PolyScience - Innovative Culinary Technology https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog Fri, 06 Jun 2014 16:09:06 +0000 en hourly 1 Ideas in Food Sous Vide Workshop at El Ideas https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2014/02/11/ideas-in-food-sous-vide-workshop-at-el-ideas/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2014/02/11/ideas-in-food-sous-vide-workshop-at-el-ideas/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:25:44 +0000 polyscience https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4658 Continue reading ]]> Our good friend Alex Talbot of Ideas in Food was recently in town doing some workshops and a collaboration dinner with Phillip Foss of El Ideas. One of the classes was focused entirely on sous vide. Alex and Phillip were kind enough to let me drop by to snap some pictures and take a few notes.

I was fortunate enough to arrive just as some delicious gluten-free cookies and chocolate cake were emerging from the oven as part of the morning’s gluten-free baking class. After some intensive “taste testing”, it was time to get the 300 series vacuum chamber set up. This was the first one to ever have left PolyScience and we wanted to make sure that all of the settings were ready for class. The guests started to trickle in and we began.

Alex said that when he and his wife Aki first started cooking sous vide, he refused to sear the exterior of the meat, not wanting to compromise doneness. As they pressed on, they explored numerous techniques including pre and post sears, blow torches, frying, pre and post seasoning and brining. As of late, I’ve become a big fan of cryo-frying myself. This is where meat that has been cooking sous vide takes a short dip in a bath of liquid nitrogen, followed by a slightly longer dip in a deep fryer. The result is a uniform sear with virtually no over cook. I shared my thoughts on this with the class and Alex had a great idea that produces a comparable result. He and Aki have had great success with frying chilled-sous vide meat until they’ve developed a nice crust, and then warming it through in a low temperature oven or C-Vap.

One of the things that they’ve taken a stance on is salting prior to sous vide cooking; they’ve found that salting meat prior to cooking tends to cure the meat as it cooks which can dry the meat out and lead to unpleasant textures. In lieu of seasoning meat directly with salt prior to cooking, Aki and Alex have turned to brining. It serves as not only as an opportunity to season, but also to add flavor and moisture. A quick brine is also beneficial for fish and seafood as it rinses the exterior and denatures albumen. Personally, if I am going to cook an serve, I don’t mind seasoning before cooking. If I’m going to cook, chill, and reheat, then I won’t season in advance unless I’m brining.

As a result of their trials, Alex and Aki have come to approach sous vide with a “low, medium, high” setup. 55°-57°C (131°-134°F) works well for meats and fish. It is also a great temperature for breaking down collagen over day-long cooks. 72°C (161.6°F) works well for eggs and 83°-84°C (181.4°-183.2°F) for most fruits and vegetables. This approach sounded incredibly strange to me at first, but after some thought it makes quite a bit of sense, especially in terms of efficiency. Also, this approach lends itself well as a benchmark to use when you aren’t exactly sure what time and temperature you want to cook at.

I’ve always cooked my vegetables and fruit at 85°C (185°F) or higher because pectin breaks down at 85°C (185°F).  In the workshop, 84°C (183.2°F) was a revelation. To illustrate this, Pink Lady apples were cooked whole at 84°C for about an hour. The result was a smooth, supple, and purely flavored apple that all the while maintained the crispness of a fresh apple. I was floored.

Sous vide is an empowering tool when combined with other techniques. Once you understand the fundamentals of cooking such as temperature, seasoning, tasting, and how to sear, sous vide will take your cooking to the next level. Alex and Aki take a very unique approach to sous vide cooking – definitely one worth exploring. I’ve been cooking sous vide since 2006 and I can tell you that I walked out of El Ideas brimming with new ideas…

Make sure to follow Alex and Aki along through their website www.ideasinfood.com and pick up their books: Great Recipes and Why They Work and Maximum Flavor.

You can visit Phillip’s Michelin starred restaurant, El Ideas, here: http://elideas.com.

