How to make sugar

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by GrandpaDave, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    As a prep'er you need suger... how else are you going to make jams and jelly... besides it makes for a fine trade item right... Lastly it's just easy to do... all you need is sugar beats...
    see that wasnt so hard was it...
    -06, Sapper John, BTPost and 2 others like this.
  2. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    Grandpa Dave, you are a wonder! I thought that beet sugar was a commercial process that could not be done "at home". Have you actually done this yourself or did you get it from somewhere else? Do you know what quantity of beets you have to boil down to get a usable amount of sugar? I am going to check my seed catalogues when I have a chance, to see if they have sugar beet seeds - I can't recall ever seeing any down through the years but then, I wasn't looking for them so they could quite easily have slipped by me. If making sugar is really this easy to do, what a bonus it would be - our sugar stocks would be used up eventually and then what. Life without sugar in my tea would not be worth living, lol! I had thought about growing stevia and checked into it but I rejected the idea. For the life of me, I can't remember why, now!!
    Thanks for posting this sugar beet info...hope you can answer my questions.
  3. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    We used to do this when I was a kid...
    we made a lot of strawberry jam and back then... refined sugar was an expense weighed against the whole...

    store bought sugar or shoes for the kids

    one of my favorite memories was in making butter... mom would pour cream in a big jar and we kids would have a blast shaking and kicking that jar around... it goes faster if you put marbles in the jar BTW

    growing up on a farm/ranch we made most of our own stuff... mom would card and spin wool.... I even know how to set up a loom, but I'm not very good when it comes to weaving...

    My wife tell me the best present I ever gave her was the plainsmen style moccasins I made her out of elk hide... that project started with a week long elk hunt.... ah the good ole days...

    If memory serves... a bushel of sugar beats boiled in a huge pot... would render down to 2 and a half maybe 3 pounds of sugar.... and no beat taste
    stevel and weegrannymush like this.
  4. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    That sounds pretty good, Grandpa! Incidentally, I wonder if there is anything that can be done with the left-over beet pulp/pieces?

    I was interested in your childhood farm memories. Completely different from my childhood - I was raised in Edinburgh, with nary a blade of grass in sight. However, as far back as I can recall I wanted to be a "farmer" (I suspect even before I knew what a farm was!) My grannie loved animals and the house was always full of them (bulbuls from Persia, white rabbits in the coalhouse, they didn't stay white, lol, cats and dogs) and her dearest dream was to live in the country. Poor old soul never got beyond a couple of potted plants in the window. I often think of her as I look on my one acre slice of Canadian bush....she would have been so thrilled to see it! How fortunate I have been.

    I will have a blast next summer trying to make sugar! First of all, though, I will have to track down the seeds and see if they are viable to grow up here in the north. I dont see why they wouldn't be, since ordinary beets are a cool-weather crop and do fine up here usually.

    Thanks again for the info and the memories!
  5. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    I grew up on the Jicarilla Apache rez just south of Dulice New Mexico... yeah that is very diffrent from Edinburgh or anywhere else I've seen there in the UK... but a glorious magical place to be a kid
  6. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    cane sugar is pretty much the same process
    just gotta squeeze the juice out first
    ive been told taters would work in place of beets
    and have the same makeup sugarwise as sugar beets
    just not as much of it
  7. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Remember that honey is spoon for spoon a replacement for sugar. Have used honey, syrup, and even molasses for a sweetener as a kid growing up on a dirt poor farm.
  8. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    Are sugar beets different than other beets? Will any work?

    If I have a juicer, can I juice the beets and then start at step 3?
  9. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    Wow! Looks like an awesome place indeed! You would learn a lot about living close to nature there, for sure. And how to fend for yourself! I have to say that living in Edinburgh was magical in its own way, too, with lots of historical sites everywhere. I lived very close to the Queen's Park which has in its middle, an extinct volcano and the Salisbury Crags, which are volcanic rock. Fantastic place for nature study, which I loved as a child. We were both very fortunate in our childhoods I would say, even though totally different from each other! Thanks for posting this pic....a little piece of another world, to me!
  10. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    I have never had any experience with making sugar from the sugar beet but I do know that it is a breed on its own. It is part of the Beet family but is the only one that can be used for sugar.

