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Muirghein Tarot
07-01-2006, 12:18 AM
This maybe one of the stranger questions posted in this section. Has anyone thought of, or tried using the flavor enhancer Accent in mead?
We taste sweet, salt, biter, and sour. These are the common four that every one knows but there is another that was discovered in the earlier 1900s. It is called Umami.
http://www.glutamate.org/media/discovery_of_glutamate.asp
Hope that worked. Still working out this computer stuff.
Any way the Umami taste is present in most of the foods we enjoy and use every day in the form of glutamate. The man who discovered this found a way to use it as a seasoning and it took off from there. Almost all Asian cooking uses it to some extent. In fact it is consumed more in the orient than the rest of the world put together. ( more people in Asia than rest of world put together.)
There have been studies about the seasoning MSG being bad for you but the fact is you eat it every day. Even buying products labeled no MSG doesn't mean it's not there in natural form. Just means that haven't added it raw. (There is almost 2% in cows milk.)
That being said unless you have noticed some sensitivity to MSG is there a reason not to use a flavor enhancer in mead making? We use sweet from the honey, biter from tannin's and acids, sour from some of the fruit we add. Salt we can't really use as I think it kills yeast. I know it will in baking not sure about in brewing.
The sellers of organic only foods that are becoming so popular of late would have us believe that anything added to our foods is terrible for us but we have to be realistic. Draw in a deep breath, in all likelihood you just put more chemicals in your body than are in a home science kit. The water you took a shower with? More minerals than a rock collection. And where not going to discuss the hot dog you had for lunch.
No studies I have found show any adverse reaction to alcohol and MSG. If someone can find one that is unbiased please correct me I have no problem with being wrong.
If it can be used though it might be wise to add it to our bottle labels like some people do with sulfate.

The natural brewers can start howling and throwing stones, and the better brewing threw chemical people can start tapping their bottom lip going 'hummm'. Being in the middle I'm going to dodge rocks and go drink some blueberry wine cordial that I have chilling in the refrigerator. ;D
Tarot.

Oskaar
07-01-2006, 03:37 AM
... snip... No studies I have found show any adverse reaction to alcohol and MSG. If someone can find one that is unbiased please correct me I have no problem with being wrong.
If it can be used though it might be wise to add it to our bottle labels like some people do with sulfate.

The natural brewers can start howling and throwing stones, and the better brewing threw chemical people can start tapping their bottom lip going 'hummm'. Being in the middle I'm going to dodge rocks and go drink some blueberry wine cordial that I have chilling in the refrigerator. ;D
Tarot.


Looks like you have given yourself a project to pursue. If you're hell bent on using MSG for whatever reason then I suggest that you do the research and try it in some meads that you're planning on making and then report it back here. Personally I don't have an interest in using it since I find that I prefer my foods without MSG, and the preponderence of restaurants that I go to and buy from don't use MSG in their food. Hell most of the Asian restaurants offer their entire menu without MSG.

You may want to start here (http://www.msgtruth.org/allergy.htm) on your research. Interesting subject, hope you find what you're looking for.

Take a chance, Custer did!

Oskaar

Lugh
07-01-2006, 09:46 PM
Umami is considered a fundamental taste in Japanese and Chinese cooking, but is not discussed as much in Western cuisine. In English, it is sometimes referred to as "savoury" (US: "savory", not to be confused with the herb known as savory), "meaty" or "moreish."
...
The additive monosodium glutamate, which was developed as a food additive in 1907 by Kikunae Ikeda, produces a strong umami taste. Umami is also provided by the nucleotides disodium 5-inosine monophosphate (IMP) and disodium 5-guanosine monophosphate (GMP). These are naturally present in many protein-rich foods. IMP is present in high concentrations in many foods, including dried skipjack tuna flakes used to make dashi, a Japanese broth. GMP is present in high concentration in dried shiitake mushrooms, used in much of the cuisine of Asia. There is a synergistic effect between MSG, IMP and GMP which together in certain ratios produce a strong umami taste.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami

So a large number of foods have a type of monophosphate. It's not quite the same as having monosodium glutamate (MSG). I won't get into allergy differences between the various types.

