Making invert sugar syrup

A handful of beer styles — primarily those from England and Belgium — regularly use added sugar in their recipes. Because using large amounts of refined sugar can create a cidery tang in beer, brewers can safely make and use invert sugar to reduce the sugar’s acidic effect on their beer’s flavor. Here’s how:


  • 8 pounds of white cane/beet sugar
  • 2 pints of water
  • 1 tablespoon (or 3 teaspoons) of citric acid


  • Mix all ingredients in a large pot and heat to boiling (the mixture will foam and then turn a clear, golden color).
  • Cool and then dilute in water to reach a total volume of 1 gallon.

One pint of this liquid invert sugar equals 1 pound of granular sugar.

Add too much of this sugar to your beer, and you can still get a cidery taste. I recommend that invert syrup make up less than 20 percent of your total fermentable ingredients.

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