Do I Really Need To Buy A Centrifuge?
What a silly question. Of course you do!
Actually, no you don’t. There are plenty of ways to clarify citrus, Agar Clarification being a popular method. But we’re impatient, and Agar makes things taste a little funny, so a centrifuge is the best way to go our in our book. When thinking about buying a ‘fuge, there are a couple different sources and options:
If you’ve saved up (a lot) and can afford it, buy a new one. Hettich make the prettiest centrifuges we’ve ever seen, but they are way outside our price range. As we operate bars that go through a bunch of product, we need a machine that can handle volume (at least 3 liters at a time). If we had pin-ups at the office, one of the might well be a Hettich Rotanta 460R. Is that sexy or what?
On a budget? The fine folks at Ozark Biomedical refurbish centrifuges that are perfect for culinary use. We purchased a Jouan CR4.22 from them a while back that’s become Honeycut’s workhorse machine.
Cash tight but you still need a new toy? If you have the patience, Ebay is a great resource. We recently snatched up a Jouan c4.12 for a little over 700 bucks, happily living at Death & Co as of a couple weeks ago. It’s a bit old, but does the trick.
Just want to play around? Amazon has everything, even centrifuges. You won’t be able to handle a ton of liquid (certainly not enough for a working bar), but a small unit will let you play around and see if the technology can be of use.
Clarified Citrus: Centrifuge Process
STEP 1: Juice
Pick the best fruit you can find. When clarified, the quality of the fruit is magnified — if there are any faults, it’ll come through.
STEP 2: Measure
If you don’t have a gram scale, get one. Use it for everything. Actually, get two: one utility scale (I like the Escali A115s) and a fine gram scale able to measure 1/100th of a gram (modernistpantry.com for the win, again). Measure the final juice weight using the big scale, write it down.
STEP 3: Add Enzymes
This is where things get different depending on what type of citrus you’re spinning. For low-acid citrus, use the following method.
Grapefruits & Oranges (or similar): you’ll need Pectinex Ultra-SPL
- Using your recorded juice weight from Step 2, calculate 0.2% of that weight. For example, if you have 1000 grams of Orange Juice, the number you’re looking for is 2 (1000 x 0.002 = 2). This will be the amount of Pectinex needed.
- Add 2 grams of Pectinex Ultra-SPL to the juice (as calculated above)
- Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
For high-acid citrus, the process is a bit more complex. Be patient, it’s worth it.
- Using your recorded juice weight from Step 2, calculate 0.2% of that weight. For example, if you have 1000 grams of Orange Juice, the number you’re looking for is 2 (1000 x 0.002 = 2). This will be the amount of Pectinex Ultra-SPL, Chitosan, and Kieselsol added to the juice.
- First Step: add 2 grams of Pectinex and 2 grams of Kieselsol. Stir. Cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes
- Second Step: add 2 grams of Chitosan. Stir. Cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- Third Step: add 2 more grams of Kieselsol. Stir.
- Ready to move onto the next…
STEP 4: Decant Juice Into Equal Weights
Seems simple, but you can’t mess this part up. A centrifuge requires perfect balance on all sides of the rotor, so make sure all of the bottles you decant into are equal weights. Very important!
STEP 5: Spin Juice In Centrifuge
The sexiest step. Place the jars in the centrifuge, run at 4500 rpm for 10 minutes.
STEP 6: Strain
Remove jars from centrifuge, strain through a Superbag. If you’re the curious type, try the sludge at the bottom.
Clarified Orange Juice: Pretty, huh?