This episode serves as our periodic channel update bring you news and a quick look at whats coming in the near future.
First and foremost, I am going to be away for 2 weeks from the 12th of August and as a result, our next episode will be around the 28th of August.
We have just finished with the 2 simplest forms of distillation in our distilling course, and this will continue on my return. I will be demonstrating how to built a proper water cooled pot still for next to nothing, and a whole load more interesting stuff on distilling at home.
In addition to this, my short course on molecular gastronomy will continue as well, with more advanced forms of spherification, edible dissolving films and many other interesting things.
It goes without saying that while the distilling and molecular course unfold, our regular food programming will continue as normal.
That’s me for now, and I’ll look forward to seeing you all again towards the end of the month.
In yesterday’s episode we fermented a pure sugar wash using turbo yeast and refined white sugar. In the second part today, we’re going to take the partially cleared wash and distill this in a stock pot still. If you missed our episode on stock pot distilling please click HERE before continuing.
Here is the sugar wash from yesterday’s episode. The wash has been partially cleared by refrigeration and is ready for distillation.
In place of the plain ice blocks used in the stock pot distilling video, I have made up about 45 small ice packets by heat sealing water in small bags and then freezing them. This makes the cooling process much easier as when the ice melts you simply swap out the melted packets for more frozen packets. The added bonus is that these ice packs can be reused many times.
Pour the fermented sugar wash into your stock pot.
Place an upturned colander into the wash.
Place a large jug or bowl on top of this to catch the distillate.
Place the upturned wok lid on the pot and you’re ready to go.
Set your heat source to 80c or 176f. This is just 2 degrees higher than the boiling point of ethanol.
Fill the upturned wok lid with the ice packs and lets process take its course.
As a heat source, you need to use something controllable like an induction cooker, or what a digital pot like this one.
And now it’s time for some calculations. 5 liters of wash at a 15% alcohol content will give us a total alcohol yield of 750ml of ethanol.
The first distillation of the wash will only yield an ABV or alcohol by volume strength of around 50%.
This means that to obtain 1.5 liters of 50% ABV vodka, you need to collect 1.5 liters of the distillate.
If you want higher alcohol content, you can continue with a second distillation of the distillate which will give you an alcohol content of around 80 percent ABV.
As the wash approaches the target temperature, you will notice the condensation on the chilled lid, running down the curved surface and dripping into the cat bowl.
Swap out the ice packs as necessary.
Empty the catch bowl or jug periodically to keep an eye on your progress.
Once you have collected 1.5 liters, the run is complete.
Here is the absolutely clear distilled 50% ABV vodka. At this stage it can be cooled and consumed, you can dilute it slightly to the standard 43% ABV, or you run it through the distilling process a second time for a much purer, stronger liquor.
This episode is Part 1 where we're going to ferment a high alcohol sugar wash. In part 2, tomorrow, we will distill it using the stock pot distilling technique we looked at in the previous distilling episode. Vodka is by definition pure ethanol in water... it has not distinctive smell or flavor. However, this only true for vodkas that have been distilled using refraction, or column stills. When vodka is distilled using a pot still, or in this case a stock pot still, a portion of the aroma and flavor of the fermented liquid does pass on to the distilled product. This will give every different type of pot stilled vodka its own distinctive taste and aroma. We are going to make a fermented sugar wash which ideal for producing vodka. Sugar wash has become increasingly popular with distillers as it produces no methanol, and insignificant quantities of fusel oils. It is the perfect wash for beginner distillers, and especially when using a stock pot still where it is really inconvenient trying to remove heads and tails during the process.
5lt Filtered water
1.5Kg Refined white sugar
60g Turbo yeast (this comes in many brands, and is available from your local home brew supplier)
Add the water and sugar to you fermentation vessel. Heat the water and stir the solution until the sugar has totally dissolved.
Allow the solution to cool to 40c or 104f, then add the turbo yeast. Stir this in briefly.
Reduce the heat to 30c or 86f, place the lid on the pot and allow this to ferment for 48 hours.
Due to the anti-foaming agent, this fermentation will only show a thin film of bubbles on the surface, but you will certainly be able hear the bubbles in the pot.
