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Bones/water ratio for stock

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,
Anyone have any guidelines on how much water vs. bones by weight they use for stock? I can obviously pull up some recipes but wanted to see what people said.
Thanks,
Grande
post #2 of 14

While I've read many guidelines and recipes, the only one I really follow is to cover the bones by about two or three inches. The idea I remember is for the bones to be completely submerged and that there needs to be some room for movement once the simmering starts. 

post #3 of 14

Beef Stock

 

bones       8 Lb
cold water     6 qt.
Mirepoix     1 Lb
Sachet d'epices 1 each

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys, the day crew seems to be having trouble eyeballing it.
post #5 of 14

General rule of thumb is water should juuuust about cover the bones.  Bones will settle and consolidate once the stock is simmering.

 

Flavour wise, a lot depends on the type of bones used.  Stuff with a lot of trim and cartlidge will contribute a lot more flavor and gelatin than shank bones.  A lot of the Euros would toss in split and blanched calves or pig trotters, or turkey wings for gelatin, Asians tend to toss in chicken feet for the same purpose....

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post #6 of 14

Ive learned something quite different. I have a lot more water than bone.

The theory from what Ive learned: 

 

As a Norwegian, the explanation might not make sense, but I will do my best to describe it in a reasonable manner.

As the stock simmers, it will end up absorbing flavour from the stock. At a point there will be the same amount of flavour in the bones and water. At this point the stock wont be able to absorb more flavour from the bones.

(The following is imaginary number I just use to explain in a more understandable way.)

If you to 1 kg of bones use 4 liters of water you will be able to get 60% of the potential flavour. If you use 6 liters of water instead, you might obtain 70% of the potential flavour.

As you probably all know, theres always the possibility of making a remoulage (second stock) on the same bones later, wich tells us there is always more flavour left in the bones after the first stock. It will of course not be as much as in the first stock, hence the 10% increase in flavour by adding more water. Adding more water is not a problem, because it will be reduced anyway, therefore not dilluting your final product. The only difference is a bit longer time needed to reduce it down to the 1 liter you would want in the end anyway. 

 

You might even want to do a remoulage on the stock afterwards, to later combine the remoulage and first stock, before reducing it again, and by doing so obtaining 80% of the potential flavour. 

 

If you want to make a simple experiment, make two cups of tea. Both with one teabag, but one cup with 1 dl of water, the other with 1,5dl of water. The ratio is the same as the 4/6 liter example earlier. The 1,5 dl cup of tea wont have a lot less flavour than the 1dl cup, but if both are reduced, to 0,1 dl, the 1,5 dl reduction will have a stronger taste. 

 

I dont know if it makes sense to you, but through observing and trying both ways, I am convinced this this method is better.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokjel View Post
 

Ive learned something quite different. I have a lot more water than bone.

The theory from what Ive learned: 

 

As a Norwegian, the explanation might not make sense, but I will do my best to describe it in a reasonable manner.

As the stock simmers, it will end up absorbing flavour from the stock. At a point there will be the same amount of flavour in the bones and water. At this point the stock wont be able to absorb more flavour from the bones.

(The following is imaginary number I just use to explain in a more understandable way.)

If you to 1 kg of bones use 4 liters of water you will be able to get 60% of the potential flavour. If you use 6 liters of water instead, you might obtain 70% of the potential flavour.

As you probably all know, theres always the possibility of making a remoulage (second stock) on the same bones later, wich tells us there is always more flavour left in the bones after the first stock. It will of course not be as much as in the first stock, hence the 10% increase in flavour by adding more water. Adding more water is not a problem, because it will be reduced anyway, therefore not dilluting your final product. The only difference is a bit longer time needed to reduce it down to the 1 liter you would want in the end anyway. 

 

You might even want to do a remoulage on the stock afterwards, to later combine the remoulage and first stock, before reducing it again, and by doing so obtaining 80% of the potential flavour. 

 

If you want to make a simple experiment, make two cups of tea. Both with one teabag, but one cup with 1 dl of water, the other with 1,5dl of water. The ratio is the same as the 4/6 liter example earlier. The 1,5 dl cup of tea wont have a lot less flavour than the 1dl cup, but if both are reduced, to 0,1 dl, the 1,5 dl reduction will have a stronger taste. 

