Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Too Much Science Rots the Brain

[Now rewritten for the people outside my head to understand.]

This morning in the shower:
Seriously considered: So I have this egg yolk wash that I put on challah (to make it shiny!) and on tart crusts (to keep them from getting soggy). I beat up a couple spare yolks with some water, and then I froze it, but when I thaw it, it's lumpy and gross.

In lab we freeze cells in glycerol (glycerine). And you can freeze proteins in sugar; they're not so happy if you stick them at -20C in just water (imagine raw hamburger, on a plate, after a week in the freezer. Not happy.).

Could I add 10% glycerol, or perhaps sugar, to delumpify/ extend the useful lifetime of my egg wash? Would I have to then dilute it with water to get it to brush onto crusts right? And does Sigma* sell food-grade glycerol? Alternatively, could I distill** the reagent-grade?***

(Answers: Yes, at 2%, and look at this, ewwwww, I had no idea; maybe; yes and it's kosher! but can be had much cheaper; yes but I totally don't have a high-vacuum line and heating mantle at home, though my dad did rescue a huge distillation coil from work...)

*A huge chemical company. They sell everything.
**Just like doing ethanol. Except imagine it's something like honey to start with. Turns out that's hard.
***Reagent-grade: Containing 1-5% of Other Junk. Don't worry. I wouldn't put reagent-grade chemicals in my mouth even if I did repurify them; one never knows quite what that last 1% was. Except... once when I ran out of sugar for my coffee.