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Learn anything new?

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Larry Greenly

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Learn anything new?

by Larry Greenly » Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:16 pm

Duh.

Over the years, I've often seen recipes stating something like, "Bring cold water to a boil, yada, yada, yada." One example is always brewing tea that way, starting with cold water. I usually did, not thinking too much about it. If I did think, I'd think that starting with hot water from the tap would be more efficient (except in percolators, for sure). But there was a good reason for starting cold. I slapped my head, "I coulda had a V-8!" when I found out the reason. How obvious....
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Robin Garr

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Robin Garr » Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:42 pm

Mmm, now I want a V-8!
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Larry Greenly » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:06 pm

That's one of my secrets for a good Bloody Mary.
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Barb Downunder

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Barb Downunder » Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:53 am

Definitely! V8 juice makes a very good start to a Bloody Mary. Also a great base for a quick gazpacho.
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Peter May

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Peter May » Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:32 am

Larry Greenly wrote: I'd think that starting with hot water from the tap would be more efficient.

Not in the UK for consumption, for historical reasons.

Larry Greenly wrote:But there was a good reason for starting cold. How obvious....


I was told that fresh cold water contains more oxygen which gives better tasting tea.

For boiling potatoes, I used to boil water in electric kettle and pour that into saucepan because bringing water to boiling point on an electric hob took so much longer than the kettle, but now I have an induction hob that's just as fast as a kettle so I add potatoes to cold water in pan on hob. But I can't tell any difference in potatoes cooked from cold or hot.

But, pray, what is the 'good reason for starting cold'?
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Robin Garr

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Robin Garr » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:48 am

The folks at Golden Moon Tea advocate starting with cold water for two reasons: More oxygen in cold water, and off flavors developing in water as it spends time in the hot-water heater. Makes sense to me, especially the second.
https://www.goldenmoontea.com/blogs/tea ... our-kettle
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Larry Greenly » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:47 pm

Thought you'd never ask. The reason is the time it spends in the water heater with its sediments, rust, and other stuff, which can develop off flavors in the water. We have a winner below.

How 'bout any similar epiphanies from the peanut gallery?
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Jenise

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Jenise » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:18 pm

Not applicable to those of us with tankless water heaters, right?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Robin Garr

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Robin Garr » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:58 pm

I'm not sure, Jenise. Tankless units don't have a big tank, by definition, :D But don't they still have a reservoir where heated water waits to be dispensed?
https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/heat ... er-heaters
I'm sure there is less exposure to mineral deposits available to be leached by the hot water, but there might be some?

Might be an interesting opportunity for a kitchen experiment! Make one pot from cold, another from faucet water. Taste them together, preferably blind, and see if there's a perceptible difference and if one is distinctly preferable. If it's worth all the effort. :)
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Jenise

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Jenise » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:13 pm

I love that kind of experiment, Robin. Never did it with hot vs. cold. Last time I experimented with water it was to test different bottled waters with tea. We were living in Huntington Beach at the time, and where I had no issue with coffee made from local tapwater, tea tasted like boiled cereal. So I claimed did one particular brand of bottled water, Arrowhead, which caused my husband to regard me askance until I proved my point with several different waters for a side by side tasting. The Arrowhead was so bad you could actually see a cloudiness before you even tasted it. No more 'crazy Jenise' talk after that!

FWIW, my tap water here in Birch Bay, Washington, tastes better than some bottled waters. I really notice the difference even just 20 miles away where they have chlorinated water that all comes out of a residential big lake with lots of motorized water recreation.

We sure take water for granted, don't we? Just turn on the tap, there it is. We rarely think about the source.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Bill Spohn » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:12 pm

I like the Hot Spot for making tea as it comes out around 200 F which is better than a rolling boil, which is what SWMBO inflicts on the poor unsuspecting tea if I'm not watching. Ours is an Insinkerator with a stainless steel tank and we've been unable to detect any taste at all to the water in it.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Robin Garr » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:16 pm

Jenise wrote:We sure take water for granted, don't we? Just turn on the tap, there it is. We rarely think about the source.

We love our water here in Louisville! :mrgreen: It comes from the mighty Ohio, which technically means that anything flushed in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati comes out our faucets. :p But the mix of sand and limestone along the way from there filters out a lot, so heavy, intrusive treatment isn't needed to make it good to drink. Louisville water wins all sorts of taste-good prizes, and we like to think the same limestone that makes good bourbon accounts for that.

Here's a 2013 article, the first I could find, but these awards pop up often:
https://www.wdrb.com/news/louisville-wa ... d1fc5.html

The water company's own website also invokes bourbon, because Louisville. 8)
https://www.louisvillewater.com/drink-u ... ty-bourbon
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Jenise

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Jenise » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:32 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:I like the Hot Spot for making tea as it comes out around 200 F which is better than a rolling boil, which is what SWMBO inflicts on the poor unsuspecting tea if I'm not watching. Ours is an Insinkerator with a stainless steel tank and we've been unable to detect any taste at all to the water in it.


Ditto re the SS. Love my hot tap, too. Had to change our tank not long ago but there was no diff from old to new, so apparently very little build-up.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Larry Greenly » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:42 pm

Perhaps there isn't much difference if you have a tankless water heater. I wanted one, but couldn't manage the flue d/t my house design. Albuquerque has pretty decent water, but some areas with a different system may have a chlorine taste. Mine's neutral.

For tea, my b.p. for water is 205F at my altitude, which is pretty much spot on.

I was thinking about Robin's reply about cold water having more oxygen. That's true, but boiling it drives off the oxygen. Wonder if it makes a difference.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: Learn anything new?

by Paul Winalski » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:05 pm

Merrimack NH used to have ghastly tap water. The water comes from six wells in town and, due to the pine forests, is high in tannins and fairly acidic (the technical term is "aggressive"). It leaches copper from the pipes and that gives the water a strong off-taste, as well as leaving blue stains in the sink and bathtub. The Water District tried for years to install a water-softening system, but the funding kept being voted down at the annual town meeting. Then they found unacceptably high lead levels in the water at the drinking fountains in the schools, apparently due to leaching of the solder in the pipe system. The town was forced to install the treatment system and ever since then the water has been wonderful.

-Paul W.

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