Buckwheat, Barley Flakes, And Butter

Yes, this article is partly due to my taking a break from my Keto Diet. I’m having some grains and spuds as a break.

I’m about 5 pounds from my goal weight, and want to slow down the loss for just a bit to stabilize things, then approach more slowly the end game.

So, first I had a bowl of Buckwheat yesterday and the day before. Right now, I’m having a bowl of rolled barley flakes.

I got the buckwheat some long time ago at, IIRC, Safeway grocery store. The rolled barley was bought just today for 89 ¢ / lb. at Smart & Final. A trip to Whole Foods yesterday had shown that under Amazon ownership prices had been raised even more. The Mocha at the coffee bar was now $4.50 for a “medium” where before I think it was $2.75 or maybe $3. The “large” was all of 50 ¢ more at $5 so I bought that. At the “stuff in bins” department, what had been priced at $1 or $2 was now $3 or more. I skipped their Buckwheat and Pearled Barley, and today went to Smart & Final at much better prices.

If you’ve not had Buckwheat or Barley, they are very good foods. More on that below.

Barley

I’ll take them in reverse order. At Smart & Final they were out of Pearled Barley (barley with the husk polished off). Barley is “special” in that fiber runs through the whole grain. This makes it a bit more chewy, slower to cook, great in soups as it doesn’t turn to mush, and slows the rate of starch breakdown / sugars into the blood. Barley is one of my favourite grains, and I’m sad to see folks using it less in cooking.

Barley has been cultivated for at least 10,000 years and there are dozens of cultivated types. 2 row has lower protein content and is used in brewing. 6 row has more protein and is better in animal or human food.

I’d been making Ramen by pouring boiling water over a ramen cup and just waiting several minutes while the noodles “cooked” and softened, absorbing water. Having a bunch of ramen cups or packets in your “food storage system” is one of THE easiest and cheapest ways to get a decent quantity of food stored, shelf stable for a very long time, with almost no effort. A meal of one packet can be as low as 25 ¢. Just buy it (about $3 for a case of 12 here) and stack them up. I’d also done a modified cook on the buckwheat to reduce fuel burn and it was fine. So I decided to try a “minimal fuel” cook on the rolled barley flakes.

I warmed the 16 ounce thermos with hot tap water, I dumped 1/3 cup of flakes into a sauce pan, then put 2/3 cup of water over them. Shake or two of salt, and put it on the propane camp stove burner. A couple of minutes later it is simmering / boiling, and I poured the whole works into the (now drained) Thermos and capped it. Off to the terminal for about 10 minutes as it cooked.

On returning, the cap mad quite a WHOOSH sound when I opened it. It would be better to NOT tighten down the cap for a minute as the air in the Thermos warms. I had pressurized it with the rapid closure. No harm though. A Tbs. of butter to the cereal bowl, dump the thermos over it (now filled with fat, rehydrated and cooked “flakes” / rolled barley), about a tsp of sugar sprinkled over it, and then about an ounce or two of milk.

The result was a very tasty and fully cooked bowl of Barley Porridge. Total fuel burn was very low. No long 5 to 10 minutes of simmering needed here.

Rolled Barley Flakes make a porridge that is more “meaty” than oatmeal, and the flakes make a more chewy solid part. It doesn’t make the white gluey bits like oatmeal, more like a bowl of cooked grains. The flavour is mild, but interesting. Not as strong as Buckwheat or Wheat / Rye groats, but something more than oatmeal. Due to the high fibre through the whole grain / flake it tends to be slow to digest, and keeps you felling full for a good long while.

At 89 ¢ / lb. it is an extraordinary bargain as a survival / prepper food. I just pour it into 1/2 Gallon or Quart jars, screw on the lid, and it keeps for months to years. With this cooking method, the fuel used is about the same as for instant oatmeal or ramen, and just as easy to cook. It is also more satisfying to have a mouth feel with a bit more chew to it and less slop and gloppy glue texture. You can also add it to various soups, stews and more and without the long cooking time of pearled barley.

