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  1. Thank you, this is what I was looking for. The wine we made 20 years ago was from our garden that had about 100 grapevines, and a small ~25 tree orchard or so. It was semi-rural at the time, however, the surrounding area has since grown in considerably. I was hoping to make vinegar from the old wine, but looks like it will be a no-go, bummer! Based on the rest of what you wrote, to make sure I have this right: one cannot make a mother out of bottled wine. If I wish to make a vinegar mother from scratch, then one needs to continue with the fermentation process, instead of bottling the wine. I wonder what in the bottling process stops the acetobacter? Does the lack of oxygen kill it? I thought that would just inhibit the growth, make it lay dormant, then revive once exposed again. Or maybe if the wine maker adds sulfites or other preservatives/sanitizers, this kills the acetobacter? Hmmm. In other words, why is it a chemical reaction only that created vinegar in your wine instead of promoting the continued fermentation?
  2. Thanks for the information! As I mentioned in both my above posts, perhaps not clearly enough, I am not interested in making a vinegar this way. I'm trying to create the mother without a starter culture, similar to the way people makes a starter sourdough culture, or a ginger bug, etc. If you search for "how to make vinegar", nearly all results provide similar instruction to simply purchase Bragg's or some other vinegar with active cultures and go from there. Again, this is not what I want to do. My inner mad-scientist wants to do things the hard way Sadly, I haven't found any instructions or details/info on this yet. Thanks again for trying to help out, though, it's appreciated!
  3. Thanks, TT and DT. I got rid of it. Now to continue waiting, hoping the mother will spontaneously will itself into existence some day. Funny how I cannot find any information on how to do this anywhere...!
  4. Hi! Question 1: Check out the odd growth in my attempted vinegar mother in the photos.. what is it, should I throw it out, scoop it off and continue? Question 2: Is it possible to actually make one's own vinegar mother? Backstory for question 1: Having recently read the Noma guide to fermentation, I got this great idea that I would try to make my own vinegar mother. My inner mad scientist loves to do things the hard way. 20 year ago my father and I made and bottled wine from garden grapes. It's been stored in the basement since. I opened a bottle and it tasted astringent and had a sharp aroma similar to isopropyl alcohol, but still had some reminiscence to wine. According to everything I've read, it would be best to drop the alcohol level from typical wine to about half (I forget the percentages at the moment, it's been 4 months). I had no clue what alcohol level this wine was when we bottled it, since it was done seat of the pants style. Assuming it had typical wine alcohol volume, I diluted it with distilled water at 1:1 ratio. I also stuck a stone fish bubbler in there. The bubbler disintegrated in about 6 weeks, this was about 2.5 months ago. When I removed the bubbler back then, I tasted the liquid, just for laughs, and it was "meaty", in sort of a salami kind of way? Fun. Now, it's been left untouched since and I even forgot about it. Today I happened to go into the room, and saw the growth. I'm suspecting I contaminated the experiment with either the bubbler or the when I tasted the liquid (I may have double dipped... oops.. but I don't remember, and I don't think I'd do something that stupid, but, who knows). If it were the bubbler, not sure why the other jar is fine. Comment on Question 2: I know I can purchase a vinegar with live cultures and use that to start a mother. Not interested in doing this the easy way, and instead, would like to try to get one to spontaneously create itself from this old wine. Still have about 20 bottles to experiment with 🤪 Anyone have tips how to do this? Searching internet doesn't give much more useful information beyond buying something already live. I keep this in my downstairs spare bedroom, temp ranges 68-75F. Humidity is usually about 70%, but drops if I run the AC (as i have in the last couple weeks). Thanks for reading and any suggestions :)
  5. Yes, I use salted butter The DL method uses sugar [davidliebovitz.com] during the turns, while the various youtube videos from france simply add all the sugar when the laminating butter is added (example here [youtube], there are several more with similar techniques, some of them super messy, don't care about tears, exposed butter, etc). I wonder if my sugar is too coarse? It's not fine, but rather large and granular, similar to demerrera. I'll take pictures of the wetness next time I try to make this.
  6. Thanks all for the replies. I went a cautionary way and added a couple generous dallops of honey while creaming/mixing butter with less sugar, and it was indeed soft, and was pliable after set in the fridge. Thanks for this, that makes sense! I got the creaming idea for laminated dough by following the chef steps' kouign amann. Had no idea you could just mix the honey and butter. I am really curious now to try ghee with honey, since there's no water in ghee... hmmm I've been successful in making decent croissants over the last couple weeks, so I think my technique is improving. The moment I add sugar to the butter and/or dough, it starts to feel wet, and whether sitting in the fridge or on my counter, I can feel the moisture increasing. Moving the dough off my counter top leaves wet syrup spots. My relative humidity averages about 60%, I am coastal, less than 1/2 mile from the beach. We've had rain the last few weeks so it's been higher, even with the heater/conditioner running. For the kouign amann, I've tried traditional recipe variations (roll in butter with sugar into left over bread dough, followed by 2-3 rapid turns), as well as David Liebotvitz and Chefsteps. The Chefsteps technique by creaming ended up smearing all over my counter at the last turn, and was more puff pastry than anything. Best results were from the traditional method, as it's pretty quick, although, I still got syrup during the short, ~40min proof before bake.
