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Old agar?


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#1 Sidestreet

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:06 AM

I have a container of MEA that's about two years old.  It solidified in the container into a big chunk, pretty much.  Has anyone used old stuff like this?  I don't want it to go to waste, but I don't want to waste my time, either.


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#2 sandman

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:25 AM

Yes but consider that it has some water weight added to it.

 

So instead of 50 grams/1 liter or whatever you may need to do 55 grams or something similar.


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#3 Microbe

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:13 PM

I have a container of MEA that's about two years old. It solidified in the container into a big chunk, pretty much. Has anyone used old stuff like this? I don't want it to go to waste, but I don't want to waste my time, either.

Mine had turned into something that looked like a big piece of Werther's Original. I tried to break it up but it wasn't happening. Its cheap so i tossed it. Crazy thing is, this happened in a airtight container.



Edit: just realized you said MEA. My situation was Malt Extract only. I add my own own agar powder.

Edited by Microbe, 23 February 2021 - 12:28 PM.

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#4 Microbe

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:31 PM

Interesting. It appears you can add 1 part casein calcium to 2 parts Malt Extract to eliminate the hygroscopic properties.

C&P (Google Patent)

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, FRANZ ELGER, a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a resident of Basel, Switzerland, have in-. vented Non-Hygroscopic Malt-Extract Preparations and Process for Making the Same, of which the following is a specification.

The object of this invention is to produce malt extract preparations suitable for food purposes, and particularly such as are suitbut the food products which contain hygroscopic malt extract have a tendency to detriora-te in value. The presence of water in malt extract resulting from this hygroscopic action has a further disadvantage that it tends to charfge the chemical constitution of the preparations. For example, malt extracts which have absorbed 25% of water readily ferment and create in the preparation a tendenc to the formation of mold. According y, malt extracts, and all prepara tions which contain malt extract, have had to be carefully stored and handled in order to prevent, under the varying conditions of use, the hygroscopic activity of the malt extract from affecting it or the preparations containing it. Many attempts have been made to neutralize, destroy or overcome this hygroscopic quality of malt extract, but

without success. Finally, the discovery was made that the addition to the malt extract of casein calcium will result in a preparation which no longer exhibits the deleterious qualities of the malt extract. Casein cal- Patented June 16, 1914.

Application filed February 27, 1914. Serial No. 821,453.

cium is a white tasteless granular powder, readily soluble in water, having a food value of its own which harmonizes with the food value of malt extract. The preferred form of casein calcium is that described in Letters Patent No. 1,087,515, issued on application of Phili Sprenger and Aegidius Tschudi, on February 17, 1914. In spite of the fact that malt extract has a marked by groscopic quality and that the casein calcium is readily soluble in water, a proper mixture of these two substances results in a non-hygroscopic dry preparation.

Good results are obtained by mixing, for example, one part casein calcium and two parts of malt extract. Even after long exposure to air, such a preparation does not exhibit any indications of change, but the powder remains dry and does not become pasty or packed together.

The preparation may be made by direct mixing of dry malt extract with dry casein calcium, or these two substances may be dissolved together and the solution evaporated by appropriate means until a dry product is FR ANZ ELGER.

Witnesses ARNOLD ZI'iBnR, PETER Mn'rzonn.
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#5 coorsmikey

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:21 PM

I have a container of MEA that's about two years old.  It solidified in the container into a big chunk, pretty much.  Has anyone used old stuff like this?  I don't want it to go to waste, but I don't want to waste my time, either.

Please be careful while cutting chunks off of that! If you use a sharp knife then I would recommend shaving thin slices. Or better yet use nothing sharp or even a screwdriver. Don't stab or cut yourself! I will happily get you some fresh agar to prevent an injury! Ha other than that it dissolves just fine in really hot water and the extra blood, who knows it might even help germination. Oh wait Never mind, I am thinking of my block of Malt Extract that I have been chiseling from for years, the Agar crumbles much easier.


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#6 Sidestreet

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Posted Yesterday, 04:46 AM

Thanks everyone!



#7 bezevo

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Posted Yesterday, 03:19 PM

with LME  and Agar ect i open container divided into four bags squeeze air out seal bags stuff each bag in serrate small jat ,in throw cpl desiccant packs in jar seal date jar . use one jar at tome reseal that jar as you use ...this USUALLY PREVENTS  your LME and Agar from turning into bricks ,,,  i like to buy a larger container as it's well cheaper

 

AND I'M REALLY CHEAP  .............eeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr...........i mean THRIFTY !

 

also this should be fine stored in cool dark place  but fridges n freezers are nice if you got the room  ...if you want you could throw oxygen absorber pack in there for longer storage .

 

no more bricks


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#8 Sidestreet

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Posted Today, 05:15 AM

Thanks bezevo, that sounds like a good trick.  If I had the foresight to do something like that with this container I wouldn't have the big chunk of solidified parmesan I do now.  But as long as it's still usable I'm happy, because I can be cheap...errr. thrifty and I don't have to order more yet.



#9 rockyfungus

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Posted Today, 08:29 AM

I wonder if you can do the terracotta trick like brown sugar?



#10 jrh

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Posted Today, 08:31 AM

You probably couldn't do the terracotta/bread trick with brown sugar if it were ground into a powder.



#11 Myc

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Posted Today, 10:19 AM

I've never attempted to re-use the material once it solidifies. Interested to see how your experiment goes.

I would recommend placing the slug in a freezer baggie or something with thick plastic. Then break it up with a meat tenderizing hammer or something similar.

 

On the other hand..........

Dry Malt Extract is pretty cheap. Home brewer supply shoppes usually stock Extra-Light DME for about $4 per pound.

You'll also be able to find dextrose, calcium carbonate, yeast nutrient ........ in small amounts. They'll usually sell grams or small packages of these additives. The total bill should be somewhere around $20 - tops.

So for the cost of one finished jar of ready-to-hydrate and pour MEA.........You can have the potential for (basically) a lifetime supply.


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#12 bezevo

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Posted Today, 10:32 AM

i started out buying those little three gram bags of cheapo Teliphone brand Agar (Thanks Cats n Bats ) at a chinnese grocery store or amazon .....but i ran across a one pound jar of Agar  for cheap  $28 free shipping on Amazon , So i got  a Decades worth all sealed up in a few jars with desicant and oxigen obsorber ,  i also bought pound LME from Amazon cheaper than the homebrew store . also divide n packed up . .

Since i'm in BFE and its a 200 mile round trip to a home brew store or a  chinnese grocery Amazon comes in handy ,

 

BEZ






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