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I am transferring all food tech related articles from foodrecap.net here. Please help me spot and correct any weird stuff that may occur.

Making Finely Ground Coffee, Almost Instant

Having tried instant coffee with finely ground roasted coffee beans prompted me to experiment with my very own.

For the testing, all I have was this old stock grounds. Label may not be elegant but its taste was superb. Yes, especially when freshly roasted. I left it inside refrigerator for quite a while. Its flavor must be severely deteriorated by now. My goal was making instant coffee so flavor is just a second thing. I can get another bag easily in case I succeed.

I recalled, I can make finely ground sugar from sugar crystal with our regular low cost blender. Perhaps it will work with roasted coffee too. I dumped it all inside. Then cycled between cranking the motor and manually mixing it with a spoon. Coffee tend to accumulate to sides preventing homogeneity. Extra manual intervention was needed. Then after half an hour, the grounds was finer than before but not enough for my purpose. Few more minutes and I decided to scrape the glass sides. Sticking powder seemed to have smaller particles than the rest.

I decided getting only one teaspoon. Placed it in mug and poured with freshly boiled water. Grounds floating on top was ugly evident. It quickly dissipated after few stir. However, the attempt to make instant coffee powder without visible specks failed horribly. Particles were sticking on cup sides and clearly seen when spoon was lifted. My tongue will surely feel it down to throat.

Next time, I may try measuring the volume of settled sediments. This way I can estimate the amount of fine grounds effectively suspended. On the other hand, I felt no particulates when I drank it. Smooth all the way down. The reason. I leave it 30 minutes before drinking.

The undissolved powder can be clearly seen on top. It dissipated though after few stir
Gritty particles can be clearly seen with the help of spoon. Also visible on cup sides.

Update…

Because I have no tools to make finely ground powder, my attempt to make instant from roasted coffee beans failed. My cocoa melanger can do it provided with enough time. Let us assume two days continuous running period. Almost the same length it is taking to make our chocolate products silky smooth. However, I cannot risk experimenting coffee with it. The stone is likely to absorb the strong coffee taste which will result mixture of coffee and chocolate flavor later on. It is not necessarily undesirable. It is not what I wanted with our earning product.

If the blender I used can be left for hours and can reliably spin the powder around in homogenous fashion. I will let it run for hours to achieved a nice result. Not, sadly. I can set up a ball mill later.

I can still test if what I did worked to some extent. That is by preparing it filter drip style. Fine powder will pass through the filter with ease while those with larger particles will be left behind.

Coffee grounds in filter before brewing process.
Coffee grounds in filter after brewing process. Reduction in quantity is visibly evident. I am trying to dry it out to get the weight before and after. I did get the “weight before” already.

There was a significant reduction in grounds quantity after the brewing process. See image. I originally planned on getting the weight of grounds before and after brewing, but the water retained in ground coffee got in my way. There was an additional drying work. Let us see if I can re-dry it successfully and weigh later. For the time being, the image served as good estimate.

The resulting brewed coffee was still grainy. Maybe I should use lesser grounds to water ratio the next time or instead use a good coffee filter paper. On the other hand, cocoa powder, can be prepared to a nice drink with a smooth mouthfeel. Unlike commercial instant coffee and juice, which are derived from liquid extraction and crystallization. Cocoa powder is a by-product of cocoa butter extraction process. It is a solid mass ground to a very small particle size. If it is possible with cocoa, then it must be doable with coffee.

The Lemon Drink

The first sip was absolutely detestable. My two kids will not drink this. A strong acidic taste with a hint of astringency and some weird stuffs. No sugar, or maybe there was. In minimal amount just to offset a bit of citrus and astringency. I used to add sugar to my tea to reduce too much astringency. I eventually got rid of the sweet thing as soon as my tongue got adjusted.

What I am thinking when I see up-sized drinks like this? Beverage for a sweet tooth. Basically softdrink, juice drink or cold tea. Slurpy, fruit shake or halo-halo. Whatever it maybe, it must be sweet. Why? It is simply because merchants want goods that sell. Mass majority crave for sweets. Sweet goods are very salable. We drink coffee that is naturally bitter but we add sugar to make it sweet. We love chocolates not because of its inherent bitter, cocoa and fruity taste. It is because of the same old reason.

It contained three slices of lemon, less than a quarter each. And handful of chopped thingy that I never bothered inspecting. They were almost unrecognizable. A company keeping a little secret, maybe.

Just like what I do with home-made lime water, I refilled it. Let sit inside refrigerator for several hours and drink again. The taste was still pretty strong after refill. Got weaker on the third.

Mass majority might like too much of sweet things. However, there are growing portion of population that like bland, bitter or astringent healthy foods. That including me. As long as this niche market exist, business focus on health will continue to thrive.

