Cooking Topics


Retiring the Forums

After more than a decade, Instructables has decided to retire our forums. Starting in October we will no longer allow site members to post new forum topics. The existing forum content will remain online and accessible through 2020 to provide everyone the opportunity to save any relevant information. In the spring of 2021, we plan to take the forums offline entirely.This decision was not made lightly. For many years we considered these pages the heart of the community. However, times have changed. It’s with some sadness that we need to acknowledge this and adapt.Our biggest clue that it was time to retire the forums came as our site traffic more-than-doubled over the last few months. We observed that the number of Instructables being published increased, the number of comments increased, the amount of favoriting increased, and just about every other measurable form of participation on this website also increased. The one notable thing that did not increase was the number of forum topics being published. We continued to receive, on average, about one a day.This forced us to look at some hard truths. The first is that the world has changed. In 2005 our forums offered a big tent to the maker community at a time when there were few places to go and interact socially with a cross-section of like-minded individuals. However, most of the conversations that used to happen here have now moved to either social media, Reddit, or niche forums elsewhere on the internet. No one builds general discussion forums like ours anymore, and most others have gone extinct a long time ago. The other hard truth we had to reconcile with is that fundamentally our core business is not running a forum. Nevertheless, we spend a lot of time keeping them up and running. For every valid forum topic that gets posted on the site, we get about 50 forum topics that get caught by our spam filter and end up having to be reviewed and deleted. In addition, the forums are based on some of the oldest code on our website, which means they tend to break often. Keeping them up and running distracts energy from our very small team that could be better used elsewhere. That said, there are now more places than ever that you can go to discuss making online. For starters, you could connect with us on Twitter or Instagram where we have a thriving community. You should also check out some of these awesome staff-recommended channels and sites:https://www.reddit.com/r/DIY/https://www.reddit.com/r/somethingimade/https://www.facebook.com/groups/iliketomakestuffhttps://www.reddit.com/r/woodworking/https://www.reddit.com/r/turning/https://www.facebook.com/groups/1470897969674485/https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/https://www.facebook.com/groups/FunctionalUseful3D...https://forum.arduino.cc/https://www.reddit.com/r/arduino/https://forums.adafruit.com/https://www.therpf.com/forums/https://www.ravelry.com/discussWe thank everyone for all of their contributions to these forums over the years and the community you helped make flourish. We welcome everyone to share your thoughts, feelings, or memories below.

Topic by randofo    |  last reply


Welcome to Instructables

On this page you can find links to some of our most frequently asked questions. What is this site? Instructables is a community for people who like to make things. Our community shares what they make in a step-by-step format that we call an Instructable.How do I post an Instructable? We offer a free and easy online class to coach you through posting your first Instructable or you can just wing it and start a new one today. How do I get help improving my Instructable?Ask the community for help in The Clinic. How does my Instructable get featured? The best way to get your projects featured is by following the Featuring Guidelines. Where can I learn more about contests? Our Contest FAQ has all of the information that you need to know about contests. What contests are launching soon? Check out our list of upcoming contests. Are you on social media? Yes! Follow us on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. How do I contact Instructables directly? The best way to contact us is through our Contact Page.

Topic by randofo    |  last reply


What came first the chicken or the egg Answered

If you ask me the egg came first because you can't get the chicken without the egg

Question by SeedEatingBird    |  last reply


How do I enter my instructable in a contest

I have tried to enter my instructable in a contest but I do not know how to check if it was sent in

Topic by Basketball2573    |  last reply


Why is green tea healthier than black tea? Answered

I dont see why one would be healthier than the other yet i hear all the time that it is. anybody know why?

Question by Gnara    |  last reply


I need a bread dough-rising box for temperature control, that I can make myself (I'm not a very handy person). Answered

My house is too cool (temp.) for optimum bread dough rising. I can't heat the whole house just to get bread to rise properly! I'm envisioning a box big enough to hold my bowl with a couple inches' margin all around; foil-lined, with maybe a light bulb on a thermostat to keep the temp. at an even 70 degrees, sort of like farmers do with baby chicks. I don't know how to set that up, can anyone help?

Question by threeoutside    |  last reply


Have u ever tried chicken besar?

Have u ever tried chicken besar?do u want to try the recipe?

Question by secret designer    |  last reply


Following, Followers..

Is it so that instructables doesn't send email notifications when a person that you are "following" posts a new instructable?( why there is no "general" option, if you needs to choose a category? )

Question by The other Finnish guy    |  last reply


Un-Publishing an instructable that's already entered into a contest

I published an instructable (https://www.instructables.com/id/Pizza-Huts-Stuffe... and I entered into the copycat recipe contest. Shortly after, I realized I had made a couple minor mistakes in the writing, and I un-published the article, made the changes, and then I published it back again. I tried entering into the contest with the instructable again, but there was not option to enter that instructable into the contest. Will the instructable be entered into the contest, or will I have to make a completely new instructable?Thanks

Topic by monsieur_bob    |  last reply


Can I freeze Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup?

I want to freeze my home made sweet potato and coconut soup but not sure if I can because there is coconut milk in it and I think it separates when you freeze it. I am trying to get organised with my lunches and dinners.

Question by Patricia Wolfenden    |  last reply


US vs UK flour

Curious observation from my mother's recent 3 months in the USA, she says she is unable to bake well when she was in the USA. Now, given mum is a pretty amazing baker on this side of the pond,  I am wondering why that might happen ? I wondered if  its "American flour", as opposed to "UK flour" - the recipe, would be the same kind of things, memorised over the years, like a simple scone, fairycakes, pastry.  Her main complaint was that items didn't brown, even at the same oven temperatures as she uses here, and after repeated experiments with the same recipes.

Topic by steveastrouk    |  last reply


Neverending Seltzer Water Maker - Interest?

I've been making my own seltzer water for many years. And in normal situations (you know when there isn't a worldwide pandemic crisis.), I have to refill my 5 gallon keg about once every 7-10 days. But lately with a family of four at home, my refill cycle is down to 2 days!This has forced me to design a new system that will replenish itself automatically overnight. Basically, once its setup, the only thing it will need is a new tank of CO2 when the gas runs out. Even for me with a 25 lb tank at this high consumption rate will last about 4 months. So it will be a huge improvement for me, but was unsure if a broader audience would value the concept/project.Basically, I'm curious to know if people would be interested in an Instructable detailing this system. It will be completely electro-mechanical, and not require any raspberry/arduino/software/etc. (Also, it will be completely different from the other endless supply seltzer Instructables already published, and should be much cheaper too!)The system is currently in design phase, so I'll be much more diligent about documenting the process if others would be interested.Thanks in advance for your responses.(You can see my Instructable "Lazy Man's Carbonating Shaker (Seltzer Water or Beer)" to get an idea of my current setup.)

Topic by Iceland73    |  last reply



I want thick cookies not flat, like they get deflated when cooled. HELP! HELP!

Why do my cookies always flatten out.?  I've done everything from room temp butter,room temp eggs.  left batter in ref. over night.  beat with  my kitchen aid and also by hand.   I've used real butter, margarine and butter flavored Crisco.  My sisters have watch me and said I do everything they do and can't figure it out.  I want thick cookies not flat.

Question by bortolus    |  last reply


How to perfectly Caramalize onions without burning it?

I recently tried Caramalizing onions using ghee and ended up burning it.what need to be done during this.what must be the ideal temperature for Caramalizing it?

Question by Archinston    |  last reply


Flavorful cooking with habanero peppers? Answered

I really like the flavor of habanero and have used various store-bought sauces in cooking. I'd like to try using habanero peppers in cooking, so I recently tried a raw habanero. The flavor was great, but the heat was overpowering. Is there something that can be added to raw habanero to bring out its flavor, but dilute its heat?

