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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment, 2011


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#31 ScottyBoy

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 11:40 PM

Oh nice find man!
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#32 paulpegg

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:47 AM

I have been assuming people would be adding preheated water from the stove or similar to get their water bath up to about cooking temperature. I have guessed that recirculating heaters are designed to add just enough heat to maintain a given low cooking temperature, and that they are not designed for rapidly generating huge quantities of heat and thus would be running full out for quite a while to bring a large volume of water to cooking temperature. Am I making things too complicated?


My 1000W bucket heater does heat up my stock pot in about 10 minutes and my 20 gallon cooler in 30 minutes. I find it a lot faster to fill them with hot tap water and then let the heater finish the job. My hot tap water is 50C so I can get going right away. you can see my setup on page 137 of the new index or go to my sous vide cooker.

I used a 20 amp SSR which will handle two of these heaters and could probably keep a bathtub at the set point if I wanted to do something that big!! The PID pulses the heater as it reaches the SP and I have seen no overrun at all in either container. Once it reaches the SP the pulses drop off to one or two every few minutes.

Edited by paulpegg, 05 January 2011 - 07:48 AM.

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#33 Chris Hennes

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:15 AM

Do you suppose you could use SV equipment to get to the optimal rise temperature for bread dough? For breads where the flavor is in the additions, rather than the flour/water/yeast alchemy (which generally wants a slow rise), I was wondering if you could bag up your dough and pop it in the SVS for the appropriate length of time, set at precisely the optimal temperature for yeast growth. You'd have to forcibly submerge the bag of course, but would this work?

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#34 FoodMan

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:24 AM

These breads usually need no more than a couple of hours proofing time though. Would it be worth it to bother with bagging the dough and wasting energy to heat the water bath for it? I suppose if you can cut that time by like 50% or more then maybe it is, but I doubt it.

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#35 Chris Hennes

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:01 AM

Really, I'd suggest that the sort of breads I'm talking about take 90 minutes tops for the first rise. Then you'd pull it, shape it, and bake it. The ulterior motive here is this (well, besides the purely academic "can it be done" thing): what if you could make up some bread dough, freeze it in big FS bags, and then pop it into the SVS to rise when you want bread? Yeah, it only saves one container to clean, but if you are already going to be using the SV rig later that day for dinner, it might be convenient. And, well, nerdy as hell, which appeals to the engineer in me.

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#36 paulpegg

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:02 AM

Do you suppose you could use SV equipment to get to the optimal rise temperature for bread dough? For breads where the flavor is in the additions, rather than the flour/water/yeast alchemy (which generally wants a slow rise), I was wondering if you could bag up your dough and pop it in the SVS for the appropriate length of time, set at precisely the optimal temperature for yeast growth. You'd have to forcibly submerge the bag of course, but would this work?

You would have to put the wet mix in a very large bag to allow room for the carbon dioxide that the yeast releases in the fermentation process. The rise generally doubles but the volume of gas released is larger still. The fermented mix would stick to the inside of the bag and be pretty messy. You would probably need several pounds of weight to hold this thing down and you still need up to 24 hours for the fermentation to finish. I think it would be better to let nature take it's course in a covered bowl.
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#37 jackal10

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:14 AM

Err, yes and no.

1 Yes it would work, but you really want too make sure the bag won't burst, and the extra handling won't help the dough.
2.You might do better putting the dough in a basin, banneton or pan on a rack over temperature controlled water. Some proof cabinets work like this and the humid atmosphere will help the dough
3. No you won't get good bread freezing ordinary dough unrisen. Freezing dough degrades the yeast unless carefully formulated for the purpose - there are books on the subject. Most frozen bread is par baked and risen, just not browned.
However Dan Lepard has a neat way of freezing sourdough starter, although it takes 48 hours to refresh http://www.danlepard...ozen-sourdough/

Edited by jackal10, 05 January 2011 - 09:17 AM.