The Rolled Barley Flakes are about 2.3 ounces to the 1/2 cup, and that’s quite a bowl full. Figure a pound is good for about 7 such meals. A week of breakfasts, or barley stew lunches, for 89 ¢, hard to beat that. 4 pounds to the month. 48 lbs for an entire year of breakfasts, and about $43 for the grain. Pretty cheap insurance.

For a storage item, I’d use coconut oil instead of butter and either canned milk or powdered milk. A spoon of jam lets you change the flavour for variety, and a jar of jam will likely last at least a week, and likely a month (for larger jars). 12 jars for a year supply. I’d not feel deprived with that as my breakfast, or with some stirred into a bit of lentil stew with canned chicken added. In fact, I like having barley or oats as one of my regular daily meals, even in good times.

Buckwheat

I don’t remember the price. At Whole Foods they wanted something ridiculous like $2.50 / lb. You ought to be able to find it down around $1 / pound. These are whole seeds with the outer husk removed, but with the light tan / brownish skin still in place. Buckwheat has a slightly nutty like flavour in cooking. It is NOT a grass, so folks with allergies to wheat or other grasses typically can have buckwheat without issues.

It can also be made into a flour and used to make things like Buckwheat Pancakes. Common when I was a kid, I’ve not been able to find a box of mix anywhere this week. You can make your own pancake mix, simply by swapping Buckwheat Flour for Wheat Flour. Typical recipes use 50:50 of each. Various other cultures make it into noodles. Tibet (as it grows very high up the mountains) and Japan for their Soba noodles. You can get Soba Noodles at any decent Asian market or Japanese speciality stores. They add a richness to noodle dishes that rice noodles and wheat noodles just can’t match.

I like to just cook the groats and treat it like I do for oatmeal or the barley flakes. Pat of butter, sprinkle of sugar, and dash of milk to moisten.

Normal cooking directions say to bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or so. It cooks a lot like rice, with a long slow simmer as the water is absorbed. Roasted buckwheat, called Kasha, cooks faster and has a stronger flavor. Raw buckwheat tends to make a froth when cooking and that can foam up and overflow the pot. Like rice, cooked to completion it can have a layer that sticks to the bottom of the pot. I suspect that rinsing well might reduce the froth (but wastes water in an emergency situation, so I was testing without that – it still cooks and tastes fine). So how to cut cooking time?

Cooking this on a Propane Single Burner stove, it was hard to get the simmer low enough to not froth up and boil too fast. I did it, but it required tending. I used a Visions glass saucepan so I could watch what was happening. That’s what gave me the idea.

I boiled it for about 3 minutes, then shut it off for 7. Brought it back to the simmer, then shut it off again.

It was fully cooked after the next 7 minute rest. NOTHING sticking to the bottom. No froth overflow issues. It just works fine and with far less fuel used and a lot less fiddling with the fuel valve.

In a few days, I’ll try cooking it in the thermos too. It ought to work as well as the rolled barley did.

There’s an enormous number of ways to use Buckwheat. Even just sprinkled (cooked!) over a salad. It also has some of the highest altitude, shortest growing season of just about anything “grain like”. I’m especially fond of the flavour of it, just in a bowl.

The Wiki has some interesting bits about the nutrition in it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckwheat

The oldest remains found in China so far date to circa 2600 BCE, while buckwheat pollen found in Japan dates from as early as 4000 BCE. It is the world’s highest-elevation domesticate, being cultivated in Yunnan on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau or on the plateau itself.

It doesn’t need as much fertilizer or special ground as wheat or corn, and as noted it grows well at very high altitudes and in cold short seasons.