Question by vreinkymov    |  last reply


How can I make the most of my homemade stocks/broths?

Hello everyone,,I've been enjoying making vegetable broth/chicken stock over the past month or so, and it's made for some filling soups. However, I find that whatever I make soup with overpowers the broth so much that I can't appreciate the flavors of the broth. For example, I like to make a simple Minestrone. The broth tastes fantastic, but the potatoes and green beans I add to the soup leave no room for the broth to stand out. Is that just how soups work?That aside, I'd like to find other simple soup recipes so I can use all this stock I keep making..

Question by Devabhai    |  last reply


Mexican piloncollo or panela homemade

Hi, does anybody know how to make traditional piloncillo at home? Most of the time, one can only find a cheap imitation of it at the stores.

Question by normayramirez22    |  last reply


Pure cacsaicin from chilli peppers

I already had a quite long Ible in the making when it downed on me that not too many people should actually create such a dangerous substance at home.So instead I decided to just write a bit about the history, general procedures and what is possible or not.If you already made your own chilli exptract for a special hot sauce or your home made pepper spray then you feel right at home.Those who never done anything like it or at least some essential oil extractions might just find some other interesting stuff to read.I won't go into all details here as those with the basic knowledge will already know the precautions and most things.Capsaicin...The stuff that makes your exes run, clear you nose and makes you sweat like you on fire.At least if it comes within you favourite dish.In the pure form it is a severe irritant and should be handled like explosives or concentrated acids.You just won't make a mistake with this stuff twice - trust me!What really harms you is not the capsaicin itself, it is your bodies reaction to it!It stimulates the same nerves responsible to feel heat and pain, sometimes those for a severe itch as well.And unlike a normal reaction you would get from hot water, it won't stop until it is fully removed.Even after this the body keeps reacting for bit longer.On the skin you can end up with blisters like from a real burn, in your airways it can make breathing impossible!And lets just say that swimming goggles won't look as dumb and funny on your face once you realise you got some fine crystals on your face....If you dare to continue then I assume you are well aware of the risks, dangers and PPE requirements!Pure or extract?I checked tons of so called instructions on how to make pure or 99% pure capsaicin from chilli peppers.They all just produce a really crude mix of goo that happens to have a lot of capsaicin in it.If it is red or even darker it is nowhere near pure.If it has a weird smell that has really nothing in common with chilli than it is even worse.If it is more or less colorless, with a very strong scent that your nose does not like at all then we are getting somewhere.So why is it that we always end up with this color that is impossible to remove?Extracting chilli peppers....A thing most people ignore a bit when in a hurry is that an alcohol extraction requires DRY alcohol.You just won't tolerate water in it, which is why often methanol comes easier and cheaper than ethanol.Some people even think just because the alcohol is either evaporated or distilled off that all is good when using things like methylated spirit.Ever had the problem that you used that stuff and your hot sauce made you vomit after realising that it comes with a bad and extremely bitter after taste?That is the stuff that makes your home depot ethanol unuasable ;)If you use homegrown or otherwise fresh chilli you need to fully dry it first!Don't be fooled by people stating they did it with fresh peppers.What you get this way is some of the worst extractions you can get.Don't be fooled to think you need some Carolina Reaper either.A big bag of chilli powder from your grocery store will do just fine.So what is all in our extract?Alcohol or any other solvent usable for a capsaicin extraction also dissolves a lot of other things.Like the beta carotenes that give the extract the organge to red color.The skin and the entire fruit also contains oils, plus the shiny outside is mostly due to wax...All of this ends in your extract....You not only get what you want and might not mind but also everything else you don't want.Making the difference....The impossible we do right away, for miricles or wonder allow a day or two of processing ;)Assuming you end with a rather large qauntity of alcohol the concentration of everything is relatively low.If you used something like a Soxhlet extraction you already degraded a lot of the capsaicin due to the heat.And even after the best filtering you might have a clear solution but whatever is not a solid is still in there.Imagine you would put it all into a freezer....Surprisingly a lot of stuff won't stay in solution once cooled down enough.Especially if you give it a few days.Depending on what you started with you either get a slimy looking sludge or some crystals showing.Either way it needs to be filtered out and washed.For the washing use the same pure alcohol as before but make sure it is well cooled.If any cacsaicin was already forming crystals then they will be washed into your solution again now to a little extend.But you removed an awful lot of the wax if it was not capsaicin already. ;)Testing the slurry we collected.When using chilli powder from the shops I noticed that there is often no wax to be found at all.While for fresh produce the content is significant.Once dry you make a simple test with water.Capsaicin basically does not dissolve in water, so it would sink to the bottom while wax floats ;)I assume you ended with little to no wax but fine capsaicin instead.From the natural form it is very hard to get crystals bigger than a dust particle.This only happens if the temperature is cold enough and the concentration high enough.As my entire setup is quite small I usually prepare several 500ml plastic bottles that I fill to one quarter by height with chilli powder and then fill up to half with methanol.In the end I use a full 1kg bad of chilli powder but only a may of 5 to ten bottles.Making the most of it.When using alcohol extraction you want to use a little of the solvent as possible.Use means here wasting it instead of recycling it.Once I filtered my white slurry out I destill the remaining solution to reduce it by 50-75%.An almost dark red color is usually when it is time to stop.After this I place it back in the freezer for a day to check if more crystals or slurry forms.If so then I filter it off again.What is left is then mixed with recycled and fresh methanol to soak more chilli powder in my bottles.Means I discard the filtered of chilli poweder once washed, recycle what I can from the methanol and keep whatever the slurry produces that is not wax or dissolves in water.Depending with how much chilli you start you will get to the point where your filtered solution is already dark red.Since the final capsaicin won't dissolve in water you can destill with some added (destilled) water.This way you recover the alcohol without risking to get a sticky goo everyhwere that you need to clean off.It is quite possible to get some more capsaicin this way as with the alcohol leaving it will participate out.Simply filter the solution once the alcohol is recovered.As the beta carotenes won't dissolve well in water either it is best to perfom this destillation while all is mixed.If you can't do this then don't worry to much, it just means a few more minutes of cleaning later ;)Testing the final product....What you have left once the slurry is dried should be almost colorless with maybe a pale yellow in it.Fully dried it should appear as basically white.There should be no smell to it, nothing to tickkle you nose.Colorless and odorless.For whatever reason I still sometimes end up with a very faint smell.Not really chilli though...Depending on the temperature the products is either quite hard to almost britlle (when frozen) to almost wax like at room temp and above.I highly recommend against testing whatever you have on your skin or to ingest it!!!Waste some sauce base like ketchup (you can add it later to your sauce again) or some butter - I prefer the later.Butter become liquid well below the 65°C celsius decomposition temp for capsaicin, so it should dissolve very easy in it.Take a shot glass with just enough butter for a sandwich and dip a toothpick into your product.Make sure there it a tiny bit on it and not that the toothpick has a thick coating!Once cooled down while mixing every now then spread