Stage 1: Amino Liver
Over the years I have been asked continuously about putting together a Liver bait or an inclusion of Liver products into certain baits. While I had always rated a lot of the Liver products, I had learned many years before while profiling the dietary requirements of carp and designing various mixes to suit all the carps needs, that certain Liver products were just not up to scratch. These were usually made up of the porcine (pork) livers or chicken livers, for me the jewel in the crown was always the bovine (beef) livers. These at the time were hard to source at affordable prices and also in the quantities required to make a real difference in the baits. They would usually push up the price considerably in the finished baits making them viably difficult back then...
So with this I duly kept on swerving the conversations and pushed on with all the other baits in the range which were very taxing and complex in there own rights..
Skip forward 20 yrs to the summer of 2020; a chance conversation with a friend who had supplied me with a lot of certain raw ingredients over many years and has never let me down. I've always been kindly allowed to have selective raw ingredients through there massive equine business. There huge bulk buying capacity's has always helped me to keep my costs at sensible levels and the quality is always second to none, such is the nature of there business..
I'd spoken to him before about a liquid bovine liver, not the other poorer versions I'd mentioned earlier and he advised me to leave it with him. I was pleasantly surprised when only two weeks later 2 x 25l drums of the raw ingredient landed at the unit. To say I was impressed was an understatement. That strong meaty smell and taste of the liquid took me straight back to the late 80s. We hadn't agreed a price at that stage and with constant work restraints getting in the way, the two tubs ended up taking space in the corner of the unit, until one day and a chance conversation with a syndicate member had me digging out the tubs and blowing off the cobwebs with the view of taking a closer look at the job..
I now knew the costs involved and was very pleased with the outcome and more importantly at those prices, the product could be used at really high and
affordable inclusion levels. The other baits in the range all average around a 30% liquid content in the finished baits. With the new Liver bait I wanted to go straight in with a 30% liquid liver content, no messing around. Hopefully with a few tricks and flicks I could get the baits to roll well still at that level...
I'd touched earlier on the different types of liquid livers and without going overboard on details at this time, one of the main reasons why the bovine was the one is because the cell structures are different with the bovine having hepatocytes with a one thickness cell as apposed to the chicken livers that will be two cells thick. While not overly important at this early stage but it would be further down the line, I want too eventually try and break these structures down and I'm sure the bovine would be easier..
Nutritionally they don't compare and the bovine has a more complete amino acid profile plus fat soluble vitamins, enriched sources of retinol, stacks of B vitamins and a long list of minerals; its the most concentrated server of just about every nutrient going which in turn are far more easily absorbed and utilised than the inferior synthetic counterparts..
Luckily I'd been promised that the product would always be available to me as and when required which is what you need to know just as you are putting a lot of ground work into the finished bait. I'd also been cheeky as well to press for a bovine liver powder, this would be the icing on the cake if I could get my hands on this too. With confidence, as always he said to leave it to him..
I'd been using this contact for nearly 20yrs for raw ingredients although his specialty is race horses and equine products. It's the livers that they use in raw ingredient form to make up certain products in there massive range so just to have access to these is a privilege as a bait maker, a rare contact indeed..
I knew the direction I wanted to take the Liver bait in and had profiled the mix to suit all the dietary requirements of the carp. As with all the other baits in the range they have to be capable of catching all year round and I'm a big advocate of egg free baits. This I have done for many years and believe this was one of the only ways of keeping the baits more consistent and stable every time, also
making them more digestible and super soluble, which made the job of breaking down certain components much easier..
The Liver needed to be no different going forward and my plan for the bait would need around 8 prototype stages to get it where I really wanted it to be. I'd spoken to a couple of lads and explained to them what I was trying to achieve with it (a few dodgy looks). I'm sure they think I'm mad but such is the passion I have for the range... if I'm going to do a liver bait, then it would have to be the best. I could do with no exceptions. I now had the contact, the products and more importantly be able to use it at the elevated levels that no one else would do. All I needed now was a spare day or two..
I'd also had a vision for the stage one liver to have the finished baits black in colour, this I thought could be an edge in its own right on any given day. This was exciting, but I also had to counteract this with a natural colour too so both colours were on the agenda testing wise. I'd sourced a black food grade powder a while back which is used in the make up of black jack sweets, this would be perfect for the job. A few test mixes later and The Stage 1 Liver bait was rolled. Not perfect mind, plenty more work to do. Such was the solubility of the paste involved but that was of the upmost importance. Although, the overall power of the bait felt lacking smell wise, the taste was fantastic and it broke down naturally very well, not bad for stage 1. Two batches were rolled in quantity in black and the natural red brown colour, plus pop ups and wafters to suit everyone's needs..
To say I was excided was an understatement and on dispatching some of the finished baits to a few of the lads I could see they were impressed. I'd
explained the black vs brown theory and left them to make there own judgements only time and rod hours would tell which way they would go, but the stage 1 Amino Liver was born. With 7 more stages to go, how long this takes in development is anyone's guess, but hopefully with the experience of putting the past bacteria baits together this should be a much easier process...
P.S., as I write this, an amazing matching Bovine Liver powder has landed at the unit for inspection and to say I'm impressed is an understatement..
Amino Liver Stage goals..
1..Initial first roll of the bait to get it catching on its own merits Black or Brown..
2..Adding the Bovine Liver power for more nutrition and pulling power..
3..Drying of the finished bait then adding a profiled liquid liver coating..
4..Drying of the finished bait after adding the profiled liquid liver coating adding to this the Bovine liver powder..
5..Repeating stage 3 and 4 for a double coating..
6..Adding an anaerobe to the liquid liver to help break down certain components..
7..Adding the re worked liquid liver to the original baits at the same 30% inclusion levels..
8..With the re worked liquid liver repeat all the other processes for completion..