Yeast connection part 2

The Yeast Connection part 2

Sept. 18-19

This blog is a continuation of the previous one exploring various aspects of yeast in its manifestations in beer and bread.

  • That beer bread where I used the last dregs of the recently bottled beer rose. It took a full 24 hours at room temperature to get itself sorted out. Its now been in the fridge for about 15 hours. I took off a little pinch to taste (heat a frying pan, a little oil, flatten the bread sample, cook, observe if it rises, eat) It also passed the stretch test 20170918_063800.jpg
  • I thought I’d like it as a boule – but realize I need a suitable rising container, so here it is in some parchment paper ready for its long fridge rise. 20170918_065555.jpg
  • The beer is now bubbling away, and the reconstituted yeast brew (right) is much more active than the basic yeast version. 20170918_094347.jpg
  • Meanwhile my apple and pear ferments are bubbling away nicely. I’m going to try a few experiments with them:
    • Cider: propagate a yeast slurry using organic apple juice in the same way I do a beer yeast refresh: (per gallon) 200g juice (hopefully at 1.035) and 20g of the yeast in the jar. Same for the pear.
    • Beer (why not?) same thing – but use my beer wort mix
    • Bread: 2 starters – Elaine at foodbod https://foodbod.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/fruit-yeast-water-bread/ suggests equal parts water and flour (which would yield a 100% hydration starter). Now this will definitely be interesting to compare with my ‘old faithful’ SD starter. Will I get hints of apple and pear? 20170919_112835.jpg

September 20

I had to bake that beer bread today. It was just going too long in the fridge. I didn’t need to do it for bread – there’s already lots – but it really had fermented enough at nearly 48 hours. It rose, and did its yeasty breadish thing, but had I done it earlier it would more have resembled a bowler hat and not a volcano. The taste however was excellent. I’m glad I added the maple syrup. There was no bitterness as I tasted in the pre rise taste, but the taste was wonderfully rich and malty. In retrospect I should have made about 1.5 x the recipe using water as additional liquid. Or indeed not. This is a bread that is no shrinking background bread. Its the star of the show. I imagine it with roast squash, your thanksgiving turkey, a rich thick soup. And of course it will ideally suit the beer you brewed from it. That said it will be a month before you drink that and the bread will be long gone. It will NOT however a light summer salad. Here is what it looks like:

20170920_085436.jpg.

It is definitely worth doing this again next time I brew. Of course one can also use this last not full bottle for other things too – like marinating your meat, maybe cooking beans. Now there’s an idea!

Sooo…. In summary… if you are a brewer who has not made bread before:

  • Weigh the beer/trub mix.
  • Divide the weight by .6 to give the amount of flour to use. You can use whatever flour you like, just understand this will really affect the taste.
  • Multiply the weight of the flour by 2%. This is the amount of salt to add.
  • Mix and knead the flour and the beer until it is all well mixed. Place in a bowl and leave for 20 minutes
  • Add the salt and knead until it is well integrated. Taste it – the hoppiness could make it too bitter. This can be countered with a sweetener of your choice (which will also aid the fermentation going forward.)
  • let rise at room temperature for about about 24 hours.
  • Stretch and fold – a kind of kneading – look it up on Youtube – and then shape to the shape you wish it to be. At this point you can add stuff – seeds, nuts, other grains, oil….. Taste it again using that ‘fry a little bit of dough’ method described above.
  • Leave it at room temperature for a few hours or stick it in the fridge for about 24 or more hours.
  • For baking – oven to 450F. Depending on how much you have, it will be anything from 30-60 minutes. But if you are a brewer you should have a digital thermometer on a long probe. Stick that in after about 25 minutes and wait until its over 190F but not over 205.
  • Let it cool for about 20 minutes.

September 22:

Check out the apple ferment! Its in its glory now!

