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Kava Preparation Economies of scale and The Big Jar

Discussion in 'Kava Lounge' started by Krunkie McKrunkface, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Yes, I have now finally stopped.

  2. No, I have now finally stopped.

  3. Yes, but just not yet.

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  1. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    I've noticed throughout my entire experience with kava and kava prep, you need the right amount.

    Just like 4 TBS could be vastly different for you depending on your prep and the amount of liquid, also some things simply don't begin to happen until you have a sufficient quantity, as with saving makas in the freezer until you have enough so that after 4 washes after it has thawed you still have a non-trivial amount, i.e. at least a cup. I can't see kneading 10 mins for less than a cup of grog.

    Anyway, it also applies in this case: getting 2.5 washes out of the AluBall prep, vs a mere 2.0, which is easy peasy. Doing 2.5 with a regular 4TBS in two AluBalls in 500 mls prep really only works with very strong kavas, IME. But you can push it to 2.5, and quite nicely so, with almost any kava. However, you need economies of scale.

    Recipe for the Big Jar

    you need:
    8 TBS medium grind (or 6 TBS of extremely strong kava, like VanuWAKA),
    4 AluBalls,
    10 cups of water (yes! you will yield 10 cups of grog with this!!!!!)
    a half gallon or 2L Mason jar or similar and a plastic sandwich baggie for the top when screwing on the lid (to stop leaking and protect the balls)

    Put 4 cups of water in the large jar, then put in 4 AluBalls, to each of which you have added 2 TBS of medium grind, or 6 TBS if it is very strong kava. Then put the sandwich baggi on the top of the jar to cover the opening, then screw on the lid gently. Shake for at least 30 seconds but that is really all it takes, and you can shake it quite gently and it will make it faster, because the large size of the jar allows for more and faster and more forceful movement of the water through the balls.

    Pour out that first four cups and add another 4 cups to the jar with the AluBalls and shake a bit longer for this second wash. Again, it can still be remarkably gentle motions, you let the size of the jar do the work. Pour that to mix with the 4 cups from the first wash and finally, repeat but with 2 cups on this wash 2.5. Put it all together and you have 10 cups of equal strength good strong krunkable grog. From 8 or even as little as 6 TBS. Plus, you can still throw those makas in the freezer and they will work fine later on for mongrel grog.

    I believe there are a number of factors making this so wonderful. You need space in the AluBalls, that's one reason why 2 TBS or less per ball is what you need, and 1.5 TBS is better than 2 TBS and 1 TBS is better than 1.5 TBS. BUT, you really have to increase the number of balls and the size of the shaking medium in order to take advantage of those economies of scale: because the extraction is more efficient, you produce more grog with less grind. There's something about only 4 cups of water sloshing around in that larger 8 cup jar with 4 balls (which displace 1 cup of liquid volume, btw, so you don't have to measure the second 4 cups separately, you can just fill the jar with the balls to the 5 cup line and that's the same as adding 4 cups).

    Combining this with the freezer makas mongrel grog, this makes the most efficient and cost effective kava prep I have found. And of course, the grog has to be good, and consistent across all shells across all washes for this to work out, and it is and does.

    NB The Big Jar is also really good for making a bunch for two people very quickly, or for making kava in the morning to set yourself up for a while. Finally, yes I know the big jar yields 10 cups but the mason jar only holds 8 cups. You'll have to drink those other 2 right away. Tough.
  2. skip L

    skip L Member

    Great idea!! Always trying to make it last, and get the most out of it. Thanks for the input!!
  3. PapaMoi

    PapaMoi Kava Enthusiast

    I have a kava survival pack I take when camping, hiking, etc. So I can survive if I get stranded. Iodine tablets to purify rank water to have to make the grog in. Out of survival necessity I can use my sock to strain it in.
  4. Camaytoc

    Camaytoc Kava Enthusiast

    If, in an opportunistic way, you get the chance to post some pictures of this process, like the big jar fulfilled with joyfull juice, it would be awesome
    recentreturn likes this.
  5. Jerome

    Jerome Kava Enthusiast

    You are....
    My fire,
    My one...
    Kapmcrunk and TrevC like this.
  6. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    last night and this morning using the big jar technique yielded 13 cups of grog from 8 TBS Squanch. And that's before it goes into the freezer for mongrel grog. Pushing the yield over 10 and getting away with it requires a strong grind, though.
    Camaytoc likes this.
  7. Crunked

    Crunked Proselytizer

    Krunkie, I tried your 'Big Jar' technique last night. Because so much kava was required (64g), I opened up a vacuum pack of premium kava I bought from the Kava market in Nadi in May, 2014 (i.e. before the Vanuatu cyclone) and stored in the refrigerator thereafter. The kava smelt and tasted exactly like Vanuatu kava. As I was expecting it to have lost some potency, I followed your directions but kept my expectations low.
    I was stunned, in several senses, to discover that your recipe makes a quick, easy and very potent grog.
    Many thanks for sharing this recipe. ::tipshat::
  8. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    My pleasure. Bula!
  9. BulamamatoNCIRVCKKPC

    BulamamatoNCIRVCKKPC Learn to love me, assemble the ways...

