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Brown sugar

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Terri9630

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I decided to make a butter cake yesterday. When I went looking for some brown sugar in the LTS I found a jar I sealed up back in Dec of 2013. The brown sugar is still nice and soft and delicious. So was the cake.:D0722181742.jpg
 

Terri9630

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I'm impressed Terri! I can never keep enough brown sugar around here to see if it would actually last 5 years :). I wonder what the shelf life is. I know white sugar is almost indefinitely.
I buy it every time I see it on sale. I try to keep 5 full half gallon jars.
 

Caribou

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Brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses added. If you keep the moisture away it should stay soft enough. Out on the boat I've had to beat on it with a rolling pin to get it soft enough to use. Turning the bag on edge seems to be a good way to get it started. I've also softened it up by using some of the water that was called for in whatever I was cooking.
 

Weedygarden

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You can get brown sugar in 25 pound bags at Costco and Sam's Club. I did that once and put it in a 5 gallon bucket. The last time I looked at it, it was still soft. I wish I had put it in a canning jar that has straight edges, no neck at the top, so it would slide right out.

I have always wanted to do the same thing with powdered sugar.

In November and December, sugar is always on reduced prices at the store. I try to buy a few packages every year. I keep them in the original paper package and keep those in a 5 gallon bucket as well.
 

Meerkat

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You can get brown sugar in 25 pound bags at Costco and Sam's Club. I did that once and put it in a 5 gallon bucket. The last time I looked at it, it was still soft. I wish I had put it in a canning jar that has straight edges, no neck at the top, so it would slide right out.

I have always wanted to do the same thing with powdered sugar.

In November and December, sugar is always on reduced prices at the store. I try to buy a few packages every year. I keep them in the original paper package and keep those in a 5 gallon bucket as well.
We keep them in the original bags too. We usually use Food Saver and vacuum seal them in the bag.
 

Amish Heart

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I vacuum seal the same way you do, Meerkat. We have low humidity in New Mexico, so it stays soft. Not so in my Kansas basement. But I can beat or grind the white sugar down if it gets to be a brick. I always have molasses on hand to make brown sugar, since I forget to buy brown sugar when I'm out. If the white sugar is on sale, it's more economical to store white sugar and molasses.
 

Dani

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I store mine in their original packaging in the big coffee run along with powdered sugar. Normally I try to keep about 12 lbs at all times but if I get in a baking mood, that can go fast, especially during holiday months.
Since brown sugar is easy enough to make, I like @Amish Heart 's idea of just storing the molasses and white sugar. I can get the white sugar a lot cheaper
 

SheepDog

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Powdered sugar contains cornstarch to keep it from crystallizing. Brown sugar is the sugar that is at the tail end of the refining process. They don't add molasses to it it is simply the product without it being removed. That is why there are different grades of brown sugar.
 

joel

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Here is what I found:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_sugar

This article is about the sugar product. For other uses, see Brown sugar (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Heroin.

Brown sugar crystals
Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content (natural brown sugar), or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar (commercial brown sugar).

The Codex Alimentarius requires brown sugar to contain at least 88% of sucrose plus invert sugar.[1] Commercial brown sugar contains from 3.5% molasses (light brown sugar) to 6.5% molasses (dark brown sugar) based on total volume.[2] Based on total weight, regular commercial brown sugar contains up to 10% molasses.[3] The product is naturally moist from the hygroscopic nature of the molasses and is often labelled as "soft." The product may undergo processing to give a product that flows better for industrial handling. The addition of dyes or other chemicals may be permitted in some areas or for industrial products.
 

SheepDog

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Yes, you can add molasses to refined sugar to get brown sugar. The stuff at the store costs less to make than refined white sugar, why would they refine it and then add molasses (which they can sell for more) just to make a product that they have as "waste" in the normal processing.