20170922_092653[1].jpg

September 26

  • Lots has happened, including my courses, which is why I have not been great about keeping this journal up to date.
  • The brews noted above were bottled. The ‘control sample’ with regulare old Safale 04 yeast came in at 1.020, while the reconstituted yeast came in at 1.010!! Its clear to me now. I will be using active trub, strengthened with some 1.035 wort from now on.
  • On September 24, I participated in Jan and Jim’s cider making process. My first time for this. Jim and jan are wonderful people who live off grid up in the Bruce Peninsula. Ultimate DIYers, one of their annual projects is processing their apples into all sorts of things, but mainly cider. I spent the morning with some of their city millennial friends, chopping and got to see the cider press in action. Here are a couple of photos of their set up:
  • The apple chunks are first mashed in the masher, then placed in the press. A hand screw presses down the press plate squeezing the juice out. Jim notes that since none of the trees are cultivated and grafted, they are all their own individual species. I felt very honoured to take away a gallon, which I innoculated with my apple yeast, and placed in the crawl space to ferment for goodness knows how long. For the first time I made a connection between what Sandor Katz has said about apple cider – i.e. give it oxygen and time and things will happen vs. what I have found to be succesful: dropping some champaign yeast into it. I did wonder that perhaps I did not need to add my yeast – but we will see what happens. Naturally sweet, it came in at 1.043 OG. If it fermnents all the way it should produce a 4.5% hard cider.
  • On the brewing front, I finally got to try the exbeeriment I made using sourdough starter. It was excellent and I did not expect that. What I have read notes that for sour brews one needs to think of lighter brews, pilsner and wheat malts, and light hopping. In this one I made a straight up ale with 2 row malt, and northdown hops. I was truly expecting sour, but did not get it. I’ve heard that the hops tend to kill off the lactic acid bacteria so if that happened it would definitely account for the lack of sour where it was present at the point I bottled it. Between the result noted above and this, I feel that I am much more in control and comfortable with my yeast situation and beer.
  • I’ve pureed and added fresh apple juice to my apple yeast sample, and have taken some of it to make a bread starter. Haven’t tried it yet – family is not eating enough bread.
  • I also was able to get a decent DIY stirplate going. Its super basic, and needs a lot more refinement, but I was able to use it to get a yeast happening for a 2 gallon brew. Since yeast needs oxygen in order to work well, stirring it is a good way to do this. In a stir plate, a magnet is on a motor spinning around. There’s another smaller magnet in your jar of yeast. The spinning magnet causes the other magnet to spin also. The trick is that you need to start things slowly and get it at an optimum speed for a whirlpool to happen. 20170923_110355[1].jpg
  • And to finish this blogging sequence off, my 2 gallon brew (I am trying to make a Kolsh but I have substituted so much that its likely turned out to be just another pilsner.) and its buddy, the apple cider. I can hardly wait until next week to see how they turned out. If I see any fermenting action I will just leave them there. You can see that the beer is already developing a nice Kreusen. The cider may take longer.

All of this goes to show how flexible, variable, and also powerful this microscopic fungi called yeast is. Its key to a significant number of foods and drinks we not just consume, but really enjoy. If anything, I hope these 2 blogs inspires people to experiment, to ask “what if….?” set up and experiment, and have fun with it!

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The yeast connection

The Yeast Chronicles (part 1)

Or How to love your trub and find all kinds of uses for it.

A warning: This blog is a tad nerdy. It’s a journal kind of blog chronicling my thoughts and mini experiments regarding bread, beer, and what joins them at the hip, yeast.

This blog entry chronicles my thoughts around yeast and its connections to both beer and bread over the course of a week when I did not have to think about the courses I’ll be teaching shortly.. In it I am trying a variety of experiments that consider the use of the same yeast samples in both baked products and beers.

In this phase of things, I’ve been inspired/influenced by the following bloggers and resources:

Bread Cakes and Ale https://breadcakesandale.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/crumbs-brewing-and-the-bread-beer-relationship/ Lots of great info on the connection and history of beer and bread from a British perspective.

http://brulosophy.com/ this is a blog all about beer experimentation. Great ideas!

Foodbod https://foodbod.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/fruit-yeast-water-bread/ where I was inspired to try the apple fermentation

The Early English Bread Project https://earlybread.wordpress.com/

September 9th

  • Used 200g of trub made from safale 04 yeast. Treated it as ‘starter’ and added 200g water and 120g flour; let ferment for 6 hours at room temperature. This starter is to be called ‘ale starter’
  • Used 200g of this to make a 66% hydration loaf. (dark, malty taste; not bitter)

Sept 12

  • Refreshed the ale starter; let rise 6 hours room temp, made a 1700g bulk rise. The starter still has a malty taste to it though not as dark or strong as its prior version. (note to self: try either using beer to refresh or use beer as your bread liquid. ) Bulk rise left out overnight (@ 8 hours)

