Invert sugar is called for in many English and Belgian beer recipes. It’s simply a mixture of dextrose and fructose created by heating sucrose (regular table sugar) in the presence of an acid. For reference, a pound of Lyles Golden Syrup will run you about $5 at most online retailers. With our invert sugar recipe, it’s incredibly easy to make your own for less than $1 a pound!

The ingredients you will need:

  • 1 lb sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 cups water

(Note: you can scale the ingredients as needed).


One sauce pan large enough to hold the ingredients.


  1. Place all ingredients in a pan
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. Boil for approximately 20 minutes

Note: For golden or darker versions of invert sugar boil the mixture until it starts to turn a light golden color. At this point the color will begin to darken rapidly and is at risk for burning. When you have reached the desired color place the pan into a cold water bath to stop the cooking. The sugar may become solid again. Water can be added back to the mix to make it more liquid.

A word of warning, though: be careful when adding water to very hot sugars as they can create a lot of steam and the risk of getting sprayed with steaming hot sugar is high. Protect your hands and face as you will be working with a mixture that is 300+ degrees!