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Home brew orgeat
Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-06-22 12:15 pm   Permalink

Quote:
When you consider all the trouble it takes to get a decent batch of high-quality, all-natural almond milk, the idea of using store-bought almond milk isn't all that hideous.


Yeah, I went through all of what you show - without a few of the excellent time-saving and mess-saving techniques. It was nasty, and I swore that I'd never do it again.


However, when I used the store-bought almond milk I found the taste to have *much* less quality than the almond method. In fact, I got halfway through the almond-milk method and just threw it all out since it tasted fairly poor. Maybe I didn't use the right brand of almond milk, but I went to 3 stores and ended up with the best I could find.


If I ever did this again I would do it *exactly* the way you show. Very nice job, and thanks.


Last week I found a bottle of Monin Almond syrup - for $9.00. I had hoped to try it this weekend, but my plans may be changing on me.
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-06-22 2:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-06-22 12:15, Scottes wrote:
However, when I used the store-bought almond milk I found the taste to have *much* less quality than the almond method. In fact, I got halfway through the almond-milk method and just threw it all out since it tasted fairly poor. Maybe I didn't use the right brand of almond milk, but I went to 3 stores and ended up with the best I could find.



You're right. I think the processing that store-bought almond milk goes through takes a lot of the kick out of it, but it has two saving graces. 1) It goes through a more effective almond mash filtration, and 2) it's ready right out of the carton. When you use the store-bought stuff you might want to add a few drops of pure almond extract (putting back a little of what their process took out). Be careful, you can easily put in too much extract. The almond flavor in the home-made milk is fairly subtle. The almond extract is not subtle at all.

You might be interested in my Emergency Orgeat recipe. It's painfully simple and takes me ten minutes from start to finish, including clean up if I don't drag my feet. Maybe I'll do a batch this weekend and take some pics. The batches are small BTW, like a cup or two max.

It isn't isn't as good as the stuff that takes two days to make, but that ten minute thing does make it attractive, especially, when you consider that it tastes better than the French orgeat I buy as a backup. That means you can be completely out of orgeat one minute and be making Mai Tais ten minutes later.



 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-06-25 09:10 am   Permalink

Emergency Orgeat Syrup
Image Heavy

M'kay.

This weekend I did a batch of Emergency Orgeat. The following is a step-by-step on how to make it.

To reiterate, this is not the high-quality orgeat that takes me a couple of days to make. This orgeat uses store-bought almond milk and can be whipped together in ten minutes. Even though it pales in comparisson to gourmet orgeat, it is still better than the French orgeat I keep on hand for back up. Once you start making this, you'll find yourself relying on it more and more because it is cheap, easy, and only takes ten minutes to make.

Actually, depending on when you start and stop counting, it only takes about one minute to make. The ten minutes includes about five minutes of waiting and four minutes of separating the syrup from the froth layer.

The Ingredients

Store-bought Almond Milk along with (also store-bought) Sugar, Orange Blossom Water, and Rose Water; plus a shot (or so) of rum. In this batch, I used Wray & Nephew White Overproof, which has kerosene overtones (desirable) and it doesn't intrude on the orange and rose.




Important – Make sure the store-bought almond milk has had a chance for its almond residue to settle back down to the bottom of the carton before using.

I don't see a lot of people waiting for Whole Foods to open in the morning so they can make a mad dash for the almond milk. Generally, right off the grocery shelf the milk is fairly well settled. The trip from the store to the house shakes it up a little, but it settles back down in a few hours. The majority of the almond gunk is pretty-well stuck to the bottom of the carton from sitting around unmoved for so long. Do not disturb this sediment.

If you do disturb it, and if you don't then remove it from the milk, it will remain suspended in your orgeat for a long time before it finally settles to the bottom. That will cause all of your drinks to become very cloudy. They'll taste fine, but they'll be cloudy and will stratify in the drink if it's allowed to sit for any length of time.

You should use the milk from the top 3/4 of the carton for your orgeat. Use the rest for cooking recipes that call for quanities of milk. The almond sediment is edible, of course, but has no business in your orgeat.


Basic Equipment

I use a Magic Bullet, which is a cocktail-shaker-size blender with a few interchangeable pieces. You can use a regular blender instead, but if you have to stir by hand, the process takes a little longer.