Sept 13

  • Baked 900g loaf from the bulk rise (made from ale starter). Both starter and dough have performed very well.Spring is good, crumb is fine. The taste is not as malty as the earlier loaf, but it has a complexity and darkness that is not present in my usual sourdough. I’m wondering if I keep refreshing it as a SD culture if the unique flavour of the yeast will endure. yeastconnection1.jpgyeastconnevtipn2.jpg
  • I refreshed equal amounts of my original starter and my ale starter. The ale starter was considerably more vigorous.
  • Can’t make up my mind on what kind of beer to brew next.
  • Hooked up a light dimmer to an old bathroom fan to develop a stirplate. I just need to figure out how to separate the fan from its metal enclosure and build a box around it.
  • Began apple and pear yeast capture: cut up each placed in 500ml jars with RO water.
  • apple pear ferment day 1.jpg

Sept 14

  • Decided to do a beer experiment with the 2 yeasts:

What I am trying to do here: That safale 04 trub starter appears to be quite strong. What I want to do in this experiment is to compare this reconditioned yeast (now in its 4th refresh) to dry safale 04 on the following parameters:

  • Strength: Does refreshing trub using bread flour contribute to a stronger yeast? Which yeast is most effective to take down a 1.070OG brew? The results will be clear – what is the FG? IN comparing this starter to my sourdough starter, it is more vigorous.
  • Taste: how different is the taste? the yeast is going to be the same. But in refreshing it 3-4 X over a week with bread flour, have LAB’s developed to sour the beer?

Methodology:

  • Make a 2 gallon brew mashed, boiled and hopped together.
  • refresh starter and brew morning prepare 20g ale starter with 200g 1.035 wort; use safale 04 dry for the other batch. Divide equally into 2 gallon jugs.

Malt:

  • 1.83kg Weyerman Pilsner (83.4%)
  • 360g Briess Carapils (16.6%)

Hops: Perle – 12.74 gOG 1.070 (came out at 1.062)

  • IBU: 20.1
  • Colour 8.1 EBC
  • Est ABV: 6.5%

Comparing the 2 starters for bread:

  • Took my 2 yeasts to see the difference in the same loaf of bread: same flour mix, same hydration, done at same time, in same banneton. Bulk rise set up around 1PM; will set up loaves tonight, bake off tomorrow AM.

2yeastsamd their doughs.jpg

Sept 15

  • The bake-off
    • The ale starter rose better – but not a huge difference
    • The crumb was similar – fairly closed. (I had used 50% durum flour)
    • The ale starter still retains a rich malty sense to it.
    • The SD starter has a definite LAB taste profile – more tangy
    • Conclusions:
      • both make excellent bread, both are very different.
      • The ale starter is more vigorous
      • Its always worth setting up an ale starter when one does a brew.
      • I’ll keep my SD starter: its been going for 3 years or more, and is likely changing as its own subspecies
    • Questions:
      • Will different brews yield different flavour profiles in bread? (They should)
      • How will the difference in the starters affect the taste in crackers? (next experiment)
      • Can I even reasonably maintain 2 starters?
      • & what happens when the apple and pear yeast captures are also part of the yeast collection?

Sept 16

It’s brew day.

  • The day started by preparing the reconstituted starter (6AM): 200g of 1.035 wort and 20g of the starter. The idea here is to use the wort to build up and strengthen the yeast. I haven’t yet developed an effective stir plate, so I whisk it often throughout the day. I’m anticipating it will be pitched this afternoon. 20170916makingstarter.jpg
  • I’ve done the mash, boiled the wort and will shortly divide the wort into 2 gallon jugs and pitch the yeasts. I used the same recipe as for my first sd brew except I’m going with Perle hops. It came in at 1.062 – a high enough OG to test how well the 2 yeasts will perform. The one with reconstituted yeast is higher as a result of the pitch being a total of 200g. 20170916ale1.jpg
  • I also made a cracker dough with the ale starter: 250g starter 250g red fife flour, 7g water, 37g oil, 12g salt, 5 g each cumin and fennel. Rolled into a ball, into fridge. Let the yeasts slowly discover their own food source while battling excess salt. I’m curious about the flavours that will come through from this yeast in these crackers.
  • Finally today, I pulled the last piece of dough from the trub dough I set up a few days ago. I added herbs – basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic, pepper – and also butter. As the picture suggests the dough was rolled out, the ingredients added, and then it was rolled up and kneaded out again into a foccacia shape.20170916beerbread4.jpg

