Raw cane sugar tasting

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Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby der wo » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:27 am

After my current melasse-Rum I will have some dunder I want to ferment again with raw cane sugar. I was curious what different raw cane sugar I will find and how different it tastes. In my country I get it either in organic food shops or in Asian food shops. And in a few large cities in my country are South America foods shops. Unfortunately not in my city. But I can order online those products.
Perhaps in your countries are other products available. But I thought, perhaps it is interesting for you to read my tastings. And perhaps you want to do first an inspiring shopping tour through your local Asian markets after reading, instead of simply ordering something online.

I avoided to buy refined sugar with added molasses, only unrefined sugar.

The candydates :lol: :
DSC07600.JPG
DSC07601.JPG

The differences are very strong. I don't know why. I think mostly because of the variable pressing and drying process.

From the left to the right:

1. Typical sugar from an organic food market here (not labeled where produced). The taste is nice, molasses and bread flavor, and a bit fresh sourness, but not very intense.
2. Also from an organic food market. Muscovado sugar from the Philippines. Darker and more taste than No.1. But I have expected more.
3. From China. This one I like most. Very intense. Molasses, dark rye bread, honey and a bit fresh sourness.
4. From Korea. Not bad. But although very dark way less interesting than No.2 or 3. Because of the nice looking even crystals I have the suspicion, that it is probably refined sugar with added molasses. Real raw cane sugar is more like sand normally.

5. Panela from Columbia. I had to order it online. Good quality and intense.
6. Jaggery from China. Not very interesting, but nice. Easy sweet, like candy for kids. Not the best ingredient for flavorful Rum I think.
7. Dark jaggery from India. The most intense taste of all here. But a really ugly off-taste too. A bit like fish... In Asian markets they sell a lot of seafood. Perhaps this sugar blocks were shipped in a container with dried octopus...
8. Gurr (Jaggery) from Pakistan. Although not very dark, a really nice and intense taste. Less molasses, but a very nice caramel. The best of the light colored ones (No.1, 6, 8).

I would make either a Rum from No.3 or alternatively No.5.
Or a more gentle rum from No.8.
No.7 would be an experiment, perhaps the off-taste disappears somewhere on the long way from the market to the tumbler.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby Still Life » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:45 am

Terrific way to go about it.
I'd sure be leery of #7 "octopus" sugar, though.
Rancid maybe?
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby der wo » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:06 am

Why terrific? Do you think, sugar from South America is more trustworthy than from Asia? Ok, perhaps from an organic food shop it is more trustworthy. But the organic No.1 is probably from Asia. If it wasn't, they would write it on the label where it comes from, because Peru sells better than Pakistan. And the organic No.2, to name a sugar from the South East Asian Philippines "Muscovado", is a bit a swindle I think, because it sounds South American. Actually at least in this case I don't think the organic food market is more trustworthy than the Asian food shop.

I am leery too with No.7. But sugar goes rancid? I don't think.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby Still Life » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:23 am

Terrific means "good", not terrifying.
Your method of lining them up for testing is terrific/good.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby NZChris » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:31 am

If a sugar or molasses has an off taste, in my experience, it won't go away before you put it in the aging jar. Bagasse flavor seems to be very persistent and I haven't managed to age it out of anything yet. Charcoal filtering tones it down if you are that way inclined, I'm not.

Raw sugar is semi refined with not all of the molasses removed. Added molasses shouldn't be a problem as, unless it comes from a different source, it is merely being returned from whence it came.
Where we are, buying raw, or brown, sugar is an expensive way to make rum compared to buying molasses and adding white sugar to reconstitute it to the same ratio of molasses to sugar as in the raw & brown sugars available.

I'm sure some of the darker Jaggery styles have some caramel from the heat used to evaporate them and I have considered doing a trial with some home made caramel to emulate that. The latest Jaggery I did was light in color, but I think it is going to age well and it doesn't have the bagasse flavor in the cheap stockfood grade molasses we get here.

it would be rather extravagant of me to make rum from packs the size you pictured. I get Jaggery Goor in 5kg blocks at a much better price than small packs.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby Danespirit » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:33 am

Interesting varieties...
I'd like to read about the outcome of the ferments.
That #7..if it smells like shit and fish, you should probably return it or throw it in the bin.... I sincerely doubt the smell will disappear in the ferment.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby der wo » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:35 am

Still Life wrote:Terrific means "good", not terrifying.

All right... :econfused:
Should I delete my post to you? No, doesn't matter...
Last edited by der wo on Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby der wo » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:45 am

NZChris wrote:I'm sure some of the darker Jaggery styles have some caramel from the heat used to evaporate them

Yes. That's my feeling too. The amount or way of caramelization is the key.