Not shown is the drinking straw used to suck the froth layer off the top of the syrup. The froth tastes good, but it is too chaulky to allow to remain in the syrup.

First Minute

Fill the blender about two-thirds full of almond milk. Pour in sugar until the level of the liquid is not quite to the top (leaving room for the following). Next try to pour in a drop of orange blossom water. A lot more than a drop comes out. Do two more of those and do one of the rose water. The dark area at the bottom of the mixture in the photo is the wet sugar that has yet to be dissolved.

Screw on the blade (Magic Bullet) or put on the lid (regular blender). So far, this has all taken up about 15–20 seconds.




If the almond milk was refrigerated, blend for about 30 seconds. If it was unopened and came off the shelf (i.e., room temperature), blend for only 10–15 seconds. It only takes about five seconds for the ingredients to mix together, the majority of the time is just dissolving the sugar. So... this part doesn't have to take up a whole minute.




Minutes Two Through Six

Let the liquid settle for five minutes so that the froth can rise to the top.



Zzzzzzzzzzz...

...key limes...mmm...

...orange curaçao...mmm...

...rock candy...mmm...

...orgeat...mmm...zzzzzzz.

Hey! Where am I? Oh, yeah.


While I waited, I decided to wash off the blade, shave some ice...




...round up a jigger of Mount Gay Eclipse and a jigger of Coruba, plus a shot of Appleton Estate 12 year for the topper...




...sneak up quietly behind and unsuspecting stand of mint...

(Ha! Caught one!)

...and make myself one of these babies.





Minutes Seven Through Ten

Now that the liquid has stratifed as much as it's going to, it's time to suck the froth off the top with the straw.




Ta da! It's done.


Finishing Touches

Decant into an appropriate dispenser.




Orgeat & Rock Candy Syrups are like the Salt & Pepper of tropical drinks. You can use a dash (or more) of each in almost any tropical drink. They're must haves.



NOTE: Since these pics were taken I've gone back to using plain corks from wine bottles as stoppers. The orgeat and the rock candy syrups have opposite effects on the corks. The orgeat makes the cork swell up and the rock candy syrup makes the cork shivel up. Whenever I replenish a batch I just wash and switch the corks, which restores them. I've tried different kinds of stoppers, but these two syrups just seem to destroy them.


Rock candy syrup is not all the same, nor does simple syrup compare. The more unstable the rock candy syrup the better. Its instability refers to its propensity to precipitate sugar crystals (in the form of rock candy). Here's a pic of the bottom of the jar that previously held the syrup in the preceding photo. That's about three weeks of crystallization.




It's about time to dissolve that rock candy and turn it into another batch. Anyway, I like to keep kick-ass rock candy syrup on hand at all times.


Conclusion

Emergency Orgeat Syrup does not have nearly the character of the orgeat that is made from home-made almond milk, heated to 125º F, gradually adding sugar, set out for a day to stratify, then separated from its froth and sediment layers. It does, however, do a fantastic job considering the few minutes it takes to produce.




[ This Message was edited by: The Gnomon 2009-08-06 12:05 ]


 
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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-10-01 4:45 pm   Permalink

I'm going to revive this for a damned handy "tool" that I ran into recently, and man does it help when making Orgeat from blanched almonds...

To quote The Gnomon from page 1:
Quote:

The Gnomon wrote:
Next I take my colander-filtered milk and strain it through a screen strainer. If I were to go directly to the cheescloth without this and the preceding step, it would take forever to remove the almond gunk from the milk. It clogs up the cheesecloth easily, so nothing drains. If you have to squeeze the cheesecloth too hard, it breaks and sends almond gunk down into the filtered reservoir.



I found Nylon Straining Bags at a local beer- and wine-making shop. Basically they're nylon cheesecloth bags, washable, reusable, and strong. They're made for straining the juice from grapes and such. I found them in Fine and Coarse, and I think they both are useful - use the coarse for the first straining or two, and the fine for the final squeeze. The Coarse is actually quite fine, and the Fine is insanely fine. When folded the bag can be supported in a colander for simple straining. Finally, use the Fine and pour the almond mash inside and squeeze - you can squeeze the heck out of the almond goop with these. And then you just turn them inside-out and throw them in the washing machine. Very nice.

http://www.beer-wine.com/product.asp?sectionID=1&CategoryID=12&productID=1112

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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-10-01 7:07 pm   Permalink

Heck yes, these are definitely the way to go! I strained the water-laden goop through the Coarse, doing a basic separation of the liquid leaving wet almond mash. I then loaded a fist-full of wet mash at a time into the bag and squeezed the heck out of it, getting the rest of the liquid out. Finally I laid the Fine into the colander with another bowl underneath and strained to get the last final bits of almond out. Total time to strain 2 quarts of almond milk was about 10 minutes, and pretty darned painless and very clean. And they're re-usable. Nice.