  7. Hi: what happens if I cream butter with honey? Will the butter hold up, chilled? Or just be a soft mess? I would just try it, however, I only have a little precious expensive local honey on hand. Purpose is to play with laminated doughs... Sugar doesn't have the water it it, but it is hygroscopic (and when I add it to, say my kouign amann dough, the dough starts weeping syrup pretty quick). Honey already has the water in it. Hmm.. thanks for your input :)
  8. Hi, thank you for the replies. I went ahead and gave it a shot this weekend. The meat was antelope, haha, sorry about missing an important piece, D'OH! It was already quite tender after smashing to about 1/8" , so I did not do a long sous vide, only an hour at 132F. Resulting texture of the meat was tender and moist, if a tiny bit chewy. As long as I didn't breathe, it tasted like a mild meat.. the "rusty" aroma of this meat was a bit off putting, maybe next time a marinade in something acidic would be helpful. I've got one pound of "ground select" left, I don't think it is ground yet, so I need to figure out what to do with it (not chili or spaghetti).
  9. HI there: A friend of mine went hunting and gifted me some stew meat. I'm not a fan of stew, so I'm thinking of doing something else with this very lean protein. Would using a tenderizing hammer to pound out stew meat and fry it up like schnitzel be any good, or too chewy? Or maybe pound it out, then sous vide at lower temp for 24+ hours, then fry? I know other options could be to run it through a grinder, or make chili (which is just another way of making stew), etc. Thanks for reading :)
  10. I ran one of the choice steaks through a 4 hour bath at 128F, then seared on my grill. It helped the texture a little, but that could've been placebo. Wasn't mushy or like sawdust, which has happened sometimes when done too long. I am curious to try a side-by-side test, will do it next month. Seeing that I've now had three full rib eyes with this same "tough" texture, I've drawn the conclusion the butcher's environment causes the meat to dry out, and this is supported by the loss in mass to ~40%+. Thanks all for the help
  11. Hi there, to explain my comment: I recently purchased flour in bulk, and researched how to store it. I've had issues in the past, even with air-tight containers, in that bugs (I guess they are called weevils?) infesting the flour after 6 months or so. It seems this can happen with other grains, too, such as rice, though I've not had that problem. Research suggested freezing for various periods of time if not until ready for use, depending on size of the container. Other suggestions included adding bay leaves to the containers, vac sealing, etc. So perhaps the suggestion to freeze includes this in addition to possible spoilage. I wonder how they would respond if someone contacted them asking why they instruct it.
  12. Got it, I could just use the fridge as a spare (I don't really want to get into charcuterie or cheeses now). Maybe I'll get a fridge/freezer, since I really would like more freezer space. And a chamber vac sealer, and few other toys Paul: I know what you are talking about, even with internet and questionable photo calibrations, you are correct, these don't have that ruby-red color (and neither did the other two) - not sure why. The fat pieces I trimmed were an off-white, almost yellow, especially the 60-day choice. Good eye on the knife! Sadly, I'm terrible at sharpening (have been trying to get it right almost 10 years now), and I cannot tell if it is double or single bevel. But I still do everything with it! I am going to try a longer water bath anyway, just to see what happens, I've never actually gone past 2 hours with a ribeye before.
  13. It might be to kill the bugs/weevils.
  14. Okay, thanks, then you all have addressed my question: dry aged steak should be tender. I did the longer timeline mostly out of curiosity, and I did like it quite a bit. The butcher I go to may offer bone-in ribeye, but I'm not sure. They have porterhouse steaks, but I guess when I asked for ribeye, they must debone it since in each case that's how I'd received it. I'm sure if I ask, they could order it if they don't have it. I researched the dry-aging process a couple years ago; however, backed down due to limited space. What I recall most purchase the cuts at the warehouses like costco -- but those all come boneless and cryovacced as rotuts stated. Next step therefore is to cave in and get a second fridge/freezer dedicated to aging my own, and just find a way to make room for it. I'm trying to think of other uses for the fridge, since it's just me and one of these ribeyes lasts a year. Just for laughs, attached pictures show the prime cut post trimming. I cut the large fat tip off and rendered it down thinking I could use it like duck fat - but no, it's way too strong for my tastes not sure what else to do with it. Did not take photos of the choice, however, at least half of it had fairly decent marbling.
  15. jedovaty

    Cooking with Grains

    I've been discovering buckwheat over last year or so, this stuff is amazing and quite versatile, you can do everything from porridge to noodles and waffles (like with many of the seeds/grains, but this has such a unique "green" flavor making it more fun).
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