Sept 17

  • Crackers were rolled out and baked. These were used using my bread spreadsheet – a universally editable spreadsheet to be used for any bread formulations. I added fennel and cumin to this. Note the parchment paper. It works well to roll it out on parchment paper as it makes the handling a lot easier, especially as it tends to break apart when it is quite thin. The result: Interesting, though not my best cracker. The beer aspect does indeed come through, and I should have just left it like that. With the cumin and fennel, there’s just too much going on for the pallet. This is a technique that I would not do with fresh trub. The trub for this one had been refreshed 4 times with flour over the week. Using fresh trub, for the 300 or so grams of starter used in the recipe, I would probably do 3 parts water and 1 part trub: 180g water, 60g trub, 146g flour. 20170917trubcrackers2.jpg20170917trubcrackers1.jpg
  • I did one more experiment – its still happening. Yesterday I also bottled a brew – an American pale ale. At the end of the bottling I had a partly filled bottle with a fair amount of trub and beer. Since the trub is a lot of used yeast, I decided to attempt using this bottle as both the yeast and liquid in a bread. Here is how that went down: I poiured the beer into a bowl and weighed it – 300g. Then I divided this by .66 to give me the flour needed to give a 66% hydration loaf: 454g. I then multiplied this by 2% for the appropriate amount of salt (9g). Its (hopefully) rising, though I don’t know how long its all going to take.
  • Meanwhile my apple and pear ferments are bubbling away nicely.

It has been a week now of fun and experimenting. I do appreciate that the only ones left reading are those who might be interested themselves in this amusement of beer, bread and yeast. That is after all one of the prerogatives of the blogger – to be as self indulgent as they want – and I’ve definitely been that.

But wait ….. There’s more! (just kidding) But seriously, after a week of this Its time to wrap and post. I’ll likely continue a second edition next!

My progress with beer

My progress with beer

I’ve been having a lot of fun with beer lately. This blog chronicles some of what I’ve been up to.

I’ve now been brewing for about 18 months, and learned a lot, the hard way. That said, only one brew had to become ‘beer vinegar’. Some have been great, and others simply OK. A few I have really loved.

Beer making has followed my usual cooking M.O: it starts with a scientific question: “What would happen if….?” Sometimes it has been more of a design question: “Can I clone??”

The images are all from beersmith. It really doesn’t add anything to show pictures, nor would it add anything to make this a “here’s how you do it’ blog. If you want to make beer, download Beersmith to both your desktop and cell phone. Take time to read a lot, and especially set up your equipment profiles. Then you will be all set.

Without further ado, here are a few reflections on the brews I’ve been doing.

Sour Beer

Sourbeer is a particular style of beer. Wikipedia describes it this way: “At one time, all beers were sour to some degree. As pure yeast cultures were not available, the starter used from one batch to another usually contained some wild yeast and bacteria.[1] Unlike modern brewing, which is done in a sterile environment to guard against the intrusion of wild yeast,[2] sour beers are made by intentionally allowing wild yeast strains or bacteria into the brew. Traditionally, Belgian brewers allowed wild yeast to enter the brew naturally through the barrels or during the cooling of the wort in a coolship open to the outside air [3] – an unpredictable process that many modern brewers avoid.[4]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sour_beer.

I also found a sour beer blog! http://sourbeerblog.com/ which in turn led me to the ‘Milk the Funk” facebook group which is dedicated to using wild yeasts in beer making.

My current interest has been in using sourdough starter to pitch into my beer. Working through Yeast I calculated that if I take 20g. of vigorous sourdough starter and refresh it in 200g of.1.035 wort first thing in the morning (or late at night before) of a brew day, it will have sufficiently fermented to pitch into a gallon (3.5 L) of beer.

I’ve tried this a couple of ways now: with pilsner malt as the base, and also with a more ale based base. I’ve heard that hops can kill the lactic acid bacteria – we will see: the ale version was fairly heavily hopped. I’ve begun to drink the pilsner version and so far I am really pleased with the results.

(Note: if you want to see the recipes in more detail, I would suggest clicking on the picture to either open it in a new tab and then expanding it, or saving it as  an image then enlarging it)

 

Above is the recipe used for the pilsner version, and below, the ale version.