[ This Message was edited by: Scottes 2007-10-02 07:16 ]


 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-10-02 06:30 am   Permalink

[quote]
On 2007-10-01 19:07, Scottes wrote:
Quote:

And then you just turn them inside-out and throw them in the washing machine. Very nice.



Do I throw them in with my other delicates? Or can I wash them with my Aloha shirts? Scottes, I think you may have turned the Tide on this one. Orgeat with a hint of Downey.

Thanks for the link. It sounds like a winner. Extracting the almond milk from the mash is the most tedious stage of making orgeat. The second is making the mash. If you can solve the straining problem, then it will give incentive to make a lot more real orgeat (as opposed to Emergency).

Its effectiveness will reveal itself when the orgeat layers. Usually, there are three layers: the froth at the top; the syrup in the middle; and the residual almond particles falling to the bottom. If you can eliminate the particles at the bottom, then you've hit the jackpot. The froth at the top is to be expected (desirable actually) and is fairly easily removed. If your orgeat doesn't layer at all when you've finished cooking and let it sit, you've done something wrong. The particles at the bottom, however, are a reflection of the efficiency in the straining process.

I'm looking forward to ordering a couple of bags (coarse and fine) and trying it out.


 
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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-10-02 07:19 am   Permalink

I effectively had ZERO particles.

Of course, there were some, but a way-less-than-insignificant amount.
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Scottes
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From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-10-02 07:37 am   Permalink

Another tip or two from what I learned last night...

The amount of water you use when soaking the crushed almond is somewhat important if you have 1 bottle and want maximum almond flavor. If you want 750ml of orgeat, I'd use about 600ml of water if you use the nylon bags and squeeze like heck, or 650ml if you wimpily strain and lose some water left in the almond mash. When you add sugar you'll come back up to the level needed to fill a bottle. (I'm estimating the numbers here a little bit.)


I didn't measure when I soaked and used too much water. I'd rather have a stronger almond taste rather than some left over, so I then put the almond milk on the stove and tried to reduce it by simmering. It didn't reduce, and it did change color since it cooks easily and it ended up the color of a demerara simple syrup. Of course, the taste is off a bit. While I like this taste - it's now an interesting simple syrup - I don't consider it a *real* orgeat and I plan to do another batch.

Darcy O'Neill at the Art Of Drink recommends 500mg of almonds & 800ml of water. My recommendation - since I like the strong almond taste - is 750mg of almonds and 700ml of water. Darcy's is probably more authentic but I just like the extra almond boost. You *could* add some high-quality almond extract to boost the almond taste but the taste of orgeat is not quite the same as almond extract. The orgeat is a heck of a lot more interesting.


Oh, and since I mentioned Darcy's recipe let me say that I would never, ever use "table sugar" as he recommends. It's so highly refined that it's just sweet and blech. Do yourself a favor and use sugar from evaporated cane juice. If you don't have a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods or some other organic market around, then check your local StupidMarket for the Domino brand stuff.


Lastly, I don't know if it's mentioned above but be sure to separate the layers of Almond Milk *before* adding the sugar!
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-10-02 12:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-10-02 07:37, Scottes wrote:
Another tip or two from what I learned last night...

The amount of water you use when soaking the crushed almond is somewhat important if you have 1 bottle and want maximum almond flavor. If you want 750ml of orgeat, I'd use about 600ml of water if you use the nylon bags and squeeze like heck, or 650ml if you wimpily strain and lose some water left in the almond mash. When you add sugar you'll come back up to the level needed to fill a bottle. (I'm estimating the numbers here a little bit.)



Right you are. The strongest of the milk remains with the mash unless you can squeeze it out. That's the whole point/virtue of the bags you located. You have the ability to squeeze that out rather effortlessly. Woo hoo!

