Cactus wine: Idea for eliminating cactus mucilage

Discussion in 'Peyote & San Pedro' started by Porkchop Johnson, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. Porkchop Johnson

    Porkchop Johnson Newbie

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    For reasons that aren't really important right now, recently I became enraged with a substance known as "mucilage" and resolved to find a way to defeat it. SWIM researched a while and learned that there are others who hate mucilage... these are coffee plantation owners. Apparently, getting rid of mucilage is a big part of processing coffee. So SWIM researched their techniques, and found that apparently certain kinds of yeasts and bacteria will digest mucilage to sugar and then sugar to alcohol. SWIM further found that the main yeasts and bacteria are easily obtainable from home-brewing shops and hippie grocery stores (details below).

    I believe that the following information will process a gooey, mucilaginous cactus mousse into a cactus wine that is suitable for either drinking or easy acid-base extraction without the recovery-ruining emulsions.

    Method begins by making a very foamy, heavily oxygenated mousse of the cactus, then adjusting the pH to 5.8 using acetic acid (vineagar). Add about 15g of sugar (dextrose preferred) per liter of cactus mousse. Then introduce mucilage-digesting yeasts and bacteria. If You is considering drinking the cactus wine, use yeast only, and take care to keep the product free of bacteria... the yeast of interest are: Saccharomyces cervesiae, Saccharomyces bayanus (beer yeast and champagne yeast). But if You has no intention of drinking cactus wine and merely intends to eliminate all traces of mucilage, go for maximum fermentation by introducing bacteria from kefir and kombucha. These will make the flavor putrid, but by bringing in the mucilage-fermenting Kluyveromyces maximus and Lactobacillus brevis, likely almost all the mucilage will be eliminated. Fermentation should take 5 to 7 days at a temp of 22-26C. SWIM warns that brewing generally results in a layer of settled dead yeast at the bottom of the vessel, and one should try to keep this separate from the drinkable product or whatever else one intends to do with the cactus liquor.

    I believe the fermented product may be quite palatable and drinkable. If You is not interested in drinking the cactus wine, SWIM suggests this wine might be the best starting point for the published acid-base extraction methods, instead of boiling it in acid for hours and hours.

    SWIM invites you to try this method... if it doesn't work, you're no worse than you started, you can still do whatever you intended to do with the cactus juice. If the method succeeds, then it would be possible to process cacti in a much more organic manner, using a much smaller amount of industrial acids and alkalis. SWIM hopes to try this method soon, but if you try it first, please report back regarding the outcome.
     
  2. jesusfreak666er

    jesusfreak666er Newbie

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    very intresting, any swimmers out there up for a try? if so post a step by step with pictures... sounds like an interesting idea.

    Second... what is mucilage?
     
  3. Porkchop Johnson

    Porkchop Johnson Newbie

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    Mucilage is a polysaccharide, a molecule made of many sugars strung together... in cacti its function is to bind water as tightly as possible. Mucilage also serves as a powerful emulsifier (you know the saying "oil and water don't mix... emulsifiers make them mix). Mucilage is thick and gooey as snot, a disgusting texture if you wish to drink it, and a thick emulsion if you want to do a nonpolar separation. It is the bitter adversary of anyone who wishes to extract the pure goodness out of certain cacti.

    SWIM just exhausted his cactus budget on a straight-to-base extraction where mucilage was a highly irrititating factor. I will try fermentation when next he has the raw materials; in the meantime he invites you to try it and post your results here.
     
  4. PsychicTraveler

    PsychicTraveler Silver Member

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    Adding yeast to the nasty flavor will make a liquid so vile that you won't want to be in the same room with it.

    Also, the process sounds more involved than just extracting the mescaline.

    But, if You wants to make something drinkable, then You should just simmer it for at least three hours. It first turns to snot, but then eventually breaks down again. Strain it through an old t-shirt, and You is good to go.
     
  5. Porkchop Johnson

    Porkchop Johnson Newbie

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    Why does You think so? This is what is done with beer... it smooths out the bitterness of the hops, and the final product doesn't taste yeasty. Also it should totally eliminate the gooeyness without the need for hazardous boiling acid or large amounts of lye.

    Slightly more involved but I think the result might be worth it.
     
  6. PsychicTraveler

    PsychicTraveler Silver Member

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    Tell us how it turns out.
     
  7. Chemotrophic

    Chemotrophic Silver Member

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    SWIM once read an article that says yeasts can eat ethylamines as a source of nitrogen if there isn't anything else. A tub of cactus juice would certainly qualify for that. Since mescaline is an ethylamine, I think it's likely that this method would yield an inactive carboxylic acid of mescaline, and would only try it if one were willing to risk losing all that time and money for the sake of pure research.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/h2180r2378623x22/