Cultivation

Buckwheat, a short-season crop, does well on low-fertility or acidic soils, but the soil must be well drained. Too much fertilizer, especially nitrogen, reduces yields.
In hot climates it can be grown only by sowing late in the season, so that it blooms in cooler weather. The presence of pollinators greatly increases the yield. The nectar from buckwheat flower makes a dark-colored honey. Buckwheat is sometimes used as a green manure, as a plant for erosion control, or as wildlife cover and feed.

The plant has a branching root system with a primary taproot that reaches deeply into moist soil. Buckwheat has triangular seeds and produces a flower that is usually white, although can also be pink or yellow. Buckwheat branches freely, as opposed to tillering or producing suckers, causing a more complete adaption to its environment than other cereal crops. The seed hull density is less than that of water, making the hull easy to remove.

Buckwheat is raised for grain where a short season is available, either because it is used as a second crop in the season, or because the climate is limiting.
Buckwheat can be a reliable cover crop in summer to fit a small slot of warm season. It establishes quickly, which suppresses summer weeds. Buckwheat has a growing period of only 10–12 weeks and it can be grown in high latitude or northern areas. It grows 30 to 50 inches (75 to 125 cm) tall.

Buckwheat Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,435 kJ (343 kcal)
[…]
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Composition
Starch

71–78% in groats
70–91% in different types of flour
Starch is 25% amylose and 75% amylopectin.
Depending on hydrothermal treatment, buckwheat groats contain 7–37% of resistant starch.

Protein

Crude protein is 18%, with biological values above 90%. This can be explained by a high concentration of all essential amino acids, especially lysine, threonine, tryptophan, and the sulphur-containing amino acids.

Minerals

Rich in iron (60–100 ppm), zinc (20–30 ppm) and selenium (20–50 ppb)

Yes, you can get ALL the essential amion acids in one package.

It isn’t all a free ride, though. There’s compounds in it that cause reactions in some folks, so be careful with your first bowl:

Negative reactions

Cases of severe allergic reactions to buckwheat and buckwheat-containing products have been reported.

Buckwheat contains fluorescent phototoxic fagopyrins. Seeds, flour, and teas are generally safe when consumed in normal amounts, but fagopyrism can appear in people with diets based on high consumption of buckwheat sprouts, and particularly flowers or fagopyrin-rich buckwheat extracts. Symptoms of fagopyrism in humans may include skin inflammation in sunlight-exposed areas, cold sensitivity, and tingling or numbness in the hands.

Given that, I don’t know why so many folks like to sprout their buckwheat.

In Conclusion

It’s very easy to pour a few pounds of barley flakes or buckwheat groats into a jar and put the lid on it. Then it keeps for years, is very easy to cook, makes a pleasant filling meal with only minor adjuncts, and you can add the stuff to all sorts of other foods as an extender. I’ve even made pan drippings into gravy and just poured it over the cooked grains. Why waste the oil and other bits in a frying pan if you can capture it as gravy?

So if you’ve not tried it, consider Rolled Barley Flakes and Buckwheat as a couple of alternatives to add to your Prepper Pantry. Quicker, easier and less fuss to cook that hard red winter wheat. Not as prone to making glop as oatmeal mixes. Versatile for extending Mystery Stews & Soups. In my opinion, well worth the effort to familiarize yourself with them.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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32 Responses to Buckwheat, Barley Flakes, And Butter

  1. tom0mason says:

    Hey EM, are you watching me while I cook? 🤓 I’ve just made my beef stew with pearl barley. I find it adds a to the flavor and texture of the dish. Ummm, it’s good!
    Have a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. 😊

  2. andysaurus says:

    Why don’t you try saving money by finding out how much grains cost at the stockfeed store? It may not be so conveniently packaged, dust free and pretty, but it’s the same stuff and about a tenth of the price – or it is here in Aus anyway. That’s where I buy Psyllium Husk, by the kg instead of the metamucil tablet works out even bigger differential. ;-)
    Or should I use my seasonal Santa emoji given my beard? o<(:<))))

  3. Sera says:

    In Japan they use buckwheat to make Soba noodles which is only second to rice- they love this stuff and have been harvesting buckwheat for years…

    https://www.saveur.com/fresh-soba-noodles-recipe/

  4. H.R. says:

    Not much of this is new to me, E.M., except for the barley flakes. I’ve never had them. I’ll have too keep an eye out for them.
    .
    .
    .
    What andysaurus said.