Quote:
I didn't measure when I soaked and used too much water. I'd rather have a stronger almond taste rather than some left over, so I then put the almond milk on the stove and tried to reduce it by simmering. It didn't reduce, and it did change color since it cooks easily and it ended up the color of a demerara simple syrup. Of course, the taste is off a bit. While I like this taste - it's now an interesting simple syrup - I don't consider it a *real* orgeat and I plan to do another batch.



Had I ever done a step by step here of the complete cooking process, I'd have emphasized that you need to use a candy thermometer (about a foot long and ½" thick with a little clip to hold it to the side of your pot) and carefully control the cooking temperature so as not to get too close to boiling. Otherwise, you get that toasted almond effect, and not in a particularly good way.

One method of accelerating the milk extraction speed is to heat the water and almond mash. I do not recommend that option. For me it has degraded the quality while only speeding things up a little. So I recommend letting it sit overnight or longer. The method for heating the water and mash is to maintain a temperature of halfway to boiling for about 15 minutes or so. Halfway to boiling is 50°C (let's see 212 minus 32 equals 180 divided by 2 equals 90 plus 32 equals 122°F ... or you could do 125° which is easier to track on the thermometer).

When it comes to actually cooking the syrup, you want to make sure you don't overheat it, so I'll hike up the temperature from halfway to boiling to somewhere between two thirds (67°C/152°F) and three quarters(75°C/167°F), or thereabouts. The cooler the temp the longer it takes, but it is far better to take longer and have a great end result than suffer the consequences of scalding the almonds. At the first sign of color change (which is harder to detect if you are using a dark sugar), you have to take it off the heat and try to cool it off rapidly (sit the pot down in a big pan of cold water). To be on the safe side, don't crank up the heat too much in the first place.

Quote:
Darcy O'Neill at the Art Of Drink recommends 500mg of almonds & 800ml of water. My recommendation - since I like the strong almond taste - is 750mg of almonds and 700ml of water. Darcy's is probably more authentic but I just like the extra almond boost. You *could* add some high-quality almond extract to boost the almond taste but the taste of orgeat is not quite the same as almond extract. The orgeat is a heck of a lot more interesting.



I like it strong as well. I also like a heavier dose of rose water and orange flower water than you find in commercial orgeat.

I don't go by specific weight and volume. You've seen the plastic containers I use from a previous post. I fill the water until it covers all of the almond mash. If the almond doesn't sit in the water it isn't going to milk. Whatever mash weight to water volume that turns out to be, I don't know or care. If you don't put in enough water to reach all of the almond mash nuggetrines (nugget smitherines) then you won't be milking all of your mash. If you put way too much water in, then you're just watering down your milk. I don't think you should go by strict measures. Go by where the water level reaches all of the almond material. A little too much water is better than not quite enough.

As for almond extract. I consider it a doctoring tool to help keep a botched batch from becoming a total loss. But it is made from bitter almonds rather than the sweet almonds used in the orgeat. It is a different almond flavor, albeit one that is more familiar to most than that of sweet almonds. The goal in making orgeat is to capture the essence of the sweet almonds.

NOTE: Some old recipes call for a mixture of both sweet and bitter almonds to go into the orgeat. Do not follow those recipes. Bitter almonds contain a decent jolt of cyanide. Before using bitter almonds for anything they must first be stripped of their toxins. This is done, of course, in the process of making pure almond extract. If you don't detoxify your bitter almonds before using them to make orgeat, enjoy your hydrogen cyanide while supplies or you last.

Quote:
Oh, and since I mentioned Darcy's recipe let me say that I would never, ever use "table sugar" as he recommends. It's so highly refined that it's just sweet and blech. Do yourself a favor and use sugar from evaporated cane juice. If you don't have a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods or some other organic market around, then check your local StupidMarket for the Domino brand stuff.



I agree on the quality sugar, however, I do make different kinds of orgeat and I rather enjoy the batches where I use turbinado sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw from Maui—readily available in markets all over). Using various kinds of sugar will impact the color of the orgeat (and flavor, of course). Using the evaporated cane sugar (which I do mostly) seems to bring out the almond color rather than impart any of its own to a noticeable degree.

Quote:
Lastly, I don't know if it's mentioned above but be sure to separate the layers of Almond Milk *before* adding the sugar!



