This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
This is so far the essential part in preparing the syrups, and it is important for the carbonator to know all its characteristics. Cane-sugar is derived from the sugar-cane, which is cultivated in India, and raised in most tropical and sub-tropical countries. In regard to its preparation, properties, tests and substitutes, we extract for our purpose from the National Dispensatory the following:
"Recently collected sugar-cane yields by crushing and expressing about 80 per cent, of juice, which contains from 78 to 84 per cent, of water, 16 to 21 per cent, of sugar, 0.3 to 0.4 per cent, of mucilaginous, resinous, fatty and albuminous matters, and nearly the same amount of salts. The juice is a grayish, turbid, sweet liquid, which is clarified by heating, a little lime being at the same time added for the purpose of neutralizing free acid; it is then concentrated by rapid evaporation in open pans, transferred to coolers, where it is frequently stirred, and afterwards into casks perforated at the bottom, and arranged in such a manner that the liquid portion may drain off and be collected in suitable tanks. The granular solid product thus obtained constitutes the raw or muscovado sugar of commerce; the liquid portion is known as treacle or molasses. Raw sugar is refined by dissolving it in water; the solution is heated with blood, the impurities are skimmed off, and the liquid is filtered through recently burned granular animal charcoal. The clear and colorless filtrate is concentrated in a vacuum pan, and when of sufficient density run off into conical moulds, the narrow orifice of which is closed by a plug. It solidifies as a dense crystalline mass, which is drained by the removal of the plug, and freed from the remaining colored mother-liquor by percolating through it a concentrated solution of pure sugar, after which it is dried and sent into commerce as refined or loaf sugar. By concentrating the mother-liquors they are made to yield more sugar of an inferior grade, until finally a thick syrupy liquid is obtained, which refuses to crystallize, and is known as sugar-house molasses, and in England as treacle.
"The method of obtaining sugar from the sugar-beet is very similar to that described, but is attended with greater difficulties, owing to the presence of larger quantities of proteids and other foreign constituents. Sugar-beets contain about 12 per cent, and yield about 9 per cent, of cane-sugar.