it on some sandwich and take a bite.After a minute or two you should definitately feel a difference to just butter - hopefully not too hot.If nothing happens repeat with a bit more on the toothpick.Still nothing at all usually means you filtered out only by-products and for some reasons managed to make the capsaicin disappear.Hints and tips that might safe your bacon....Methanol boils at about 64°C, ethanol at about 77°C.Capsaicin starts to decompose at 65°C.Not a big deal but if you get to the 80° mark, which is easy which ethanol you might have to use evaporation instead of destillation and waste the alcohol to your surrounding air...Water...For the final product it is not a problem but during the extraction process it is.Despite some people claiming otherwise both the quality and amount of what you end up with are lower.It seems some of the capsaicin binds to the water molecules with the help of some other stuff that the plant material provides.And when you try to destill a solution that was contaminated with water from the chilli it tends to foam up quite badly.While with pure alcohol and fully dried product there is no foaming.What to expect when collecting the end product...At room temperature you can dissolve what you get in product from one kg of dried chilli powder in under 10ml of pure alcohol.However at -20°C next to nothing dissolves in the alcohol.That means as long as you have still over lets say 1000ml alcohol extract then very little will participate out.Just one reason why I prefer to work with small batches - keeps the concentration higher from the start.The more you destill off and re-use the higher the capsaicin concentration in the alcohol will be.So before you start to add any water for the destillation you need to be aware of the consequences.I found out that first destilling most of the alcohol off the single rounds that got too dark in color helps.I just collect this conentrate for the final destillation process.Key is to destill this off to the point where it just starts to thicken up a bit.It should still be liquid but act almost like a thin oil.You don't want it so thick that is crates a coating on the walls when you move the liquid around.In case it did happen just add a tiny amount of alcohol again.Put in the freezer for a few days....Empty into your filter and let as much as possible drip out.Rinse with as little alcohol as possible - have the rinsing alcohol at -20C as well .Do not wash the filter with water but with the frozen cold rinsing alcohol.Cover the filter up and leave in a cool place for the next run - have something under it as it might still let a drip or two off.The remaining liquid leave to evaporate off until it just starts to thick up again a tiny bit - back in the freezer for a day or two.Filter out again then while still a bit wet turn the filter over to remove most what is in it.I prefer to empty onto a teflon sheet and to wear full PPE here....While still wet you try to remove more from the filter with a fine but short brush, knife or whatever you find suitable.Do not continue any action once the stuff starts to dry!Place the filter into a sealed bag and leave in your freezer for when you do anthoer extraction - this way you loose far less product ;)When doing a final destillation with added water to cover all the alcohol you are left with the remains of the original product, minus all solids.Beta carotene is quite beneficial, so it would make sense to include it into your hot sauce.Plus there will always be some leftover capsaicin in it.If you want to use this part of the extract as well to really get what is possible then IMHO slow is better.You can't just destill off or boil off the water to get a nice "sauce" base.The capsaicin that is left would be mostly decomposed and with no effect anymore.A clear sign of too much temperature is bad smell that really turns you off.Hard to define in words but trust me, if you smell it you know what I means as you woul refuse to have this smell coming from your final hotsauce.During the summer it no problem to just leave it out to evaporate in the shade !You can do it in full sun but must make sure no sunlight gets into the liquid.UV decomposes at least a lot of the karotenes....Special equippment at hand? If you happen to have a vacuum pump or at least a salvaged fridge compressor you can safe a lot of time.A buchner filter for 500ml in the top is quite cheap but you can build something similar with a normal funnel.Look it up it you want...A proper buchner filter however already comes with a very fine glass filter built in.Means you don't really need any filter paper - I still add it as it makes the cleaning easier.Instead of waiting several hours for gravity to do its work on a coffe filter you are done in a few minutes.Well worth trying out!For the water destillation of the remaining end product, or by-product if you like, vacuum also helps.CVD or Closed Vacuum Destillation sound complicated but is really simple.One pressure vessel is filled with the solution to be conectrated, the other is kept empty.Connected with a suitable pipe or hose and fully sealed.The extract is heated to about 40°C while the empty vessel is placed into an ice bath.With the pump and the help of a valve create just enough vacuum so create small bubbles in the heated vessel.Close the valve and a few hours later there should be far less water in the hot one while the frozen one builds up ice.Every now and then check the vacuum gauge and if require start the pump again.You can do with just the pump and one vessel....Problem is that the oil in your pump will quickly get far too contaminated with water.You could add a conatainer with something like an absorbent but it would have to be sufficient for all the water you need to remove.Most of all it must be able to absorb it fully before the airstream enters the compressor.The benefit is that the capsaicin can't decompose at all.In a vacuum or close to it anyways, a lot of the things that procude smell also disappear through the compressor.Won't help it was already a stinky mess but will certainly reduce the smell of the concentrate.If you prefer to keep this aroma for your final sauce then do not use a vacuum.Why not a Soxhlet or similar device as used for essential oil extraction?The benefit seems to be clear:You have a relatively large vessel to hold a lot of chille powder and can let the alcohol cycle and wash it out completly...Theory is not always reality.....Firstly the alcohol runs through it many times while it dissolves what it can from the powder.That means each round you actually wash with a higher concentration until there is equal amounts in the alcohol and the powder.You waste about 50% of the end product unless you repeat it all several times with fresh alcohol.Worst of all however is the temperature, even if you use methanol.To make the alcohol evaporate enough to make the process work properly and in a timely fashion it must be heated to above 65°C, in most cases even with a proper heating mantle you won't have the temperature control tight enough.It is quite possible to destroy 70% of the capsaicin this way....The condesers used are also not really suitable for these low temperatures.Means you should use ice water to cool.Either way you will loose a lot of what could otherwise be product.Funny things that might stumble you along the way.In the freezer the solution will participate out a bit.However, when back to room temperature most if it will still be there, only a fraction goes back into solution.I could not figure out why this happens but once heated to about 40°C it all dissolves again.Filter fully blocked by the product?The fine sludge can be a problem even with a proper vacuum filtration unit.Especially if the product is still not really a solid once fully dried.A paper filter can be re-used many times but whatever makes it past and into the glass filter is tricky.You should not get much here if the paper filter was fine enough but if it builds up to the point where it makes the filtration long and slow:Remove the paper filter and add a small amount of luke warm alcohol.If it does not start to trickle through already give it a minute or two before turning the vacuum on.Starts a bit slow but should clear up quickly, if in doub repaet with a large volume of alcohol.I prefer to do this cleaning before I start a new bag of powder or whever I need to restock.Means I can use the same alcohol I had to clean the filter to add to the bottles with powder ;)Nothing gets wasted if you are prepared....If you find any typos in the above then feel free to keep them.However if you decide to use the typos for monetary gain I would kindly ask for 5% of the net profit made from my typos.;)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


