Speed Steeping - Ultrasonic vs Crock Pot Test
I was curious if the steeping effect seen with an Ultrasonic Cleaner is just from heat (ie potentially from the cavitation heat), or if the Ultrasonic vibration contributes as well.
So I did a controlled test.
- Mixed one 100ml batch of a Strawberry recipe.
- Filled two identical blue glass Boston Round Bottles to the same exact level, right where the threaded neck starts.
- Boston Rounds were approx 1oz. Put remainder of juice in a clear bottle as a control sample.
- Placed one bottle in a Crock Pot controlled to 135 F.
- Placed one bottle in the Ultrasonic controlled to 57C.
- Allow both batches to run for 3 hours, maintaining identical water levels in both vessels.
- Pour samples into a clear glass bottles for visual comparison
- Compare results against one another and Control Sample.
Here is the Crock Pot apparatus:
Here is the Ultrasonic apparatus:
Here is the recipe I used.
Strawberry Steep Test (36mg 100ml 50-50)
And the results are:
The two methods are VERY damn close. The Ultrasonic appears to be just a teeny bit darker, but not by much. I vaped 2ml of each and there was no discernible difference between the two samples.
So..... I conclude that the speed steeping effect of the ultrasonic may have been nothing more than exposure to the heat generated by the cavitation. A hot water bath in a Crock Pot gave very similar results. Note that some folks think tobacco flavors still benefit from the cavitation beyond just the heat, and I only tested with a Strawberry that I know deepens in color with age. In other words YMMV.
Do be aware that crock pots have mechanical thermostats in them which tend to have a huge hysteresis effect. My Sous-vide controller took that variable out of this trial though.
After 48 hours the Control Sample started catching up, although all 3 samples deepened slightly in color.
©2014 Mike Petro. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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