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Scott Koue

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  1. In BBQ you are dealing with higher temperatures (depending on placement) than you are talking about in baking and potentially direct food contact. So in an oven the chain etc is not going to get over what the oven temp is and that is well below the melting point of any coatings. Old "galvanised" stuff had lead in it and that would not be good, Zinc coated should not be a problem since zinc is food safe. Fumes of vaporizing zinc are dangerous so it can be dangerous to weld zinc coated steel without a lot of ventilation but your oven is not getting anywhere near the 1600f. You can also find un coated chain and that would also be fine. To add a bit to the steam discussion... It's not the conductivity of steam that is the issue with burns it's the specific heat. Steam has a LOT more energy than dry air and it can transfer it to anything it touches. With bread and crusts it does two things. First it transfers heat to the loaf faster than dry air would because it has more specific head And the bread steaming on it's own would cool the surface much like sweating cools you. And just as high humidity make sweat less effective (heat index VS temperature) high humidity keeps the crust from cooling down. The humidity also keeps a hard crust from forming and tus lets the bread expand. You can bake great bread with out steam, people do it all the time. Steam lets you create a thinner hard crunch crust and generally helps you get the bigger bubbles in the crumb because it keeps a hard crust from forming too soon in the baking. Without steam crusts tend to be "tougher" VS thinner and crunchier. Exactly how much of a difference depends a lot on the dough and the baking conditions. And weather steam makes your bread "better" has a lot to do with your tastes and what you are trying to achieve. For me most of the time I want steam because it makes my bread closer to what I am aiming for. There is no objective "better" if the bread is well made, only a subjective one. With a fairly wet dough and a hot oven I got reasonably close to what I was aiming for but using the cast iron combo pan got me a lot closer. I never got steam in the oven to work but I realize I was probably using way too little a pan. Keller is talking ten pounds of rock and 10 feet of heavy chain, I was using maybe three pounds of rock. So I will give his method a shot. BTW I used lava rocks. They don't explode and they have a LOT of surface area. Cast iron as a general rule does not like to be temperature shocked, though it sounds like it hasn't been a problem. The steam tray pans they talk about in the book are stainless and run about $13 at a restaurant supply.
  2. Oh one other thing you can use the NO2 and CO2 (8 gram) corteges interchangeably. I found this out by accident, NO2 seltzer is an interesting thing.
  3. Couple of things. CO2 has a sour taste and NO2 has a sweet taste so you should take that into account in using either. Your not going to get high eating NO2. Also Guinness et all are not pumped with a mix of NO2 and CO2 it's a mix of 70% N (Nitrogen) and 30% CO2. It might get more gas in the beer but it's also not nearly as sour and stouts are not traditionally that highly carbonated. My assumption (meaning I could be very wrong) was that it was used purely because of the more neutral flavor. Last I would like add my vote to NOT using dry ice. For one thing you are probably not going to find "food grade" easily and it is EXTREMELY dangerous, and I've made fireworks! A local high school did a little science experiment and filled a stainless steel thermos with dry ice and stuck it in a garbage can that had been lined with a foot or so of concrete. It took a few days for it to melt, then it destroyed the can and concrete and the big containment box they put around it. Expanding gas is VERY powerful. That's all explosives are is expanding gas, that is expanding faster than the surrounding environment likes. Cheers SK
  4. I read about a cocktail where they had used bacon (they didn't use the term fat wash but that is what I think your talking about, chilling down the booze till the fat turns solid so you end up with flavor but not much oil). Anyway I thought I would try toasted sesame oil (it always reminds me of bacon). I just dipped the end of a swizzle stick in and swirled it around in a martini. I liked the taste but it did coat the tung a bit with the oil. Might try the "fat washing". Cheers SK
  5. For those in San Francisco, Tower Market still has a few bottles of the old "american" version. I had to get one just so I could do a comparison. All the folks who tasted the two liked the "new" version better. It's more complex and more sherry like. The old some thought was sweeter, I sort of thought the opposite but I can see their point. There is a tartness to the old that I think balances the the sweet but I also liked the new better. The old seemed a bit thin in comparison and like the sweet and tart were on opposite sides of the room, where the new seems more "integrated".