IMG_0133 IMG_0109 IMG_0017 IMG_0124 IMG_0077 IMG_0128 IMG_0112 IMG_0120

For more pictures from the event visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/polyscience.cuisine.technology

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New Sous Vide Perspectives https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/12/18/new-sous-vide-perspectives/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/12/18/new-sous-vide-perspectives/#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:26:38 +0000 polyscience http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4641 Continue reading ]]> Although I’ve been cooking Sous Vide for over 10 years, I jumped at the chance to attend a CREA-sponsored class led by Bruno Goussault, the Chief Scientist at Cuisine Solutions, Inc. After all, how often do you get a chance to learn directly from the man often referred to as the “Father of Sous Vide Cooking”?

In my case, the CREA (Culinary Research & Education Academy www.lecrea.com ) hosted by Kendall College in November ranks right up there with Bruno’s workshop I attended about 8 years ago alongside Wylie Dufresne and his team from wd~50 and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s staff from his eponymous award-winning restaurant, Jean-Georges. I hope you get the idea that this was a big deal.

Bruno provided a wide array of thought provoking ideas. I’d like to share a couple of those takeaways in hopes that they will help and inspire you to further explore Sous Vide cooking and its many benefits.

To get started, it’s important to know that Bruno isn’t the kind of guy that let’s you take anything for granted. Instead, he challenges each student to think through all of the culinary ideas they’ve been carrying around and forces you to firm up those that haven’t fully gelled. No detail or idea is apparently too small or fundamental in his quest for culinary perfection.

For example, Bruno’s notion that we cook to “modify the functional properties of food” may seem incredibly obvious, but how many of us have actually thought it through? As we moved through the three-day program, that definition provided direction when evaluating how best to prepare a wide variety of ingredients that are seldom uniform.

We learned, for example, that game can be relatively hard to cook compared to domestic animals because of its elevated lactic acid levels created by physical activity. Consequently, Bruno suggests that we always separate the rabbits we want to eat from ones of the opposite sex at least one week prior to slaughter to eliminate the physical activity they are known to engage in. The more sedate rabbits will taste better than those that were active.

Similarly, not all beef is the same. The cooking times of American versus European beef is a good case-in-point. More specifically, European beef often requires longer cooking times because it is usually slaughtered older and because the US animals have been subjected to practices that increase growth rates and fat content.

Focusing on fish, Bruno suggests that the product should always be salted before cooking to block the unattractive release of albumin through osmotic pressure.

When Bruno prepares vegetables, he always uses an extended vacuum hold to draw air from inside their dense structures. He then adds some fat to absorb aromatics and flavor and cooks at 83C, safely below the 85C where he claims pectin becomes active. In the class we cooked all vegetables for 3 hours. He chills vegetables then re-heats them, even if serving soon after cooking, to retain the aromatic qualities.

Regardless of whether he’s cooking meat, fish or vegetables, Bruno chills the products by first subjecting them to ambient temperatures for 5 minutes, then to an ambient bath for 5 minutes, and finally to an ice bath. For meat and fish he theorizes the process allows re-absorption of fats and gelatin that would not occur if you go directly to an ice bath. In the case of vegetables, he believes that when you open a hot vacuum sealed bag you allow the “perfume” of the product to escape. By cooling the product and reheating to a moderate serving temperature such as 56C, you alternatively retain the aromatics.

Bruno notes that adding ascorbic acid as an antioxidant can help vegetables, especially artichokes, retain their color. Adding lemon will release ascorbic acid, but he warns against squeezing to avoid releasing citric acid. He suggests adding fructose or balsamic to fix the color of beets and other vegetables.

In all of our cooking we used probes to determine actual core temperatures. I personally have a love/hate relationship with probing, but it is the best method to truly understand core temperature. I was pleased that when I compared our PolyScience Sous Vide Toolbox iPhone/iPad application (  http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/sousvide-toolbox-iphone.php ), our predicted temperatures agreed with the probes. Unfortunately you can’t tell that to a health department inspector.