    We lived on the edge of civilization and used to go out another 5-6 miles into the country to a grainery/feed store/mill in a 1-stoplight town. (The stoplight was part time BTW. It only operated during school intake/let-off hours to slow the trucks that used the State Route that ran through town. Not much traffic besides the farmers and some trucks using the State Route to avoid weigh stations.) Mom would go for the cornmeal and whole wheat flour on a stock-up run. It was amazing how much she could get for two or three dollars back in the late ’50s and early ’60s. I know it was under 10 cents per pound in the ’50s.

    @andysaurus re the Santa emoji: ‘Like’ button pushed twice, even though there’s no Like button and you’re only allowed to click it once, if we had one ;o)

    @tomomason: Yup. Any beef vegetable soup I make gets some barley added. Really good, innit?

    Here’s one for you to try. When I make beef stew or chili, I use masa harina to thicken the broth. I use it because I don’t like watery stew or chili. Anyhow, it gives them a subtle ‘warmer’ flavor that people can’t quite put their finger on compared to using flour or corn starch for thickening.

  5. tom0mason says:

    Sera, that sounds interesting I’ll be trying some masa harina in it next time.
    Sometimes I make biscuits to go with the stew but I’ll often make suet dumplings — a basic suet crust pasty but softer, and cooked in the stew — to which I add mustard flour (1 teaspoon per 4 dumpling recipe), I ‘cheat’ by microwaving (about 30-50 seconds) the dumpling first just to get them to puff out then put carefully put them in the near boiling stew to finish cooking for about 15-20 minutes.

    I have also come across some Einkorn flour that was on an end-of-line sale so picked-up some. It darn good! as I’ve found over the years regular wheat flour bloats me, Einkorn flour doesn’t. I use it in place of ordinary flour, using many recipes from https://www.einkorn.com/.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @Andysaurus:

    The low cost angle isn’t so much about stretching the regular food dollar as it is a “nudge” at folks who are reluctant to have an emergency food storage system due to cost of a years worth of food. Getting someone to buy rolled barley at the grocery is hard enough, sending them off to the feed store even harder to persuade… Then, most folks are urban and have no idea what a feed store is.

    So that’s my reasoning behind the “pitch”. That said: if you have a feed store, hell yeah! Dad ordered up big bags of rolled oats and molasses for finishing feed for calves. Special order, but interesting stuff. Online there are folks selling 50 lb bags of buckwheat and barley (rolled, pearled, or whole rough). The shipping costs as much as the grain though. But it does say the product exists.

    Unfortunately for me, the nearest feed store is surrounded by 40 miles of urban sprawl and long ago transitioned to dog & cat food with the only reminder of earlier times being bags of sunflower seeds and grain mixes for birds, and rabbit pellets. It’s about $8 of gasoline for me to reach The Country and return. But in my old home town, now 220 miles away, there were big forklift sized bins of millet, sorghum, and more. Along with stacks of 50 lb. bags of grains for folks who didn’t have many critters to feed.

    Part of the “Surprise Collapse” strategy has been that I could run to the local feed store and buy a giant bag of sunflower seeds and another of millet (if all else failed) for darned cheap. But they don’t carry barley or buckwheat, so that would be special order… if they do those.

    So mostly the “cheap bulk bag” storage component has been the commonly available beans and rice. Dull, but effective. Chile is a good meal, and rice goes with a lot of foods, spices, and flavorings. Only downside is the rapid onset of blood sugar from white rice.

    I suspect I could get a deal on a big bag of barley from the grocer, if I tried. But realistically, with just me eating it, 50 pounds would take a couple of years to get through. (I already have a bunch of rice and oats in the rotation…) So I’m just working it in a few pounds at a time on normal grocery runs. Mostly because I like the flavor and texture.