#38 Chris Hennes

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:25 AM

1 Yes it would work, but you really want too make sure the bag won't burst, and the extra handling won't help the dough.
2.You might do better putting the dough in a basin, banneton or pan on a rack over temperature controlled water. Some proof cabinets work like this and the humid atmosphere will help the dough
3. No you won't get good bread freezing ordinary dough unrisen. Freezing dough degrades the yeast unless carefully formulated for the purpose - there are books on the subject. Most frozen bread is par baked and risen, just not browned.

I've frozen the dough I'm talking about here a number of times, so that's not an issue: generally you just need to increase the yeast quantities a bit to make up for die-off. Or allow a longer rise, same effect. As for the size of the bag, I think that would be pretty easy to calculate: if you want the dough to double in size during the rise you just make sure that you only occupy half the volume of the bag with the dough, right? Then, when the bag is full the dough is fully risen: take it out, shape it, proof it in the bread pan, and bake. One pan to clean.

Of course you could do the same thing straight out of the freezer with no SV rig at all, but if you already have the rig out and set up for a meal, it gives the possibility of precisely controlling the temperature the dough rises at. If I could cut a many-hour thaw-and-rise to one (or even less) for basically no cost, why not? The heat transfer from the water bath will thaw the frozen dough much faster than setting it out on the counter or in a proofing chamber. It would be slick to just let it rise in there as well.

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#39 jackal10

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:33 AM

Try and see.
Heat transfer threough the dough is quite slow, so faster heat input might overprove the outside while the inside is still frozen.
Better for buns than a big loaf.
The dough will become increasingly fragile as it proves, so you might want to freeze it in foil containers you can bake it in

#40 Chris Hennes

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:39 AM

Heat transfer threough the dough is quite slow, so faster heat input might overprove the outside while the inside is still frozen.
Better for buns than a big loaf.
The dough will become increasingly fragile as it proves, so you might want to freeze it in foil containers you can bake it in

Interesting point: I was thinking that using the water bath would help to rise the dough more evenly by thawing it faster, but maybe the opposite would occur. This is a dough that gets punched down after the first rise, so I don't think its fragility will matter: popping it out of the bag and shaping it will act as that punch-down, I think.

Edited to clarify what I mean.

Edited by Chris Hennes, 05 January 2011 - 09:40 AM.

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#41 jackal10

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 10:22 AM

Its more usual to freeze the dough after the first rise and shape.
I've dug out my copy of "Frozen and Refrigerated Doughs and Batters" edited by Kulp, Lorenze and Brummer (ISBN 0-913250-88-0) (AACC 1998).
There they advise thawing in a retarder (33F-40F/1C-4C) (refrigerator) overnight or for up to 24 hours, then proving for 75-90 minutes at between 90F-110F/39C-43C)
They say that the dough has only a life of 10-12 weeks in the freezer, depending on how much fermentation has occurred "With more than 1 hour of fermentation the stability of the dough during storage was reduced to a few weeks.With half an hour of fermentation stability might be satisfactory for three or four months"

Edited by jackal10, 05 January 2011 - 10:30 AM.


#42 VibeGuy

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 10:35 AM

The bigger issue to me WRT the sealed bags is that only a portion of the CO2 is trapped in the gluten network. I would wager that if a dough doubles, something like 50% of the produced CO2 is escaping rather than being trapped. That gas is going to have to go somewhere....

#43 cbread

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:03 PM

Do you suppose you could use SV equipment to get to the optimal rise temperature for bread dough? For breads where the flavor is in the additions, rather than the flour/water/yeast alchemy (which generally wants a slow rise), I was wondering if you could bag up your dough and pop it in the SVS for the appropriate length of time, set at precisely the optimal temperature for yeast growth. You'd have to forcibly submerge the bag of course, but would this work?

I don't know anything about freezing the dough, but a probe style controller hooked up to a light bulb in a insulated box would make a cozy environment for rising the dough, maybe with a computer style pancake fan to avoid hot spots and even out air temperatures. Raising the dough in a bowl with a glass lid on it is very convenient and allows one to see the state of the dough without opening the bowl. I use a glass lid that came with a pan I bought. In a foam insulated box it would take very little energy to keep to some optimal temperature for your purpose.

