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Puff grain cannon for home made breakfast cereals

Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 768
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  24
I wanted to share an unsatisfied curiosity to learn how to make my own healthy breakfast grain cereals from my own farm grown grains. It costs 4 dollars on average for a box of cereal and I would guess there is 15-40 cents worth of product before preparation. The cost of shipping the stuff is a chunk of the price but this itch led me to do some researching on a whole grain puffer machine. I have seen many industrial items but this one is by far my favorite and is a particularly good quality design!





The title of the video is misleading when you consider that this pressurized cannon can puff rice (Rice Krispies), barley (Golden Puffs), quinoa, wild rice or any other grain. I have not been able to locate these in the U.S. so I may look into manufacturing my own someday in the future hopefully


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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3625
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  49
It will make puffed rice but not rice krispies. They are made from rice flour, sugar etc.

Look for an importer of Chinese antiquities. Puffers were very common in recent history.


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Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Super! Another way to value-add to the small grain crops! Please let us know if you find a decent source, I'm busy looking too. I'm not sure I would want to be standing within a hundred yards of an 'antiquity' with that much pressure and steel, but maybe....
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 768
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  24
Hey Dale, your absolutely right about the Rice Krispies (just looked at the box). I cant find quality suppliers because the ones made in china are really cheap junk. The model in this video is very well designed with a casing which improves contact with the heat below. Others get cold spots and take longer to heat.
Matt Smith


Joined: Feb 04, 2012
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
Neato! Also following this thread with interest.
Jonathan Fuller


Joined: Feb 17, 2012
Posts: 29
The video is really cool and the POOF is very exciting. But I wonder, could one do this in a presure cooker? you probably would not want to just release the lid but it seems like what you are after is building up heat and presure and then dumping the presure all at once while maintaining the heat. Perhaps the safety valve on the presure cooker would not release presure fast enough though. I don't know.
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 768
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  24
Attempting to do this with a pressure cooker would be very dangerous. The pressure release would have to be immediate for efficient "puffness" because the water inside the grain needs to rapidly expand to a super heated vapor. I believe the cannon is not only a novelty but a safer method to rapidly expand the grains directing the energy from the pressure release towards one direction. Besides, I bet one of these things would be a huge hit with parties!
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 768
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  24
Found this guy who demonstrates making cakes from the puffed rice flavoring it with dry spices and using heated caramel as a bonding agent which cools to hold form. This man was very generous to share his trade knowledge.



This video has basic instructions in the procedures of making puffed grains. I am guessing this is an advertisement for their puffer but the design is very large, bulky and inefficient compared to the first video in the thread which can produce a better ratio of puffed grain when compared to size. There is so much food wise I would love to do with this thing.



This is a video of rice puffed in slow motion, very entertaining.

Loren Pechtel


Joined: May 05, 2012
Posts: 2
Dale Hodgins wrote:It will make puffed rice but not rice krispies. They are made from rice flour, sugar etc.

Look for an importer of Chinese antiquities. Puffers were very common in recent history.


Don't look for an importer of Chinese antiquities.

I had encountered one of those puffers in Shanghai (but I had been warned that the local product had lead problems) and I was Googling to see if one could be had here in the US.

In doing so I learned that the Chinese machines are inherently flawed--there is a piece of lead in them that is in contact with the food.

http://www.solucionespracticas.org.pe/td/pdf/food_chain_31.pdf

(Don't let the URL scare you, it's in English.)
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 768
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  24
Thanks for the link.
Hassan Emrauni


Joined: May 24, 2013
Posts: 1
Nice But cant see
S Carreg


Joined: Mar 29, 2013
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
On a different tack entirely, if you are looking for healthy breakfast cereals, have you considered soaked, fermented or sprouted grains? They are more easily digested and more nutritious than grains which are simply dried or cooked straight away. I make kishk, which I usually use to cook with but can also be eaten as a breakfast cereal. You start with bulgar wheat (or sometimes buckwheat) but I think you could use other stuff, you just need to experiment. You soak it in buttermilk or another cultured dairy product for about 24 hours (you add enough so that it makes a sort of stiff dough), then you spread it thin on trays and dry it either in a very low oven, food dehydrator, or the sun if you are lucky! Then you seal it in an airtight container. You can eat it as a cold breakfast cereal by adding milk, you can cook it like porridge, or you can add it into savoury recipes like soups and stews.
allen lumley
pollinator

Joined: Mar 16, 2012
Posts: 2243
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
    
  37
I have set the watch button on this thread and will be looking for any updates on this subject ! I find that giving kids Any chance at all in helping to prepare foods
that they are going to eat gives them Ownership, and they will then at least try the 'dish' !

