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Brewing with Candi Sugar

Candi sugars are at once an underused and an overused ingredient. Let's dive into the specific function candi sugars can play in beer.

Josh Weikert Jan 9, 2019 - 13 min read

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As the great American poet Ogden Nash wrote, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” I wonder whether Ogden knew that you could offer both at the same time? Probably so, given that he wrote that famous line during Prohibition.

In any case, candy gave way to liquor in 1933 with the passage of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, formally ending Prohibition, and brewers kept the fusion of the two alive. Brewers, especially those enamored of Belgian strong ales, know that candy (or “candi,” as we’ll spell it from here on out) plays a special and valuable role in brewing.

Beer isn’t liquor, of course, but all alcoholic beverages boil down (pun intended) to fermentation of a sugary liquid—the source of the sugar isn’t especially relevant, except in terms of the flavor, color, and body of the finished product.

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