    Being new to the forums, the only term I don't understand is "mongrel grog". Is this the 10 cups you woud have just made that you are freezing? Or the left over root from inside the Aluballs that you may freeze to use later? How would you use frozen maka if the kavalactones are pretty much gone, or have you found that they are still potent enough to produce an extra cup "in a bind"? One more question: How long does this liquid kava last in the fridge before losing potency? The longest I've gone is two days before I've polished off two of these jars (not made this way yet, but I have all that I need at home and will be using this method today! Hence, all the questions! ;) ). Thanks!
  10. Kapmcrunk

    Kapmcrunk The Kaptain of Crunk KavaForums Founder

    Tell me whyyEEEE!
  11. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    In order:

    1. Mongrel grog is a made-up term to describe kava beverage made from at least 3 different medium grinds. It can be made from dry medium grind powers or more commonly from wet makas that have had a couple of washes in the AluBall and then have been stored in the freezer for two reasons: a. the freezing and subsequent thawing uses the moisture in the makas to break the cell walls in the ground roots to release more kavalactones and b. to store the makas while waiting to accumulate sufficient mass of makas to make the subsequent washes after thawing worthwhile. I find you need to have enough for that 3rd wash so that by the time you get to the 6th you are still producing a non-trivial amount, which for me is at least 1 cup or 250ml.

    2. No

    3. Yes

    4. You thaw the frozen makas (usually approx 3 cups wet made from 2 cups dry), place in a strainer bag, cover with 8 cups of hot tap water and soak for 10 minutes before kneading for 5 minutes and then the 3rd wash is ready to drink. I find for subsequent washes you need 10 minutes of kneading. The water I use is 8 cups for the 3rd wash (1st after thawing), 4 cups for the 4th, 2.5 cups for the 5th and 1.5 cups for the 6th. If I feel i warrants, I might do a 7th wash with 1 cup or even an 8th. My wife has successfully gone to 9, but she's a weirdo. Note: using this method my yield for a cup of medium grind is at least 6L or about 1.5 gal, and often 2 or 3 cups more. This is up to 6 or 7 times the yield one might get from following some package directions and about 3 times what people usually get with typical preparations. Keep in mind, all of the shells I produce are of equal strength (though different chemtypes as the big hitters play themselves out in the first few washes and the "lesser" ones come to the fore in later washes, KL's many people never even get to experience because they throw them away long before they could get to them and also don't try to get them), by design, otherwise you just kid yourself you are getting more kava but all you have is weaker and weaker washes to the point of pointlessness. To work this has to be worthwhile, hence the need for equivalent strength of shells across washes.

    5. I try to drink my grog the day it is made or the next day but I believe up to three days you are safe although there is noticeable degradation of flavour over time as starches convert to sugars so I try to drink grog as soon after prep as possible. If you need to store prepared grog longer you can just freeze it. Ice cube trays work well for storing in bags and for precise "dosage" if on is cost conscious or just enjoying kava for health benefits. Frozen grog is fine, I have enjoyed it many times. There is also a way, or several ways, all of which suck and are a colossal paint in the ass, that at home you can dry the grog to make instant. I don't dry my grog but I do save and dry and then mill for instant powder any soft silky sediment left at the bottom of glasses or jars. This stuff is great. I dry it on saucers in the sun which makes thin flakes, which you can break off into pieces the size of a quarter and stick under your tongue for a very enjoyable 5 minutes of kava goodness or just accumulate in a jar and later mill in a coffee grinder to make powdered instant, great as instant or for adding to flavoured drinks, even just in a blender with orange juice or milk is nice.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  12. BulamamatoNCIRVCKKPC

    BulamamatoNCIRVCKKPC Learn to love me, assemble the ways...