Cracker From Fish Skin

Somebody got sued for their snack containing a small fried lizard. Well! Accidents happen. Preventive measures can be exercised, but, as always. Not 100% foolproof. There will always be rejects no matter how rigorous the quality control process is. A small sample size which passed the QA Team does not mean the rest are all good. Sorry for the manufacturer if the err product falls to the wrong hand. It will be reported to regulatory agency, news team or posted in social media site and become trending. The news is not really about the product itself but the company who carry it.

So I am interested with what they are making. It is coated and fried fish skin. Fish skin cracker. Relyenong bangus is making good use of skin. It is thick and strong enough as casing of shredded fish meat mixture. Most of the time, it is wasted. Even the relyeno case is just thrown after.

We choose not to because of very simple reasoning. The flavor is not good enough. We take no effort making it better. I usually eat the whole thing. I hate seeing food being dump. If I can only get theirs on their plate! Nothing is wrong with it but it is unethical. Restos choose to dump them or secretly sell to pag pag retailers.

Pag pag is the local coined term for restaurants leftover, sorted and being resold to patrons. Buyers often knows what they are getting. They are cheap and perhaps safe. Crossing their fingers.

The company is surely not getting the fish skins from these leftovers. Rather, they are remnants of large scale processing operations. E.g. Fish fillet and tuna.

At home. After a meal, the skins can be sorted out. Then re-cooked to a better tasting dish. You know what I i mean. When we were kids. We were doing it in one single go. Frying it longer so the whole thing inside and out was crunchy. Yes, we associate crispiness to good flavor. Plain crispy potatoes are okay. Barbecue and garlic flavor with no snap are bad

We are sure creative. Findings ways to make good use of skin stuffs. Skin of furry animals are use as coats. Vicious or not, does not matter. They should be afraid of us. Not the other way around. Cow, horse, crocodile and snake for leathers. Pig skin for chicharon or cooked together with the meat.

Why Do Meat Turn Sour (Lumpiang Shanghai) ?

I think I encountered it thrice already. The first and the second were grocery bought lumpiang shanghai. The third one was home made.

Why do meat turns sour? There are probably two reasons. The first is intentional and the second is accidental.

We love vinegar that we usually put it to our cooking. Paksiw, sinigang and even pinangat na tulingan. If we got bored of the taste, replacing it with other souring agent works well. Tamarind fruit, young tamarind leaves, green mango and santol fruit during its season. For fried meat and fish, it is usually dip in vinegar concoction (vinegar and soysauce is common). Sometimes marinated before frying. For this reason, some creative entreprenuers are selling them marinated, dinaing na bangus and tapa.

Note: Santol rind can be sun dried and use later souring agent. I find it good, though some are saying it has astringent taste.

It was a little weird when the shanghai rolls I’ve tasted was sour. The seller might have soaked the thing in vinegar before sale. It was okay. I feel it more enjoyable doing the dipping myself though.

The next incident happened when we made the rolls ourselves using the pre-mixed ground meat. The taste was normal during the first frying. The rest was stored in refrigerator for the next day. Then, the sour thing manifested again. I was sure something was not right. The accidental souring probably caused by lactic acid bacteria. We considered it spoiled but maybe not harmful. Spoiled because we do not intended making sour rolls. May still be safe because our stomach were pefectly fine after taking a few. However, please don’t do what we just did.

Firelog With Fried Chicken Smell

I am not interested in buying the firelogs. Not unless it becomes available in KFC restaurant near our area. I find it overboard importing a firelog when it is readily available locally. The norm is getting it free if ready to stretch muscles and shed sweat.

How can a firelog get a fried chicken smell? If one is to store regular firelog ( madre de cacao in our case) directly above the roastery, or somewhere inside the roasting room. It will eventually absorb the pleasant roasted chicken smell. This method of flavor transfer is popular in coffee an cacao. As a matter of personal experience. I already got hold of cacao which tasted like cashew nuts and another batch with hint of barako coffee. Well, resorting to this method, their production expected low and the log price will be high. Not very fitting for affordable model of the fast food chain.

Oh.. it is KFC, as in Kentucky Fried Chicken. They are frying their chicken, not roasting. Kenny Roger Roasters have the in-restaurant equipment to this kind of thing. On other hand, used oil taste like fried chicken. Logs can be treated with it. Because it has oil, it will have more vigorous flame. It will emit a nice fried chicken smell if my assumption is right. Else, the smell of burnt oil. A nicer way of recycling used oil.

The next thing in line. Treating the woods with artificial flavor. Flavoring technique similar to roasted coffee. Liquid flavor is sprayed as the freshly roasted cools. Then sealed to preserve. The same can be done with wood. It can be sprayed with artificial liquid flavor then sealed. The customer can sense the smell even before firing it. It gets stronger as soon as it is ignited.

Do not want to bother yourself with these stuffs? Just get a fried chicken and your good to go.