I make chai concentrate by:
- Quickly boiling ginger puree twice (each time for about 20-30 minutes).
- Boiling the spices (bruised/coarse-ground) for about an hour, removing the liquid, then repeating with fresh water several times.
- Concentrating the result of the spice steeping by simmering it uncovered for several hours.
- Brewing the tea seperately (two steepings of no more than 5 minutes, allowing the leaves to rest in between infusions).
To clarify exactly what I'm asking:
Could I add grain alcohol (Everclear, etc) to the spices during the last steeping to pull more flavor out of the spices after they have already been infused with water several times; or would it make more sense to just do a separate alcohol extraction, then add it back to the finished product?
I've read that much of the flavor in spices cannot be extracted with water, and must be extracted using a stronger solvent. I don't want to just drop alcohol extractions into my water and call it chai though, so I thought it might work as a final step to squeeze the last of the flavor from the spices.
It seems that I never get as much flavor as traditional brewers who use milk at the beginning (likely due to enzymes in the milk was my assumption) so I thought I could science a way to do the same without adding the milk to the equation since milk is obviously not stable enough to store for long periods of time