  6. I've tried the Mexican raw sugar but didn't like it and, probably because I didn't heat it enough, molded very quickly. Something that I have liked a LOT is PANELA "brown sugar cane" the ingredients are "cane juice". It comes from Columbia and is sold in little blocks that are 1lbs. I got all scientific and decided to do a real 2:1, but of course everyone is laking 2 cups to 1 cup so what do I do with a 1 lbs block? I took measurements and converted CU inches to cups etc and came out with 2/3rds of a cup of water. But that looked way too little, so I weighed a cup of white sugar and well as one might expect that block is a LOT denser that loose sugar. So you actually want about 1 1/4 cups of water to get a 2:1. Anyway it has a definite molasses component. If you don't like molasses it's not going to do it for you. But if you like say Cuzan Black strap rum, this is a bit like that. I found I really liked it in, well just about everything, well dark drinks. Since you will always get some of that molasses coming through there are things it's not going to work with. But tasty!.
  7. Thought I would mention that BevMo is now carrying (at least the one in Colma) Pimento Dram (under the name Allspice Dram). Not cheap but you don't use much. Nice stuff.
  8. This site has chargers for around $.38 each, ($3.95 for 10 & $139 for 360 (go in with a friend!)). And yes air gun chargers contain lubricants that you would not want in your beverage. Cheers SK PS just noticed they also have 24 for &8.95
  9. Thought it would be of interest to Bay Area folks. I just picked up a bottle of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, produced in Austria? at BevMo. Looks like a regular item. Also in Berkeley at Ledger's Liquors on University there are all the Fee bitters and the Angostura Orange bitters and the Forest floor Orange Bitters. The Allspice Dram is very tasty in a bunch of drinks. I put some in a dash bottle and have been using with Fee Whiskey or Angostura bitters for a full spice impact. mmmm on a cold night. Cheers SK
  10. Thanks, glad I didn't go for it. I saw them at Legers Liquors in Berkeley. Great place, they carry all the Fee bitters and a just HUGE selection of everything. SK I have a bottle that I bought in a gas station in Delafield, Wisconsin because I can't see a bottle of bitters without buying it. That's the only place I've ever seen them. They are basically a weaker, less interesting version of Angostura bitters. They're very one dimensional, like bitter cinnamon. I find them too weak too have much effect which might be why they have a gigantic spout at the top. I'll stick with Angostura. ←
  11. Charcoal filters will remove volatile aromatics. Any home brewing shop that also sells winemaking supplies will have filters that are designed to remove particles with out removing the volatiles. Morebeer.com is one biggie but there are LOTS of stores. The big production filters are pricey but there are also smaller small batch versions. Brita etc. might be a good filter for any water your adding but would strip out a lot of flavor post steep. Also just saw a new angostura type "aromatic bitters" http://www.pickledveggies.com/products_mixers.html Anybody try these? I have three different ones now so I didn't get a bottle. SK
  12. A working link http://www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org/ Cheers SK
  13. I tried a very interesting variation today. 3:1 martini (Gordons, noilly) no bitters but We have lemon verbena (sp?) growing out side. I know you can make tea out of it so it's not toxic. Anyway a picked three leaves, rinsed them and put them in the shaker and shook the drink and strained. Probably would find another method since this leaves some little green specks floating around. But very nice floral/ lemon/ lime kind of hind. Very tasty.
  14. Since you have a brewers supply near you ask them for yeast used in the Belgian wit beers and the like. They probably also have some sour "wild" yeast around also. There is a whole group of beers that are soured with wild yeast. That would at least get you started in the right direction. Brewers yeast won't as a rule taste much different than bakers yeast. The ones used for some of the Belgian beers though should be very different.
  15. I toss sweet in pasta sauce, not a lot just a bit. Anything with a lot of tomatoes also works with a touch. As a side note a touch of anise liquor of some sort is also a nice touch with tomato pasta sauce. Both add a depth and complexity that I like a lot.
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