Bruno typically prefers what he calls “Step” Sous Vide Cooking. This is different from the way I have utilized the Sous Vide technique in which I generally have my bath within 1 degree of the desired core temperature. Instead, Bruno will start the cooking process in an 83C bath for a short period (typically 3-5 minutes) and then move the food to a bath set closer to desired core temperature.

I see some advantages to this “Step” approach. First, you kill surface bacteria. Additionally you create some textural variations that can make some foods such as cod or sea bass more varied and interesting.

The list goes on and will be the basis of future postings.

If you have the opportunity to attend one of Bruno’s classes you will leave with a much better understanding of how to cook Sous Vide with great results and safety.

Philip Preston
President
PolyScience

Left to Right: Philip Preston, Chef Jean Joho, Bruno Goussault

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PolyScience a Big Hit at the 2013 StarChefs Congress https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/10/09/polyscience-a-big-hit-at-the-2013-starchefs-congress/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/10/09/polyscience-a-big-hit-at-the-2013-starchefs-congress/#comments Wed, 09 Oct 2013 18:22:55 +0000 polyscience http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4632 Continue reading ]]> PolyScience exhibited at the StarChefs.com Congress in New York City last week, an annual gathering of chefs and other culinary professionals.  Since then, we’ve been reflecting on the many conversations we had in and around the event with both our old and new friends, many of which are culinary world creative leaders. 

Looking back at the first Congress we attended in 2006, Sous Vide was relatively unknown to the majority of the attending chefs. Now just seven years later, virtually everybody we talked with is either using Sous Vide cooking or is planning to do so soon.  The facts behind the growth are simple:  Chefs increasingly understand the many benefits the technique offers and recognize that it is the right addition to their toolset.  Or as we often heard from those same professionals “Sous Vide makes sense.”  

So, it’s clear that Sous Vide’s time has come and we’re pleased that PolyScience continues to be recognized for quality and innovationacross all budgets and needs. For example, this year we received the StarChefs Innovator Award for an unprecedented third time for our new 300 Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer.  Alongside the 300 we also showcased our Sous Vide Professional CREATIVE Series immersion circulator.  Both products were developed to provide a wide array of the home cook’s most sought after features at an affordable price.  Additionally, we let everyone know about our two new external vacuum sealers and our new Sous Vide® DISCOVERY immersion circulator that will be arriving in time for the holidays. 

Although we also highlighted products such as our Integrated Stainless Steel Systems and Sous Vide Toolbox™ app to help satisfy every Sous Vide need, we didn’t stop there.  Instead, we also showcased many of our other culinary innovations including The Smoking Gun®, the Anti-Griddle®, the Sonicprep and our Rotary Vacuum Evaporation System.  

We were gratified on what seemed like an hourly basis to be approached by presenting chefs and exhibitors with requests to borrow our equipment for their demonstrations and booths. Consequently, a wide array of PolyScience products was chosen over other brands by chefs for their demonstrations and work shops.  For example, our immersion circulators, vacuum sealers and the Anti-Griddle®, were used prominently front-and-center on the main demonstration stage throughout the 3-day event. 

Just a couple specific examples include chef Dirk Flanigan preparing venison with PolyScience Sous Vide products; chef Hector Solis requesting six of our Smoking Guns for his workshop to char ceviche; chef James Briscione using our Sous Vide Professional CHEF Series for hisInstituteofCulinary Educationdemonstration; and various Pastry Competition teams creating their entries with Anti-Griddles and more. We’re also pleased that other event sponsors, including Australian Beef & Lamb used our products to prepare their samples.

Thanks to everyone for your trust. We don’t take it lightly and will continue to work hard to continue earning it.  Please visit cuisintechnology.com to learn more about us.