    Wow! Thank you for these tips! I just made my first of 10 cups with KWK Borogu and froze the left over wet kava from the Aluballs. So, two more times with different kava and I can make my first wash from the frozen grog! Great to know. Kava it not cheap and I am not one to skimp on price. So, I have bags and bags of high quality kava that would definitely be beneficial to use this way.
    Very good to know about the time frame to leave in the fridge as well. I finished my Kava Supreme from two days ago, just a few minutes ago. It was still very effective for stress. Good to know that two days is probably max for best consumption or throw it in my ice cube trays. My stress has significantly decreased since enjoying kava daily. I just bought a 32 ounce stainless steel mug that keeps things cold for up to 24 hrs. I have two in a smaller size for water and it works. I plan to bring my kava beverage to work this way. Just sip on it when the feeling arises. I don't want to have to explain what's in there, though, since I am in a pharmacy setting. Anyway, that is an entirely different subject which is most likely not even important. Thanks again for explaining all of that. :)
  13. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    both my wife and I find that pretty much everyone assumes it's coffee but if they ask and we tell them, everyone is cool about it. I show them the kava quarter and tell them it's Hawaii's national beverage. Good patriotic American folk culture.
  14. Camaytoc

    Camaytoc Kava Enthusiast

    Quick question for you. When you say you wash up to 8 time the same frozen maka:

    1) Do you start your grog from frozen only maka? Or you add fresh grind at some point?

    2) When you unfreeze a pack of maka, are you doing all the washes the same day or you get it back to the freezer sometime? Or maybe you get the most of it and throw it out in the trashcan?

    I think I will need to start using some sticker and mark all of these

    Quick question for you. When you say you wash up to 8 time the same frozen maka:

    1) Do you start your grog from frozen only maka? Or you add fresh grind at some point?

    2) When you unfreeze a pack of maka, are you doing all the washes the same day or you get it back to the freezer sometime? Or maybe you get the most of it and throw
    it out in the trashcan?
    I think I'm gonna start marking all of these small bags in the freezer
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  15. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    1. What I do is use dry medium grind in AluBalls for 2 or perhaps 2.5 washes. Then that wet makas goes in the freezer. Once it has accumulated, I thaw it out and make at least another 4 washes with the thawed makas. I never add any additional "fresh" dried grind but one could do that, there's no reason not to. I just find it unnecessary. If I didn't adjust the water ratios down to maintain consistent strength across shells I would have to, or face a big drop in potency.

    2. Never put thawe4d anything back in the freezer, except for bread or orange roughy. Everything else is dangerous. With thawed freezer makas I either make it all that day, all 4 (+) washes or I make just one or two and store the makas bag in the fridge overnight and makethe rest the next day. I believe this is as far as I would care to safely push it. I compost the makas once I have gotten all I can with a satisfactory effort/reward ratio. Give me a big enough wad of freezer makas and I could make 100 washes. It has to do with sacale.
  16. BulamamatoNCIRVCKKPC

    BulamamatoNCIRVCKKPC Learn to love me, assemble the ways...

    Just to clarify, when you used the thawed maka, you use traditional prep, correct? Also, how much do you use? I have two frozen batches now of 8 TBSP each. So, would I knead all of that or add one more batch of 8 wet TBSP from my next batch? I want to get the most of what I bought, which is a ton of different kava. I feel like I'm in kava heaven! haha. Anyway, thanks again!
  17. Camaytoc

    Camaytoc Kava Enthusiast

    I guess 2.5 means two time with same amount of water and a third time with half water?
  18. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    Yes, after thawing the makas I place them in a strainer bag in a large bowl then cover with hot tap water and soak for ten minutes before kneading. I find it is pointkless to do this, or counter-productive anyway, to do this with a volume of makas that is not sufficiently large, here's where the economies of scale kick in. The minimum for me for it to be worthwhile is 3 cups of wet makas or the product of what was 2 cups worth of dry grind before you made grog with it.

    If you have 2 frozen batches of 8 TBS each, that means 16 TBS which = 1 cup.. You could thaw it and knead it and make perfectly good grog from it now but you would not get yields as high as what I get using....... economies of scale.
    Camaytoc likes this.
  19. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    correct. In practice how that works for me usually is if the grind is strong enough I will do a 1st wash with 4TBS in 2 AluBalls and 500 ml water and then a second with 400 ml (added together the grog produced is still pretty close to 1L). If it's strong enough, I do another wash with just 200 or 250ml. before throwing it into the freezer makas containers and this has not resulted in any noticeable loss of potency in subsequent washes. It's just a little freebie shell available sometimes. Take it or leave it. It doesn't really make a difference either way, so from my point of view, why not do it?