Contrariwise in a very hot climate, if you want a retarded dough, a refrigeration unit of some sort, perhaps a solid state cooler, could keep temps down and give you a desired long proofing time.

#44 PedroG

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:05 PM


I have been assuming people would be adding preheated water from the stove or similar to get their water bath up to about cooking temperature. I have guessed that recirculating heaters are designed to add just enough heat to maintain a given low cooking temperature, and that they are not designed for rapidly generating huge quantities of heat and thus would be running full out for quite a while to bring a large volume of water to cooking temperature. Am I making things too complicated?


My 1000W bucket heater does heat up my stock pot in about 10 minutes and my 20 gallon cooler in 30 minutes. I find it a lot faster to fill them with hot tap water and then let the heater finish the job. My hot tap water is 50C so I can get going right away. you can see my setup on page 137 of the new index or go to my sous vide cooker.

I used a 20 amp SSR which will handle two of these heaters and could probably keep a bathtub at the set point if I wanted to do something that big!! The PID pulses the heater as it reaches the SP and I have seen no overrun at all in either container. Once it reaches the SP the pulses drop off to one or two every few minutes.

I wonder how fast your system is ramping up. Cheating physics?? According to my calculations a 20 gallon cooler (about 75 liters) would take almost 3 hours to heat from 22°C to 55°C, and your 5-gallon-stockpot (19 liters) would take nearly 45 minutes. My 2000W FreshmealsMagic takes about 20 minutes to heat 15 liters from 22 to 55°C, and my 400W VEGA stockpot takes 3/4 hours to heat 7-8 liters from 22 to 55°C, which is in accordance with the theoretical calculations. Of course in reality the heating curve flattens with rising temperature as a consequence of heat loss.


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#45 paulpegg

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 08:30 AM

I wonder how fast your system is ramping up. Cheating physics??


Sorry Pedro, my off the cuff comments were not based upon a rigorous test of the setup. I built it in November and have no idea what the starting temperature was or how full the containers were and did not record the times for a scientific analysis. I immediately came to the conclusion that it would be easier on the heater and circulator to start with hot water and use the system to top off the temperature, which I have done every time since.

Thank you for your table. It is certainly instructive and will be indispensable if hot tap water is not available.
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#46 PedroG

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:05 AM

I wonder how fast your system is ramping up. Cheating physics??


Sorry Pedro, my off the cuff comments were not based upon a rigorous test of the setup. I built it in November and have no idea what the starting temperature was or how full the containers were and did not record the times for a scientific analysis. I immediately came to the conclusion that it would be easier on the heater and circulator to start with hot water and use the system to top off the temperature, which I have done every time since.

Thank you for your table. It is certainly instructive and will be indispensable if hot tap water is not available.

Hi Paul,
if your gallons happened to be quarts, the laws of physics would apply. Or do you really cook in a 75-liter-cooler?
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#47 WhiteTruffleGirl

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 03:00 AM

I have a circulator....love it.


But I need a chamber vacuum. (Two Food Saver failures and the desire to seal liquids make this a priority for me.)

Best price/value recommendation?

#48 Montreal

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 06:00 AM

Wow, you all confuse me right now. I have bake bread for a few years now with a no knead technique as i always used wet dought.

A- why would i want to seal my dough when the surrounding environment is packed of yeast in the air? To me that is what makes a bread unique to each baker. having. A bread rise in a Sv environment is like having a kid Growing up in a sterile environment... He will end up with no personality, and caracter unless, i could inject some kind of flavor in my bag that would utimately and systematically be measurable as a result

B- Frozen dough, after first rise would always deliver sub par bread as oppose to freeze it after partially baking it( say 2/3) of the time.

C- excuse my ignorance, but if someone could explain to me how in the world a bread would expand( release the co2), in a closed environment such as a sv bag or submerge container.

D- As i am writting this, i still feel that i am missing something here. maybe someone would care to take me step by step on how you would let raise you dough in a sv technique.