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Is the Next Food Trend Turkish? https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/09/13/is-the-next-food-trend-turkish/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/09/13/is-the-next-food-trend-turkish/#comments Fri, 13 Sep 2013 22:09:23 +0000 polyscience http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4606 Continue reading ]]> We just had an opportunity to visitTurkeyand came away with sentiments similar to those of American chef, author and television personality Anthony Bourdain about the Turkish food scene. 

In keeping with the “wallowing in my own ignorance”,  let me say that any preconceived notions I might have had about Turkey being mostly about meat on a stick have been proved terribly wrong. Istanbul is a freakin’ foodie paradise. It’s downright brain bending how much good stuff is to be found at even everyday eateries—how difficult it is to walk down the street anystreet—and not want to eat everything in sight. Table service is stunningly good as well—something of a rarity on this scale.” A.B. 

The Turkish culinary world, whether regional, traditional or new, is outstanding and being supported by a wave of talented and inspired chef entrepreneurs like Mehmet Serhan ÖRS. 

Serhan, a formally trained chef, owns ÖRKA, the PolyScience distributor in Turkey, and is helping incorporate sous vide and other cooking concepts into both traditional Turkish and other cuisines of the area.  His offices, including a high caliber demonstration kitchen and adjoining educational facilities reflect an openness to new ideas and a firm respect for the past.  Serhan is clearly the man to ask how to make already outstanding traditional Turkish food more quickly and easily or what’s the best way to explore new recipe ideas with great local ingredients.

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Is it Time for an Oil Change? https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/08/09/is-it-time-for-an-oil-change/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/08/09/is-it-time-for-an-oil-change/#comments Fri, 09 Aug 2013 16:29:06 +0000 polyscience http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4583 Continue reading ]]> Fresh oil in your vacuum sealer ensures optimal performance!  If your oil looks cloudy, white or murky, it’s time for a change.  (Usually once per month, depending on usage)

 

It’s easy.  Just like your car, your vacuum sealer needs an oil and exhaust filter change from time to time.  To do this you will need a 2.5mm hex key to remove the rear panel so that you can access the pump.  Depending on your unit, you will need either a 5 or 6mm hex key to remove the bolts and open the pump.  To change the exhaust filter, you will also need a set of pliers and a flat head screwdriver.  Fill the oil so that the sight glass is between half and three quarters full.  Exhaust filters should be changed at least every 6 months depending on use.  See below for the handy step-by-step illustrated instructions.

 

Are you due for an oil change?  If you need additional information, we’re here to help.  Simply give us a call at (847) 647-0611 to order vacuum oil and/or a filter. You may also place an order for the oil through our website http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/, but the filters must be ordered over the phone.

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The Perfect 62°C Egg, In Less Time https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/07/19/the-perfect-62c-egg-in-less-time/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/07/19/the-perfect-62c-egg-in-less-time/#comments Fri, 19 Jul 2013 15:56:10 +0000 polyscience http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4567 Continue reading ]]> Tired of waiting an hour for a beautiful 62°C egg?

Try 75.3°C for approximately 12 minutes. This technique for the perfect “Onsen Egg” comes from the Book, Great Recipes and Why They Work, by our friends Aki and Alex at Ideas In Food.

In the Book, Modernist Cuisine (Book 2, Page 242) the 3 main strategies for cooking Sous Vide are outlined. Options include setting the bath just above the final core temperature, setting the bath hotter than the target temperature and using two or more baths at different temperatures. Here we use option 2 to achieve a comparable texture to a 62°C egg much faster by raising the bath temperature and shortening our cook time. This technique yields a faster result, but requires more attention on behalf of the cook.

Now we’re ready for Brunch!

