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Michael L.

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  1. It's usually made from very strongly brewed Ceylon tea and you can spice it with some Star Anise and maybe other spices. Usually the pre packaged tea you buy had yellow food coloring in it to get that color so if you make it from scratch it will look differently. You can put sugar in the tea before it starts to cool if you plan on using evaporated milk otherwise you have to use condensed milk. I sometimes combine loose Ceylon and some prepackaged thai tea and star anise and have gotten very close to what you get in Thailand. My main recommendation is to make the tea much stronger than you think and sweeter than you think.
  2. Brewing your own kombucha tea

    Only the bottle fermentation adds fizziness to the drink so you'll need to keep it longer in the bottle before you put it in the fridge. You also only flavor the Kombucha during the bottle fermentation as any flavoring during the initial brewing may taint the SCOBY for future brews. I like to flavor mine with ginger and lemongrass.
  3. Brewing your own kombucha tea

    I do one week for the first fermentation and 2 days for the 2nd (bottle) fermentation. It just depends on how sweet you like your Kombucha, there isn't really a "right" time to stop it. There are many factors besides personal taste that will affect brew time: what kind of sugar you use (the less molasses the easier for the yeast to digest), how warm it is where you store it during the brew, the health of the SCOBY, etc. I would taste it after a few days and see if you want to add more brew time.
  4. Sous Vide Duck

    Awesome idea. I'm going to use that next time I render fat.
  5. You can use an app to help determine when the surface is pasteurized. I use SousVide Dash for iOS and it works rather well.
  6. Sous Vide Duck

    I don't think freezing the skin beforehand will have any negative inpact on rendering the fat. The water bath will bring it up to temperature pretty quickly. Freezing the whole bag post rendering may be a problem, I'm not sure how easy it will be to seperate frozen geletain and frozen fat. Seperating the two once they have solidifed in the fridge is pretty easy. As long as the fat isn't tained (i.e. you left some geletain in the container) it will last in your fridge for at least a month or more. One word of caution when taking the rendered fat out of the water bath. The fat is extremely hot and if your bag isn't sealed well (which sometimes happens when vacuum sealing moist items) you can get burned and make a mess. Always be careful removing a bag from the hot water bath.
  7. Sous Vide Duck

    pbear: Absolutely, there are many ways to render fat. For me, the sous vide is pretty easy, I'm probably going to cook the duck legs in the water bath anyway. The main benefit is that once the skin is in the water bath it doesn't really need tending to. Grinding it on the other hand is a bit of a pain because of the cleanup.
  8. Sous Vide Duck

    The grinder technique is from Thomas Keller's Under Pressure cook book. I find it's the easiest way to render the fat and provides a better yield than just putting the skin in the bag. I've heard of people rendering the fat in a microwave, but I haven't tried it myself. The geltain is great for stock or sauces to add some flavor and texture.
  9. Sous Vide Duck

    I don't think there is a need to do a steaming step, but if you get successful results with it let me know. It may be beneficial for the brests as they are cooked at a much lower temp than the legs (I usually do the brests in a pan). You will get some rendered fat in the bag but it will certainly carry the flavor of the meat and the seasonsings. My recommendation is to save as much of the skin and fat from the rest of the duck when you break it down. Run that reserved fat/skin and through a grinder and then put the ground mixutre in a bag and sous vide that for an hour at 180F. Strain out the hot liquid into a container and let it cool a bit, you can then put it in the fridge to solidify the fat. You'll have a layer of geletain under the fat that can be used in soups/sauces. You should seperate the duck fat from from the geletain as the geletain will spoil in about a week but the fat will last a very long time.
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