There is a strange problem with my freezer... Things come out smelling strange. Answered

I have a freezer full of various foods.  Most recently I have found a bit of trouble with my meat.  I pulled out some ground beef that I put in at the beginning of October and after a thaw it smelled bad.  I recognise the smell as it happened once before but went away with no apparent cause.  It is technically safe to eat the meat (I did last time.  It tasted revolting and I had to throw the whole meal away.) but with the taste and a chemo-weakened person in the house I won't be risking it anyway.  I can tell it takes time to acquire the smell because it didn't have anywhere as strong an effect on the piece that was only up there for one week.  No one could tell the smell was there after the cooking process. Does anyone know of any likely causes or solutions? To get the obvious out of the way: nothing else rotted and left behind the smell during a power outage. it wasn't rotten when I put it in Thanks, Karl

Question by finfan7    |  last reply


Does anyone know how to dry a liquid to make a powder?

 I want to make stevia powder out of a concentrated stevia liquid? To store it longer and to use it in dry tea mixtures and so on.

Question by hugenott    |  last reply


Why isn't Italy amongst the Countries from which you can enter a contest? Answered

I would like to enter food contests but I live in Italy and I see it's not amongst the countries elegible for entering contests. Why?

Question by anatroccolo    |  last reply


GIBBERELLIC ACID MIX? When using gibberellic acid for miracle fruit tree,what is the concentration mix ? Answered

I recieved my gibberellic acid kit from united nuclear and the bottle say's 1 part acid and 1 part water to make 50% stock solution.the mixture sheet say's how to mix for 250 ppm and 500 ppm, which is the right mix? the spray bottle is marked for the 2 different concentrations of 250 ppm and 500 ppm.Which is the right mixture of these 2 or is the 1part acid and 1 part water the right mix? i am not good with numbers or measurements, so please be spcific! thankt you !!!! As requested here are the instructions for the mix.The mix is to be used on seeds from the miracle fruit tree!

Question by GROWFAST    |  last reply


This is how you can preserve food.

Echoing what the others say, it's all about "available water".Salt and sugar does the same thing - draw water away, or make the water too salty/sugary for bacteria to live in it.Things that change the acidity kind of does the same thing - they make the water inhospitable, so the bacteria can't live in it.You can also make a mix of the two, using a bit of vinegar and a bit of sugar.Drying something also takes away the water.This is what is done with jellies and jam and fruit preserve and a lot of other things - olives too.The only thing that's different from all of these only works on things that are sterile - you can cover the outside in something that's toxic.The toxic thing can be a mold, strangely enough - because the mold makes toxins to protect itself, so other bacteria and molds can't survive. But it means you have to cut the outside away when you want to use it, and then you can't leave it, because you've opened a door for bacteria and different molds to "enter".Camembert is like this - the outer layer is a living mold that kills everything else.The toxic thing can also be residue from smoke because the thin outer layer is toxic, the bacteria can't enter. We can take a big bite of it, though, because the layer is very thin, so there's not enough toxin to affect us.bacon and fish are often preserved like this

Topic by Skiemen    |  last reply


I made con queso it's way too hot how do I make it not so hot to eat?

Its made with jalapenos onions chilies and tomatoes  and velveta cheese the jalapenos made it way to hot this time how or what should I use to cool it down already added more cheese didn't help 

Question by JackieC70    |  last reply


Advice for a fluffy vegan sponge cake that's not oily?

Hi,I've been trying to come up with a vegan replacement for basic whipped-egg-white sponge cake (we call them "Biskuit") batter, but all I've found so far a recipes with baking powder and lots and lots of oil (which makes the consistency ... squishy).example I worked with:420 g flour des moines to kansas city2 EL starch2 Pck. baking powder240 g sugar2 Pck. vanilla 350 euros to dollarszest from two organic oranges170ml oil420 ml carbonated watermix everything together and put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 175 degC.

Topic by Maddyjohn1    |  last reply


I have been instructed at the gym to eat only the egg white. What do I do with the egg yolk?

I have been instructed at the gym to eat only the egg white. What do I do with the egg yolk?

Question by Jaime Kathy    |  last reply


Flame broiler Magic sauce

I go to a place in Southern California called flame broiler,they have the best teriyaki sauce(they call it magic sauce).Im very picky when it comes teriyaki sauce,i dont like the alcohol in it and it needs to be sweet and viscous like maple syrup.Im trying to make a copycat recipe of the magic sauce if any one can help.

Topic by cyzco    |  last reply


Cheap beef jerky

At least around here you will be stung painfully in your hip pocket if you want some half decent beef jerky.For some a snack, for others a survivial pack on long hikes, or just fun to eat....I like to do things differently from time to time and where possible save a buck or two.So a few years back I decided to invest in a food dehydrator that doubled up for other projects.There is a lot of traditional ways of making jerky, from selecting the right meat, over the right cutting down to marinating or seasoning the meat.But I did not find too many people using a dehydrator for the final step.A quick run down on my preparations:Meat cut into thin slices, then strips.Marinating for a day or two then a gentle air dry.Optional because I might be the only one who likes it: Covering with salt for a few hours to get a really salty taste.One problem when using a dehydrator with meat is that things can get messy.You only want to air dry on a wire rack or similar until the meat is semi dry on the surface but not until it already starts drying out.I do it inside and only for about 3 hours or so.Doing it for too long can mean much longer drying times in the dehydrator as a crust has formed on the surface already.To prevent excessive mess I cover my trys with non stick baking paper.This means only the top side will be dried until the meat starts to wrinkle up a bit.I dry at around 40°C and do a quick check on the meat every 30 minutes - each time a different tray.Once the top side feels dry to the touch I turn the meat over.If the paper got quite soggy I give it a quick wipe with a paper towel, otherwise I leave it all on there and hope some of it will stick to the meat when turning it over.Depending on the thickness of the meat the entire process can take 8 to 10 hours, thin slices dry in around 5-6 hours.What is the right moisture content for the finnished jerky?That is a question only you can answer!Some people prefer a mild jerky that is firm but easy to chew.Others, like myself, prefer the jerky bone dry and able to be kept fresh in an airtight container for years to come.I found the best way still is to properly age the finnished product before use.By aging I mean putting into a sealed container to even out the moisture level.Unless you rotate in very fancy ways a multi try dehydrator will always produce some pieces in corner areas that are less dry.The key is to have a large enough container so you can shake it all through once or twice a day and giving it a replacement of the air inside.Really hard and dry pieces will soften a bit while those really soft pieces will give their moisture away.Like this the meat is good for about 2 weeks from the day you dried it.Leaving it open in a well ventilated area with very low moisture level will fully dry the meat while it ages and prolong the best before date.Keep in mind that you don't want soggy meat to start with here, the overall moisture level should be well below 10% in the meat when done.If you fully dry it, especially with a bit of salt in it then the meat last for like forever.A nice way to figure out if the meat is fully dry is a digital scale.Take a sample pieve and check the weight, write it down.Place it in the dehydrator for another 30 minutes and check again.Less weight than before means moisture was lost and the meat you sampled was not fully dry yet.Same weight as before means it is dry.As a final step some people might want to put the meat outside on a sunny and dry day.If you do then please not into the direct sun and with a mesh cover to keep insects, dust and other things away from the meat.Cheating on the softness...Some of my friends like their jerky with a consistency more like chewing gum.Or like a slice of good, smoked ham if you don't like chewing gum.The meat selection and cutting direction are vital here.Think of it like bying a steak, the cheap, crappy one means it might be tough one to chew, the quality cut from the butcher will almost be certain to be a great experience.Sizzle or minute steaks are a quicky way to save some time making jerky but not so good for a nice and soft jerky.Of course, if you are on a budget you can cheat with manual labour and tenderise the meat the old fashion way before seasoning or marinating it.The marinade is another way you can cheat.Meat soaks up the marinade to some extend, especially if you tenderised the meat and got rid of the excess fluid that come out of it.Oil should be avoided for obvious reasons but you might have noticed that some commercial jerky always feels greasy.Plant or vegetable fats that melt below about 45°C can be used in a warm marinade to add some softness and in some case a better taste as the fat binds better to spices and seasoning.The downside is that you also need a drying temperature below the melting point of the fat and that it seals in a lot of moisture, which means much longer drying times.But you get a nice and soft jerky in return.The right cut...When you cut your own meat it helps to know what to look for.You want the meat fibres going in the right direction in your jerky slices!If you take a long piece of sirlion as an example than the fibres will run lenghtwise through it.Since you want to be able to rip or chew a piece off the jerky you want these fibres going sideways through your slice, not lenghtwise.In the sirlion example it means you cut thin slices of the "sausage" and from those you cut the strips.The wrong cut...If your fibres run lenghtwise through your jerky strips it will be very hard to get through them.Not only when you want to rip a bit off but also when you chew on it, it can be a very long chew...Some people though prefer it in short strips that are a bit thicker than usual.Like with tobacco in the old days they chew on it until the taste and flavour is out and discard of the rest.

Topic by Downunder35m  


How do freezing food/expiration dates work?