To achieve the relatively high alcohol content of between 14 and 19%, we are using specially formulated yeast called Turbo yeast. This yeast enjoys higher temperatures, does not develop any nasties, it has yeast nutrient built into the formulation and as an added bonus, an anti-foaming agent.
After 48 hours listen to the fermentation. If the bubbling has reduced significantly, it is ready, if not, allow it to continue.
Mine is ready, and it is ready to rack, or syphon off the wash.
Take a food grade container and a length of polyethylene pipe.
Use a silicon elastic band to strap a skewer onto one end of the pipe so that just a half inch of the skewer protrudes past the end of the pipe. This keeps the end of the pipe clear of the precipitated dead yeast at the bottom of the pot.
Place the skewered end of the pipe in the fermented wash, get the syphon going.
Place other end of the pipe in the bottle and run the fermented liquid into the bottle.
This is a quick look at the precipitate at the bottom of the fermentation vessel.
Here is the racked, fermented sugar wash. You will notice how cloudy it is. This is very fine yeast particulate that has not precipitated.
We want to clear most of this before distilling.
Put the cap on the bottle and place the wash in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
After this time, notice how much clearer the wash is. It is ready to distill. Once again, notice the precipitated yeast at the bottom.
Rack this off again, and you're ready to distill the wash.
Please stay tuned for tomorrow's episode where we will distill this using a stock pot distiller.
Just a few episodes back we used agar agar to make a wonderful garnish of cilantro spaghetti. Today we're going to use sherry and agar agar to make sherry pearls, or sherry caviar. Before we start, you will need a large syringe, and you will also need to place about 500ml of cooking oil in your freezer for 30 minutes to get well chilled. This technique also falls into the category of molecular gastronomy, and is the simplest form of spherification.
2.5ml Agar Agar
500ml Very cold oil for setting
Pour 200ml of your favorite sherry into a small saucepan.
Add 2.5ml of agar agar to the sherry.
Place the pan over medium heat and bring this to boil, stirring frequently.
Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 60 seconds.
Remove the pot from the heat, and remove the chilled oil from the freezer.
Use your syringe to suck up a load of the sherry mixture.
Drizzle droplets of the sherry over the surface of the oil. You will see them set into tiny spheres almost immediately.
Place a filter over a jug and pour the oil and sherry pearls into the filter.
The oil will pass through leaving the pearls in the filter and you're done.
(You can rinse the pearls briefly using cold water, but I have never found this necessary)
Mexican Hellfire Burgers - Headstands in the Shower - Seriously Hot Burgers!!!
Recipe type: Burgers
Today's episode holds something really special for those who love hot and spicy food. These burgers will grow hair on a woman's chest and almost certainly have you doing headstands in the shower. The recipe for the Mexican spice blend is included in the printable recipe for the burgers.
(Machine these all until fine in your spice grinder)
Place the beef mince and pork mince in a mixing bowl and add the Mexican spice mix.
Massage the spice into the meat thoroughly.
Use your patty press to form the patties. I am making 160g patties, but you can make them any size you prefer. If you don't have a patty press, weigh the meat into portions and form them by hand.
I have giant burger buns, and to match the bun size I am going to press the patties further between cling-wrap. Once at this size, you really want to make a deep indentation in the center of each patty. This prevents the patty from deforming when it is cooked.
If you're following the same weight patty as I am using, press them out to a thickness of 10mm or just short of a half inch.
Put the patties aside while you slice the pickled jalapeños and tomatoes.
You will also need a generous handful of fresh coriander.
Slice and butter the buns.
On the bottom half of each bun, spread a thick layer of sour cream.
Top this with a generous scattering of sliced pickled jalapeño.
Follow this with a good portion of fresh coriander.
Heat your pan over medium high heat and add a little butter.
Grill the patties for 2.5 minutes per side until nicely browned.
Transfer the patties to the buns.
Top the patties with the sliced tomato.
Top the tomato with a generous dose of chilli Doritos and you're ready to serve.