Can you imagine the wide open delight in actually watching the expanded cereal shoot forth, pouring on their own milk and - - - - Big AL


Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan

LOOK AT THE " SIMILAR THREADS " BELOW !
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
According to what I am reading, the original experiment that worked was done with a cannon. Now, I tend to draw the line at making my food with something that recreates a cannon, you better have a deep understanding of metal fatigue is all I can say if you are going to be doing this... then again, I don't like pressure cookers, either. :

Somethings might not be for anyone who isn't a professional, just saying. Whatever you do, don't go cheap if you are dealing with pressures like this.

One thing that has helped me a lot to adapt to a simpler way of life is not feel I have to have food certain ways, if I don't want to buy processed cerals, I just don't buy them. I tend to only eat fruit for carbs, anyway, and yucca, and other root crops that grow here. I used to eat potatoes, which are cheap at the farmers market, but recently I stopped that, since yucca taste very good to me, and is free from my garden and produces all year. Potatoes won't grow easily here at our altitude. But I have lots of things to eat for starch, so why struggle?

I used to adore peaches in the USA, no peaches worth anything. But there are mangos that taste very much like a peach, and are pretty much year round here, whereas peaches have a fairly short season in the states.

And there are foods here I love, but won't eat in the USA, like papaya. Fresh papaya off a tree has no relationship to papaya bought in Northern grocery stores, since it was shipped green. Part of my transition to enjoying life here was switching over to eating only local foods, except for an occasional treat.

I do like puffed wheat, without a question, but I can't see having a cannon in my home, just to have puffed wheat, better to grind it and make homemade bread in my opinion. I don't think most kinds would turn their noses up at homemade bread....

And as I recall, if you find the right places, you can buy puffed wheat VERY cheaply by the sack. Still expensive, but then again, heating up a cannon probably isn't all that cheap either.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Jicky Jones


Joined: Apr 06, 2013
Posts: 10
Puffed rice is popular in Bangladesh. I'm told that this is how they do it there:
In a big skillet or pot with tight cover, heat clean, dry sand until very hot.
Then the grain to be puffed is stirred in quickly, the pot covered briefly until the puffing slows.
Then the grain is scooped out with a wire strainer and shaken clean of any sand.
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 768
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  24
Thats gotta be a pretty tight cover, interesting non the less. I would not mind to see a video floating on youtube showcasing this technique.
Jicky Jones


Joined: Apr 06, 2013
Posts: 10
Why so tight? Well fitted, such as would be adequate to pop corn and retain it in a saucepan ought to work. You could hold the lid on and shake the pan to keep it from burning.
Or you could use a screw-down pressure cooker. But this would not give you as much control.
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 768
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  24
In order to puff the grain there has to be an increase in pressure initially when heated and then a dramatic drop in pressure to cause the water to instantly vaporize and expand. Some grains however can do this without the pressurized container because of the skin which is what I think you are referring to.
allen lumley
pollinator

Joined: Mar 16, 2012
Posts: 2243
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
    
  37
I just assumed that if this trick worked the rice grains had not yet been 'Hulled' !?!, The splitting of the hulls causing sudden pressure drop, just like Popcorn !
The sand would help remove the husks after puffing ! I will follow this with interest ! Big Al
Jicky Jones


Joined: Apr 06, 2013
Posts: 10
Perhaps so. Puffed rice cakes are usually rather brown and reticulated in the grain, no?
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 768
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  24
I recently was revisiting this subject due to tangible reminders from a bowl of cereal in my hand. Though not a "puff" variety breakfast cereal, I found a good link from this blog of a bran recipe:

http://willowbirdbaking.com/2010/08/11/48-homemade-breakfast-cereals/



website wrote:
Homemade Nutty Bran Flakes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
1/2 cup bran
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup almond flour (or other finely ground nuts)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water


I have not tried this at the moment but when I have some time I will. The reviews were highly positive. The recipe itself was copies from this link where dozens of other breakfast cereal recipes are located.

http://www.mrbreakfast.com/recipe_collection.asp?subcategoryid=8
Loren Pechtel


Joined: May 05, 2012
Posts: 2
Jicky Jones wrote:Why so tight? Well fitted, such as would be adequate to pop corn and retain it in a saucepan ought to work. You could hold the lid on and shake the pan to keep it from burning.
Or you could use a screw-down pressure cooker. But this would not give you as much control.


The point is to raise the boiling point of water to instantly boil the water when the pressure is released. The time I saw it being done the pressure gauge was up to several atmospheres. (I wasn't paying much attention to the gauge so I don't know how many.) I doubt an elephant standing on the lid could hold the pressure. This is a lot higher than a typical pressure cooker.


Edit: I did some more snooping trying to find the pressure and I find some guys doing it on a small scale:

http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2011-01/vise-cakes-making-grain-puffer-cheap-hosts-food-jammers

They were using 11 atmospheres.
 
 
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