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Re: [BKARTS] paste cooking advice?



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Bill Minter may have hit on your problem.  Inadequate heat.

Starch granules come in a variety of sizes, and to get the best
use of them it is important to dissolve as many as possible.

Commercial firms use steam heat to convert starch to paste.  We
use double boilers (or stirrers, etc.) to approach this level of
conversion.

My own method involves a stainless steel double boiler and I stir
the entire time.  This is important.  In the beginning it is like
stirring water; then there is a thickening as the starch granules
absorb more water; finally there is a thinning as granule after
granule bursts.

One part starch to five parts distilled water (by volume).

In the end, I lift the stirrer out of the paste and watch to see
how quickly the paste leaves the wooden paddle (a cheap wooden paddle,
purchased at a grocery store and never used for anything but making
paste).

When I am satisfied I turn the heat off and pour the newly made paste
into a clean container of water.

Later, as paste is needed, I strain it through a piece of artificial
silk screen fabric to make certain that no lumps remain.

The starch soaks in water for three days, or so.  I pour off the
water which sits above the starch and add distilled water to bring the
level back up to five parts.

This makes a better adhesive than what one may make by cooking freshly
mixed starch paste.

Cooking takes about 15 minutes in the quantities which I make (I use
whiskey shot glasses as the unit of measure).

Hope this helps.

Jack

Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon  97217
USA

503/735-3942  (ph/fax)

http://www.teleport.com/~tcl

"The lyfe so short; the craft so long to lerne."
Chaucer  _Parlement of Foules_ 1386

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