Amish Heart,
Maple peanut butter cookies sound good. (not as good as oatmeal chocolate chip and walnut cookies but still good);)
 

Weedygarden

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I'm impressed Terri! I can never keep enough brown sugar around here to see if it would actually last 5 years :). I wonder what the shelf life is. I know white sugar is almost indefinitely.
Dani, I didn't see a reply to your question and I am not sure that I can answer it correctly. I would think that brown sugar would last almost indefinitely as well.
 

Caribou

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My understanding is that raw sugar has molasses left in while brown sugar has molasses added back in.
 

SheepDog

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As I understand it brown ugar is the third stage of sugar refining. As the sugar is refined the white sugar is removed and the remaining sugar retains the molasses. The light brown sugar has had some of the sugar refined out but after the third process the remaining dark sugar is darker than earlier in the process.
Here is a short film on the process.
 

Weedygarden

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This article is not new, but interesting, about how how sugar is made from sugar beets. I have wondered about growing sugar beets. It seems like a lot of work to produce your own sugar. Honey is better, but doesn't work as a substitute for everything.

http://www.sucrose.com/lbeet.html

This tells about brown sugar: http://www.sucrose.com/ltypes.html

"Brown sugars come in many different styles but are essentially one of two types: sticky browns and free-flowing browns. The sticky browns were originally the sort of mixture that comes out of a cane sugar crystallising pan. The extreme of this, still made in India today, is "juggeri" or "gur" which is essentially such a mixture boiled until dry.

In modern refining practice both of these types are made by mixing a refined or at least purified sugar with a suitable syrup. The colour of the sugar and the syrup determines the colour of the final product and the ratio of syrup to sugar plus any drying applied determines whether the product is sticky or free-flowing."
 

SheepDog

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There is also a similar process for getting sugar from Jerusalem Artichokes. The main drawback is that the tubers have only about 10% sugar content. The canes, on the other hand, have about 15% sugar just before they flower. It is wiser to harvest the cane and use it to produce alcohol than it is to produce sugar. The tubers are left in the ground and grow new cane quickly. There is no annual replanting as the tubers go dormant in the winter and as soon as the soil warms they produce new cane. It takes less processing and the yeast can get to more of the sugars than standard processes. Sugar cane has a lot more sugar in it but it requires a specific climate to grow. Jerusalem Artichokes grow in even the poorest soil and are insensitive to climate and water supply. The cane can be harvested twice a year so you need only about 2/3 as much land to produce the same amount of alcohol as you can get from grains with less processing.
I plan on using Jerusalem Artichoke to produce all my fuel as you can produce up to 10,000 gallons annually with a free permit and as long as you don't sell the fuel it doesn't require de-naturalization. 160 to 170 proof makes the best fuel for furnaces and vehicles. To use it in diesels you have to add alcohol esters to provide lubricant for the pump and injectors but you can use the root stalk alcohol to make the esters.
 

Weedygarden

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There is also a similar process for getting sugar from Jerusalem Artichokes. The main drawback is that the tubers have only about 10% sugar content. The canes, on the other hand, have about 15% sugar just before they flower. It is wiser to harvest the cane and use it to produce alcohol than it is to produce sugar. The tubers are left in the ground and grow new cane quickly. There is no annual replanting as the tubers go dormant in the winter and as soon as the soil warms they produce new cane. It takes less processing and the yeast can get to more of the sugars than standard processes. Sugar cane has a lot more sugar in it but it requires a specific climate to grow. Jerusalem Artichokes grow in even the poorest soil and are insensitive to climate and water supply. The cane can be harvested twice a year so you need only about 2/3 as much land to produce the same amount of alcohol as you can get from grains with less processing.
I plan on using Jerusalem Artichoke to produce all my fuel as you can produce up to 10,000 gallons annually with a free permit and as long as you don't sell the fuel it doesn't require de-naturalization. 160 to 170 proof makes the best fuel for furnaces and vehicles. To use it in diesels you have to add alcohol esters to provide lubricant for the pump and injectors but you can use the root stalk alcohol to make the esters.
I would think it would take a bit of a set up to produce alcohol in that quantity. If you cannot sell the fuel, maybe you can provide transportation in various forms?
 

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