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The Smoking Gun: Beyond Wood Chips https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/07/03/4552/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/07/03/4552/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 16:14:53 +0000 PolyScience http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4552 Continue reading ]]>

 

When it comes to creating a unique gastronomic experience, many chefs and mixologists turn to smoke. Sneaking smokey flavors into unusual ingredients such as goat cheese, butter, ice and raw vegetables can really create an element of surprise for the guest. It’s often a question of “how’d they do that?” The answer, The Smoking Gun™ by PolyScience.

Most commonly, the flavors of smoke come from kiln-dried hardwoods. We often turn to applewood, hickory and whiskey barrel for smoke flavors that vary from subtle to aggressive. Many chefs and mixologists, however, are turning to more unusual ingredients like licorice root, vanilla beans, chicory, coffee beans, black peppercorn, oolong tea, ras el hanout…just to name a few.

Check out BBQ Master, Peter De Clercq’s recipe using chicory as a smoke element.

GRILLED SEA BASS WITH VANILLA POTATOES SMOKED WITH CHICORY ROOT
We’ve adapted this recipe from Peter’s book BBQ – A Party, available on Amazon.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1.75 lbs (800 g) Sea Bass, skin on and descaled, cut into four filets
2.2 lbs (1 kg) Yellow Fingerling Potatoes, peeled
7/8 cup (200 mL) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 pinch, Mace, ground
1 Vanilla bean
4 Leeks

Fish Marinade (Recipe Below)
Herbs for Fish (Recipe Below)
Herbs for Vegetables (Recipe Below)

For The Smoking Gun™

  • 2 t Chicory, finely ground

Fish Marinade

  • 2 Cups (0.5 liters) Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup (250 mL) garlic and fine herb oil
  • 1 cup / 2.5 dl basil oil
  • 1-1/2 Tbs / 20 g fennel seeds
  • 6 cloves of garlic, whole 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 2 tsp / 10 g curry powder
  • 2 tsp / 10 g oregano

Combine all ingredients and infuse overnight.

Herbs for Fish (Dry Rub)
Toast these ingredients in a steel skillet and grind the mixture in a coffee grinder.

  • 1-3/4 C (500 g) Sea Salt
  • 1⁄2 C (50 g) Dried Dill
  • 1⁄4 C / 25 g Fennel Seed
  • 1⁄4 C / 25 g Dried Parsley
  • 2 Tbs / 25 g Paprika
  • 1 Tbs / 12 g Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbs / 12 g Curry Powder

Then combine this with:

  • 1⁄2 tsp (2 g) Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp (4 g) Turmeric Powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp (2 g)Curry Powder
  • 1/8 tsp (1 g) Ground Mace
  • 2 tsp (10 g) Sea Salt

Herbs for Vegetables

  • 1-1/2 T (20 g) Ground Coriander Seeds
  • 1 T (15 g) Ground Cumin
  • 1 t (5 g) Mustard Seeds
  • 1-1/2 t (8 g) Black Peppercorns
  1. Boil or steam the fingerling potatoes. Mash into a puree and season with olive oil, pepper, salt and mace. Slice the vanilla bean open and scrape to remove the seeds. Mix vanilla seeds into the potato puree.
  2. Slice the leeks into 1-1/2 in / 4 cm sections and steam them until al dente.
  3. Rub the four sea bass with fish marinade and season with herbs for fish.
  4. Grill the sea bass for about 8 minutes.
  5. Rub the leeks with fish marinade and season with herbs for vegetables. Grill leeks alongside fish for about 4 minutes. Turn regularly to ensure even grilling.
  6. Serve the fish on a bed of potato puree and lay the leeks alongside.
  7. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Cover dish with a glass dome and fill with chicory smoke using The Smoking Gun™.
  9. Serve. 