Yep. You'll get some layering after the sugar is cooked in, no matter what. If you don't try to reduce the layers while the milk is just milk, then you will end up with some heavy duty layers after your finished syrup sits for a while.

As for the rum—I used various kinds in very small batches (especially, Emergency), but for my standard batches I use W&N White Overproof. I have yet to find anything that can match or surpass it when it comes to orgeat. Just from experience, I get the impression that W&N WO was created for such purposes. I don't know of that many drinks where it really fits in. But I use it for all of my rum infusions (sorry, I haven't yet checked out that link you posted in Bumbo), and all of my fruit soaking, in my containers of fresh guava, passion fruit, and mango pulps, and just about everything else that's not a drink.


 
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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-10-02 1:27 pm   Permalink

OK, real good info here. Except the lack of measurements.


Re: Squeezing. My better half says I have a grip of steel and I can close jars and bottles tighter than the factory. My final almond "mash" after squeezing was basically fist-shaped clumps of dry almond dust which
disintegrated on contact with air. The nylon bag held up wonderfully, whereas cheesecloth would have fallen apart and made a mess.


Re: Measuring. You've obviously made this several times before, and you have a good idea of how much almond and water to use. For now, I'm going to measure, and record my findings.


And yes, I'm going to make another batch, cleanly and correctly. I'll measure the water this time, and use X ounces of almonds, and remark about how strong it is.


About the heating process... Key point there! That explains why my last batch came out too dark, too. It seems that the right temperature is "just hot enough to melt the sugar." I can say fairly certainly that you will cook the stuff long before you reduce it noticeably. 2 hours of simmering reduced the mixture by about 10%. Which goes back to the water, I guess, and using the "right" amount.


Re: Water. I originally poured in enough water to cover the almonds, by by the next morning the almonds soaked up quite a bit, resulting in a consistency of cold oatmeal. This was because after washing the almonds I dried them by placing them on cookie sheets and throwing them into a 150F oven for 20 minutes, stirred them up, and returned them to the oven for 10 minutes. This resulted in warm (maybe 105F) almonds that were very dry. The *very* dry almonds did chop *very* nicely in my mini food-processor. But some of what The Gnomon says means that I will keep a very close eye on this step, stirring frequently, to make sure that I don't cook the almonds. I think a food dehydrator would be perfect, but that adds another day to the process.


Nice point about the W&N WO - that sounds ideal due to its strength (thus less is needed to preserve) and lack of taste (so as not to change the flavor).


Sugar: Table sugar will keep the orgeat nice and white. The evaporated can juice sugar is close, but much much better. Using turbinado is *very* tasty for sure, but IMHO that's starting to get away from "proper" orgeat. Demerara or muscavado or brown sugars would all be very tasty but getting even further from "proper."


All nice info, and nice lessons learned. My next batch should be absolutely perfect.
And the nice thing is that even if it isn't perfect it's *damned* tasty anyway. The stuff I messed up last night is delicious despite the cooking and other mistakes.
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-10-02 2:15 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-10-02 13:27, Scottes wrote:
Re: Squeezing. My better half says I have a grip of steel and I can close jars and bottles tighter than the factory. My final almond "mash" after squeezing was basically fist-shaped clumps of dry almond dust which
disintegrated on contact with air. The nylon bag held up wonderfully, whereas cheesecloth would have fallen apart and made a mess.



That's why I'm anxious to try those things. You have to be so careful with cheesecloth 'cause it breaks so easily. You can get heavy duty cheesecloth(I'll dig up the link to a source), but the nylon thing sounds more promising.

Quote:
Re: Measuring. You've obviously made this several times before, and you have a good idea of how much almond and water to use. For now, I'm going to measure, and record my findings.



Your measurements will be of interest and you'll end up knowing what measurements will fill up a 750ml bottle for example (I use larger clamp stopper bottles and decant into smaller ones). My measurements are pretty exact, but they are not in terms of weight or volume. Level out the mash in a container. Add water until the water level matches the level of the mash.

Quote:
About the heating process... Key point there! That explains why my last batch came out too dark, too. It seems that the right temperature is "just hot enough to melt the sugar." I can say fairly certainly that you will cook the stuff long before you reduce it noticeably. 2 hours of simmering reduced the mixture by about 10%. Which goes back to the water, I guess, and using the "right" amount.



OK. Maybe the long wait can be considered one of the tedious factors of making orgeat, but at least, it's just waiting and stirring longer. The other tedious aspects are messy chores.