Thank you in advance for your reply and my appologies for my lack of visualising how this can be done



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#49 Merridith

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 06:02 AM

I have a circulator....love it.


But I need a chamber vacuum. (Two Food Saver failures and the desire to seal liquids make this a priority for me.)

Best price/value recommendation?


Is it for home use? If so, if I were going to buy on I would definitely get this one:
Vacmaster Pro 112 Chamber Vacuum Packaging System.
Alanjesq, another member swears by his. It is a tabletop portable model and costs under $700.
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#50 JBailey

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 08:03 AM

WhiteTruffleGirl

I am fortunate to have a Minipack MVS 31 Chamber Vacuum Food Sealer. This may be one of my most used kitchen appliances, as it is used daily. The MVS31 vacuum sealer has one seal bar, the seal bar also functions as a bag trimmer to cut off excess after sealing, digital controls, an electronic pressure sensor, the seal bar is removable (for cleaning and in case it should ever need replacement), stainless steel construction and a stop cycle switch. It has a nice depth for sealing larger items and according to what I read the interior of the chamber is about 12.75" x 11.75" x 6" Deep. It can take bags up to about 12" wide. There are also other sealing bars one can buy with different closing functions. One description I read says "Chamber machines utilize a rotary vane vacuum pump that is capable of pulling a vacuum of about 2-3 torr (99.9% vacuum or 29.8" of mercury.) This is much tighter than an air operated nozzle machine (90% or 27" of mercury) or piston powered home machines (85% or 25" of mercury.)" Another advantage is that you can seal liquids with a chamber vacuum. Also, they are heavy at about 140 pounds so there needs to be a dedicated place in your kitchen.

I saw a couple new ones from on-line stores with one being just a couple dollars over $1,800, another a little over $1,900 and a couple starting over $2,000. Yes, the initial investment is expensive and this may be out of the price range for many or most individuals. I believe there is not only value if you are doing lots of sous vide, but also using a chamber vacuum for sealing and storing new food product bought at stores and saving leftovers helps it become a daily used machine.

Edited by JBailey, 08 January 2011 - 08:05 AM.

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#51 DouglasBaldwin

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 08:49 AM

WhiteTruffleGirl: I also have a Minipack MVS 31 and love it. I got mine with a second 4mm seal instead of the cut-off; then if water or oil gets between the plastic and causes one seal to fail, I still have a second seal. Make sure you have a spot for it in mind: it's too heavy for one person to move easily and needs a lot of space above it to open the lid fully -- we ended up building a special shelf for it in our pantry.
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#52 coz

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 01:31 PM

I'm looking for a chamber machine too. I'm pretty sure I'm going with the MVS-31X. Looks like an awesome machine.

#53 PedroG

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 06:16 PM

I have a circulator....love it.


But I need a chamber vacuum. (Two Food Saver failures and the desire to seal liquids make this a priority for me.)

Best price/value recommendation?

Sealing liquids is possible with clamp-type machines. Other members stated this long ago. I did nod manage to do so at first, but now I have learned the trick. It does not work with fully-automated machines that have no "seal"-button and no external vacuum-port.
Place the machine in a way that the bag can hang down vertically. Place the adapter on the external vacuum-port (without the tubing). When you start vacuuming, air will enter through the external vacuum-port, so almost no vacuum is built up. By closing the port with your finger, vacuum will rise and so will the liquid in the bag. Before the liquid approaches the sealing bar, reduce vacuum by lifting your finger, and press the seal button. Make a second and eventually third seal in case the first one should not be perfectly tight.
In fact, a chamber vacuum machine is not necessary for sous-vide cooking, it would be an overkill. If you need 99.9% vacuum e.g. for boiling/reducing at room temperature or for extreme vacuum-compression, go for a chamber machine. If you will go far beyond 10'000 bags, you might eventually eventually recoup the higher price for a chamber machine by the lower costs for the bags.
If you have bad experiences with Food-Saver, there are other brands on the market. I bought my Magic Vac Elite 11 years ago, and it is still going strong.

