Ron Gilmour wrote:Ok, dumb beginner question: What exactly do I do with that big ol' tuocha in my "Year of Green" package? Take a hammer to it? Steam it to break it up?
Not a bad question at all. If you take a sharp object like an ice pick and stick it in and wiggle it around a little bit in several places, you will start to have pieces come off. For want of an ice pick, a fork or nail would probably do just fine. This particular tuocha seems rather lightly compressed and pretty dry (not very dense feeling). You might be able to just sort of apply pressure in opposite directions with your two hands moving gradually around the tuocha and loosening it with this pressure till you can pull chunks out.
Some tuochas are compressed till they are like concrete, but this one should yield to a gentle caress. If you do whack it with a hammer, I don't think it would effect the quality of your brew, just your personal karma. I have gone at them with hammer and chisel for the more compressed ones that would not budge to a hammer alone.
I ordered a "tuocha pick" with my order and found that it worked very well with this tuo. But it is not really a necessary item. Jim has a video of him using the pick at