Can I use blackstrap molasses in my whitewash recipe?
September 14, 2013 3:12 PM   Subscribe

I am whitewashing my brick house with this recipe. Should it matter if I'm using clear molasses vs. the blackstrap kind?

It took me a long while to prep the house, arrange for friends' help and get all the ingredients together. Tomorrow morning we're supposed to whitewash my house...and I'm realizing I have blackstrap molasses, not the "clear / light brown" kind. I have called every grocer in town and no one's heard of clear molasses. Will the dark color affect the recipe? Should I cancel until I can find the right kind?
posted by critzer to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
In my experience cooking with blackstrap, it stains, and it definitely darkens food noticeably.

For your whitewash, I think you'd want molasses that is labeled anything other than "blackstrap" - I'm pretty sure the Grandma's brand has a "regular" (that is, not labeled as blackstrap) kind that would suit. I'm reading "clear" as in "you can kinda see through it" and not "colorless."
posted by rtha at 3:19 PM on September 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks. Yeah I need to go back to the store, but none have "clear." I will check for a lighter brown. Everyone I spoke with on the phone said they basically had the dark kind only.
posted by critzer at 3:36 PM on September 14, 2013

Would clear corn syrup work? You can find Karo right there next to the molassas. (Please note: I know ZILCH about whitewash!)
posted by easily confused at 3:50 PM on September 14, 2013

A livestock feed place might have it.
posted by fshgrl at 4:03 PM on September 14, 2013

Would clear corn syrup work?

I'm not sure. I know molasses is included in the recipe for its curing qualities, but not sure if any type of syrup will do. Some also claim "cane syrup" is the the same as clear molasses, but others disagree.
posted by critzer at 4:34 PM on September 14, 2013

It's a historic recipe, so think about what was available when it was written.

Molasses is graded by the number of times it's boiled, ranging from cane syrup (one boil) to blackstrap (three boils or more). Each time the syrup is boiled, it gets darker and more bitter. So my reading of your recipe is that the first boil is what you want--not blackstrap. Both types were available when your recipe was written, so avoid blackstrap.

In terms of more modern ingredients with similar carbohydrate chemistry, corn syrup may be fine as a substitute, as may treacle. From the recipe, it looks like the molasses is used as a binding agent, in which case corn syrup should be a great substitute.
posted by yellowcandy at 6:56 PM on September 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Update: corn syrup worked fine as a substitute and making the recipe from scratch was pretty fun. The exterior of the house is not quite done, but it's looking awesome.
posted by critzer at 4:58 PM on September 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

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