I'm getting ready to start a simple syrup experiment making old-style gomme syrup, which is a highly concentrated sugar syrup that has the additional component of gum arabic. I plan to include around 10% glucose, but I also wonder how the gum arabic will affect the tendency to crystallize.

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Honey is not pure sugar. There are things that are not sugar, so crystallization is inhibited.

Not sure about Lyle's. What's in Lyle's?

And I think yes, if heating is required, then the solution is supersaturated because heating means that it's not under normal circumstances.

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slkinsey

lyle's is inverted based on the wiki entry. i assume it is something like corn syrup or glucose. probably is unrefined or something so that it has more flavor than regular corn syrup.

honey is also inverted...i'm assuming because of natural enzymes (anyone have better info? i'm too lazy to google)

with regard to supersaturation, it is as you state: one quantity of water is able to absorb/dissolve a certain amount of sugar. as soon as you need to warm it up to have it dissolve the rest, it is supersaturated (i have quantities, but not on me right now). so you're right on that part.

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alanamoana: afaik Lyle's is made from sucrose. Some of it is inverted, and that is blended back with the rest, which is not inverted. It is extremely concentrated such that, even at room temperature it is possible to hold a spoonfull of it upside-down, and it must be scraped off the spoon with a finger (it has even been used as a reference standard for viscosity).

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honey is also inverted...i'm assuming because of natural enzymes (anyone have better info?  i'm too lazy to google)

That's right -- the bees have an enzyme called invertase (or sucrase) that inverts sugars collected from pollen.

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By Weight...

1,000 grams sugar

1,000 grams water

Mix sugar & water by hand lightly, no lumps, in a pot

Cover with plastic wrap, tightfitting lid ( pref)

The condensation will eliminate the need for brushes & hot water as it will drip down the sides of the pot and clean it 99.99 % of the time.

Take off after 5 minutes or so, should come boil in a short time.

I usually turn off almost as soon as the full boil is reached.

You should be good to go!

Good Luck

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I just keep it in the fridge and it's usually OK for abot month (usually use it within this time)

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I'd like to use honey for the simple syrup on a cake that is baking right now. I googled "honey simple syrup" and found recipes ranging from 1:1 to 4:1. The cake recipe calls for a a 1:1 simple syrup of white sugar to water, but I ran out of white sugar while making the recipe. I think the honey will work well with the cake though, since it is a spice cake with a little bt of walnuts. I just need the proper ratio of simple syrup.

Thanks!

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I think that the standard ratio for simple syrup is 1:1, and if it's not declared otherwise I'd go with that. However, you'll want to taste it to judge the sweetness level. You're drizzling it atop the cake, yes?

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I guess because honey is fluid, I had the thought that there is already some water present and that too much would dilute it too much. But it won't hurt to try it and add a little more honey if it is not sweet enough.

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I just saw on Chow Tips advice on how to make 1:1 simple (by volume).

She says not to boil the sugar and water, because "That actually begins to change the chemical structure of the sugar, making the syrup a little bit thinner in viscosity and less rich in mouthfeel."

Know of any evidence supporting that?

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