Scaling up sauces question

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kuan, May 14, 2004.

  1. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Is this:

    Add 1 bottle of wine. Reduce by half
    Add 1 gallon stock. Reduce by half

    The same as:

    Add 1 bottle of wine and 1 gallon of stock. Reduce by half.

    ???

    Hmmm....
     
  2. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Kuan,

    If you mean the amount of volume left after these two separate reductions the answer would be yes.

    If you are referring to the molecular structure, clarity and overall quality the answer would be no.

    128 onces of stock, and 32 onces of wine = 160 onces of liquid (I used 32 onces of wine for an even #) reduce that by half and you have 80 onces left.

    If you deglaze with 32 onces of wine and reduce by half you have 16 onces, when you add the 128 onces of stock and reduce by half you have 64 onces + the 16 onces of wine.= 80 onces.I think your question may hing on if the wine at this point will reduce even further with the stock reduction and yield less volume. Well because you deglazed you burned off the alcohol, when you add the stock the acids in the wine and the proteins in the stock will homogenize it into one liquid, hence the wine volume will be consistent.

    ( I think) ;)
     
  3. suzanne

    suzanne

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    CC, I think your math is off slightly.

    There's no difference in volume if you reduce each separately and the combine the 2 reductions: 32/2 + 128/2 = 16 + 64 = 80 or combine the two and then reduce the whole: (32 + 128)/2 = 160/2 = 80

    BUT:

    32 oz wine reduced by half = 16 oz
    ADD 128 oz stock = 144 oz
    reduce that by half = 72 oz.

    And that way, the wine is (theoretically) reduced more than if it were either reduced alone or mixed with the stock.
     
  4. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Your right Suzanne,

    My math was off, I should have had 144 oz. :eek:
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah, OK. BUT! When we reduce all we are taking out is water correct? In the end all we take out is water no matter what the order. So I'm thinking we deglaze with the bottle, dump the stock in, reduce until we get the correct volume. (don't shoot me please, just trying to make some sense in my head)

    Kuan
     
  6. suzanne

    suzanne

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    No, the alcohol is evaporating out as well.

    To my mind, if you reduce the wine first, then add the stock and reduce the mixture, you will get slightly more benefit of the wine reduction (more of the flavor agents, less water and a little bit less alcohol) than if you reduced everything together. AND, as CC mentioned at first, the solid matter in the stock may "hang on" to the flavor agents from the wine better. So while you lose water, you keep more of the flavor.

    Um, or . . . now I'm confusing myself. :rolleyes:
     
  7. scott123

    scott123

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    Just to be a little redundant :)

    Add 1 bottle of wine. Reduce by half
    Add 1 gallon stock
    (to 1/2 bottle of wine). Reduce by half

    The wine is being reduced twice - once to 1/2 bottle, then to 1/4 bottle when it's reduced with the stock.

    Add 1 bottle of wine and 1 gallon of stock. Reduce by half.

    The wine is only being reduced once here, by half. In this version you have doubled the volume of wine. The final volume of the dish would be 1/4 bottle of wine's worth more in this instance.

    I also think that there may be elements in the stock that might prevent the alcohol from evaporating as quickly as if the wine was reduced by itself.
     
  8. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    No you're not being redundant. OK let's forget about the alcohol for awhile and assume it's all water for the sake of simplicity.

    You reduce the wine by half first. Then reduce again by half so you get 1/4 left. BUT, you don't take out any flavor. All you take out is water. The same amount of "good stuff" stays in the pot no?

    Hmm..
     
  9. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    Kuan- yes, you would still reducing the same amount of water by both methods. My thought is that the chemical difference of mixing the two ingredients and what effect they have on each other, and then the taste of the final product. I guess it depends if this is a chemistry project or if you are going to eat the stuff. :lips:
     
  10. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Yes, the same amount of "good stuff" stays in the pot. But so does an extra cup of water, which dilutes that good stuff.

    Even if you reduce the wine+stock down to the same volume as if you had reduced them separately (more than half), you will not have the same concentration of "wine good stuff" you would have if you reduced them separately first. Because you're still only reducing the wine one time, and some of the water that would have evaporated out of the wine on the second reduction may now be replaced by water from the stock. . . .Just what Scott123 said. :eek:
     
  11. scott123

    scott123

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    Even removing alcohol from the picture, the ingredients in the pot are not as static as you might think. For every moment your sauce is being reduced maillard and other flavor compounds are being created as well as boiling off. At least from a stock perspective. My observation of stock has been far great than wine. If there is caramelization of the sugars in the wine occuring, it's not something I've studied. Looking at it from strictly a stock perspective, though, anything that prolongs the reduction, either by the addition of extra water or a lower temperature, will change the nature of the final product. Depending on how much water or how much one decreases the temp the difference can be quite dramatic. I personally find long/low temperature reductions to impact stocks negatively but, as with everything in the stockmaking world, there are those that feel the opposite. Will the extra duration caused by the equivalent of 1/4 bottle's worth of water make that much of difference? For me, I would say yes. I go to great lengths to limit the reduction times for stock. For someone else, though, the impact may not be that discernable.
     
  12. scott123

    scott123

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    I've been trying to visualize the wine solid to water ratio versus the stock solid to water ratio of the two different methods and it's making my head spin. My head just can't seem to get around the calculations at the moment. I think Suzanne is correct, though.
     
  13. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    :D Good Scott! So you're not the only one whose head is spinning!

    OK sUzanne, so then I reduce it a little more so that I get rid of the extra cup of water. Now is it the same? Scott says no, in theory I say yes because I don't think anything happens to the sugars in the wine until reduced to sec.

    In the end I guess tried and true methods are the surest, and when it's all over this whole debate may not even matter. A lot of people use this method when making quantity sauces. Diehard "technique" guy like me wouldn't do it the "nouveau" :) way even if I prove to myself that it's "proper." ;)
     
  14. lins

    lins

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    Wine reduces at a faster rate than stock (lower boiling point) if you add the two ingredients together at the beginning you are changing the rate of reduction of both wine and stock but this will not be equal to reduction time of the two separately and therefore changing the end ratio of wine to stock. In my opionion you will get a far better flavour if you reduce the wine first!
    Does this make sense or am I confused too? :eek:
     
  15. nick.shu

    nick.shu

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    all those factors are in play. However, the role of the wine is to lift the pan juices (deglaze) by respect of its acidity as well as providing flavours. By adding the stock and not reducing the wine, the liquid mass changes to one that has a different composition to the sauce that you are trying to achieve, and the outcome will be different to the sauce that you are trying to achieve (most likely too much liquid).