    The big question for me was just “will it effectively cook in a thermos?” as a fuel saving method. That’s a huge win as I have far more food storage than fuel storage. Code and insurance usually limits to 2 gallons of liquid fuels in residential space. I add to that some charcoal, propane BBQ and a full car gas tank, but realistically you run out of fuel first, water second, and stored food third (given any large size pantry). So doubling the fuel efficiency is a really big deal. Eliminating a 15 to 20 minute simmer burn is huge.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Tom0mason:

    I’ve wanted to try einkorn, but just figured it would be like wheat. Just how different is it? Is the flavor like wheat, and only the metabolic effect different? Or?…

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @H.R.

    Barly flakes let it cook much faster. Whole barley holds up in soup from the density and hardness. Rolling it really cuts cook time. But it can be hard to find. Whole Foods, Sprouts, Smart &Final, Safeway all have bulk food bins and are worth a try. I like it more than oats.

    @Sera:

    I like to get noodle bowls with it. Udon. The local Asian stores carry a lot of soba noodles too. The very fine noodles cook near instantly. Just drop about a dime diameter bundle in broth and wait a few minutes. That also is a huge fuel saver. The angle hair thin pasta of all sorts.

  9. andysaurus says:

    Sad for you. Round here there are lots of horses and feed stores (“produce” in Aus) carry barley. It is considered a ‘cooler’ feed for children’s horses, which probably means it has a low glycemic index, but they didn’t talk of such things when my kids were growing up. I do know that the bumper sticker only tells the truth – “Poverty is owning a horse”.

  10. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    I used to buy Buckwheat flour [ Bob’s Red Mill – Oregon] but recently have been using frozen Blueberries and Pecans in pancakes.
    A doctor suggested more fiber in my diet. I’ve settled on All-Bran Buds. These work good with soups and stews. Or just like a 1/3 cup of nuts or other snack.

    Our “feed store” is a Coop and we are in a ranching and farming area. In addition to feeds, the place has fencing supplies, irrigation, small farm equipment, gasoline incl. clean stuff, work clothes, and supplies for smoking meats etc. There are often unusual things.
    Last year they had a dozen of these: ESSAY GROUP LLC Light Go Bonfire Log
    I asked what sort of feed-back they got. They hadn’t sold any. Not surprising as 5 minutes with a chainsaw and I could make several. Retail is tough!

  11. tom0mason says:

    E.M. “I’ve wanted to try einkorn, but just figured it would be like wheat. Just how different is it? Is the flavor like wheat, and only the metabolic effect different? Or?…”

    The einkorn flour I have is the whole grain type, what I’ve produced more ‘rustic’ looking cakes, pastry, biscuits, and cookies. Einkorn is like wheat flour light, with a very slight sweet nutty flavor, and the flour appears to be milled finer than regular flour (or that’s may be just what happens when it’s milled).
    I’m still experimenting with making bread (I’ve always struggled with bread making), so all this may change as I get the measure of this flour. So far the bread I’ve made has a fragile crumb, a slightly cream/brown color, and quite a neutral flavor but didn’t seem to rise well.
    From https://www.einkorn.com/einkorn-nutritional-facts/ I see that

    Einkorn contains higher levels of protein, essential fatty acids, phosphorous, potassium, pyridoxine (B6), lutein and beta-carotene (lutein).

    but it’s lower in gluten content.
    I have made some cakes, pastry, biscuits, and cookies, IMO here is where einkorn seems to excel. See https://www.einkorn.com/ for the recipe and pictures (I wish my bread would look as good as theirs).

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    I bought pearl barley and rolled rye flakes at Sprouts (a smaller Whole Foods knock off). Both under $ 1 per pound.

    The 2nd Smart & Final had no bulk bins, but did have s 5 lb bag of lentils for about $5.25, so just a smidgen over $1/lb.