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#54 infernooo

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 11:15 PM

Brilliant post, thank you Pedro!

#55 alanjesq

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 08:43 AM

I have owned the Vacmaster 112 or 211 (can never keep it straight) for about four months. It is very quiet compared to my last FOUR Foodsavers, and the bags are cheepo! Outstanding unit. Adjustable vac pressure and sealing times too The only flaw, if u want to call it that is u have to press the top down on the sealing gasket, or 30 to 50% of the time it won't vacuum. Now I just hold the top always while pressing down. Ari the distributor knows about this, but I don't know if there is a fix. No big deal- just press and turn on. As soon as u see the needle indicating vacuum is taking place, which it does in seconds, u can let go and let the machine work its magic. Lots of bag sizes, and I have yet to find a product in my home that does not fit in the machine. I often re vacuum the same bag after cutting open, as I did this morning when taking out some bacon, re vac'ing the remainder of my stash. I just could not be happier!!

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#56 dcarch

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:22 PM

Hi,

I have a couple of chuck steaks in the 61 degree C bath now. How long should I keep them there?

Thanks.

dcarch

#57 DouglasBaldwin

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:36 PM

I also agree with Pedro that a chamber vacuum sealer is overkill in the home kitchen. Indeed, I've gotten a lot of emails from people who get worse results because they've used a chamber vacuum sealer: as Dave Arnold first pointed out to me, pulling a medium vacuum* can damage the texture of delicate foods and give them a mushy or pappy mouth-feel. That's not to say I don't use my chamber vacuum sealer for most my sous vide cooking, I just set my Minipack MVS 31 to pull a 95% vacuum.

I very much prefer using Ziploc bags over a clamp-style vacuum sealers. If I didn't own my chamber vacuum sealer, I'd be perfectly happy using the heavy-duty Ziploc freezer bags I get at Costco for all my sous vide cooking. When using Ziploc bags, I just modify my recipes slightly by adding some (usually flavored) liquid to the bag so I can use my water-displacement method for getting most the air out. For instance, I usually use Ziploc bags when sealing up a Costco pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts because it's faster than my chamber vacuum sealer; I put one breast and a 1/4 cup of chicken broth in a one-quart Ziploc bag and then use my water-displacement method to seal it up.

* Chamber vacuum sealers pull "medium vacuums" and clamp-style vacuum sealers usually pull "low vacuums"; a "high vacuum" typically requires a two-stage vacuum process.
My Guide: A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which Harold McGee described as "a wonderful contribution."
My Book: Sous Vide for the Home Cook US EU/UK
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#58 coz

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:16 AM

Doug, does the difference from 95 to 99.9% effect the texture of delicate items more or is it the air release in the chamber? I'm looking at a mvs-31 but wondered if a machine that has a "soft air release" as more ideal? I read in Keller's book that he specifies low/med/high vacuum pressure with his recipes. Do you know what the equivalent Vac % pressure would be for each? I just ordered your book do you do the same with vacuum settings? Thanks

#59 DouglasBaldwin

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 06:47 AM

coz: That's a good question, I don't know if `soft air release' would help; my intuition says it wouldn't help, but I don't have any way to test this hypothesis. Perhaps Nathan knows.

I only mention chamber vacuum settings in my book under the chicken breast and fish recipes, where it's crucial. Since it doesn't hurt to use a 95% vacuum setting for everything, I usually leave my MVS 31 on that setting so I don't have to worry about forgetting and ruining some expensive fish*.

* Being in Colorado, all good ocean fish is really expensive. :hmmm:
My Guide: A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which Harold McGee described as "a wonderful contribution."
My Book: Sous Vide for the Home Cook US EU/UK
My YouTube channel — a new work in progress.

#60 coz

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:40 AM

Thanks for the response. The videos that I've seen show that soft air release may help however I haven't seen it in person. I think I'm going to try the minipack. I hear you good fish (and everything else) is expensive here in manhattan too. Regards