On the Washing of Tea

Tasty, tasty cocktail. And a tannin-y, unbalanced mess.

The Gastropod podcast “looks at food through the lens of science and history”, so it’s only natural that they’ll cover stuff relevant to our interests here at Doing Science to Stuff. The May episode The Cocktail Hour provides a fascinating look at not only the history and craft of cocktail making, but also some modern techniques for enhancing the cocktail experience.

Initial observation:

Toward the end of the episode, they discuss a technique called boozewashing. The fundamental idea, expanded upon in Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence, is to use chemistry to pull undesirable flavors out of a drink. In this case, using proteins in milk to pull polyphenols like tannins out of tea-infused vodka.


How big an impact does boozewashing have on the flavor of tea-infused vodka? Does it impact mouth-feel at all? What about the overall appearance of the vodka?

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Bags of Hot Delicious Meat

Resting steaks

Here at the primary testing facility we are always looking for ways to improve how we cook delicious meats.  So, when vacuum sealable zip-top bags recently appeared on the market we wanted to see how well they work for sous vide cooking.  In this post these bags are put up against the older style bag while cooking rib-eyes steaks.

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Units Matter

My eyes seem to be telling my brain that this says 125 calories...

A news item popped up today about how alcohol conglomerate Diageo would be offering nutritional information. However, a little bit of cognitive dissonance set in after reading this sentence “And a 12 oz serving of Guinness — often referred to as a meal in a glass for good reason — clocks in at an eye-opening 678 calories.

Wait – what? Guinness cans already have nutritional information, and they certainly don’t read 678 calories!

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Frosty, the car window


Sometimes frost on the *inside* surface of the car’s windows is a fact of life here at the primary testing facility. The defroster grid in the back window, while typically used to melt frost, the conditions were such that they became nucleation sites for the frost on the inside surface instead!



Consensus online is that this problem is related to excess moisture in the cabin, which considering our area has had somewhere between 157.5226 ” this season (70″ difference? yup, that bugs me), tracked in snow and wet carpets is a likely culprit.