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Old 12-16-2004, 06:45 PM   #11
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Are you telling us you can actually SEE stuff in your water? If that's the case, the solid stuff in the water is probably seeding your cooked sugar.

Try a couple of things. Use bottle water and scrap the cooking spray in favor of parchment paper OR just use cooking oil or shortening in the pan.
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psiguyy
Are you telling us you can actually SEE stuff in your water? If that's the case, the solid stuff in the water is probably seeding your cooked sugar.

Try a couple of things. Use bottle water and scrap the cooking spray in favor of parchment paper OR just use cooking oil or shortening in the pan.
Yes, I wee stuff in our water :oops: . Apparently the water company is working on upgrades. So far all we've noticed a change in is our water bill. As soon as I have time, I'm going to try again with bottled water and parchment. I'll keep you posted!
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Old 12-18-2004, 10:21 AM   #13
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Hmmm....

In light of this water, issue, I echo Psiguyy's advice. Go buy some bottled "Drinking Water" and NOT distilled water.

This now certainly sounds like sugar bloom (grittiness at the end) and could definately be cause or exascerbated, at least, by heavy impurities. Are you seeing any foamy stuff at the surface when the syrup is boiling? If so, get a large spoon and gently scoop off the foam and discard. When cooking simple syrups, the impurities in sugar will foam and rise to the surface, but if this is heavy stuff, I suspect it would not.

Definately try bottled drinking water, PA. By virtue of your husband's recollection of last year's similar outcomes, that certainly supports the water change, IMO.

Nix the spray, too. Try using just oil, spread with your fingers into a thin layer. And you might use the underside of a jelly roll pan to spread the stuff on...easier to pull that way.

I can't wait to hear how these changes work out! Please do let us know, PA. And good luck!
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Old 12-18-2004, 02:04 PM   #14
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Hey Audeo, why not distilled water? Just wondering if there is something I should know as I distill almost all my water.
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Old 12-18-2004, 05:18 PM   #15
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In regards to the use of distilled water for consumption, it depends on how pure the distilled water is. Pure distilled water is actually dangerous stuff. It can kill you. Pure water is a very strong solvent AND it leaches many things you would not expect.

Home stills are designed to add minerals back into the water. For instance, I have yet to see a home still that didn't have some kind of "filter" at the outlet. I always thought it was stupid to filter distilled water since our stills in the labs didn't have filters at the outlet. That was until I thought about the dangers of drinking distilled water. It struck me that the "filter" is there not to filter something that's already pure, but to filter IN contaminants to make it safe to drink.

Hopefully Audeo can elaborate further. This stuff is off the top of my head from what I learned in college many years ago.
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Old 12-18-2004, 05:50 PM   #16
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How very interesting. This topic of distilled water just woke me up from a nap.

Psiguyy hit the nail on the head with my understanding of the solvent and absorptive qualities of really distilled water. In fact, if you place a saucer of distilled water out for a while, it absorbs a lot of carbon dioxide and becomes very acidic. Place a litmus paper strip in "aired" distilled water and tap water and be amazed at the difference. In my experience, unless I'm making a very clear, hard candy (such as pulled sugar), distilled really alters the flavors and can be downright unpredictable in the outcome. Only when making pulled sugar do I use distilled. And I personally and professionall feel that consuming distilled water (as your primary source of drinking water...and in large quantities) regularly is dangerous. But you can probably find as many alternative med folks touting its wonders, as you can the rest of us in mainstream med passing warnings.

Drinking water, at least here, has some standards it must adhere to from the FDA. "Spring" water, however, has come under a great deal of fire due to its almost complete lack of regulation and therefore its unreliability as to mineral content.

The hotter you cook a syrup, the more critical the need for clean water. Sugar carries its own impurities, which tend to foam up so you can scoop them away, while water impurities tend to sink and become magnets for crystalization. I'd bet just about anything that this is the very source of your problems, PA, especially since the impurities are so large that they are visible. This alone explains your problems, in my opinion.

I've always had good success in using drinking water and we are very fortunate here to have very good tap water, too, so I don't have to worry much over the water quality.

My apologies for not expanding on this earlier, and I hope it answers the questions here...for now!
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