Skip to main content

Agar-Agar Clarification

Not often, I am posting here things, which are clearly not my ideas...
However Dave Arnold is clearly a mad scientist [no, he really is!] - and he posted amazing stuff on his website www.cookingissues.com - no - don't click now - just follow the link later.

One of the most impressive posts about mixology, besides of demystifying the mechanics of shaking, were clarification techniques.

Look, after him, you could use a centrifuge [which would set you back a couple thousand bucks] and a chemical compound, which solidifies sediments. I am not a fan of that.
Then there is gelatine clarification; this works quite well [I tried it several times my self] - you gelatinize a liquid [with little gelatine only], freeze it, thaw it [in the fridge] over a colander and a muslin cloth. Thats it.
Unfortunately this has several problems:


  • Gelatine is made out of animal bones - hence it is neither vegetarian nor vegan, which you won't usually expect of a beverage.
  • You have to freeze the liquid - so you have to have enough freezing space - and even more important, it becomes very difficult to freeze alcohol beverages - and then you have to put it into the fridge, which again eats a lot of space.
Dave Arnold had the same notions. And came up with Agar-Agar clarification - for now, one of the most accomplished clarification methods of all times!

How does it work?
  1. Weigh all ingredients
  2. Hydrated agar-agar in water and cook it until agar-agar is fully dissolved
  3. Add "to_be_clarified" liquid to the agar-agar solution
  4. Chill it down [ice bath]
  5. Stir jellied liquid with a whisk
  6. Strain the whole mess with a muslin cloth / cheese cloth
  7. Massage the cloth to get most of the clarified liquid out of it, but don't squeeze jelly out of it.
  8. Voilà!
Now it is almost that easy. 

You should only consider the proportions: you need to use 0.2% agar-agar for your liquid; 1 part of water on 4 parts of liquid to be clarified [e.g. juice]. And while you mix the juice with the agar-agar water, it should not drop under 35ºC.

What can you do with the clarified juice?
A lot. Think about clarified lemon or lime juice. Doesn't really change much the taste, but the cocktail might look prettier...

Much much more interesting would be a transparent Mimosa. This would be really cool - taste like champagne and orange juice, but doesn't look like [and why not carbonizing the orange juice, which would be even cooler]. 

Or you could clarify liqueurs, or sodas. 

Sky is the limit - thanks to Mr. Arnold!








Comments

  1. Is that 0.2% by volume or by weight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ellen,
      sorry, just seen your comment now... It is definitely 0.2% by weight [as agar-agar comes into different forms like powder, sheets, etc, as well as needs to be measured in very small amounts, it isn't really practical to measure in volume!
      Thanks for reading!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to use citric acid - and why you might not want to use it anyway!

To be honest, I shied away of this topic, because I think, people can misinterpret this - big time.


I don't want to be part of the problem - I want to be part of the solution! But when Chris, over at A Bar Above discussed this subject- I literally could not resist to join into "the discussion".

Here is the video:





I - however take a bit slower approach than Chris.
What is citric acid?
Chemical Compound
Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the formula C6H8O7. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks.
Wikipedia Formula: C6H8O7
Molar Mass: 192.124 g/mol
Melting Point: 153C
Density: 1.66 g/cm3
Boiling point: 175C
Soluble in: Water
Why is it controversial?
In my "mixology world" it is controversial, as citric acid is the stuff, which makes the nightmarish sour mix [preferably in powder form] sour. Yeah - citric acid is the main ingredient in one of the most controversial [and in the modern craft bartending wor…

Is Jack Daniel's a Bourbon Whiskey?

So Jack Daniels want to make us believe, that it is not a bourbon - but it meets all standards of a bourbon - only it is better?!

Half of it is true: Jack Daniels meets all qualification points for a bourbon. And yes it is true, that they add one more step - the charcoal mellowing. However this doesn't make it not a bourbon.

Well - point is, that the question is not really adequate. The answers to the rather vague question: "Is Jack Daniels a Bourbon?" is driven by semantics and interpretations.

What you could ask is: Can Jack Daniels rightly be called bourbon?
And the answer is: yes, it can. It meets all points to be even a Straight Bourbon [however please note the differentiation to Kentucky Straight Bourbon - as this is again a regional denomination, which Jack Daniels obviously doesn't meet].
The video is explaining exactly the laws. Before Jack Daniels also stated very proud, that they are sour mash. This was a bit... misleading, as most American Straight Whisk…

Secrets of Darcy - this is the best way to create sugar syrup

I am a "rich syrup guy"... not a "simple syrup guy".
This is, because it is better to be able to control dilution by yourself - not by he setup you have got.

I had also a pretty straight forward method: adding 1 kg sugar into 1/2 liter of cold water and blend until dissolved (be carefully, not to blend too long with a high-performance blender, because it would heat up).

The issue here: it takes some time - because sugar doesn't "like" to dissolve in cold liquid.

A lot of bartenders are adding sugar into hot liquid. This isn't a good idea either: due to hydrolysis the sucrose is converting into fructose and glucose. This makes the sugar thicker and sweeter - but also makes the result less consistent (as you don't meticulously monitor all details (time, temperature, pH, etc.). Further the thickness of the glucose worsen the ability of the syrup to mix in cold liquid (speak a cocktail).

Darcy, of artofdrink.com has a profound chemistry insight a…