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Great idea - moronic execution: oak-aged ice

I am really concerned, that some bartenders - or some people who consult in bartending {!!!} have no idea of what they are doing. And they have pretty no idea of food safety.

Meet Chris of The Bar and Above:


So what is wrong? Guys - if you don't know this, you should renew your hygiene certification!
Microorganisms need only few things to grow - most importantly food, time and temperature [usually food spoilage bacteria needs also O2- but some dangerous gems are anaerobic - that means they can easily grow without oxygen]. 

Where are the bacteria come from? Well - from anywhere. A oak barrel is not really know as hygienic container and it is even not air tight. Also: you are filling the barrel - in which process thousands of microbes are getting into the barrel. Ouch!

Food: Oak seen simplified is nothing else as cellulose molecules [yes, and a bit more]. And cellulose can be seen as long chains of carbonhydrates [in fact, they can be broken down into polysaccharides, which can be then broken down into monosaccharides. As the oak is heat treated, this process was already enabled - however don't you worry - some microbes can also feed on cellulose itself.

Oxygen: Very simple - an oak barrel is not air tight. And some microbes don't even need oxygen...

Temperature: You could put your oak barrel into the fridge [better you have a walk-in], this would prevent most bacteria to multiply. But this would also slow down the process of maturing. And lets face it - chefs [and eventually the food safety inspectors] wouldn't be psyched, to sea a wood barrel in the fridge. As it is considered not hygienic!!! So - if you keep your barrel in ambient temperatures - disaster will strike!

Time: Again - you would like to obtain oak matured water! That means, you have to keep the water several days to weeks in the oak barrel. You can imagine, what parties the microorganisms will have.

The solution:
As long as the water is not "foul" you can make sure, that your guests and yourself will be not food-poisoned. A point which Mr. Moron up there in the youtube video didn't regarded: cook the hell out of the water. Yes - heat kills most microorganisms and a rolling boil for 15 minutes will bring the "broth" on a save level [I would say 99% of all gems are then dead].

But why?
Another great question. You could replicate with nitro infuse water with toasted oak chips- and you won't need to wait for several days [plus everything is save, as the time is very much cut].
But there is still the question why? To be honest: I am intrigued by the idea, to oak age water [under controlled variables]. But I would rather make something like ginger ale out of it [which is obviously cooked]. Fact is, that every barrel has to be preconditioned - that means, that you have to fill it with water for a couple of days, to make sure, that it won't leak! And as you do this, you'd have already oaky water.

So please - go ahead and experiment with oak aged water [I won't call it ice. This is one of the more moronic details in the whole video. It is ice made out of oak aged water]. But keep yourself and your guests save. Don't be a moron!



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