How to Process Sugar Cane

How to Process Sugar Cane thumbnail
Unrefined processed sugar cane exhibits a light brown color.

Sugar cane processing usually takes place in an industrial or traditional setting. Processing begins with harvesting and milling. In an industrial plant, the mill is very large and processes a large amount of cane each day. In traditional milling, an ox-driven or small diesel-powered mill crushes the cane. For the at-home sugar cane processor, there are small hand-powered mills available for purchase. You may achieve further processing and evaporation of the juice using modified traditional methods.

Things You'll Need

  • Sugar cane mill
  • 2 large bowls
  • Clean cotton cloth
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Outdoor grill or fire pit with raised grill
  • Small strainer
  • Brix meter
  • Whisk
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Instructions

    • 1

      Run the sugar cane through the mill.

    • 2

      Collect the extracted juice in a large bowl.

    • 3

      Place a clean cotton cloth over the second bowl and transfer the juice. The cloth will filter the juice and capture sediments.

    • 4

      Pour the juice into a shallow baking sheet.

    • 5

      Heat up an outdoor grill or build a fire in a fire pit.

    • 6

      Place the baking sheet on the grill or fire pit and bring the cane juice to a boil.

    • 7

      Clean one of the bowls with soap and water. Set aside.

    • 8

      Skim off any scum that rises to the surface with a small strainer. Rinse the strainer between uses.

    • 9

      Measure juice content with a Brix meter periodically, until sugar content reaches 90 to 95 percent.

    • 10

      Without agitating the contents, pour the concentrated cane juice into the clean bowl. Allow any sediments that have settled to the bottom to remain in the pan.

    • 11

      Stir with the whisk to incorporate air for 20 minutes.

    • 12

      Pour onto the second baking sheet and allow to cool.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read manufacturer's instructions for the sugar mill and Brix meter.

  • Wear protective gloves and goggles when working with fire, hot coals and hot cane juice.

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References

Resources

  • Photo Credit Rohrzucker image by reises from Fotolia.com

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