Photo is Property of Peter De Clercq, from BBQ - A Party

 

 


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Celebrate America’s Birthday & Save BIG on Bundles! https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/06/28/celebrate-americas-birthday-save-big-on-bundles/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/06/28/celebrate-americas-birthday-save-big-on-bundles/#comments Fri, 28 Jun 2013 12:50:17 +0000 PolyScience http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4484 Continue reading ]]>  

The Fine Print:

$599 CREATIVE Bundle (SAVE OVER $115.00)
Includes:
Sous Vide Professional™ CREATIVE Series
18L CAMBRO Tank & Custom Cut Lid
Smoking Gun™
Classic Smokehouse Wood Chips

$899 CHEF Bundle (SAVE OVER $115.00)
Includes:
Sous Vide Professional™ CHEF Series
18L CAMBRO Tank & Custom Cut Lid
Smoking Gun™
Classic Smokehouse Wood Chips

Or 10% off CHEF & CREATIVE Series, Smoking Gun & Wood Kits

Head on over to www.polyscienceculinary.com to check out our products. To order, please call 847-647-0611 or email culinary@polyscience.com Please note, discount only available via phone or email.

Special Bundle Offer and 10% Discount Expires 7/5/13 and is valid towards purchase of Sous Vide Professional™ CHEF & CREATIVE Series Circulators, Smoking Gun™ and Wood Kits only.

Domestic (U.S.) orders only. Sorry, no distributors or dealers.

 

 


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Keep It Clean: What to do when your circulator needs some love. https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/06/07/4461/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/06/07/4461/#comments Fri, 07 Jun 2013 21:01:42 +0000 PolyScience http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4461 Continue reading ]]>

Does your circulator look like it’s been to the beach?

Calcium deposits can lead to burnt out motors and costly repairs. To clean your circulator of mineral deposits, simply run the unit with a 15% Distilled White Vinegar to water solution at 65°C/149°F for 20-60 minutes. If the build up is heavy, try a 10% CLR or Lime-Away solution.

Grease or food build build-up can also cause added stress on the pump motor.

Run the circulator at 72°C/161°F with a solution of dish soap and water to remove these deposits. We highly recommend running the vinegar solution at least once a month. If you are frequently cooking eggs, clean your circulator once a week.

For easy access to the CHEF Series heating coils take a look at our quick-access fasteners available through our website. These make removing the back panel a breeze. 

Have one of our 7306 models? This unit was originally designed for laboratory use where sous vide bags coming into contact with the coils wasn’t an issue. We have since developed a protective cage that prevents bags from coming into contact with the heating coils. That can lead to food loss and a huge mess in your bath (gross!), not to mention, the possibility of expensive repairs.

Visit www.polyscienceculinary.com to take a look at our quick access fasteners and protective cages. Keep your circulators squeaky clean! 

Check out this link to YouTube to view our Product Care Videos

 


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Ideas in Evaporation https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/05/08/ideas-in-evaporation/ https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/2013/05/08/ideas-in-evaporation/#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 14:09:46 +0000 PolyScience http://www.polyscienceculinary.com/blog/?p=4404 Continue reading ]]> Alex and Aki, at Ideas in Food, recently picked up a Rotary Vacuum Evaporator from us with some wild ideas brewing in their heads. While the concept of distillation isn’t new, culinary rotovap applications by chefs have only been stirring for the past 5-6 years.

Alex and I started discussing vacuum evaporation at a conference last year, but the thought wasn’t distillation, it was concentration. What if flavor concentrations could occur without cooking the product? Well, we distilled the alcohol out of a bottle of ruby port. On the receiving side of of the unit sat moonshine, reminiscent of grappa. Yes, we tasted it. It was blindingly horrid; and yes, we disposed of it. On the evaporation side was something truly beautiful: potential. The potential of the raw, non-alcoholic port redux showed us that flavors concentrate so well that we immediately saw flashes of apple butter, ketchup and much more. If anybody knows Alex, his flashes happen at strobe-like speeds. The spark ignited and Alex was off and running. We’re incredibly excited to see what Alex and Aki think up next. This is just the beginning.

 

Kombucha Redux

Check out the progress in their rotary evaporation adventures here:

 

 


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