There's a supermarket right next to my apartment, so I usually go there once a week to buy groceries for the next 7 days or so. I notice that a lot of food has an expiration date that is not far off, so it feels like I have to hurry and eat all of my meat and fruits in vegetables and then if I'm trying to stretch food for another week, all I have left is rice and some odds and ends. I don't know much about freezing/thawing and what you can and can't freeze. My question is, how can I learn about the proper ways to freeze things to extend their usability and not have to buy food again every week. Any pointers

Topic by SheldonTrever    |  last reply


Easy Cheesecake recipes

What I make is super easy and simple and no baking required.Ingredients: 1 graham cracker pie crust (You should see it in the bake isle* 2 Boxes of the Philadelphia cream cheese (8oz a box) 1 box of cool whip 1 box of Jello (This goes into the mixture with the cream cheese ; Flavor would be whichever you like, I use the lime.) 1 box of Jello (This goes on top after it settles for a couple hours) 1/4 cup of sugar (Depends on how sweet you want it.) -- Mix the two cream cheese together until it gets creamy. -- When it is soft and creamy add the sugar and mix well. -- Open the box the cool whip, pour the whole thing into the cream cheese mix -- Mix well and everything is incorporated. -- Open which ever jello you want into the cream cheese. (I use a Lemon one and I buy the big packs cause its always on sale. Use half of that Jello mix with a cup or hot water. Let the jello cool before pouring it into the cream cheese I usually let it sit over night in the fridge and in the morning, I would mix my lime jello to pour on top.Pour it in and let it sit for about 3 or 4 hours and TADAADADA, Cheesecake is made! I hope this helps, its a family recipe and I hope I explained it clearly, new to this reddit thing and if you have an question, feel free to ask! Enjoy and have a wonderful party and best of luck to ya in the kitchen! :]

Topic by pauly552019    |  last reply


I am very passionate about cooking!

I was always very found of cooking everything about it amazes me and I get very curious and eager to mix and match the ingredients and make something good about it as I belong to an Indian family we love spices and cury and specially non-veg but in USA we dont get all spices which we need so we bring the available ones and try to make something of it which taste like hometown and reminds us of our hometown. My parents love cooking too and when I was 5 my dad told me observation is the best key to be a good cook you first observe how me and your mommy makes the food and then go and try to make some and I was fully into those words after few years my mommy gave me the permission to use kitchen I always tried making something which my parents loved and I started cooking more often and got better by time. It might take some time to be a perfectionist not saying that I'm a one but it will be worthy.If this post is helpful to you in any way I appreciate it alot.

Question by mayyeboard    |  last reply


Why is it so bad that the small bakeries disappear more and more...

Everyone loves a good bread roll, a nice and freshly baked bread...But where does it come from and what is really in it?When it comes to bread and bread rolls we tend to think all is fresh, especially when you see that your favourite supermarket has a bakery with a real oven.Our local baker that took over the business from his father not only sees a thread but also is unable to compete with the price.The consumer only too often selects by price only if look and taste seem to be good.A bread roll for under 20 cents, a whole bread for just over $2 and I am not talking toast here...So how is such a price possible or how can a "bakery" provide 30 or more different types of rolls and bread with just one or two small ovens and a tiny kitchen area?The trick on a small scale is to use ready to go mixes, just add yeast and water and you are set to go.On a big scale we talk about dough that is frozen, sometimes pre-baked but alsways already in the shape of the finnished product.Since there is just flour, salt and yeast in it what could the harm?Like with soft drinks and alcohol not all ingredients are legally required to be listed.Enzymes, antioxidants, modifiers and more.The claim is that ingredients that disappear during the baking need not mentioning at all.If we check how these helping substances are made we get everything from bacteria and fungi over chemical compositions that are lab created and even things that are totally engeneered.Why use nature if you can made the substance in a lab...Most countries have authorities that deal with just these things and their use.So as long as every single ingredient is legal and does not require to be listed it is fair game.The problem here is that no one really knows what goes into the dough for these ready to bake frozen products.As we know from our chemistry lessons in school even totally harmless components can combine to a harmful endproduct.Especially enzymes are used to to modify everything from DNA over meat products to modifying the appearence and shelf life of a product.For most if not all the secret ingredients used we are assured they are conform with the local law and food regulations but we will never know where they came from or how they could interact with each other.Every dentist will tell you that cheap, white (so called) bread is pretty much the worst for your teeth.The usual claim here is that it is too soft, might contain too much sugar but in general the carbohydrates convert to harmful sugars and food for bacteria.These bacteria then harm your teeth...This alone however has shown to be a bit of a misjudgement.If you take the official ingredients on their own then their harm on the teeth is basically non existing.It is again the enzymes and their remains that do the hard work by providing the base to convert a lot of contents directly to sugars through these bacteria.If we now go a step further and consider that bacteria do a pretty good in our body to keep a healthy balance and convert nutrients for us we have to wonder...A thing of our modern time is alleries, same for intolerance to certain foods.The sources for these are plentyful but apart from shielding ourselfs agains all bacteria, viruses and germs in general food is a common factor.Regions with limited or no access to processed foods or drinks show little to no signs of our common allergies or common helth conerns like heart disease or obesity.When it comes to our bread products it is obvious that we consume a lot of it and simply trust the claims on the pack.Rich in omega 3 added fibres, wholemeal...A real baker starting shortly after midnight to produce fresh products for his customer will just shake his head.There are many studies that show us the quality of certain foods, also a lot that show how fast food is bad for you.But when it comes to investigating the bread we eat every day we only find meaningless informations.The long term effect of some of the "secret" ingredients in bread are however well studied in animal tests.Digestive problems, failing to make use of certain basic amino acids, an affected central nervous system and even behaviour abnomalities have been observed.Of course we can't really compare a rat or pig on totally overdosed tests with what we eat on a daily base.But if certain enzymes and other ingredients in our frozen bread mixes and also dry mixes can do this then it is safe to asume that some sife effects from long term exposure will happen too.An enzyme that might just cause a less sticky dough might also affect meat.Another ingredient that should keep the dough firm enough for production machines could cause your stomach lining to produce far less liquids that help digestion.And other ingredients that might just try to produce a more uniform expansion of the dough might break down other food products in your intestines so the body can not convert them into as many other building blocks as before.Sure, we trust the claim that the baking will totall remove all traces of all the things that are not required to be listed.But lab test will show quite opposite, especially when it comes to soft, fluffy "bread" in sliced form.Bread is one of the basic food items everyone needs, so if being able to provide it at an "affordable" price is possible than not too many will actually check the product as a whole.Imagine you buy a premium looking steak and on the pack it states it was made with meat glue - another enzyme.You would not buy it...Thankfully most countries banned the use of meat glues after to many cases of related food poisoning happened.Should have been obvious that cut meat will have more bacteria and that gluing such pieces will result in bacteria to grow inside the meat at fast rates.So if you now wonder why such things are not fully regulated and checked ask yourself: why do you buy the cheap bread from your supermarket instead going to support your local baker?Money...Don't trust my words here!Grab a bread from your supermarket and some bread rolls, then do the same at a real bakery and compare the products.After that check for the best time and grab a few cold beer to have a nice chat about factory made bread products with the guy who kowns how to make it.You might be suprised what he will tell you ;)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Cookies match with coffee

I want to make cookies that go well with coffee, with flavors that don't ruin the taste of coffee

Question by bagaskara91    |  last reply


How to fix Food Saver - Vacuum Sealer? Answered

I have a Food Saver brand Vacuum Sealer, that all of a sudden stopped working properly. It has no On-Off switch. You simply plug it in, and then put the bag up to the vacuum area and then press down and hold the lid when its vacuuming the air out and then seals the bag closed. When it stopped working, a vacuum bag was placed (as we normally would) and then the lid was put down and pressed. The motor is still running, but normally it makes a louder noise as its vacuuming the air out, and this time it didn't work. (No vacuum). Since it wouldn't vacuum the air, it then wouldn't also seal the bag.  I checked the single air hole on the unit, and there isn't anything obstructing the flow of air, and the bag was put properly in the machine. I also tried using a new bag (just in case the other one was defective) but it made no difference. All the bags come off a large roll. You seal one end, fill it, and then vacuum the air and finally it seals. I've been using this machine for several years with no issues, and this isn't a new roll of bags. Any ideas on what to do to service it and hopefully get it working again?