 

I dont know if it makes sense to you, but through observing and trying both ways, I am convinced this this method is better.


ljokjel,

If I'm understanding your reasoning correctly (I do find it hard to follow accurately I must admit) I respectfully disagree with this reasoning. The "body" and "flavor" derived from bones in the stock making process does not reach an equilibrium based on the amount of liquid surrounding them. In contrast to the osmosis process with salt, we don't reach a point where more "body" and "flavor" from bones can't be added to the surrounding liquid because the liquid reaches a point where it can no longer "hold" anymore of whats being added to it. Please correct me if this isn't what you're trying to describe. What will hinder some extraction of flavor and body from a stock is not keeping bones fully submerged throughout the cooking process. As we've all seen when making stock some water evaporates and some bones are partially above the water line. These bone portions that aren't submerged won't add of themselves to the liquid if they aren't touching the medium in which they're being cooked.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm gonna agree with linecook 854 here. A remy is never as good as the original stock & the longer you cook a stock you actually lose flavor.
post #9 of 14
Meh, the best use for remy is to moisten freshly roasted bones with.
It has more flavour, colour and body than plain water.
Cuts down on simmering time too, but then you'll just make a remy from that too.....
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 14
Let's respectfully argue and discuss.
To be honest I found it hard to understand, explaining it in my second language wanst any easier.
No, I don't think of it as an osmosis,and not submerging your bones totally in water is just plain disrespectful. I think we all can agree on that.

To be honest I don't know how to convince you, other than by saying try it. Its only gonna cost you a bit of water.
I did, and found the end product to be better.

And the remoulage should never be used as a stock on its own.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, the problem I have been having is the day crew using too much water to make stocks. The stocks come out pale and weak. Reducing it doesn't seem like a good option to me when I could just have them make a good stock the first time.
Also, protracted cooking seems to me to cause stock to lose flavor. I don't let chicken or pork stocks go overnight anymore. So making a giant batch, then reducing it, is extra cooking time you don't need. You say, "it's going to get reduced anyway," but frankly, most of the time it's not. If I'm making a braise, a gravy, or a soup, the stock is not getting signifigantly reduced.
Final thought, the bones release different components over time- as they break down- so the idea that they will release more sooner seems falacious to me.
With all due respect, these are the problems I see with your system. I suppose I'd have to run a side by side to be sure though.
post #12 of 14

I would go with water-to-bone ratio: add enough water to cover the bones, then add one third that amount again. For about albs of bones us 2qt then add 1qt for a total of 3 qtr. This will be easier to figure the amount of bones needed for your size stock pot. I would go over night on beef stock and lesser time on all other stocks. I agree with you about reducing the stock. No matter what we always look for a full bodied rich flavored stock. Start off with the best will end with the best.........

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokjel View Post

Let's respectfully argue and discuss.
To be honest I found it hard to understand, explaining it in my second language wanst any easier.
No, I don't think of it as an osmosis,and not submerging your bones totally in water is just plain disrespectful. I think we all can agree on that.

To be honest I don't know how to convince you, other than by saying try it. Its only gonna cost you a bit of water.
I did, and found the end product to be better.

And the remoulage should never be used as a stock on its own.


After re-reading your post a few times I am convinced you are referring to a process similar to osmosis especially when you say "At a point there will be the same amount of flavour in the bones and water. At this point the stock wont be able to absorb more flavour from the bones".

 

The reason why you can extract more flavor from a remoulage is not because the liquid and bones have reached an equilibrium in the original stock. It's because no matter how long we simmer a stock (minutes, hours, days, weeks) we can ALWAYS extract more from the bones. We're essentially trying to extract the nutrients,collagen, gelatin and flavor of calcified bone by cooking them in water and that is quite a process (think of how long fossils survive). It's not really possible to extract everything from bones during the cooking process or otherwise we'd end up with 100% dissolved bone in water. We can always goes further and further with the cooking of bone in water but at some point from a culinary stand point we will have reached a threshold.

 

Your thoughts?

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokjel View Post


And the remoulage should never be used as a stock on its own.

One of the classic uses for remoulage is glace de viande, very thick and syrupy. When cold it has the consistency of rubber. As apprentices, we used to portion this up into dice sized cubes, and toss a cube into a'la minute sauces.

All being said and done, I feel the best "bang for your buck" is to use the remy to start off a fresh stock, in place of water. I also feel a good stock should also contain gelatinious cuts that have been roasted with the bones. Like I said before, pork or veal trotters are great for this, as are turkey wing tips.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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