The next recipe is one I named ‘June Ale. I was trying to use up grains and hops purchased over the course of last winter – no more and no less. Sometimes one gets surprisingly great results. This one turned out quite wonderfully, as a straight up ale. Great mouth feel, great head, very smooth after taste. I’m definitely going to do this again.

The final recipe is one where I wanted to explore Citra hops, and found this one in beersmith. The citrus is very pronounced, a very bright beer. Apparently this is the kind of thing that is all the rage these days. I’m quite delighted with it myself, though I would not want to make this the only beer on hand.

Not quite sure where to take this next, but here are a few random thoughts:

  • Continue with the small brews, but make 2 gallon batches the norm. This way I get about 12 500ml bottles for my efforts. I’m finding that getting only 6 for all that work is getting a little much. I will still do one gallon batches for experimental efforts.
  • Up to now my goal has been to make a decent ale. I’ve now achieved that. Next I want to have a small variety on hand that includes an ale, a sour beer, a lightly hopped pilsner type ale, and a stout not to mention the odd experiment as well.
  • I want to do more experiments with capturing wild yeasts – but more about that in later blogs.

Apricot jam & hot apricot chutney

Recently I spied the season’s first apricots. These guys were really fresh nice and juicy and it was a question of do I do them, blackberries or blueberries. I really didn’t want to have to process them all together so I decided on the apricots.

A few years ago I bought a jar of hot apricot chutney from Laura who runs Cottage Country North up in Wiarton, ON. It was amazing – a sharp bite of hot with the intense tang of apricots. Of course I tried to copy it – with modest success. A little while later I learned she uses dried apricots. That would definitely account for the intensity of it. So I searched my faithful spreadsheet to try to find that hot apricot chutney recipe from several years ago – as a starting point.

I wanted to explore something else as well. This time around I’m focusing my exploration on the idea started in my Strawberry -Rosemary Chutney blog – to make a jam and a chutney in the same session, while also refining my scalable jam and chutney spreadsheet application. So this time I am making a basic apricot jam and also the hot apricot chutney.

The jam was simple: I just follow the regular Pomona’s recipe. For the chutney,I thought I would apply the lessons learned in the Rosemary Strawberry Chutney. This involved increasing the Pomona’s quantities by a half as there is a considerable hit of vinegar as well as the usual spicy, hot and salty aspects that a Chutney will always have. Because of the vinegar it also needed more honey to balance it out, making the whole affair much more intense. Once the pits were removed, I divided the apricots in two equal quantities.

I had an earlier version of the scalable Google sheet that used volume measures. However the results were getting a little ridiculous. For example, how do you measure .22 teaspoon? It was time to move this sheet to dealing with weight only so I weighed the Pomona ingredients to find out how much a teaspoon of Pomona’s pectin or calcium water weigh and used these in the spreadsheet.

The other difference between the jam and the chutney is that the jam calls for a fair amount of lemon. Pomona’s needs a certain amount of acid in it to work and if the fruit in of itself doesn’t have that acidity Pomona’s recommends adding lemon juice. I decided that with the chutney I would use a vinegar based hot sauce (hot pickled peppers, pureed).

Here is a recipe list for the two recipes based on having one kilo of fruit for each recipe. These repeat everything on the spreadsheet, but at least it presents the whole recipe, right here.

Please note that ANY pectin can be used in these recipes. Just take out the Pomona’s and substitute the pectin and its method you usually use.

Hot apricot chutney

Ingredients

1 kg Apricots

30g calcium water
80g hot sauce

530g honey
7g pectin powder
15g salt
150g diced onion
90ml apple cider vinegar
90ml white vinegar

Total yield: 1.66 L
Jar yield 7 X 250 ml jars

Instructions

  1. Wash and prepare 7 250ml jars
  2. Prepare the apricots: wash, remove pits and weigh. Once done, input the weight into the calculator (Cell 5: click in the cell and add only the number of KILOs.
  3. Prepare: jalapenos/hot sauce, calcium water, vinegars
  4. Prepare water bath: half fill your canning pot, and heat. Put jars in, Put lids in a colander and set in the boiling water about 5 minutes before you fill your jars.
  5. Mix together honey and pectin, stir thoroughly. In Pomona’s method, the pectin powder is added to the honey. The Pectin/honey is added only once the calcium water and fruit have come to a boil. Do NOT add this in with the fruit initially.
  6. Boil apricots, onions and jalapenos. Use the potato masher to mash.
  7. Add calcium water and stir thoroughly. Bring back to a boil
  8. Add pectin/honey mix and stir thoroughly. Bring back to a boil. This is meant to come to a boil, but do not keep it boiling as this will ruin the gelling ability of the pectin.
  9. Prepare jars for canning
  10. Once chutney is boiling while stirring, cut the heat.
  11. Mix in vinegar and salt
  12. Taste for saltiness/vinegar/heat in that order. You may want to not add all of the vinegar, salt or additional hot sauce at once – do it according to taste. What you taste at this stage is what you will get once it is is all done.
  13. Can and water bath for 10 minutes.
  14. Add labels once cooled.