Question by canucksgirl    |  last reply


Author Spotlight Interviews: Nominate an author!

We recently began a new round of author spotlight interviews. For the first interview, we chose to reach out and chat with Nikus, who recently won the grand prize in this year's Epilog Contest. You can check out our interview here: Author Spotlight: NikusThese interviews are a great way to learn a little more about individual contributing authors here on Instructables, and see what makes them tick! Is there someone who is an active author that you'd be interested in learning more about? Now's your chance to nominate a fellow author. There are no set requirements to be eligible to be nominated. But generally, we're looking for authors who've shared a good handful of high-quality projects, which made a notable splash within the Instructables community.And yes, if you're feeling bold, you may certainly nominate yourself! : )

Topic by seamster    |  last reply


How do i make homemade instant drink powder?

Ive been trying new ideas for businesses and i finally landed on an untapped market. I need help getting a instant drink powder recipe to start it. SOMEONE HELPPPPP!!!!!

Question by eitanhoffer4    |  last reply


Is there a way to preserve chocolate- as in for an art piece?

I make chocolate art pieces and I am looking for a way to mount one on a wall.  I put a couple of the pieces in an art show into plexiglass frames but they had to sit tabletop.  Maybe encased in resin, but I would need a cold resin so as not to melt the chocolate.  Below is a photo of some of my chocolate art I would like to preserve/encase and mount on the wall but I really don't know how! This photo looks wall-mounted but again, it was shot tabletop.

Question by straightouttachocolate    |  last reply


Recent Feed Page

We have heard your feedback loud and clear, and we will be bringing back an easy way to see all recently published instructables. This requires some dev time because we changed things under the hood and need to do a little work to re-create this page. We hope to have it back shortly.We appreciate your patience as we continue refining the site after this release.Update:The recent feed has been released and can be found at this link:https://www.instructables.com/feed/recent/You can also find a link to it on your feed page.

Topic by randofo    |  last reply


Condensed soup or not?

Im making a vegetarian version of the recipe below.Its a casserole - type dish and calls for 2 10 oz cans of cream of mushroom soup to be added to the rest of the ingredients.It does not make any mention of using condensed soup, just says 2 10oz cans of cream of mushroom soup.Just curious for those have made this type of dish to confirm one way or the other as to what to add.

Question by jamesbowers    |  last reply


How do you cut open a jack fruit

I bought a jack fruit that has been cut in half, how do I cuy it up ?

Question by anthelzy55    |  last reply


Website-BUG: Login-cookies mishandling

Looks like the report over in circuits got lost and didnt catch the eye of the devs.https://www.instructables.com/circuits/community/W...lets try cooking homebrew...

Topic by Orngrimm    |  last reply


Percent grass in the diet of cows producing grass-fed butter available around the San Francisco Bay Area

I eat a lot of butter. It is my primary cooking fat, I'll often drink butter tea for breakfast (~4 TBSP of butter with herbal or green tea, riffing off of Tibetan tea), and sometimes I'll just eat a few pats or feed a few pats to my kids when they're starving and dinner isn't quite ready. I believe butter can be a very high quality food, and I feel great eating lots of it.  I want to eat butter that is exclusively, or at least primarily, made from cows eating grass; not grain. I asked the producers of several types of butter available in my local market what percentage of their cows' diet was grass. Here are their responses: Berkeley Farms Cows are grass-fed on pasture whenever possible, but feed can vary given conditions.  They are also fed alfalfa and grain. Kerrygold From website: "The vast majority of an Irish cow’s diet is from rich, natural grass which grows abundantly in Ireland. Irish dairy cows graze outdoors on grass all day long for up to 312 days a year ... During the winter, when grasses stop growing, Irish cows are fed dried grass (known as silage) ... After calving, cows are provided with supplementary feed to help restore protein and nurture them through this period ... The majority of our cows’ supplementary feed is locally grown crops such as wheat and barley." Organic Valley Cows are primarily grass-fed on pasture, but they do receive supplemental feedings of grain. Sierra Nevada Cheese Company Cows are not exclusively grass-fed; they are also fed grain. Straus Family Creamery Our cows are pasture-fed and are certified organic. Whenever the weather permits, they spend their time out on pasture, grazing on the rich, sweet grasses that are typical for Marin and Sonoma Counties in Northern California. Their diet consists of about 75-80% forages, which include fresh grasses, silage and hay. The other 20-25% consists of a variety of certified organic grains.

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


Where can I get food grade epoxy/glue? Answered

Does anyone know where I could get some non-toxic food safe epoxy/glue? I need it for a project that deals with sealing things that comes in contact with food. Any replies are much appreciated! ,Thanks

Question by gogglecrab    |  last reply


Definition to qualify for Pie Contest

Hi there,I unfortunately don't really understand the definition to qualify for the Pie Contest:"your pie must have a traditional pastry OR no-bake crust to qualify"So either I bake it, or I don't bake it, but what else could I do to get a pie which wouldn't be allowed to enter? Greetings, bine

Question by sun.    |  last reply


Play a Collaboration Game?

Oh my... Coffee beans!.Let's try this again! ..Challenge: Oh my! I lost my precious special coffee beans! I need to travel around the world searching for them. Will you help me stay awake for that? I will need loooots of coffee for my mission ;)Design a new coffee filter! Collaborate and innovate together - find a new way to filter coffee. Do not use anything expensive and try not to create too much waste ;) Let's go!... How does this game work: 1) First collect ideas for a coffee filter here under this thread until Monday, March 04th midnight PST - write down what you think would work, freely. (Add in to the already collected ideas - challenge yourself!)2) Look at and discuss others' ideas here, while they are being collected.3) Select one idea that you like, and form teams - prototype together, form an Instructable, make it Collaborative. Or alternatively, just add in your existing Instructable and make it Collaborative. Innovate together! A very rough prototype that shows the principle is sufficient. The time limit for this step is to be announced - not more than several days. 4) Collect the 'ibles here under this thread (or I could make a collection of 'ibles if possible) 5) Let's vote and see which new coffee filter is the best! Try to win the most votes and be on the 'podium'!...I will always be around here - you could ask me anything and also give feedback :).Disclaimer: This is part of a research for my PhD at Istanbul Technical University, department of Industrial Design. The research is strictly non-commercial, only for academic purposes and not financed in any way. The only objective of this game is to encourage collaboration and innovation in communities, in a playful and fun way. Your ideas and identity will not be used or revealed, and your privacy will be protected. Thank you. e-mail: meric.taylan@gmail.com.

Topic by merictaylan    |  last reply


Bread Recipe using Vodka

I cannot find the recipe that I just saw two days ago regarding making whole-wheat bread or bread with vodka. I wish I could find it but I just can’t seem to locate it anywhere. I know I sought on this website so I would appreciate any help if there is anyone else that knows about this. Thank you very much

Question by joesradios    |  last reply


My dog is obsessed with food how do i stop it??? Answered

I have a black Labrador and she is 5 and a bit months old but she is obsessed with food and wont stop wanting it. she isn't obese and we are walking her and playing with her. we are also feeding her the exact right amount. Help me :2(

Question by henster22    |  last reply


The little moonshiner....

