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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    barry co., Michigan
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    309

    Default inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    I cant tell you how many times I have read that one should not heat sugar syrup after adding the sugar. I have seen various reasons such as preventing carmalization, production of HMF, etc.

    Now one can search this forum and find numerous posts about making hard candy, fondant, feeding hard candy, and its usefulness in supplemental feeding during cold months, or frankly during the summer as well.

    When one makes hard candy, you heat concentrated sugar syrup to very high boiling temperatures (much higher than you would get with 1:1) near 250 F to drive off water and essentially make hydrated molten sugar. Now if this isn't high enough to make toxic by-products then certainly boiling dilute sugar syrup is not going to do this. I haven't seen anyone complaining that the candy killed their bees.

    As you can see this is a great inconsistancy of advice with respect to boiling syrup, which does greatly increase its longevity for storage (ie kills fermenting yeasts and bacteria). So why is there this discrepancy in advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    Because all free advice is worth what you pay for it?

    Seriously, the warnings about temperature that I've seen always referred to scorching the sugar because feeding scorched sugar is fatal to bees. Having never scorched my sugar syrup, I cannot say if this is true or not. I just assumed it was and avoided doing it. I've never made candy either, so I have no first-hand experience there.

    Sorry not to be more help!

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    Quote Originally Posted by the doc View Post
    As you can see this is a great inconsistancy of advice with respect to boiling syrup, which does greatly increase its longevity for storage (ie kills fermenting yeasts and bacteria). So why is there this discrepancy in advice?
    You are absolutely correct! I have found the same to be true. I have found that everyone has an opinion and feels his/hers is the best way to go. The truth is many are correct. Why? Because many things can be done many different ways. Take your example; boil/not boil, really makes no difference. The important this was said by Rusty, DON'T SCORTCH OR BURN YOUR SUGAR! Experts say this will kill bees. I make inverted syrup all the time, never hurt my bees.

    I gues what I'm saying is to take what you read here with a grain of salt. Some guys on here can be a real source of beekeeping education, others just dream they were.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    Haha I totally hear you guys. I just thought it was funny how things get propagated and I just couldn't find any logic in what folks were saying

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,832

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    This question could have an accurate answer fairly quickly if someone would volunteer to feed over-heated syrup to one of their colonies that are in desperate need of food, shouldn't be too hard to find someone to do that. John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    Right john but we already kinda do by feeding hard candy. We just dont feed scortched sugar

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    if you google caramelizing sugar you will find that the temperature needed to do that is typically 300F+ here is the link for that info.
    http://baking911.com/quick-guide/how...perature-chart

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,254

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    Quote Originally Posted by the doc View Post
    I cant tell you how many times I have read that one should not heat sugar syrup after adding the sugar. I have seen various reasons such as preventing carmalization, production of HMF, etc.
    Most / many people are not detailed oriented. If you were to heat syrup in a double boiler you could never hit 300+ degrees. I wonder why they make candy thermometers?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    Will a double boiler allow you to get to the 250 - 260 degrees required for hard candy?
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,254

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    NO. It is all in the details.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    NO. It is all in the details.
    What are the details? I was under the impression that you needed higher temps than you can get with a double boiler.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    A double will only reach around 212 degrees. 212F degrees being the temperature of boiling water. might get a little hotter if the upper pot is making a tight seal but not much. If you look at that link I provided you see the various temperatures and what kind of "candy" it will make. To make a hard candy you need to heat up to around 250F degrees which will still have some water in the sugar.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: inconsistency of advice with respect to sugar syrup and candy

    I've never made candy because the recipes make me dizzy and seem like way too much time and trouble. I try to avoid emergency feeding in winter but use other options when necessary.

    But there is no need to scorch your syrup. I crank up my water heater to 160 and dissolve sugar right from the tap...no need to boil it. I usually mix 100 lbs water (12.5 gal.) with 100 lbs. sugar when I'm making 1:1 and it makes about 20 gallons of syrup.

    As for stabilizing the syrup by boiling, you can get the same result by adding HBH at a rate of 1 Tsp. per quart...no mold or fermentation.
    Last edited by SWM; 01-26-2013 at 08:20 PM.

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