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Mr. Mike

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  1. WOW... a LOT has been covered here since I last posted...a LOOOOoooOOOnG time ago. There a lot of good new questions and results posts and a few of the typical "old" question topics... oil issues... icing-de-icing and food not dry enough, how many lbs can you dry. etc... For those that have not scrolled thru the previous early pages... Along, long time ago. I still rememger (sounds like the beginning of Americam Pie.. lol) when I put a list together. A "UL" list my .. Mr. Mike "Universal Laws" of freeze drying list... i.e. My experiences from the early days when there weren't many
  2. Dregs: If you read one of my previous posts about rocking the pump end to end while draining the oil and adding more oil to continue the float the "dregs" out.. that should help clean the pump of debris. When I say rock back and forth.. I mean tilting-rocking the front of drain area to rear of motor direction. I tilt the motor housing at least 30- 45 deg from horizontal back and forth several times then open up the drain, tilt foward at least 30 deg. and let'er flow. Close the valve, add more oil. Rinse.. Repeat.. Each time-(rocking) adding more oil to float, wash, clean the particula
  3. "I Wish" Functions: In talking with the HR owners When I bought my machine about a year ago.... I had all kinds of ideas for improvement... (the Process Eng in me wanting to improve the machine-process).. it basically comes down to Cost. HR. "could" add all kinds of options... and drive up the cost. Their objective is to have a machine that is as inexpensive as they can make and have a repeatable, reliable freeze drying process. They (HR) incorporated some of my ideas as the improvement recommended really didn't add too much cost, but did improve basic function or safety. Mr. Mike
  4. This thread is to post the drying results here so it doesn't bog down the original thread. The information will then be taken and made as part of a larger reference document for anyone getting into freeze drying to help answer questions and hopefully reduce redundant posts on the main FD thread.. This effort is to hopefully make the start up and use of the dryers easier while reduce the problems that new owners experience. Hope this helps. Mike
  5. The brand I have is the All American 8000. It is motorized, cam operated and seals #10 cans. This is where I ordered it from. http://www.canningpantry.com/electric-can-sealer-8000.html I used a "sem-auto" sealer in the Y2 days... it was motorized, but you had to hand operated the cam rollers to roll the lip to make the seal. THAT was hail on the arms with just that manual step. The reason I choose this unit was the robust design, pretty much "full auto" operation. Set your can after filling with the food item. O2 absorber and lid was in position and then push the "start lever".. li
  6. I have a #10 sealer motorized... I promise you, you DON'T want a hand crank one... it takes quit a few revolutions to seal the can properly..."your arms will fall off" from fatigue. Auto sealing is THE way to go. If you need more info PM me. Mr. Mike
  7. All, I have made some proposals for organizing all the topics here for a reference guide for new to experienced dryers to use. One section is to have a Food Tried n Dried guide. This is a section where you can post your results for all of your efforts for ANYTHING you have dried.. good or bad results. Link here "Calling All Freeze Dryers" as a new topic in the Kitchen Consumer section. This is to keep the regular FD forum from being bogged down with this effort. Outline for the Reference Guide is for the The Big Picture" for the reference guide. Link here This is for "us" and your
  8. CALLING ALL FREEZE DRYER OWNERS: Project: Freeze Drying: A Quick reference guide for Tips, Hints and FAQ’s for Freeze Drying. i.e. Collector document. As part of trying to organize all the different questions and topic discussed, I made a proposal to organize the different topics for new and seasoned owners for their results and experiences in using our freeze dryers. We have support from the higher ups for organization, editing and posting this Freeze Drying Reference Guide. Food drying is ONE of many topics that will be addressed in this reference guide. Next: an outline for the Food dr
  9. Rett, Higher quality ice creme seems to do better from my experience... even then if you "crowd" "IC samitches" you'll have "blow outs" too thick via being pressed together and can't freeze properly or drive out water so it gets "boiled out". If you use non canned fruit.. you'll prolly have better results.. i.e fresh or fresh frozen. MM
  10. In response to Rett Can you over freeze food? I assume you are talking about in the machine.. no you can't over freeze it. You want it frozen. I have learned to freeze food to the machine default setting and just wait till the whole machine cycles to the end for the "beeper" signaling it is done. If you haven't overloaded the machine. It should be completely dry. If it's not dry.. run another heat cycle. Some of the canned fruit was done but moist was not so I ran the whole tray again.
  11. Kerry, How did the strawberrys turn out?... My previous experience was that they didn't do so well whole.. then again.. I was doing 10lbs at that time and it overloaded the machine with ice. and the berrys were pretty big. 1" 1.5" in dia. Were the biggest ones completely dry?.. I'd be interested if you could put those in a zip lock or vac seal and see if they get moist in the package over a few days time. M
  12. Aw info.. Here ya go.. See FDA link below for additional info or google AW for more info. http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/Inspections/InspectionGuides/InspectionTechnicalGuides/ucm072916.htm DEFINITION The water activity (a w) of a food is the ratio between the vapor pressure of the food itself, when in a completely undisturbed balance with the surrounding air media, and the vapor pressure of distilled water under identical conditions. A water activity of 0.80 means the vapor pressure is 80 percent of that of pure water. The water activity increases with temperature. The moisture condition of a p
  13. For all "Newbies" and those experimenting. i have put together a summarization of my experiences of what I now call "Universal Laws for Freeze Drying".."UL's" for short.). Listed below. i.e. Things you absolutely cannot do without inducing a bad or failed experience. I think this will keep a few others from making the same mistakes starting out like I have done in the past. How do I know about these "Laws".. "I" have done them....."ALL" of them ..and Sadly..some more than once.. sorry to say. LOL.. It's like one of those OTHER universal laws that exists... i.e. You HOPE your bag
  14. The problem can be from one or two reasons or both. 1. The fruit was not completely dry...even though you thought they were. In this case.. the old adage is true. It takes just "one bad apple" to ruin the whole bunch. No really. lol. All food fruit to meat needs to be evenly sliced, cut, layered or pulled for proper and complete drying. ANYTHING over 3/8" thick will not completely dry as it it too thick to dry in the middle. My rule of thumb is 3/8" max on anything I had this problem with some meat I did that was 1/2+ thick...Dried it to the beeping Completed cycle.. put the meat into a
  15. TIP: Straining oil: IF you want to strain your oil, using coffee filters is asking for a HUGE mess. How do I know. I've fried well over 100 turkeys over the years.. 20 years to be exact.. (I used to teach classes on it before it became really big nationally.) and I used to strain the oil... Not having anything to hold the filter in place is asking for a oil spill disaster. If you decide to filter your oil, you will want/need to buy one of these devices (See link) and respective cone filters.. (Tried getting a picture to link.. all were really small jpegs.. this link is better... no
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