Quote:
Re: Water. I originally poured in enough water to cover the almonds, by by the next morning the almonds soaked up quite a bit, resulting in a consistency of cold oatmeal. This was because after washing the almonds I dried them by placing them on cookie sheets and throwing them into a 150F oven for 20 minutes, stirred them up, and returned them to the oven for 10 minutes. This resulted in warm (maybe 105F) almonds that were very dry. The *very* dry almonds did chop *very* nicely in my mini food-processor. But some of what The Gnomon says means that I will keep a very close eye on this step, stirring frequently, to make sure that I don't cook the almonds. I think a food dehydrator would be perfect, but that adds another day to the process.



I do not dry out the almonds other than to get rid of most of the excess rinse water from rinsing off the almonds from the store (quick evaporation with a small hand-held fan). When I let my almonds and water sit overnight, it's in an airtight container. None of the water evaporates. The almonds remain moist from the time they get their bath to rinse off the store dust until they're fully milked. When I return to it the next day, the level of the liquid is pretty much the same as it was when I left it. Only slightly less, which is why it's better to put a little too much water than too little.

Quote:
Nice point about the W&N WO - that sounds ideal due to its strength (thus less is needed to preserve) and lack of taste (so as not to change the flavor).



It does have a nice funky (kerosene) flavor when you put it in drinks or drink it straight, but when it becomes part of the orgeat or gets mixed in with other stuff, its characteristic flavor seems to vanish.


Quote:
Sugar: Table sugar will keep the orgeat nice and white. The evaporated can juice sugar is close, but much much better. Using turbinado is *very* tasty for sure, but IMHO that's starting to get away from "proper" orgeat. Demerara or muscavado or brown sugars would all be very tasty but getting even further from "proper."



Yep. The white sugar thing is what I believe is used commercially. They might as well. Nobody is stopping them and it's cheaper. I prefer mine to have natural colors. Not "bleached."

As for "proper" orgeat, I guess you mean orgeat that is probably closest to what VJB Jr. used to create his masterpieces. Orgeat, like Bumbo (or any kind of stew), has a basic recipe that is really generic. The variations to the basic recipe tend to be infinitely better (or worse, depending on if you're a good cook or a train wreck) but can all be considered "authentic" as long as they conform to the essential elements.

Once you get through your codification of the basic recipe, I bet you branch out and create a few unique recipes that you'll prefer and use pretty much all the time. It's inevitable. You heard it here first.

Quote:
All nice info, and nice lessons learned. My next batch should be absolutely perfect.
And the nice thing is that even if it isn't perfect it's *damned* tasty anyway. The stuff I messed up last night is delicious despite the cooking and other mistakes.



Mistakes are often the sources of great new creations. You and I have different agenda. You are trying to nail down a recipe that everyone can turn to when they need to make something that conforms to a generic standard. My insights are to help people make something that is "authentic" and better than what they can buy ready-made. I don't, generally, make two batches exactly the same, though most are similar enough to each other, all are fantastic (unless I royally screw it up due to negligence, which has been known to happen). Both approaches are completely valid and non-adversarial in any way.

I look forward to your findings.




Freakin' spelling got me again.

[ This Message was edited by: The Gnomon 2007-10-02 14:18 ]


 
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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-10-02 3:50 pm   Permalink

You know, as to measuring, you're right. Regardless of how much almonds you have, using enough water to cover them gives one the same strength of almond milk. And it's easier than measuring.

Alas, doing it this way means one could end up with 800ml of orgeat, or 700ml. Being a little OCD this is wrong. I want to perfectly fill a 750ml bottle. Call me crazy...


Actually, my agenda is to "perfect" the recipe, thus giving me a starting point to branch out. Until that perfect recipe is achieved everything that happens is an accident. Not that this is bad, because orgeat accidents taste fantastic, but I'm looking for a perfect starting point. Then I know that I'll branch out, particularly when working it for a particular drink.


Concerning the drying... If the almonds are too moist they end up clumping in my little food processor, so I wanted them dry so they chop better. But if they're too dry the food processor creates to much almond powder which doesn't filter out easily. Now that I think about it, patting with paper towels is probably fine, and fast.