    There were a variety of beans and grains at sbout that $1 point. This means you can buy a year of emergency food as various legumes and grains for about $365. Add in some flavotings and adjuncts, call it $400. Per person.

    As a dry pound per day is a lot for many folks (this is sized for a 100 kg active male), many folks will spend less.

    I think that is a lower bound for emergency food, but can likely have a hundred $ shaved off via bulk buying.

    What I tend to do is extend the inventory size by an amount, call it one month, with grain & legumes; then slowly enrich / replace it with more interesting stuff in the following few months as stock rotates. So about $30 of added dry grains and legumes in one shot, then put sardines or tuna or canned meat on the shelf a bit at a time each grocery run. Repeat as time permits.

  13. Graeme No.3 says:

    tomomason:

    Einkorn was used by the Romans in soups/stews.

    After the fires here in the Adelaide Hills (and the electricity cut off for about 30 hours) I will be stocking my larder so these comments are of real interest.

    I would like to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  14. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: In Scotland 3 years ago, we saw barley made into really fine Scotch Whiskey, step-by-step.

  15. Steven Fraser says:

    @andysaurus: along the same lines as ‘Poverty is owning a horse”, is…

    A boat is a hole in the water ithat you pour money into.

  16. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    Steven Fraser,
    regarding horses, boats, and holes:

    I did have a person tell me to dig a hole in the yard and throw $20 into it every day rather than have a horse. A couple we knew bought a boat and then felt guilty if they didn’t use it every weekend. Money required. Horses don’t mind – in fact prefer it – if left to graze all weekend.
    Trouble happens when poor folks start to “rescue” horses, and there seems to be quite a bit of that.
    With E. M. going for whisky, there’s a country song:
    https://www.whenthecowboysings.com/tom-t-hall-faster-horses

    I knew I had to ask him about the mysteries of life
    He spit between his boots and he replied

    “Son, it’s faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, more money.”

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm knew about corn in bourbon and then rye… but looks like also wheat, triticale, millet, and even brown rice

    https://blog.distiller.com/whiskey-grains/

    Does name brands and explains some of the claims of special flavor…

  18. Sera says:

    @tom0mason:

    Mmmmmmmmmm, dumplings!

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like sorghum too, sort of
    https://thewhiskeywash.com/whiskey-styles/american-whiskey/sorghum-whiskey-friend-foe/

    Either the writer of the article is a “supertaster” or a frustrated wine writer… to say the flavor descriptions are over the top would not be excessive. I had to look up 2 words from the short article that consists largely of adjectives. I almost never have to look up words. (“Janky” from black slang and “sandie” that I thought a girl’s name but also is a kind of sugar cookie)

    It seems these are made from syrup, not grain mash, so rum like in process (but the definition of rum says sugar cane, so excludes sorghum), while whiskey says grain mash… which begs the question of “grain seed” or “grain making plant “? In any case, they are labled whiskey.

  20. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    As part of “Pecan Sandies” the term has been long used.
    I can’t recall it otherwise — but I don’t get out much.

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    FWIW:

    Having rolled rye flakes for breakfast. Relatively mild flaver (rye bread is mostly the caraway and other spices, rye plain is rather like wheat in flavor) with a hint of nuttiness. Texture has a coarse overtone, but not offensive. While I like the barley a little better, it is not a lot more. A mix of the two ought to be very interesting.

    This was simmered for about a minute, put in the thermos, then sat for 15 minutes. Worked great.

    As wheat cooks similarly, and triticale is a wheat rye hybrid, I think we can safely conclude that most likely all rolled grains (or small grains that cook in under 20 minutes) will cook satisfactorily this way. As a “prepper meal” it is quite good and uses a lot less fuel than cooking whole grains or making bread. Like pancakes, a very efficient cook

    So for me, I’m putting a large bag of pancake mix, and a lot of rolled grains, into my food storage pantry. Add a few boxes of powdered milk, or cans of condensed, a bag of sugar, box of salt, and a big tub of coconut oil, and you’re set. Jars of jam or bottles of syrup for the pancakes along with instant coffee or teabags for plussing it up. Then cans of spam as the later uplift when money permits.

