On the Washing of Tea

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.

Question:

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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Sugar and the Shiny Brownies

King Arthur Flour had a very intriguing blog post recently about the steps necessary to create brownies with a shiny and flakey crust. They had some outstanding follow-up questions which we decided to investigate. Keep reading for more brownie science!

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Units Matter

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!

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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.

New Year’s Resolution?

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We made a New Year’s resolution to do more posts, but like many such resolutions it isn’t going so well… but we will do better (we have a plan, and will follow through…)! Dissertations still must happen, but we promise to take time off occasionally for fun science too.

Cheers!
-Science doers and feline “helpers”