NZChris wrote:it would be rather extravagant of me to make rum from packs the size you pictured. I get Jaggery Goor in 5kg blocks at a much better price than small packs.
Danespirit wrote:Interesting varieties...
I'd like to read about the outcome of the ferments.

I didn't find a greater pack size here. Anyway, I will not need much more than I have now probably. At the end I will use them all mixed (except the octopus one perhaps) in two fermenter buckets together with old dunder probably. This thread is not a Rum from different sugar tasting, only a sugar tasting, sorry Danespirit.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby Kareltje » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:43 pm

About the South-American sound of a Philippine sugar: the Philippines were a Spanish colony until the USA beat Spain in a war around 1898.
I do not know about the language, but until recently the coins had Spanish names like Piso or sentimo.
So the name of a Philippine sugar might be genuine.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby der wo » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:37 am

Yes. At least wikipedia means, that Muscovado is mostly from Mauritius and Philippines (both not in South America). It is a Spanish and Portuguese word and means "low quality sugar". Both countries were Spanish or Portuguese colonies, but at least in Mauritius the Portuguese influence is very low, because there were many other colonist after the Portuguese.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscovado
Whatever. I was surprised and feeled a bit cheated when I read, that it is not from South America. Cheated not because I think sugar from other countries is poisonous crap, but because it looks like a marketing strategy.
It still looks like a marketing strategy for me, because the Portugueses were in Mauritius in 16th century and they don't speak portuguese there anymore.
The Philippines have a longer story with the Spanish colonists, yes. But anyway, I don't think that they don't have a word in their own language for raw cane sugar.
And it looks strange why both countries choosed the same word despite of many 1000 miles distance. Even without distance neighbours in South America all have an own word (panela, rapadura, pinonchillo, chancaca...)
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby Shine0n » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:02 am

In the US dark brown sugar is refined sugar with molasses added to a certain % to make dark or light brown sugar.
I've made rum with just dark brown sugar and it was nice and mellow, not very strong but nice.
I've not used any other than the one I spoke of but there are a lot of folks using the panela, from their posts it makes a fine rum.

Keep us informed on your findings
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby Shine0n » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:04 am

Do you have any particular flavor profile you're after?
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby der wo » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:06 am

Only the No.4 is refined sugar with added molasses. All the other products are not refined. I don't know what are the correct terms in the USA. Here in Germany the refined sugar is named "raw cane sugar" (Rohrohrzucker) and the unrefined "full cane sugar" (Vollrohrzucker). But of course the Asian products haven't written those terms on the package. But when you look at it you can see the difference: Refined sugar with added molasses has even crystals. Unrefind sugar is like sand.
Generally the refined sugar has much less taste. I often use refined brown sugar for bakery, so I know the difference from practice.

I don't want a particular flavor profile. But better much flavor than little flavor. Much flavor you can cure (more reflux), little flavor not.

Yes, panela is great. In my tasting it was the second best.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby Shine0n » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:01 am

Although the feed molasses here taste no good, when mixed with the dark brown sugar to make rum has become my favorite.
Very bold, buttery, sweet. Delicious

I will one day try panela, once I find a few to do a group buy.
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:28 pm

Shine0n wrote:Although the feed molasses here taste no good, when mixed with the dark brown sugar to make rum has become my favorite.
Very bold, buttery, sweet. Delicious

I will one day try panela, once I find a few to do a group buy.


I just laid down 4 gallons grade A molasses, 50 lbs light brown sugar, 40 gallons total.

I usually do panela, but the pocket book preferred more lighter sugar this time.

Thought about getting us northeasters together for a buy, just been bogged down this year to coordinate it. If it happens, I'm in for a share. Figure you're about 6 hours from me and there's got to be enough of us in between :thumbup:

Sorry for any off topic pains. I'm sure further to dos on the subject can find their own thread :lol:
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Re: Raw cane sugar tasting

Postby thecroweater » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:10 pm

Of actual raw sugar maybe only your first example hits the mark. Plain raw sugar makes a very light Bacardi white style, you can mix it with most things but on its own not that interesting and oak will drown it. Muscovardo makes a very nice Cachaca or rhum agricole type product. It is pretty much dehydrated cane juice not heated enough to caramelize. Brown sugar is what it is and will make a lightish less complex but very drinkable rum. I like molasses and raw sugar wash but a higher brix molasses would be even better if I could easily get it, refining molasses is much higher brix than our supplied stock feed we get in this state.
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