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Everything posted by Sharif

  1. It's not hard to kill trichinella, either by cooking or freezing. Even with a margin of safety, the USDA APHIS Trichinella fact sheet says this will happen at an internal temperature of 132° F in 15 minutes and after about 5 days in a conventional freezer: - Sharif
  2. Well, as has been noted, you probably want trisodium citrate. In fact, you probably want trisodium citrate dihydrate (rather than the anhydrous version, but the difference between the two is only about 14% by weight) as this is what is normally intended by sodium citrate. Basic recipe: if you want 100.0 grams of sodium citrate, then you'll need 85.69 grams sodium bicarbonate (i.e., baking soda) and 71.45 grams citric acid (which I assume is monohydrate; if you know you have anhydrous citric acid, use 65.33 grams instead) and dissolve them both in water. There will be lots of CO2 bubbles released so you may want to add things in slowly. If you are making the sodium citrate for immediate use, then it's usually easy enough to just add 85.7% baking soda and 71.5% citric acid to your cooking liquid in place of 100% sodium citrate and continue with your recipe. I wouldn't recommend doing this directly in milk (use some water/beer instead and add the milk later) since the bubbles will foam the milk up and get unruly. This reaction technically adds a bit of water as well (12.25% of the sodium citrate weight) but this is usually < 0.8% of the total liquid in the recipe assuming the usual concentrations of sodium citrate so is likely negligible. If you want a powder for later, you just need to boil the water off. To get the dihydrate form, keep the solution below 158 C/316 F. Putting it in the oven at around 300 F should work. Breaking it up periodically as it is drying can help to get a powder in the end. - Sharif
  3. Nickery, This is not speculation. If the "power box's purpose is to bring energy only to the body of the nomiku, therefore you don't need 7 wires. This is common sense to admit there are many other things in this box. Probe should be linked to the controller, not tho the power box... If I were Nomiku I would not avoid, as you said, this discussion. This would put an end to it and we would know on the spot if the Nomiku is an immersion ciculator with a separate power supply or a PID controler with a separate heater element as Sousvidemagic. You might use 7 wires if you want to avoid power conversion above/in the water. The input requirements for the heater, PID, display and pump quite likely are all different and it may be easiest to split it in the brick. Given that it is a fairly reasonable setup and that the Nomiku developers have very little reason to lie about it, I have no problem with the idea that they are using 7 wires to provide power only. - Sharif
  4. Just got the book a week ago and haven't ordered my magic powders yet. Meanwhile, saw this and decided to give it a shot. Seemed to work, though I've not had the official version. Bear in mind that, according to Wiki, this procedure produces monosodium citrate, whereas the commercial food additive generally is trisodium citrate. No idea how important that might be, especially in other applications. In particular, it seems that trisodium citrate dihydrate is the intended form for the mac and cheese recipe. My almost-exclusive method for making the mac and cheese now to is to add citric acid and baking soda directly to the cooking liquid. Basically, for a given mass of sodium citrate (100% in the following scaling), add 71.45% citric acid* and 85.69% baking soda (stoichiometric ratio) to your liquid (slowly, lots of CO2 bubbles are generated). At the end, you'll have produced the equivalent of adding 100% trisodium citrate dihydrate and 12.25% excess water. This excess is fairly insignificant since very little sodium citrate is used in comparison to the cooking liquid (so the excess water ends up being < 1/100 of the total cooking liquid). If you want a powder for later use, you can boil it off in an oven at approximately 150C/300F (in any case, keep it below 158C/316F to make sure you end up with dihydrate rather than anhydrous). I used to do this, but it's so easy to prepare to order that I haven't felt the need recently. (* This assumes citric acid monohydrate. If using anhydrous citric acid, its scaling should be 65.33% and you'll get approximately 6.13% excess water) - Sharif
  5. Can you comment on making sodium citrate from citric acid? It's basically just a neutralization reaction which can be performed with any one of sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide (the first being the most likely in a kitchen setting, though they all feature in recipes in MC), producing only water and/or CO2 as by-products. Basic idea for getting sodium citrate is to add citric acid and baking soda to water. If you want powder for later use, you can boil the water off at this point, but I've had success making it to order; that is, just adding both to the mac and cheese liquid base in the proper proportions and continuing with the recipe (this actually does add some extra water but only increases the liquid quantity by < 1.2% in the standard recipe). More info here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/136959-cooking-with-modernist-cuisine/page__st__720__p__1809026#entry1809026 My question is which is the right thing to use: anhydrous trisodium citrate or trisodium citrate dihydrate? I've come to suspect the latter since most commercially available sodium citrate seems to be dihydrate (at least, when they say what it is). It's not the end of the world if you use the wrong one as it's essentially just a 14% difference in potency, but it'd be nice to know which is intended. If we should be using the dihydrate, then the linked preparation actually yields 114.0g trisodium citrate dihydrate (and if boiled off, should be done below 158 C/316 F: http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11705-012-1206-4 ). If made to order, 100.0g of trisodium citrate dihydrate can be replaced by 71.45g citric acid monohydrate (or 65.33g anhydrous citric acid) 85.69g baking soda (which yields 12.25 excess water or 6.13g if using anhydrous citric acid; in any case this is < 0.8% of the liquid in the recipe). If you do this, make sure to add the add the baking soda slowly or use a large container since lots of CO2 bubbles are produced and can overflow if you aren't careful (especially on a stovetop where the heat accelerates the reaction). - Sharif
  6. Amazon.ca also sent me an unprotected book. The replacement just arrived in an MC-branded box, so there's hope for anyone else who is still waiting. I'm just amazed that Amazon.ca could screw things up so much. The last time I ordered something from them was MC itself and they managed to send only the kitchen manual (this was eventually resolved, but only after a bit of back-and-forth and help from the MC team). I thought maybe they'd have things under control this time, but apparently not. - Sharif
  7. The sodium citrate seems pretty important for keeping the emulsion stable (see 4-223 and &roid's disappointing results without it). As far as I know, sour salt usually refers to citric acid, not sodium citrate (but make sure!). Upthread, I posted a way to make sodium citrate from citric acid but you probably don't need to make it separately/in advance. You should be able to simply substitute 7.45g anhydrous citric acid and 9.77g baking soda in place of the 10g of sodium citrate in the recipe. There will be a fair amount of carbon dioxide that bubbles off when you combine everything, but that's basically the only difference between the two methods. - Sharif
  8. As one of the unlucky few who still has _only_ the kitchen manual, I can say with some confidence that anybody buying it alone expecting to get a distillation of all that Modernist Cuisine has to offer would be gravely disappointed. It's fun to look through, and certainly useful by itself -- I've used some of the techniques already. However, reading the "how" for a certain recipe or technique without being able to access the "why" is actually quite frustrating. In isolation, the kitchen manual is at best a teaser for the real content. I'm in the same situation and agree completely.