    Both the barley and rye are more satifying than quick oats. Less gluey bits. I think next I’ll try the steel cut oats. I could see a mix of the grains as even tastier, and possibly a better nutritional mix, but that will be tested further down the road.

    @Nancy & John H:

    That sounds vaguely familiar… but not a lot of pecan stuff in California. No real idea why. Chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin tend to dominate here. Don’t remember seeing a pecan cookie here. Pecan pie, yes…

  22. Graeme No.3 says:

    E.M.S.
    Rum can be made using the juice from sugar cane but is usually made from molasses for economic reasons (molasses has limited use as food for cattle and the odd greenie). The rum made from cane juice is more expensive but is considered the finer grade.
    When I saw the molasses process start it involved so many litres of molasses into a tank containing warm water. Added was 2 bags of plant food (about 50lbs.), a shovel full of penicillin (they had trouble with unwanted bacteria in the distillery) and about 20 litres of fementing liquid. That last had been started in the laboratory with a flask of sugar solution and a very small amount of the yeast. (This was kept refrigerated, and a scrape (with a flame sterilsed platinum loop) of yeast was added. That was steadily built up stage by stage in bigger containers until they had enough to get the batch going.
    After fermentation was finished the batch was distilled and (by law) kept in wood vats (90,000 litres) for 2 years at about 77-79% alcohol. It was always diluted to 33 or 10 over proof (note Imperial proof = 57.1% alcohol) or to lower alcohol content for those without concrete lined throats.
    Special selections were put aside for extended maturation in small casks, the smaller the cask the faster the maturation but the higher the loss by evaporation (and occasional other problems). A selection of these would be blended (and diluted) to make specials e.g. the General Manager’s gift to friends. (Unless a shift chemist with “a taste for rum” steadily tapped the small barrel of 15 year old intended as the smoothest base).

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    @Graeme No. 3:

    Yes But! ;-)

    So I regularly get “dinged” for being too prolix and going into way too much detail. It’s an Aspe thing… over the decades I’ve put lots of effort into being more “compact” (often at the expense of that very precise and detailed Aspe desire…). So I said you can use cane juice. All the while thinking “in all the processed forms too” and choosing to leave out that bit of expansion.

    So what is molasses? Well, boiled cane juice. So does it really matter if you say “juice” or “boiled juice” or “thrice boiled juice”?

    I tend to think YES! as it changes the flavor… but then I’m down the rabbit hole again and into Pontificating Detail… so I edit that out…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molasses

    Cane molasses

    Cane molasses is an ingredient used in baking and cooking.] It was popular in the Americas prior to the 20th century, when it used to be a common sweetener.

    To make molasses, sugar cane is harvested and stripped of leaves. Its juice is extracted, usually by cutting, crushing, or mashing. The juice is boiled to concentrate it, promoting sugar crystallization. The result of this first boiling is called first syrup (‘A’ Molasses),and it has the highest sugar content. First syrup is usually referred to in the Southern states of the United States as cane syrup, as opposed to molasses. Second molasses (‘B’ Molasses) is created from a second boiling and sugar extraction, and has a slightly bitter taste.

    The third boiling of the sugar syrup yields dark, viscous blackstrap molasses (‘C’ Molasses), known for its robust flavor. The majority of sucrose from the original juice has crystallized and been removed. The caloric content of blackstrap molasses is mostly due to the small remaining sugar content.

