Anyone make your own sugar?

Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by jeff47041, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. jeff47041

    jeff47041 Newbie (in training)

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    Hey, do any of you make your own sugar from sugar beet, or your own sugar cane?
    I'm interested in seeing if I can make my own sugar. Don't really want to mess with bees for honey and I think after SHTF my family will get sick of homemade maple candy really quick.

    I bought some sorghum, thinking that if we like it, I could get into making that. We all pretty much didn't like it. Tastes a lot like burned honey. Even though after SHTF, I think we would like any rare sweet treat we come across.

    I bought some stevia seed last year, but didn't get around to planting it. What I've read is in my zone, it's pretty hard to grow.

    Just thought I'd see if any of you want to share your experiences with your own homemade sweeteners
     
  2. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Well-Known Member

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  3. Jimthewagontraveler

    Jimthewagontraveler Well-Known Member

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    Sorgum can easily be burned.
    Dont forget to try molasses but you might want to skip BLACKSTRAP molasses
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  4. Immolatus

    Immolatus Just getting started. Always.

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    I planted one stevia plant for kicks this year, I'll see how it goes. If I find it worthwhile (besides the interest in growing something new) I'll plant the stuff all over the place.
    I dont think I'd ever get into refining something for sugar, so I'm willing to try the simplest route. Did you ever plant anything for a sweetener?
     
  5. 21601mom

    21601mom Supporting Member

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    I think you advise this because most of the raw sugar is removed from blackstrap but don't forget it's a great source of iron, which might be difficult to come by in a post htf situation (assuming little/no meat available.
     
  6. CulexPipiens

    CulexPipiens Still waiting for the zombies.

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    I tried the beet technique a few years ago... Followed recipies similar to the ones on here and the GrandPappy one Jerry mentioned.

    It didn't go over so well. I just did a small test crop, about 2 dozen albino sugar beets from Baker Creek seeds. Harvested them, peeled and shreded them. Added the water and cooked and cooked and cooked, then strained and started cooking down the water. From a 6 quart pot I ended up with what can best be described as beet molasses and about a 1/4 cup total. For the amount of work and effort, and the fact it never did crystalize, it would be a lot easier to just buy bulk sugar and put aside some 5 gallon buckets. With reasonable usage that would last a long time.
     
  7. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    I agree ... :D

    Learn to use others or do without ... I have cut sugar out for the most part, other than holiday baking. So what I have in "stores" will last more than a few holidays ... ;)
     
  8. Bobbb

    Bobbb Well-Known Member

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    If you're going to make sugar then make enough sugar so that the effort is worth it.

    You have to cut the beet very fine, then you have to find a way to inject both lime milk and CO2, then centrifuge the liquid mixture.

    http://youtu.be/RD8yIKD1-cI

    Factories get a 1:6 sugar ratio from the weight of the sugar beet.

    It's an involved process but there's nothing there that is out of the reach of home sugar makers if they're willing to spend the money to get the right equipment and supplies.

    If you make hominy grits from corn, then you're already using lime milk in your kitchen. If you carbonate any sodie pop or seltzer then you already have CO2. Now you just need to figure out a way to centrifuge all that liquid.

    The more shortcuts you take the lower your yield. My philosophy is if this needs to be done, then do it once every 5 years and store all the sugar because it will be quite a job.
     
  9. Ezmerelda

    Ezmerelda Well-Known Member

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    I looked into this a few years ago and came to the same conclusion as others on this forum - store as much sugar as I can, and reduce how much I use it.

    I don't think sugarcane will grow here, and I don't like the taste of beet sugar, so it's store all I can and keep bees for honey!
     
  10. Bobbb

    Bobbb Well-Known Member

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    Come to think of it, this might actually be a good survival skill to learn because once sugar runs out in the PAW anyone with sugar will be able to get a high price for it. Some people are planning on trading chicken, milk, or whiskey, for the items that they want, well having the skill and equipment to make your own sugar might actually be more effective in terms of finding people to trade with. Every Johnny out there is going to be building a still to make moonshine but how many are going to be making sugar?

    I'm now off to look at prices for centrifuges: :)
     
  11. Caribou

    Caribou Time Traveler

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    What do you think the chances are to make alcohol with the left over pulp?
     
  12. Bobbb

    Bobbb Well-Known Member

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    My 2¢ - not good. If it was viable I would think that the sugar manufacturers would already be selling the pulp to distillers rather than selling it as animal feed.

    I don't think that that there is enough sugar left to ferment.

    You can make alcohol from the sugar though. Heck, why bother with the sugar, make your moonshine from the sugar beet itself.

    Cointreau

    Their first success was with the cherry liqueur guignolet, but they found success when they blended sweet and bitter orange peels and pure alcohol from sugar beets. The first bottles of Cointreau were sold in 1875. An estimated 13 million bottles are sold each year, in more than 150 countries. ​
     
  13. Caribou

    Caribou Time Traveler

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    I have made my own kahlua, ameretto, raspberry liqueur, and a few odds and ends. A relatively simple process though some take time.
     
  14. CoffeeTastic

    CoffeeTastic Well-Known Member

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    I'm also interested in growing some stevia. I think it can be made into a powder to replace sugar.
     
  15. debbluu

    debbluu Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying stevia this year. Supposedly it can be ground or make an elixer .
     
  16. CoffeeTastic

    CoffeeTastic Well-Known Member

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    You can also use fresh Stevia leaves in your coffee or tea. They are best if picked right before blooming.
     
  17. stayingthegame

    stayingthegame Well-Known Member

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    from what I know about stevia is that not all plants are equal in sweetness. when you find a very sweet one, you need to make cutting from it to preserve the sweet. any stevia will be sweet it is just that some are so sweet that to chew them will almost be sickening. also the plant can leave a slight herbal taste in somethings. I have grown stevia and used it dried. I tried baking with the plant but that didn't work out.
     
  18. LargoMike

    LargoMike Active Member

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    I know you said no to bees but have you factored in the time to grow cane, the amount need be grown for what you want to recive?
    That said, beekeeping will provide much more in returns for simple care and maint. Aside from the best sweetener on earth, beekeeping is theraputic as well as you sharing with EVERYONE around you for miles their pollination efforts. I was severely allergic in the begining, a child who LOVES bananas, ber's attack scent. LOL I survived and will have bees until I die.
     
  19. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    We had some super harvest due to the pollination efforts of the bee hives we had.

    And now that we have fenced and cross fenced again ... are looking for a new hive or two. (We "think" we have a bear proof area.) Time will tell. (Knock on wood. lol)