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Scaling Recipes and Reducing Sauces


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#1 13stars

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 10:49 PM

Hi Everyone,

 

Quick question. Several of my recipes require reducing for X amount of minutes in a small batch scale. I am wondering is there a good practice for scaling the reduction factor in large batches of your sauce past you just knowing what is should look like?

 

I hope this makes sense!

 

Regards,

Sean



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#2 karoo

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 05:26 AM

Hi Everyone,

 

Quick question. Several of my recipes require reducing for X amount of minutes in a small batch scale. I am wondering is there a good practice for scaling the reduction factor in large batches of your sauce past you just knowing what is should look like?

 

I hope this makes sense!

 

Regards,

Sean

Not making too much sense .

Care to elaborate.?


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#3 SmokenFire

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 09:12 AM

Welcome to THP Sean! 

 

Sauce reduction time and scaling recipes is kinda tough - beyond knowing what its supposed to look like, mouth feel, etc.  If you are tripling or quadrupling your batch size it should still theoretically require the same amount of time for the larger batch of sauce to reduce to its correct thickness.  

 

When I'm scaling up I the only ingredient that I typically do not need quite as much is salt.  The process, cook times, etc are usually all the same but if my small batch requires 1 tbsp salt, my 5x larger batch does not require 5 tbsp salt - it's more like 3 tbsp. 

 

Hope that helps.  :)

 


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#4 salsalady

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 10:04 AM

Using a wide heavy bottom pot helps reduction faster. Beyond that, it is like SnF said, you just kinds gotta go with what you know. Another thing when scaling up is it takes longer to bottle and towards the end the sauce thickens up and you may have to add a little water.

Good luck and have fun.
SL
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Posted 12 March 2019 - 01:32 PM

Thanks everyone for your responses. Looking forward to making our first big batch!



#6 Sawyer

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Posted Today, 11:41 AM

To stay in good graces with the FDA you'll need to document your finished product's pH, possibly water activity and maybe even Brix. As all those change as the sauce reduction proceeds, any one of them could serve as a end point parameter. Depending on the sugar content (added or otherwise) of your sauce, Brix may be the most reliable indicator.

For my Pineapple Mango Scorpion sauce, I use pH, though the meter requires more frequent calibration than a Brix meter (refractometer).

#7 The Hot Pepper

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Posted Today, 11:47 AM

You can't easily scale that from your home recipe so what you'll have to do is figure it out in the commercial kitchen. Which is easy as long as you keep an eye on it. Whatever pot it is in, that should be the same every time. Temperature also. On your first trial if you reduce for 25 minutes and it tastes perfect write everything down. A spreadsheet can help.



#8 13stars

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Posted Today, 11:49 AM

To stay in good graces with the FDA you'll need to document your finished product's pH, possibly water activity and maybe even Brix. As all those change as the sauce reduction proceeds, any one of them could serve as a end point parameter. Depending on the sugar content (added or otherwise) of your sauce, Brix may be the most reliable indicator.

For my Pineapple Mango Scorpion sauce, I use pH, though the meter requires more frequent calibration than a Brix meter (refractometer).

 

What is the best way of going about contacting an FDA Agent or should it be fine to go through my Processing Authority?



#9 The Hot Pepper

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Posted Today, 11:50 AM

You can also measure your reduction with a stick ruler.



#10 salsalady

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Posted Today, 12:14 PM

Go through your PA first. The first 6 sauces I made did not require FDA interference. It was the bbq sauce with butter that required FDA registration. Regs have changed since then so that any sales across state lines requires registration, but that is kind of a different issue. Your PA will set the parameters of what you need to do for testing and log keeping, if any.
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#11 Sawyer

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Posted Today, 12:29 PM

You can't easily scale that from your home recipe so what you'll have to do is figure it out in the commercial kitchen. Which is easy as long as you keep an eye on it. Whatever pot it is in, that should be the same every time. Temperature also. On your first trial if you reduce for 25 minutes and it tastes perfect write everything down. A spreadsheet can help.

 True, assuming you can apply heat at the same rate every time. With a gas burner, that can be problematic. I've discussed with the facility manager installing a mass flow controller on the gas line for the gas burners I use to make my pepper candy. So far he hasn't been receptive to the idea.

Measuring temperature and time can get you pretty close. I make the PMS sauce in a steam kettle with an integral thermometer and pressure gauge. Monitoring those and time gets me pretty close, but I still verify with a Brix measurement.

 

What is the best way of going about contacting an FDA Agent or should it be fine to go through my Processing Authority?

Go with your PA; they may be able to help with the best end point determination, too.  

You can also measure your reduction with a stick ruler.

What he said. As long as you use the same kettle every time, that's probably going to be the most effective way.

#12 The Hot Pepper

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Posted Today, 12:32 PM

Yup, when you are small time some batches are going to be different, that's a given. If you ever go mainstream or even co-pack, your production will be changed to not having reduction and they will figure out how to reduce water before it hits the pot, so it can cook sealed, for consistency. In other words, your recipe will change.



#13 salsalady

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Posted Today, 12:53 PM

Good point there ^^^ also.

 

Ways to reduce the initial water content-

use a stronger vinegar

instead of using fruit juice out of the jug, use frozen fruit juice concentrate reconstituted with half the recommended water

use dried peppers instead of fresh

 

 

 


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#14 13stars

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Posted Today, 02:34 PM

When adding water to the sauce do you need to use distilled water to reduce the activity?



#15 Sawyer

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Posted Today, 02:53 PM

When adding water to the sauce do you need to use distilled water to reduce the activity?

If you're talking about the technical definition of water activity, adding any water, distilled or not, will increase it. (I think.) The wiki article may shed light.
https://en.wikipedia.../Water_activity

If you just mean water reactivity in general terms, I personally would use distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water. Some might prefer the flavor enhancement from the particular mineral content of their particular water supply. Around here, the primary water supply is a lake so it has lots of organic material in it and added chlorine. Not something I want in my food products.

But as SL and THP intimate, you should be able to design your recipe and process so you don't need to add any water at all.

#16 The Hot Pepper

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Posted Today, 03:12 PM

If you ever see "acetic acid" in an ingredients list, this is vinegar without the water, essentially. All vinegar is diluted to around 5% acetic acid. The benefit to using the straight acetic acid is you can control the water content. For example, let's say your recipe calls for pineapple juice and vinegar. But it needs to be cooked down. Well now, you can add that pineapple juice, and the right amount of acetic acid, and you do not need to cook down. Because the water was not added. It could be what you need.



#17 salsalady

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Posted Today, 05:16 PM

Powdered ascorbic acid (Vit C) is another option to add acidity and not water. 

 

Depending on how much water is needed in the recipe, using bottled water should be considered if the water source is municipal with chlorine, fluoride, etc...we have a residential well, tested every year for basic contamination and a full test every 3 years.  And it is sediment filtered and UV treated. 

 


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