    So yes, I fully agree, Rum is made from juice. Not boiled. Boiled once. Boiled twice. Heck maybe even three times for some stuff… and you can call it molasses, or B Molasses or cane syrup or “whatever”…

    As to molasses having limited use: BITE YOUR TONGUE! It’s what makes brown sugar brown sugar. A bit of molasses over white sugar. How on God’s Earth can you have decent cookies without Brown Sugar / Molasses? Then, Baked Beans or Candied Yams. My God Man, what are you thinking?! I’ll go through a bottle making them. And pork ribs. Ooops, maybe that’s a secret …

    8-) of course…

    But really, limited use? We need to get you some cooking lessons in the South ;-)

  24. Bloke in Japan says:

    Buckwheat. Here (Yamagata) where I live, its a thing. We are at the northern end of the rice growing climate and buckwheat was tradtionally grown as a banker. The short growing season and cool(ish) climate suits buckwheat just fine. We eat it as soba (which I’m not entirely as I’m well into my bottle of Nikka Black).

    This being Japan, there are soba enthusiasts who treck up all the way from Tokyo etc. to visit and sample the local specialist soba restaurants. We also have rice enthusiasts who pay a premium for Yamagata rice. Did I mention watermelons? Obanazawa melons are a brand and run at about 13% sugar content (or summat like that) and like all Yamagata produce sell at a premium elsewhere in Japan. Oh, and the stonefruit. Cherries first, then plums then peaches and nectarines. I like stonefruit :)

  25. Sera says:

    Bloke in Japan:

    I was watching NHK recently and some guy had saved some buckwheat seeds in a family jar/shrine for decades. They tried to germinate the seeds, and the seeds were still good! Amazing.

  26. Power Grab says:

    @ EM re einkorn:

    https://www.westonaprice.org/?s=einkorn

    There are several articles about einkorn (including recipes) on the Weston A. Price Foundation web site.

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting article at W.P.

    Did some digging. Glutin in Einkorn, Emmer, and probably Spelt is not the same as “modern” wheat in the critical segment of amino acids that causes problems. Faro is usually Emmer (28 chromosomes) but sometimes Einkorn (14 ch.) and rarely Spelt (42 ch.). While Spelt is an older form or wheat, it is closest to modern bread wheat (also 42 ch.) While Duram, used in pasta, (28) is closer to Emmer, mostly differing in husk and head details that make harvest easier.

    As I had a small bag of “faro” wheat in the cupboard, I cooked a bowl. The package did not enlighten as to Einkorn, Emmer (highly likely) or Spelt (highly unlikely outside a few small spots in Europe). It was very nicely flavored as a bowl of cooked cereal. I’ll be looking for Einkorn now.

    I liked it much more than regular wheat and no G.I. effects noticed.

    Interesting note: Einkorn grows well on poor soils without fertilizer and does not get rust. That makes it an important grain to have in an EOTWAWKI Seed Bank. Yield is a lot lower, but you don’t need Monsanto on speed dial to grow it. It continues to produce in cool damp conditions when modern wheat fails or grows rust blobs.

    So I’m looking for both Einkorn and Emmer around here (I.e. Fru Fru stores like Whole Foods and ethnic stores).

  28. tucsonaustrian says:

    Ran across this website.
    Guy built a Linux capable businesscard.

    https://www.thirtythreeforty.net/

  29. p.g.sharrow says:

    I once grew 6 row hull less, beardless barley, production was fairly good per acre, comparable to other 6 rows, 1 ton plus in average conditions, spring planting, 90 days. many hulless barley’s have nasty awns. One problem was that it made such nice plants with heavy foliage that everyone wanted to grow it for the wonderful hay that it made. Wow, dollars a pound! We got $80 to $100 a Ton…pg

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    @Tucsonaustrian:

    Neat project, Linux also runs SD cards and some folks have hacked into them, speaking of minimal linux… often a 4 bit word and slow…. that only knows how to manage a memory pool…

    But consider how cheap SD cards anx USB drives are, each with a linux included….

    Though what this has to do with barley escspes me…. :-)

    @P.G.:

    Yeah, specialty products in custom packages sold in fru fru stores can be like that…

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