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considering traditional prep

Discussion in 'Kava Lounge' started by Shredder, May 11, 2019.

  1. Shredder

    Shredder Kava Enthusiast

    Just a quick question about traditional prep... Cause I feel like it may be more cost effective for me in the long run.

    Can I do this with almond milk as opposed to water? I'd just have to boil it and then let the kava sit in the bowl for a bit before straining right?
  2. Kapmcrunk

    Kapmcrunk The Kaptain of Crunk KavaForums Founder

    I know some people have used coconut milk, coconut water, even drinks like Gatorade and V8 splash. I'm not sure about the boiling part, as it's not usually necessary in other methods, but do let is know how it turns out. You shouldn't have to let it sit for long, as the motion of kneading will quickly and thoroughly saturate those kava fibers.
  3. Shredder

    Shredder Kava Enthusiast

    Well my plan was to boil some of the almond milk, and then put it into the bowl that had the kava in the strainer bag... Let it sit for 15 minutes and strain it. Don't you think that would work?
  4. LabRat

    LabRat Member

    IME anything over 105° F kills some Kavalactones from the heat just saying that's what I've experienced be blessed GBU LabRat
    igloo nakamal2 likes this.
  5. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    Kava goes well with nut milk but I found it easier to knead double strength kava with half the usual water, then mix the prepared grog and the nut milk, or coconut milk or whatever, milk milk I guess.

    PS grog goes well with YooHoo but not Cel-Ray
    kastom_lif likes this.
  6. ThePiper

    ThePiper Kava Enthusiast

    Are you adding milk for flavor or because adding fats may boost the effect? And why boil it?
  7. Shredder

    Shredder Kava Enthusiast

    Both taste and better absorption... Are you saying I should microwave it? Or do I not have to heat it at all?
  8. ThePiper

    ThePiper Kava Enthusiast

    Most people do not use heat for traditional prep. A small number of people occasionally heat their kava for a stronger grog but its debatable whether it will give you much more bang for your buck. As Labrat said, some kavalactones are possibly destroyed by heat. On the other hand, grade school science tells us that heat speeds up chemical reactions and raises the saturation point of a solution. Logically when you add heat while making a grog you should be able to cram more kavalactones into a smaller amount of water, making a thicker oilier grog with less time squeezing.

    I can tell you the taste will be WAY worse though. The heat extracts more bitter compounds or something it appears. I doubt a boiled grog could possibly taste better with something like mild like almond milk.
  9. Shredder

    Shredder Kava Enthusiast

    So whadda ya think I should do? Can I just use cold almond milk and Iet it sit in the bowl for 20 minutes before straining?
  10. jim lahey

    jim lahey Shamanic Herbalist

    I put kava powder and room temp half water/half nut milk into Mason jars let them soak for 30min shaking every once in a while then pour into strainer bag, squeeze as much as I can, then pour water onto strainer bag slowly, squeeze again, then keep doing it until I feel all the oils are gone from the kava.
  11. Shredder

    Shredder Kava Enthusiast

    Cool. So you're saying I can do that with almond milk? Put a cup of it in a mason jar... With a few tablespoons of kava... Let it sit for a half hour, shaking it up every now and then, and then finally after a half hour pouring the mixture in a strainer and repeatedly get a the oils out and I should be good?
  12. kastom_lif

    kastom_lif Kava Enthusiast

    Heat doesn't speed up any _chemical_ reactions when making kava, nor does it make kavalactones more soluble (cause they're really not very soluble at all).

    Heat does, however, help to dislodge starch, oil and kavalactones from the plant fibers. These 3 things form a pickering emulsion, rather than a solution. The rate at which these substances are dislodged from the solid plant fibers DOES scale approximately as an Arrhenius equation (that is, higher temperatures result in stuff coming out of the plant fibers faster.)

    I'm not convinced that boiling water really damages KL's all that much. However, really hot water CAN alter starches, and shift the rates at which oils, starches and KL's are liberated from plant fibers. When I make kava with super duper hot water, more KL resin seems to get stuck to the strainer, the inside of the blender, the bowl, and so on. I think this happens not because more KLs are knocked loose, but because the starch granules burst at high temperatures and release their amylose into solution, leaving fewer intact starch granules to emulsify the KL's.

    Melting the KL's does not seem to matter, so long as the KL is well macerated into small particles in the presence of starch and water to form a suspension. This is why smashing up the root is so important. You gotta get the oil, starch, water and KL's to come together. The abrasive woody fibers and the kneading action (or blending) makes the magic happen. Just plain soaking doesn't cut it.

    Ever notice that kava made from super hot water is slimy? That's the busted starches, all gelatinized like.

    tl;dr- science. Hot water is different. Not awful. Not awesome. Try it if you want.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  13. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    In a pinch, if nothing else works, one can always just drink grog.
  14. Zaphod

    Zaphod Kava Enthusiast

    My 2cents if you are just starting traditional prep - don't complicate it. Use water or almond milk, which every you prefer. Just put in the strainer and knead for 5-10 min on your first wash, and the same with your second. No need to heat it up.
    Once you got that down - and you want to experiment with other methods go for it. It is part of the fun of making kava. Hot water, boiling method, rolling pins, espresso machines, making extracts adding flavoring, on and on....but if your just starting KISS principle works best. When experimenting with making grog you have to be willing to throw out good kava because some methods make kava that is nearly undrinkable...
  15. Shredder

    Shredder Kava Enthusiast

    First and second wash? Whadda ya mean?
  16. Zaphod

    Zaphod Kava Enthusiast

    1st wash is the first time you knead the kava in the strainer bag - dump that off into a bowl or cup. Then add more water and knead it again. Most kavas will give you a decent second wash that is still quite potent. Diminishing returns after that unless you want to freeze the left over makas and make a mongrel grog after a few days.
  17. Shredder

    Shredder Kava Enthusiast

    Ahhh I didn't know you could get two rounds out of it