Materials needed for both recipes

  • Weigh scale and bowl
  • Pots for boiling fruit
  • Canning pot for water bath
  • 7 250ml jars/10 125ml jars
  • 17 lids and tops
  • Colander to hold the jar lids
  • Breadboard
  • 500ml measuring cup
  • Bowl for compost
  • Teaspoon set
  • Potato masher
  • 3 dishtowels or pot holders
  • Rubber spatula (heat resistant)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Canning tongs
  • Labels

Apricot Jam

Ingredients

1 kg Apricots
20g calcium water
75g lemon or lime juice
175g honey
9g pectin
Yield: 1180g: 10x 125 ml jars

Instructions

  1. Wash and prepare 10 125ml jars. Place them in the heating water.
  2. Prepare the apricots: wash, remove pits and weigh. Once done, input the weight into the calculator (Cell 5: click in the cell and add only the number of KILOs.
  3. Prepare calcium water, lemon juice
  4. Prepare honey/pectin mix, thoroughly mixing them.
  5. Cook the apricots and lemon juice. Use the potato masher to mash.
  6. Add calcium water and stir thoroughly. Bring back to a boil
  7. Add the pectin powder/honey mix, stir thoroughly and bring back to a boil.
  8. Meanwhile remove the jars and prepare them to receive the jam.
  9. As soon as the jam is boiling, take off the heat and pour into jars.
  10. Can in the water bath (water must be boiling) for 10 minutes.

Recipe spreadsheet links:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14TFjQZ47H1HLhVd8__P9ik7wxnIsYX2Xfe8XnqaEQrA/edit#gid=752071382 This spreadsheet will eventually include all the scalable recipes in my blogs. It is editable in so far that the data input cells can be changed.

Here is the link to Pomona’s: http://www.pomonapectin.com/

DIY Hot dog mustard

A few days ago my son finished the last bottle of French’s mustard. I hadn’t done mustard recently. Even though I much prefer my own stuff, if my son goes and purchases some of the commercial gunk in the supermarket, I’ll at least just wait until it’s all done before I do my own. I do not want a fridge full of duplicated products: my DIY and his commercial schlock.

There is one thing that commercial producers do really well however, and that’s packaging. Consider the French’s mustard bottle. It fits nicely in your hand, the plastic offers just the right amount of resistance and pliability when squeezed, and its the same color as the mustard. There’s a little flip cap at the top and a just right sized hole for the mustard to ooze out from, and the quantity is perfect for an average family. So my DIY mustard is going right back in there!

Now that said French’s mustard is finished, its a great excuse to make my own hot dog mustard. I remember a couple of years ago seeing a great blog about it and so I’ve looked that up and got ahead with it. I was a little short on yellow mustard powder so I only made a partial jar, and the recipe worked well.

Recently I’ve been building scaling formulas into my spreadsheet so that the weight of the most significant variable is inputted and automatically the rest of the recipe measures are supplied. I decided to do this with the mustard as well. The sheet is universally editable – which means that the one cell you enter a value for is how much mustard you want to get out of it. Its not quite exact because the final amount will depend on how much you reduce it in the simmering process. The sheet is its own mini website, so you can bookmark it if you wish. You can also download it and mess around with it all you like. The text is not in the cell, but in the cell formatting.

I have to emphasize that this recipe is definitely not mine. My hat is off to Joshua Bousel for developing the original recipe. I’m quite impressed with it. For one thing there’s no sugar. When I’ve tried to make hot dog mustard on my own it seemed as though I’ve had to put an immense amounts of sugar to make it taste the way that the store-bought stuff does. I would never have thought of making mustard recipe which is based on a reduction but it works really well. I’m wondering if the process can be translated to other mustard recipes. My efforts with Dijon have been focused around a ratio of the core prepared mustard ingredients: mustard,acid (the vinegar), salt and something sweet.

