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Eric Rubin's Journal: Cooking Agaves

February 8, 2011

There are 4 ways to cook agaves: 1. In a wood-fired pit, which is rarely used these days except in Mezcal production 2. In clay or stone ovens 3. In autoclaves 4. In a diffuser mill. But which is best? These days a few of the big guys use diffuser mills.  While very efficient, wringing every last bit of sugar from the agave fibers, many think the resulting spirit is too astringent and/or has some off-flavors.  Stone ovens are used by most 100% agave producers but require a lot of energy and if not regularly cleaned can develop buildup, resulting in small changes in flavor over long periods of time. Autoclaves are much more energy friendly as little to no heat escapes, but many producers use very high temperatures to reduce the overall cooking time, with little thought to the quality/taste of the cooked agave. Tres Agaves uses autoclaves but took a different approach: by lowering the temperature and lengthening the cooking time we end up with a more consistent, clean agave taste. We think it’s a very happy medium...


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