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Jan 2, 2010 02:19 PM

Simple syrup shelf life

Hi all, so I bought a bottle of simple syrup (yeah, I know, very easy to make at home but I'd never seen it for sale before and saw it twice in one day and got curious and it was pretty cheap)
how long is the bottled or homemade stuff good for? I usually keep food until it smells bad, has something growing on it, or is a different color than it was when I put it in the fridge....



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  1. Hm, it's a sugar and water solution, not much to go bad there. The stuff you purchased may have some preservatives in it. No need to refrigerate it. It will keep until you use it up (six months.)
    On another note, when you make your own use a ratio of 2:1 sugar to water, bring it to a boil and you'll have no problems with crystallizing later.

    1. Simple syrup is usually a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water; 2:1 sounds awfully sweet. The homemade stuff should last 4-6 weeks in the fridge. adam

      1. I'd guess 4 months at least ...

        I believe a fresh jam is supposed to keep 2 months. Simple syrup should keep significantly longer than that.

        1. It won't go bad in that it becomes inedible, but it does crystalize as it evaporates over time. The last time I owned the storebought stuff was in college, after which it moved to my parents' house and stayed there for a few years. I noticed it in the cabinet a few years later during a visit home. Some of it had crystalized, but I noticed no difference in flavor or color and I didn't die after tasting it. It should last quite a while. I say your three-pronged disposal policy is a sound one.

          1. I've had it form mold strands in the syrup so unlike honey it does go bad even if refrigerated

            1 Reply
            1. re: scubadoo97

              I've had some that I made in a metal-lidded glass jar in the fridge for over a decade. I suspect yours was either not airtight or mold spores were introduced when the container was being used. With a tight seal, it should last indefinitely.