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leisure master
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2007
Posts: 435
From: The exotic village, NYC
Posted: 2007-10-03 06:39 am   Permalink

Reading this whole exchange has been absolutely amazing to me. I don't think surgeons are as careful or precise with what they do - but then again it's not as important either.

All I can really say is that this stuff must taste fantastic to go through all this effort. Makes me feel like I am cheating using Fee Brothers.

Keep at it! Try facing the almonds to the north and crushing them at exactly 14 minutes past the hour with one eye closed!






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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-10-03 08:11 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-10-03 06:39, leisure master wrote:
Makes me feel like I am cheating using Fee Brothers.



You are cheating my friend. You're cheating yourself. Through this thread you'll be able to do what so many cannot, acquire a stock of world class orgeat without the traditional mess and hardships.

Quote:
Try facing the almonds to the north and crushing them at exactly 14 minutes past the hour with one eye closed!



M'kay. Would that be magnetic North or can we just point it toward Polaris. Which hour? Happy Hour? Or can we just pick one? Which eye? Either? I might try half closing both to find out if the resulting effect is the same. Thanks.




Dang. Shoulda checked my BBcode before submitting.

[ This Message was edited by: The Gnomon 2007-10-03 08:16 ]


 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-10-03 09:30 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-10-02 15:50, Scottes wrote:
Alas, doing it this way means one could end up with 800ml of orgeat, or 700ml. Being a little OCD this is wrong. I want to perfectly fill a 750ml bottle. Call me crazy...



Whereas I don't care how much I end up with as long as it is exactly plenty. As for being OCD, I'm not positive, but isn't that an impossibility in the world of tiki where obsession and cumpulsion is practically a requirement, not a disorder?

Quote:
Concerning the drying... If the almonds are too moist they end up clumping in my little food processor, so I wanted them dry so they chop better. But if they're too dry the food processor creates to much almond powder which doesn't filter out easily. Now that I think about it, patting with paper towels is probably fine, and fast.



Whenever you rinse them off from the store the milking process has begun. You don't want to stop that, you just want to get the excess tap water off of them before soaking in the purified water. This you do while the milking process is begining, so you only lose a very little of the milk. That's why you can only afford to rinse them for up to 30 minutes. After that the milking process is in full flow.

You don't want to abort the milking process once it's started. I think you'll get a lot less quality to the milk. Once the milk starts flowing you don't want to do anything that will slow that down one bit. Drying them out more than slows the process it brings it to a complete stop.

The moist nuggetrines clump up in my little Magic Bullet as well. You have to do lots of small amounts rather than try to do them all at once. Use just enough almonds so that they're done by the time they start to clump. That's the most efficient/fastest way I've found with the equipment I have.

I haven't tried this because of the $1500 price tag (expensive experiment), but I thought probably the best way to get the most milk out of the almonds would be to get a nut grinder like the one in these pics to make fresh almond butter.



Then put the almond butter in a blender with the water and let it blend on slow for an optimum period of time (yet to be determined). Because the almond particles would all be so small as to form butter, the overnight wait for the milk would not be necessary. It would take very little time for the emulsion to reach its peak, I would think. You might want to see if you can make almond butter using your food processor.

Of course, the nylon bags you found might not have a fine enough mesh to hold the ultra fine almond particles, so heavy-duty cheesecloth might be required.

BTW, here's the link to that cheesecloth supplier I was talking about (
The Rag Lady).

Potential flaw in this method. We know that the finer we chop the almonds the more almond surfaces there are to be exposed to the water. The more almond surfaces that are exposed to the water, the more efficient the mash is in producing milk. What we don't know is whether or not there is a limit to which the almonds can be chopped and still be capable of making milk. I'm guessing that there isn't, but I'm not prepared to make it a $1500 guess.

It is quite possible that when the almonds have been ground down to the point that they become nut butter that the oils needed to interact with the water to create the emulsion (milk) might be exposed to other chemicals from the almond that would prohibit the emulsion from taking place. Once again, I highly doubt it. I think that the fresh almond butter will just allow the almond oils to come in contact with the water much faster and in greater quantity than the methods we are using.

Some people's food processors are supposedly capable of making peanut butter, so if yours is one, maybe you could conduct the experiment. If it works like a charm, we might be making real orgeat at record speed with minimal mess and effort.



When will I learn to check my spelling?
Never

[ This Message was edited by: The Gnomon 2007-10-03 09:31 ]


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