PDA

View Full Version : Why is my sugar syrup crystalizing?



pcelar
10-06-2009, 08:42 AM
I am wandering if someone could answer this question.

When I make 2:1 syrup (domino sugar and water 2.5qts water to 10# of sugar) my sugar, as it is cooling, crystalizes. (I boil water, add 10# of sugar and heat it until the mixture is boiling. I boil syrup couple of minutes while mixing it with spoon.) As the syrup is cooling it develops crystals on the bottom of stainless steel. Also the top of syrup develops acrust about 1/16-1/8" thick. Does anyone know why is this happening? Thanks, pcelar

Dave W
10-06-2009, 08:50 AM
I am guessing, but I would say you are getting the mixture TOO hot.

When I make 2:1 sugar-syrup, I bring the water to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Stir in sugar and stir, stir & stir. I never reheat the mixture.

Hormel
10-06-2009, 08:54 AM
I never boil it after adding the sugar. I usually bring the water up to temp until it is just starting to boil, I then add it to the sugar and stir, not crystalized yet.

By boiling it that long I think you may be making some kind of candy (or burning the sugar?)

mercury996
10-06-2009, 09:00 AM
To my understanding if you boil it after adding the sugar it will caramelize and that can make the bees sick.
Just bring it to a rolling boil than after removing from the stove add your sugar and "stir, stir, stir!"

BEES4U
10-06-2009, 09:04 AM
Why?
Her's your chemistry for the day:

Your hot sugar syrup is a supersaturated solution at the higer temperature.
As the super saturated solution cools the disolved sugar comes out of solution and forms a cystal lattice for the sugar to collect upon.
You are adding to much sugar and you are actually making Rock Candy!
Follow the advice given in the above postings and you should be ok.
Regards,
Ernie

pcelar
10-06-2009, 11:19 AM
Thank you all for your advice.
I have to make new batch tonight.
I'll do as you have told me. Boil, take off stove, add sugar, mix, mix, mix until I become unconscious :)! Thanks again!

DRUR
10-06-2009, 12:33 PM
I buy sugar in 4# bags, as it is cheaper here in that volume. I do a 2part sugar, 1 part water mix as follows:

I Bring 1/2 gallon of water to a boil, then pour in 2 of the 4# bags of sugar (total of 8#), while still on the heat. This stops the water from boiling. I leave the heat on while stirring (with a long handled wooden spoon) for 15-20 seconds and then turn the heat off. I continue stirring until, the syrup turns clear (about 2-4 minutes) and I no longer feel any grains of sugar. I then leave it sit until its cool enough to pour into jars. Mine doesn't crystalize like this and I have had no problems with it turning moldy.

iwombat
10-06-2009, 12:37 PM
You don't need to boil the water either. I make my 2:1 with hot tap water.

DRUR
10-06-2009, 12:41 PM
You don't need to boil the water either. I make my 2:1 with hot tap water.

I have tried this, and stirred until it turned clear. Then it made a sugar crust in the jars, but it doesn't do this when I use boiling water.

rkr
10-06-2009, 12:53 PM
After I prepare the mixture as many have stated about, I put mine in milk jugs before it cools to much. I have had the same issue as you have described. This method has helped considerably. I think it cuts down on evaporation. The crystals on the bottom are likely undissolved sugar, I have to stir it several times to get it all dissolved.

Good Luck and Happy Beekeeping.
RKR

Michael Bush
10-06-2009, 07:29 PM
I make about 5:3 sugar:water. I boil the water, add the sugar and continue to heat until it's crystal clear and not cloudy. Then I turn off the heat.

HVH
10-06-2009, 08:09 PM
If you ever watch cooking shows where they are making candy the lid of the pan is usually added for a few minutes to let the steam clean the sides of the pot. The syrup can dry during cooking on the sides of the vessel and then contribute crystals to the liquid as it is poured or stirred. Also, if you boil for very long you can remove too much water and end up more concentrated than desired.

IndianaHoney
10-06-2009, 11:24 PM
I bring 5 gallons of water to a boil, then I pour it into 2 five gallon buckets so that they each have 2.5 gallons. I then pour in 9 bags of sugar. The bags are four pound bags. I then stir for about 2 or 3 minutes until the syrup clears and is not grainy. I end up mixing about 60 gallons per round of feeding, it takes about five hours total. This makes 2:1, with an extra quart of water to account for evaperation.

You may not be feeding that much, but when I make 2:1, I have to boil the water then pour it into the bucket, then mix in the sugar. The reason is that pouring in the sugar when the water is boiling tends to create that crust, or it will burn. However if I pour the sugar in the bucket before the water, I then have to dig and dig at the sugar sitting on the bottom in order to get it off the bottom and mixed into the water, which really sucks. The solution is to pour the boiling water into the bucket first so that its not on the burner when the sugar is added.