Chicken Enchiladas - Spicy Chicken Wraps with Melted Cheese, Sour Cream & Hot Salsa
Recipe type: Chicken
In today's episode we're taking a quick trip to Mexico to make some awesomely rustic, spicy chicken enchiladas. Filled with creamy, spicy chicken and jalapeños and topped with melted cheese, sour cream and hot salsa these enchiladas will have your guests lining up for more. This recipe will make 2 large enchiladas or 4 medium.
(Machine these all until fine in your spice grinder)
Starting with the salsa, chop the tomatoes and pickled jalapeños.
Grab a handful of fresh coriander and measure out the dried garlic granules. You can also use fresh garlic, but I like the rounded flavor these granules give to the food.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add 30g of butter.
Fry the fresh ingredients for about 90 seconds until wilted then add the garlic.
Continue to fry this for another 60 seconds. Remove the salsa from the pan and keep it warm.
Place the deboned chicken thighs on a large platter skin side up.
Sprinkle half of the Mexican spice over the skin and rub it in.
You can find the spice recipe included in the printable recipe.
Flip the thighs over and sprinkle the remaining spice over the chicken. Put this aside while you slice the onions, dice the peppers and chop the pickled jalapeño. In addition measure out 80ml of sour cream.
Return the pan to the heat and fry the onion, peppers and jalapeño for 2 to 3 minutes and onion is tender and translucent.
Remove this from the pan and keep it warm.
Add 30g of butter to the pan and add the chicken thighs skin side down.
Fry the chicken for 6 minutes turning halfway through. The chicken should be well charred on the outside.
Remove the chicken from the pan and chop it into thin strips.
Return the chicken to the pan along with the onion, peppers and jalapeño and stir this briefly to warm it through.
Add the sour cream and stir this in to combine.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Place a large tortilla on an oven proof serving platter. Spoon half of the chicken filling across the center of the wrap.
Roll the wrap up to enclose the filling and use 2 toothpicks to secure.
Drop a generous dose of mature cheddar or strong jack over the tortilla. Pick up any spillage and get it all on top of the enchilada.
Repeat this with the second wrap.
Place the enchiladas under the grill in your oven until the cheese is just melted.
Remove these from the oven. Be careful, the plates will be very hot.
Remove the toothpicks.
Spoon the remaining sour cream over the enchiladas, followed by the hot salsa.
Serve the enchiladas immediately accompanied with guacamole and fresh crispy salsa.
Cilantro Pesto Spaghetti - Simple Molecular Gastronomy - Perfect Garnishes using Agar Agar!!!
Recipe type: Molecular Gastronomy
This molded spaghetti works brilliantly as garnish on steaks, chicken and salads. The process falls into the category of molecular gastronomy, however it is nowhere as complicated as it sounds. This process will work with any liquid, including liqueurs, wines, vinegars and syrups, provided you keep to the ratio of 200ml liquid to 2.5ml agar agar. Agar agar is a specialized thickener, and can be found at almost any health store.
100ml Clear chicken stock
30ml Worcestershire sauce
2.5ml Cayenne pepper
Generous handful fresh cilantro / coriander
2.5ml Agar Agar
Combine the chicken or vegetable stock, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, agar agar, cayenne pepper and cilantro.
Use your stick blender to zap this until fine.
Transfer this to a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer for 60 seconds.
Take a length of polyethylene piping and coil it up.
Fill another container with very cold water.
Place one end of the coiled pipe in the pesto and suck the pesto up the pipe. You can use your mouth or a suitably sized syringe to do this.
Stop when you have sucked up half of the liquid.
Plunge the coil into the cold water bath for 3 minutes, holding the ends out of the water.
Remove the pipe from the water.
Serve your main ingredient, be it steak or otherwise and spoon some of the leftover pesto over the steak.
Hold one end of the pipe over the platter and start blowing on the other end.
As the pesto spaghetti emerges from the pipe, direct the front end of the pipe to place the spaghetti where you want it.
Finish the garnish with a little extra cilantro and you're done.
And there we have a succulent steak topped with 3 totally different textures of cilantro pesto. This quantity of pesto will garnish 2 steaks.