A side note on scales: I use a jeweler’s scale – and no – I’m not a drug dealer. I find it incredibly useful for precise measuring: yeast, hops in beer, pectin, salt, herbs.

In this photo I placed the jeweler’s scale on the regular scale, tared them both and added my garlic for this recipe. Check out what each of them reads. In theory they should be the same. Don’t let the lack of one deter you though. A pinch of whatever herb or powder is about 1 gram.

The main part of this blog is the linked Google sheet. All you do is input how much mustard you want at the end of the process. Perhaps you have an old mustard jar. Look at how much volume it is and input that. Then weigh out the ingredients that pop up and start cooking.

Ingredients

See the spreadsheet to get the quantities

  • Yellow mustard powder
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic powder

What you need

  • Measuring scale
  • Ideally a jeweler’s scale but a gram of a powder is about a pinch.
  • Spoon
  • Whisk
  • A pot

Instructions

  • Prepare ingredients in a pot
  • Bring to a boil. Turn down and
  • Simmer until thickened – about 10 minutes.
  • Cool then put in appropriate container.

Strawberry Rosemary Chutney

Strawberry Rosemary Chutney

Its summer time, preserving season. I’m quite excited to bring this recipe to you for a couple of reasons. First of all it’s my first and only completely original chutney recipe. I’ve never seen any recipe for a rosemary strawberry chutney before. It’s a wonderful chutney to go on really any kind of white meat, be it chicken or fish. Its also a fabulous accompaniment for a mediumly strong cheese with crackers. It’s got this lovely strawberry sweetness paired with the the delicate sublime taste of rosemary.

My interest in this started several years ago when I felt I had too much strawberry jam and was mindful of my mission that year to have both a chutney and a jam come out of the year’s crop. I also wanted to figure out a way to use Pomona’s to make chutneys as I had not been successful to that point. The idea with the recipe is to make it like a jam until the pectin is added, and then add the vinegar & salt. The reasoning is that the chemical changes to make jam have all happened so the vinegar is added after the jam is on its way to setting.

The other reason I’m excited to bring this to you is because I’ve developed a Google sheet application for this recipe. I’ve been using Google Sheets for recipes in other posts -for example my sourdough bread, pesto or sausages. As a spreadsheet application, Google sheets allows you to do the calculations needed to get your recipe consistent and just right.

When you go into your garden or the market to get whatever you are going to preserve, you don’t really know how much it’s going to weigh, but usually you do want to be able to use all you got. A given recipe will usually have volume or weight measures, and inevitably you need to scale it up or down. The sheet that I’ve developed with this recipe allows you to input the volume of the strawberries and from there all of the rest of the ingredients are calculated, including the number of jars you will need. If you really like this recipe and want to make it your own you can download the file as an Excel sheet or select ‘make a copy’ and continue in Google Sheets. That done you can make whatever adjustments you wish for yourself

If you’ve read my other blogs you’ll know that I really like to operate by weight so this one is something of an exception. The original formulation of the recipe was done not by weight but by volume, and I simply haven’t done the weight calculation yet. There should not be a surprise as strawberries are 99% water anyway so 1L should be 1000g.

In this as in all my other jam and chutney recipes I use Pomona’s pectin. Pomona’s pectin is pretty special because it’s a low sugar pectin using honey so you can pretty much eat the jams and chutneys you make with Pomona’s guilt-free. In this particular recipe I have used one and a half times the pectin suggested for the usual quantities. This is for a couple of reasons:

  1. Pomona’s needs more pectin in dealing with a high acidic environment such as a chutney
  2. there is a large addition of vinegar which increases both the acidity and volume.

That all said, you don’t have to have Pomona’s to do this chutney. All of you will have your favorite jam and chutney ways of preparing things, so use what has worked for you in the past to gel chutneys. My preference is to use my BBQ. I use the side burner to heat the the the jars for for the water bath, and to heat the chutney, I take off the the grill bars and set the pot on top of the heat deflectors.

Finally,. you don’t HAVE to go to the spreadsheet in order to do this recipe. Here is a recipe for 1 litre of strawberries, or 2 pints. If you are not using Pomona’s, use whatever amount of pectin is recommended for 2 pints/1litre of strawberries times 1.5.