    I don't see why you couldn't use the juicer....would be worth experimenting with it. Anybody else have any experience in this respect? I am on the hunt now for seeds - so far, from my current new catalogues (Johnny's/Veseys) they only stock the usual garden beets. I'm trying to find my new Thompson and Morgan and my Dominion catalogues to check them also. Will post if I find any seeds. The dang catalogues are like pens beside the telephone - where are they when you need them, lol?
  11. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    If you are in the right climate you can tap your sugar maples and make maple sugar! I've got quite a few friends in NY and VT who sugar.
  12. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    They grow a lot of sugar beets here in michigan. Especially in the thumb. Unfortunately, the vast majority of sugar beets are GMO to produce higher yield.

    for non gmo check Millington Seed or Reimer Seed. I believe they are hybrid though.
  13. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    Just bought 1000 seeds on eBay, for $4.00 plus S/H. Apparently they are extremely fast growing, which is good because I am in short-summer area. We shall see what we shall see....I will probably forget where I put them by next spring and won't get them planted! But I try, I really do try, lol! It's that road to hell situation know, the one that's paved with good intentions!
  14. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Granny, just make sure that you got them from a supplier in your own country.
    there may be import/export prohibitions upon seed transport.

    somewhere i thought you were in the beautiful land of Canada so YMMV.
  15. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    What can you do with the used up beets? Well feed them to your feeder pigs. By the way, did you know that your used up corn mash when fed to your feeder pigs gets you a better weight gain than if you had fed them the same weight of cracked corn not used to make hooch. Just saying, not that I would do such a thing
  16. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    I'm going to get some seeds for sugar beets. Nothing is going to more valuable for trade post SHTF than sugar. Mentally, people need it, like cigarettes.

    Are sugar beets white? Like these. Albino Beet - 1/4 lb
  17. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I had read this long before this thread started.
    grandpappy has a ton of good info.
    check this link ... Grandpappy's Homemade Sugar Recipe - by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
    sugar beets (beta vulgaris) have a 14 to 21% sucrose sugar content by weight. regular beets only 5 to 6 %.
    available here as well as elsewhere, but be sure you get sugar beets.
    Order Sugar Beet, Beta vulgaris 'saccharifera', Herb Seeds
    Sugar Beet, Sugar Beets, Sugar Beet Seeds, Red Beets, Beta, Beets, Seeds, Beta vulgaris - Reimer Seeds
    I hope this helps! Check out Grandpappys entire site.
    weegrannymush likes this.
  18. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Thanks! I was planning to buy some nonGMO sugar beet seeds for next spring's planting, now I'll be able to actually use them! :)
  19. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    you can also tap birch and boxalder trees, same family
    and make sugar from their sap
    where do you think the old birch beer came from? :p
  20. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    Well, I've been ordering seeds for years from the U.S. (usually Johnny's but he has become so commercialized and not so home-garden oriented that I am not so keen on him any more) but I have never had a problem. And how much could they charge on a packet of seeds anyway! I'll just have to take my chances, eh! But thanks for pointing it out, VicuTrac! I order a lot of stuff from the States but so far have never had to pay a cent. I think there is so much mail order going on these days that Customs can't keep up with it!

    And yes, I am in Canada, Georgian Bay area....nothing but miles and miles of bush, rocks and lakes behind our place. Unfortunately, in front of us, is a village and nearby, the main Trans-Canada highway. Lots of deer and moose and of course, we can always count on alarms and excursions with bears on the deck! Never a dull moment in the peaceful Canadian countryside! And always in the garden, the race against time with short summers and looming frost dates. It's a challenge finding cultivars that will ripen in time for us before frost hits.

    Glad to see so much interest in the Sugar Beets, looks like it's an idea whose time has come, lol. I foresee some lively postings next year as we all struggle to make our sugar....should be good for a few laughs! I can't, unfortunately, tap any sugar maples since I don't have any on the property. If I'd been smarter I would have planted some when we first moved here - they'd have been ready by now but of course, it's good old Hindsight again.
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