  9. Not the same, but you can use it to make sodium citrate. It's basically a matter of adding baking soda, water and heat. The reaction is: C6H8O7(aq) + 3NaHCO3(s) -> 3H2O(l) + 3CO2(g) + Na3C6H5O7(aq) Basically, to get 100g of trisodium citrate: Dissolve 74.45g anhydrous* citric acid in distilled water. You'll probably need around 125 mL of water to fully dissolve it (more is fine, but it'll take longer to boil off). Add 97.66g sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) slowly. It will produce a fair amount of carbon dioxide (about 2 soda siphon chargers worth). Citric acid+baking soda+water is the reaction behind many fizzy bath bombs. Boil off the water; what remains is sodium citrate. This can be done in a 175C/350F oven (though it should be possible to use higher temperatures as sodium citrate is apparently stable below about 300C/575F). Breaking it up periodically while it's solidifying seems to help the result end up closer to a powder. * If you don't know if your citric acid is anhydrous (for what it's worth, my unlabeled citric acid was), you can convert it to anhydrous with heat. Wikipedia says this occurs above 78C (and citric acid decomposes at 175C) so baking it for an hour or so at 135C/275F should probably convert whatever you started with to anhydrous citric acid (which is weakly hygroscopic so it's probably best to keep it in a sealed container). If you know you have the monohydrate variety, you can measure out 81.43g of it instead. Or if you don't want to bother, you could just use 74.45g of whatever citric acid you have and stop adding baking soda when it stops foaming (somewhere between 89.29 and 97.66 grams) or when the pH is neutral/slightly basic. I ran this by a chemist friend of mine and he said a quick and dirty method would be to add baking soda saturated water to solid citric acid until it fully dissolves and stops bubbling (might have some overshoot, but you can add more acid to fix this). He pointed out that distilled water is useful because citrate will preferentially bind to Ca2+ over Na2+ if there is calcium present in the water, though slight impurities probably aren't a big deal. Lastly, he mentioned it should be possible to avoid making the sodium citrate beforehand (i.e., add the citric acid and baking soda in the cheese recipe, which is more or less what emannths suggests). - Sharif
  10. The MyWeigh i5000 (not sure about others) has a count feature that works pretty well for baker's percentages. Load the 100% ingredient and set it as 100 units (switch to count mode, press NW/GW until it registers 100 units, press mode to calibrate). All measures from that point on are percentages of the original ingredient. Edited to add: it only displays integer counts and the resolution can be even coarser for samples less than 100g (where 1% is less than the scale's 1g resolution). This hasn't been an issue for me in practice. It seems to hold the calibration even if it shuts down due to inactivity (just switch back to count mode). However, it will lose the tare as it goes to 0 when powered on. My only complaint about this scale is that it's apparently not possible to disable the auto-shutoff (even with the AC adapter). It's still a very good scale for general usage. For precision measurements, I have a ProScale Simplex 300 (300g capacity by 0.01g resolution) which seems to work fine (display doesn't update quite as fast as the i5000 when weight is changing but this hasn't caused any problems for me).
  11. Well, since there have apparently been reports of shipments without a kitchen manual (anyone here?), it seems likely the slipcases that were supporting our kitchen manuals were sent out to others and aren't just gathering dust in the warehouse. So, resolving it through Amazon.ca will probably mean waiting for them to get another shipment (are they even due to get another in the first printing?). I'm not sure if it will be faster, but you can e-mail info@modernistcuisine.com as per Wayt's post on missing kitchen manuals. Although that post relates to the inverse situation, they seem to be willing to help me out (though I don't know what form this will take yet - maybe just assistance dealing with Amazon.ca). In any case, getting help from the publisher can't hurt and could end up putting pressure on Amazon.ca from both ends.
  12. I also got only the kitchen manual. It's in a standard Amazon.ca box (i.e., none of the original packaging) about the size of the kitchen manual and lists both 1.09kg and 1.5kg as shipping weights. No other shipments are shown in the order and customer service doesn't know what happened (but has offered to refund or replace in 2-5 months for whatever their time estimates are worth). As for price, the full amount was charged. Perhaps helpful in tracking down the issue: Ordered: November 7 Shipment method selected: Priority International Courier Shipped: April 5 Carrier: DHL Destination: Washington state, USA Delivered: April 6 Perhaps there's a common link? - Sharif
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