When cooking crepes, there are 2 types - a standard crepe is used in desserts, and a second one with added salt for savory crepes, like seafood and vegetables. If you use a salted crepe for a fruit dessert, it doesn't taste as pleasant.

When making most any recipe, you have to balance flavors, and it doesn't mean you want all of the 4-7 basic tastes present. Besides Umami, the Japanese recognise the taste "kokumi", and the Chinese recognise the taste "pungent". Just something to think about.

Muirghein Tarot
07-04-2006, 02:52 AM
It is a little warm right now to be making mead where a supple taste would be detectable within a reasonable amount of time. So for at least two or three more months I will not be able to do a mead to mead comparison for MSG tasting. However I can give some of the research I have been doing for you to see and post back on.

There are a million sites about the bad affects of MSG. In fact my first thought is it's like a witch hunt. Someone took the idea, that MSG being a food additive made it the cause of their problems, and suddenly its ocean to ocean something to avoid in your food. There are also thousands of site about how good it is for you. Most would say these are put out by the big companies that save money by using MSG in their products. There is scientific data about how horrible it is. Same for about how it's in every thing you eat naturally. This is an argument that will in all likelihood be still ongoing when we are all dust. I'm not going to defend or vilify MSG. It is probably not good for you (Just what the hell is?)and it is found in most of the foods we eat either in natural or added form.

What I am looking to do is improve the taste of mead.

The Taste Umami is already in some of the finest of wines. It is the rich full bodied taste of a strong red wine that had been aged for ten or more years.
http://www.kalincellars.com/Umami.htm
Several wine makers have recognized this and are using it to their advantage to make finer wines. Not so much as in a changing techniques but in knowing what to look for in their wines.
http://www.wineloverspage.com/randysworld/umami1.phtml

Wines and Meads do not often stand alone. They are combined with food to enhance the taste of both. This is almost as much a science as physics or rocket propulsion. The knowledge of how to pare just what food with what wine is hotly debated in some circles and studied with intensity. Some are using the presence of Umami to guide them.
http://www.ajinomoto.com.hk/news161102.asp

Yes I know I found out how to post a link and now I've gone link happy. Don't worry it wont be a recurring theme.

It can even change what some experts had said for years about what foods go with what wines.
http://www.inetours.com/PagesWT/Pairing/Wine_Into_Umami.html

In Asia this is not a new idea. They have known and used this information for a century while here in the west we are only just starting to get the point. If you want to avoid MSG in your foods that's fine. You'll have to eat completely non processed foods prepared by yourself but you can do it. Want to avoid Glutamate which is the base of MSG. You'll have to give up a lot of the foods you love.
http://www.umamiinfo.com/umami-rich_food/

There were dozens more sites on Umami, MSG, and wine most have to do with foods and wine but some give good information about the umami taste in wine.
In a couple of months when the weather cools down I plan on making a two gallon batch and when I rack into secondary split it into two separate one gallon carboys. One I will add MSG to and the other I will leave unaltered. Even though no two batches of mead will be exactly alike this should give me the taste samples I can post.

All for now will keep digging, have found a hint or two that fermenting produces the umami, MSG flavor as a byproduct of the yeast. We may have it in our meads already.
Tarot.

Oskaar
07-04-2006, 03:09 AM
Hey MT,

Having been a big fan of wine for a long time Umami is not a new term or concept to me or a number of other wine afficionados. I do keep in in perspective in that it is another flavor component that needs to be in balance with all of the other characters in order to be integrated and present complexity. I'm glad you're enthused about it and I applaud your quest to know and understand more about Umami and how it can add to the structure and complexity of your mead.

If you make the next mead fest I'll give you a swig of my Traditional Sweet Mead and you'll say "OoooMommy! That's Umami!!" ;D ;D ;D

cheers,

Oskaar