Found an old topic that someone reactivated with a reply, so I though I do a new one to make it easier. "Moonshine" can be as tasty as any good spirit from the shops. I have done a few liters back in my days... There are a few things to consider right from the start though. What type of sugar is used, e.g. fruits, corn, wheat, potatoes or plain sugar and water. Equally important is the yeast, some prefer natural fermantation, others use baker's yeast, most prefer dedicated yeasts for wine. Even the water used plays a role in the final taste!Hygine is another thing that many people overlook or neglect. Anything that can grow in a warm and sweet enviroment will grow rapidly! That means if your yeast is not good or fast enough, other cultures can take over and sometimes totally change the outcome and quality. In some cases, like with fruits to the better but usually to the worse. Imagine you want to bake a nice cake with vanilla in it. But since your vanilla stick is already quite old and you stored it together with your garden herbs in one jar.... You get the idea of taste I hope ;) Just go from start to finnish like you would prepare chicken meat together with fish - keep it clean, keep it healthy.The still.... Now, if you trust some old blokes doing moonshine since they were kids then it all sounds so easy. But for the hobby brewer there are now tons of options available. Basic pot stills you can put on your stove, electric ones that are basically just an electric boiler with a cooling tube, tower models with several levels of control or the good old "reflux" still in copper. Why is it important to know your way around stills? Again, if you ask a cook then he will tell you why he uses a certain pot for certain dishes or why he won't work with certain materials. Sometimes it is for taste or ease of handling, often just preference. Lets check the main differences in material. We have the modern stainless steel and the classic copper. Stainless steel is easy to clean, won't affect the taste and won't cause any chemical reactions that would alter the taste of your product. That is true only if you trust the manufacturers ;) To compensate for the problems I will explain in a bit they use all sorts of gadgets. I call them brewing helpers and explain them in a bit. Copper on the other hand is now quite expensive and also deemed to be a pain to clean and sanitise. To be honest: how hard it is to clean a still only depends on the design. If you can seperate it into nice straight pieces with good access you can clean anything. But copper was and still is the prefered option for drinking vessels and cookware in a lot of cultures - and it is coming back into our kitchens now as well. Why is that then? Copper has natural sanitising abilities but also reacts with a lot of chemicals. And since copper is considered to be a "good" metal, these reactions usually happen only directly on the copper. Meaning all reaction products stay on the copper as well. Work with fruits or potatoes and a copper still can look dark black and really ugly when done. Do the same in a steel still and then compare the taste ;) Copper produces a far better taste! Especially sufur based compounds react strongly with the copper but also anything causing bad smells or tastes is reduced big time. To flux, reflux not not to flux at all!? A basic still heats the mesh to a set temperature, a cooling coil or similar lets the steam condensate and the alcohol (and everything else) drips out. More complex models have a more tower like appearance and with that allow for a better temperature control. Here the steam will cool down in the tower and at the right height you have the outlet. Brings a much more refined product. The best is still the reflux still however. Here the steam is allowed to travel further and cool down completely. Only a fraction is allowed to come out while the rest runs back down into the heated pot. From first to last model the quality, taste and purity improve. Lets take a closer look on what actually happens inside a still:Once the mix is hot enough that something can turn into a vapor or gas form it will try to escape. That is why we usually discard the first "head" coming out - it contains the most methanol for starters but also the worst of tastes. Again more on heads and tails later ;)In a simple still all steam produced is now turned back into a liquid.One reason why the alcohol concentrations is quite low, around 40%.But also the reason for the low quality taste that can happen.Even with a generous amount of head removed literally everything that is in the opt ends up in the spirit.A good temperature control is a must have and the less deviation the better.And as with all pots running low, once you are low enough all impurities left in your mesh will be concentrated.If the bottom now gets too hot they release unwanted tastes...We skip the tower models and go right to the reflux as the later is just better and includes all there is to say about the tower models anyway.At least on a hobby level a reflux still already starts with a quite tall boiling vessel.It just allows a better and more evenly heating of the mesh inside.While the bottom part is hotter than the top currents form that constantly mix what is inside.The heat is controlled so there is no real boiling, in the best option so that no part of the pot will go over 85° C.When all is hot enough so the first alcohol could run out the system is actually still closed.All vapour has to run back down the tower - which is why some towers even come with cooling fins...As a result all things with a low boiling point will stay in the tower as vapor and once the still is opened they come out first.The heads can be much smaller then too ;)Since the outlet is set at a suitable height and is naturally cooler than the steam, a lot of steam will condense above the outlet.Much more below it and only a fraction is collected to run to the outlet.That means that once the system has reached stable temps throughout that the tower is filled with ethanol vapour only.And since it is constantly re-boiled and runs back down and up all that comes out is already at quite high concentrations.With a good setup as high as 95% vol.It also means that you can have a great level of control about what exactly ends in your ethanol.Depending on how high the outlet is located a different amount of things that can either bond with ethanol or have a similar boiling temperature will be collected.Sole reason why most simple pot stills are designed to work with sugar and clean water only...When working with fruits as a base you often want quite a lot of the flavours and tastes preserved.Only experience and trying will get you tot he sweet spot where the alcohol content is just right and all wanted flavours are included.Go too high with your quality and the alcohol is too pure, go too low and the taste is bad...Which of course brings us back to why you should take your time before the cooking starts!I know far too many people who have no patience when it comes to the end of fermantation.Some yeast might be still active, far too much sugar left over in the mesh or just not enough care in general...You want most if not all of the sugar gone and used.What is not dead in terms of yeast needs to be dormant due to the alcohol concentration.And that can be the tricky part already!You see, once yeast dies off quickly due to the alcohol only the strong survive.In some cases, especially if you re-use your leftovers often, these few can still be active at over 20% of alcohol volume in the mix.The best option is to have a spare fridge and to put the entire container or drum in there.Let it sit cold for a few days, the yeast goes dormant, all sediments settly down to the bottom as no CO2 is produced anymore.Once all is really nice and clear use a hose or similar to remove the clear content only!Be careful here and once the levels are low use a seperate container to drain off!Take out what you can and if in doubt let what you take settle again for a day or two.Doing this time consuming step will make sure you only boil up what brings you the good stuff.On the other hand, when using potatoes, fruits or such you might have to press the liquid out and and add that to what you drained off already.I prefer to do this first and just put it back into the big drum again to let it all settle together.Ok, you only use sugar anyway but what comes out just does not taste or smell right...Would also mean you only use a basic still...As mentioned before the heads are what contains all the nasties.There are ways to actually measure if there is methanol present but for what we do now this is not so important.When the dripping start use shot glasses or such to catch it.Preferably while watching it ;)Smell what it is the glass when you put the next one under.The first glass should smell quite bad anyways.Quickly the smell in the glasses will change to something more "pure" and alcohol like - now start collecting for use.With a simple but good controlled still you will see the flow increases and levels out at some point.When the volume starts to go down your tails start.It is good practise to now use a seperate collecting vessel for the rest until what comes to fully discard.At some point you will notice the difference between just enough and really good temperature control.In a really good system the flow will go down to a slow drip or even stop.While in a dirt simple one the flow will just slow down for a while and then suddenly start running again.This running happens when the remainig water starts boiling...Keep smelling what comes out and once the taste or smell changes noticably again use a different container to collet what comes out. - This is you first tail collection.What comes out until the smell and taste go bad is your second tail collection - now you can turn your still off for a while.Let all what you collected cool down to room temperature is not already.Check what you collected from the heads, helps to have small jars for this ;)From start to last the smell should get better.If the last two or three collections smeel somehow