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Old 01-29-2007, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Reduction sauce notes when using Beer

Be well advised that if you are making a reduction using beer, the hops bitterness will be greatly concentrated. If you are just using the beer as an addition, this is not a big deal. But if you are using a substantial amount and making a reduction, keep this in mind! It is very difficult to balance bitterness in food once the bitterness level is too high. Just a tip if you ever try a reduction using beer.


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Old 01-29-2007, 02:59 PM   #2
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I never use more than 8oz in a casserole and maybe 4oz in a sauce or dish. I've never noticed any problems.

Thanks for the heads up.


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Old 01-29-2007, 03:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
I never use more than 8oz in a casserole and maybe 4oz in a sauce or dish. I've never noticed any problems.

Thanks for the heads up.

No problem. With small additions you probably wouldn't. I think anything other than using a deglaze amount in a reduction would probably be a big mistake...unless of course it is something very low in IBU to begin with.
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:26 PM   #4
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I hear the warning, but I think with the correct chosen beer this isn't a huge issue. I've used a handful of ales (usually darker, "old" ales) and stouts for reductions and have definitely been able to avoid the bitterness issue. Using anything "hoppy", or even medium-hoppy but on the lighter side could definitely result in an overly bitter sauce, though. Experimentation is the key!!!
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Old 01-30-2007, 01:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiery Sword
I hear the warning, but I think with the correct chosen beer this isn't a huge issue. I've used a handful of ales (usually darker, "old" ales) and stouts for reductions and have definitely been able to avoid the bitterness issue. Using anything "hoppy", or even medium-hoppy but on the lighter side could definitely result in an overly bitter sauce, though. Experimentation is the key!!!
Yeah this is true. This is the major contributing factor but like you say experimentation is the key. I guess my warning really is just that. When you experiment, start in small amounts. The smaller the better. It is nearly impossible to salvage something that has gone overly bitter. Same thing with salt . I can remember at least one occasion where I was not being careful and ruined a dish from too much salt. It is such a heartbreak.

Obviously an IPA is a poor choice hehe.
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Old 01-30-2007, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebisch01
Same thing with salt . I can remember at least one occasion where I was not being careful and ruined a dish from too much salt. It is such a heartbreak.
True dat. True dat. Last summer I did a whole lot of experimentation with brining pork butts and chickens for the smoker and lemme tell ya.....the only thing worse than over-salting a dish is over-salting one that takes 20+ hours to find out.
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Old 01-30-2007, 01:44 PM   #7
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Depending on the dish you can sometimes wash out salt afterwards.

I am salt sensitive. Not medically just taste wise. I don't really eat processed food and use very little salt in my own food. So when I do eat processed food like tinned beans or cookies the salt content is overriding the sugar. I don't mind, it's just one more good reason to not eat the crap stuff.
The only thing I do use plenty of salt in is the water to boil fresh pasta but that doesn't get into the pasta.
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Old 01-30-2007, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiery Sword
True dat. True dat. Last summer I did a whole lot of experimentation with brining pork butts and chickens for the smoker and lemme tell ya.....the only thing worse than over-salting a dish is over-salting one that takes 20+ hours to find out.

Doh! I am really careful with proper amounts in many things now since I ventured into the dry cured realm as the salt needs to be spot on, and more importantly the cure #2 cannot be too much as it can kill you. My scale is the best tool I've ever had in the kitchen! That would really suck. It would really suck to lose some butts and chickens like that.
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Old 01-30-2007, 01:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
Depending on the dish you can sometimes wash out salt afterwards.

I am salt sensitive. Not medically just taste wise. I don't really eat processed food and use very little salt in my own food. So when I do eat processed food like tinned beans or cookies the salt content is overriding the sugar. I don't mind, it's just one more good reason to not eat the crap stuff.
The only thing I do use plenty of salt in is the water to boil fresh pasta but that doesn't get into the pasta.

You know what happened to me was, once I cut out refined sugar (especially in my coffee) that literally like a week later my palate was so sensitive to not only sweet but salt. The junk food industry knows this. They balance huge amounts of salt and sweet in their foods. Then your palate is desensitized and the only thing that can give you the same effect is...guess what...their foods! Now, I still like salty foods, but only those that should be such. Like preserved meats, fish etc. Otherwise, say in a dish, I am really sensitive. The one huge benefit though has been that I am tasting many more of the nuances in Ales than I ever did.
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:02 PM   #10
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There's a reason they call it junk food.


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