Using hot tap water is ok for 1:1, but I've found that making 2:1 with hot tap water doesn't suspend the sugar without stirring all day long. If you boil the water, it will suspend the sugar with no more than 4 minutes of stirring. Just my experience.

pcelar
10-09-2009, 05:32 AM
I must be doing something wrong.

I made new batch of syrup following your directions. It crystalized on top i.e. developed a crust. (I removed crust and below the crust it appears relatively clear with small amount of crystals. I'll strain it and use it. ) Does anyone have same experience?

Technique: I boiled 5 qts of water. Added 20# of sugar (domino pure cane sugar). Sugar was looking like an iceberg in the center of the pot. I took my cordless drill and brand new paint mixer. I mixed and mixed and mixed. Couldn't remove grittiness. I had to reheat it a bit. I constantly gently mixed it while reheating it. Temp didn't go more than 156 degrees F as measured in the center of the pot with digital thermometer. As it cooled it crystalized. My wife asked can I add some lemon juice to it? She said if ones add some lemon juice it will not crystalize. Any ideas? Where did I go wrong? Thanks.

Dave W
10-09-2009, 08:35 AM
>Any ideas? Where did I go wrong? . . .
Maybe it is not YOU :)

Your "method" sounds OK.

As I contiune to GUESS :), these question come to mind:
1) Is something in your water? What is its PH? Can you purchase "distilled" (not spring or "filtered") water and try a batch?
2) Is cook-pot comtaninated (w/ sugar crystals)?
3) Domino brand works for me, "cane" rather than beet seems good, but . . .
Have you tried a different "bag" (I know, I'm really "grasping" :))
4) Lemon juice (small amount) is OK, it will change the ph of mixture.

DRUR
10-09-2009, 08:47 AM
I must be doing something wrong.

Yes, reread my post #7.


I boiled 5 qts of water. Added 20# of sugar (domino pure cane sugar).

For 2:1 sugar mixture, this is correcto.

I made new batch of syrup following your directions. It crystalized on top i.e. developed a crust. (I removed crust and below the crust it appears relatively clear with small amount of crystals. I'll strain it and use it. ) I had to heat it a bit.

You didn't use my directions!

[Another observation] It appears to me that you may have taken a combination of Michael Bush's instructions and mine. If you continue to heat after pouring the sugar (as Michael states) then (I would suggest) only use the 5:3, but if you use the 2:1 as you have done then turn off the heat after pouring in the sugar, and continue stirring (but remove from heat). Also, I think Michael uses lemon juice and so that may prevent crystalization when heating after mixing in the sugar.


I constantly gently mixed it while heating it.



I leave the heat on while stirring (with a long handled wooden spoon) for 15-20 seconds and then turn the heat off.

Turn the heat off shortly after you pour in the (the second part of the sugar, see my slight modification below). You are heating to long.


As it cooled it crystalized. My wife asked can I add some lemon juice to it? She said if ones add some lemon juice it will not crystalize.

I just made a batch this morning using lemon juice for the first time. The mixture seemed to mix faster and was clearer than before when I didn't use it.


Any ideas? Where did I go wrong? Thanks.

I bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then I pour in 1 4# bag and stir until there is not a big heap of it, then I pour in the second 4# bag stir out the heap and turn off the heat. I then keep stirring and have had not problems with it crystalizing or failing to turn clear. But if you continue having problems use Michael Bush's 5:3 mixture. Michael knows what he is talking about.

pcelar
10-09-2009, 10:04 AM
I bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then I pour in 1 4# bag and stir until there is not a big heap of it, then I pour in the second 4# bag stir out the heap and turn off the heat. I then keep stirring and have had not problems with it crystalizing or failing to turn clear. But if you continue having problems use Michael Bush's 5:3 mixture. Michael knows what he is talking about.
DURUR thank you.
I am really puzzled!
I'll make 2 small batches today following this to the letter. One for 2:1 and one for 3:1. I'll let you know what I experience.

pcelar
10-09-2009, 10:07 AM
>Any ideas? Where did I go wrong? . . .
Maybe it is not YOU :)

Your "method" sounds OK.

As I contiune to GUESS :), these question come to mind:
1) Is something in your water? What is its PH? Can you purchase "distilled" (not spring or "filtered") water and try a batch?
2) Is cook-pot comtaninated (w/ sugar crystals)?
3) Domino brand works for me, "cane" rather than beet seems good, but . . .
Have you tried a different "bag" (I know, I'm really "grasping" :))
4) Lemon juice (small amount) is OK, it will change the ph of mixture.
Dave thanks.
1) It is tap water.
2) Thoroughly clean ss pot, not contaminated.