Ingredients

1 L Strawberries (or 2 pints)
3 tsp calcium water
1.5 cup honey
3 tsp POMONA’s pectin powder
20. g salt
3. tbs rosemary
125.ml apple cider vinegar
125.ml white vinegar
Total yield: 1.63 L

Materials needed

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  • 1x 1 Litre jar for preparing the strawberries
  • Pot for boiling fruit
  • Canning pot for water bath
  • 8 250ml jars (7 should be all you need for this quantity)
  • 8 lids and tops
  • Collandar to hold the jar lids
  • Sharp knife
  • Breadboard
  • 1L measuring cup
  • bowl for compost
  • Teaspoon measuring set
  • Potato masher
  • 3 dishtowels or pot holders
  • Rubber spatula (heat resistant)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Canning tongs
  • Labels

Instructions

  1. Wash and prepare 8 250ml jars
  2. Prepare the strawberries: wash, cut off tops and other undesirable bits and pack into a litre jar.20170813_104356.jpg20170813_105032.jpg
  3. Measure/prepare: rosemary, calcium water, vinegars
  4. Prepare water bath: half fill your canning pot, and heat. Put jars in, Put lids in a colander and set in the boiling water about 5 minutes before you fill your jars.20170813_161540.jpg
  5. Mix together honey and pectin, stir thoroughly. In Pomona’s method, the pectin powder is added to the honey. The Pectin/honey is added only once the calcium water and fruit have come to a boil. Do NOT add this in with the fruit initially.
  6. Boil strawberries, rosemary. Use the potato masher to mash the berries. 20170813_154702.jpg
  7. Add calcium water and stir thoroughly. Bring back to a boil
  8. Add pectin/honey mix and stir thoroughly. Bring back to a boil. This is meant to come to a boil, but do not keep it boiling as this will ruin the gelling ability of the pectin.
  9. Remove the 8 250ml jars from the water bath and prepare them to receive the chutney. Make sure your water bath is boiling vigorously.
  10. Once chutney is boiling while stirring, cut the heat.
  11. Working quickly, mix in vinegar and salt
  12. Taste for saltiness/vinegar in that order. You may want to not add all of the vinegar and salt at once – do it according to taste. What you taste at this stage is what you will get once it is is all done.
  13. Can and water bath for 10 minutes. The water must be boiling during this time. Do not boil longer as it will affect the gelling ability of the pectin.20170813_162737.jpg
  14. Add labels once cooled.

Resources

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1siuJueFndek7weBeSnUguPrdloonpkjEiTxCc8gMDoc/edit?usp=sharing

http://www.pomonapectin.com/

So you want to make your own delicious homemade tomato sauce…

Tomato canning season is just around the corner, so I am re-blogging this post to help people plan their tomato project. This year I am going to try using a power drill to turn the press.

Power drill update: It worked sort of. I needed to use a portable drill with two speeds and torque control. The problem is that drills aren’t meant to run slowly under a heavy load for hours at a time. After about 10 minutes I caught the first whiff of it overheating, and so we stopped and went back to the hand crank. That was fine. It was quiet, and somehow more real.

The other change we made was to use two other pots. In addition to the 25L cooking pot, I used a 20L pressure canner to receive the initial sauce while the earlier sauce batch was boiling away. The result was that we were steadily busy the whole time and finished around 3PM.

Another procedural change was to put down a 6″ wide board on the ground as a platform to fill the jars from. Small, but important. Once they were in the water bath I also looked carefully for signs of bubbles as this would mean I would not get a seal. There were a few – and at the end, they all made it through – all 80 jars.

Here’s the link to the other tomato blogs – its definitely not too late to jump into this! https://homecookexplorer.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/so-you-want-to-make-your-own-delicious-homemade-tomato-sauce/

homecookexplorer

This blog post is a supplement to my previous blog documenting my own personal process. The purpose is to help the reader sort out how they can best do canned tomatoes. You may be doing it for the first time, or it could be something you have tried before. This article is intended to help you plan it out.

How much you do depends largely on the equipment you have, what your needs are, and to a lesser extent how much you want to spend.

Here in  Ontario, Canada, you should be able to buy conventional tomatoes for about $20 (cdn) per bushel and about $40 for organic, if you can get them. One bushel yields between 18-22 L, depending on the juciness and how much you have reduced them.  Flats are about  half a bushel, or approximately 10 Litres. Add in the costs of garlic, onions, herbs and spices…

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