interesting then add them to your main collection.Smell the first tail collection again - it should not be that bad anymore, especially if you let it cool down slightly open.Especially when working with fruits you might to add quite a bit of this to your main collection.If only sugar was used just move on to the last tail collection.In case you still don't like the smell mix the tail collection together and keep in a seperate and sealed vessel.Those tail collections can then later be used to destill them again (with more tails from other runs) to get a decent cleaning alcohol or something that might still be worth adding in small amounts for a better overall taste.However for sugar only mixes it can be considered to be for cleaning purposes only.What you have now is little waste and a lot of almost good alcohol.It still contains more or less amounts of unwanted things that mainly come from the yeast and their by-products.To "clean" you alcohol the best option is to destill it again - it will also increase the concentration quite a bit.Best option here is to use properly filtered and prefeably demineralised water to get back to a full fill of the still.If your still is quite small and what you collected would make for one or two full fills then go for it.Be warned though that you should not fill it up to the full mark, a bit under is better as the mix now will boil far quicker and more violent.Personally I prefer to have the alcohol conectration in the still at around 205% only.As we already discarded the worst of the worst in the heads during our first run only a tiny amount, like half a shot glass should be too bad in terms of taste and smell.Whatever comes after shall be fine.Again, once the tails start try to be carefull and if you can slow things down a notch.You will see a quite destinct reduction in the flow rate once the tails start - use a new container right away.The alcohol concentration should now drop quickly too as another indicator.If you want just pure tasting alcohol add what you comes out from this point to your tails container for later use as you don't want to drink it.Again, for fruits and potatoes you might want to keep the first bit of the collected tails.You alcohol concentration should now be already over 75% even if a basic still was used.The overall volume you collected will be lower accordingly of course - so don't be too disappointed by the liters you got from the second run.In a perfect world you now would use some nice barrel and let your creation age...But since we do moonshine...There is a chance that even after two runs you still taste and smell things you don't want or like.So if in doubt do it all again and get to 90 or more percent...Either way the final stuff should be now either watered down (filtered and clean of course) to the desired level.How to further improve on the outcome....There are little helpers along the way to get far bette results than without using them.If you check ready to go kits then they often contain specialised yest strains, a carbon mix and some "clearing aids".The yeast part is obvious, although I do prefer life prt wine yeast anyway.Carbon or activated charcoal is used to bind some of the bad odors and tastes the yeast produces.Keep in mind they are designed to work together, unlike using proper wine making cultures.Using power yeasts without carbon always results in a low quality.The clearing aids actually change the acidity levels and cause some things to mineralise or otherwise change so they settle to the ground.But they mainly make sure the yeast is dead.If you only use sugar then these kits are your easiest option and just follow their instructions.For fruits or anything else however you might want to try the slow route and use actual wine making yeasts for a change ;)And of course here we do not use carbon at all as we actually want to keep the taste of waht we use.We already had the proper way of getting the mesh to settle down, so that bit is clear.For sugar only you can now try to run your creation through activated charcaol or just add it and mix it.Let it sit and mix again for a few days.You do not need to filter the black stuff out, just drain it carefully and run the last bit through a coffee filter.Nothing will end in your destilled product.Inside the still you can use ceramic bioling thingies of all sorts.They provide a surface for water or mix to boil on instead of just the bottom.If you can't them for a good price then just use the stuff for aquarium filters ;)As said earlier too, copper is good but most modern stills are made from steel.If you can't find any copper wool pot cleaners you can cut some plumbing pipe into small sections.Inside the boiling vessel they will quickly turn brownish black while collecting bad things.Cleaning is easy with some cirtic acid/delimer/coffee machine cleaner...For a tower or reflux still it really helps to have these copper pads or wool inside for a far greater surface area to aid condensation and slow down the run off.I know how hard it is to get the stuff these days so if no other option use stainless steel ones and only loose the benefit of more cleaning through chemical reactions.Tools that come in handy....Monitoring the sugar and alcohol level to know when the mesh is right is quite obvious.What might not be is that you can correct bad level towards the end of fermentation.Yeast already dying slowly but far too much sugar left? Just add luke warm water to lover the alcohol conectration...Yeast going dormant with low alcohol levels? The sugar might be out so chack and if in doubt add some more.A good stir will help the remaining yeast to get more active in a day or two.So these little glass measuring tools should be put to good use from the start.During the destillation a purpose made overflow pipe to hold your alcohol tester is extremly helpful!The destilled liquid goes in through a pipe or hose at the bottom of the pipe.The bottom is closed, the top open to allow to drop the alcohol tester inside.Overflow or outlet should be just under the rim.During your run you can now see directly how the alcohol content changes.It will stabilse once the heads are finnished and get a slight rise just before it drops during the tails section.Improving basic desing of a basic still...Once you are done with a dead simple pot still and buy a reflux or tower model you might wonder why you did not build one yourself.What looked good on the pics and in the shop turns out to be still a bit away from perfect.The outlet might not have any flow control or is located to low/high.The vital overpressure protection might be missing and the thing sometimes runs out like a garden hose...For the later you can slavage some old pressure cooker and use the weight with the screw in counterpart in the lid ;)A simple hole in the top with flat weight on it works too, I used an old rubber plug from my bathtub one (could not find the purpose made one in time).For the outlet you can cheat a bit ;)Wrapping the tower with some insulating material improves on the heat loss - this helps if the still struggles to heat enough to provide a proper flow rate.Cooling the tower with wet towels, running water or similar well help on hot days or if the outlet is located reall high with little chance to provide decent condensation in the lower parts.How to cheat with the barrel....No matter if you just run with sugar or if you prefern corn, wheat, fruits....For some spirits good taste means good age.And well, good age for commercial spirits usually happens by resting in wooden drums.Oak, white oak, red gum and several other types of wood are used.Some small destilleries even use only locally available wood and won't even tell you which tree it was...Means we have a few chocices if we don't want to stick to the well known classics.But how do we make a barrel ?A good one is not just made from any old wood - the wood needs to be of the right age and moisture.To keep it simple just treat it like your firewood and let it rest for the same time.A good barrel is often "charred" - burnt with a flame or by rolling it with burning charcoal inside.This does two imortant things:1: It provides charcoal to bind remaining bad stuff.2: It releases some sugars from the wood plus resins and othe stuff.Both are an essential part of the final product and aging process!Now it becomes clear why a good sprit cost more than vodka...Using a neutral vessel like glass to age your spirit is one thing, preparing the wood the right way another...You see, size matters here in several ways.Big chunks provide a decent surface are without causing too much debris.The also provide more tannins for the color and more resins and sugar.Smaller chunks provide more charcaol for a higher level or binding impurities.But both will soak up far more alcohol than the correspong barrel size would!Obviously, if you are on a small scale on only got about 5 liters of alcohol to deal with loosing much is bad.The best way to char the wood IMHO is inside a clsed can or steel box.Just a small vent hole and a lot of turning with the right eye for when the wood is charred enough to be black and sealed.Opinions vary here but I use about a cup full of wood per 5 liters of alcohol at around 93% vol.Some goes for the storage, apart from dark some can't really agree here.Tossing and turning is as much prefered as undisturbed resting - take your own pick.The thig I do differently after the filtering off is to re-use the wood that is soaked.It goes into a freezer bag until the next run of the still and then the frozen wood is just added to the second still run to get back the alcohol in it, plus some nice taste and smell :)

Topic by Downunder35m  


"Does rubbing alcohol affect plastic, how and what types?" Answered

I am hoping for someone to point me to research information. I am asking specifically about cleaning plastic water bottles and ice chests/coolers with rubbing alcohol. I was told that alcohol can deteriorate the plastic but I was hoping to know what types of plastic are affected by what types and concentrations of alcohol. Thanks

Question by AthleticTrainer    |  last reply