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Anova Sous Vide Circulator (Part 1)


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Is there a recommend or best method to calibrate the device if I receive one that's not properly calibrated? I built a DIY temp controller using a PID box and calibrated using ice water (0 degree C) and boiling water (100 degree C). It didn't work out well because when I calibrated it to Ice Water, the temperature would be off for boiling water and vice versa.

Also, I ordered one last week. how long does it usually take to ship? Is there a way to check the order status? I sent out an email on Monday but never received a reply.

Sounds odd. What altitude are you? And how much different was the boiling delta?

Not that high. Maybe 200ft altitude? Boiling temp should be very close to 100C. When I calibrated ice water to 0 degree, boiling temperature was something like 102C!. This was using a PT100 probe, and I am aware of it's limitations. I have since tried calibrating this to be accurate at 60C (a more common sous vide temperature).. but the calibration is only as accurate as my thermometer which isn't that accurate to begin with.

It would be great if someone has an idea on how to calibrate a device without having to buy another expensive thermometer.

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Just so I'm clear. Calibrating the sous vide means adjusting it so that what it reads is the true temperature of the waterbath. So when a thermapen reads 143F and the sous vide says 145F you can calibrate the sous vide to say 143F. Correct? In my mind I never thought electronic thermometers could be off, but then again I never really thought about it.

This ability to calibrate the sous vide gets rid of the problem an earlier poster mentioned of his eggs being cooked incorrectly, right?

Thanks!

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You must take into account both barometric pressure and altitude when doing boiling point calibration.

http://www.thermoworks.com/software/bpcalc.html

An inexpensive basal thermometer provides another calibration point.

~Martin

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I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

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That is very strange. According to the manual, in a list of 18 safety points, the 3rd point warns not to immerse past the halfway mark and to reduce the water amount if splashing is above the midpoint. Perhaps Jeff will pop in here again and clarify things.

Mid point guidance is for overtopping your container not for electronics. It is also for the pump - so it does not suck air (happens during low water level) which makes a constant gurgling noise.

So basically the only way you can mess up the device is by immersing all of it, colored part and stainless steel, in water? You could technically put the water level all the way up the stainless steel and it would be ok, but it would obviously overflow the container? Thanks!

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Just so I'm clear. Calibrating the sous vide means adjusting it so that what it reads is the true temperature of the waterbath. So when a thermapen reads 143F and the sous vide says 145F you can calibrate the sous vide to say 143F. Correct? In my mind I never thought electronic thermometers could be off, but then again I never really thought about it.

This ability to calibrate the sous vide gets rid of the problem an earlier poster mentioned of his eggs being cooked incorrectly, right?

Thanks!

Yes, you calibrate it to some standard (in this case a thermometer). And yes, this should fix any inaccuracy

“...no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

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After cooking a test egg in it, the built in thermostat is most definitely off. What came out was a 142F egg, not a 145F egg.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I investigated the issue today at production and found out that one dude (a new guy) was reading meter values wrong - I told him he was making me look bad.

Anyways production control caught this last week and already self corrected.

Solutions:

1) bump up your set temp (0.9C) 2) use the self calibration function that I posted 3) I can do it for you if you really want to send your unit back to me

  • Like 2

Jeff Wu

Senior Engineer

Anova Culinary LLC

BBQ Fanatic, Organic Gardener, Organic Grape Grower

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Excellent. really Excellent

thanks for being so open about this.

for me as I have a system that works fine ( for now ) do I

1) buy now 2) wait for V.2

seems your group is way ahead of the Sansaire and way way ahead of the Nomiku groups. Good for You.

refreshing to find a company that open and responsive to intelligent feed-back.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Is there a recommend or best method to calibrate the device if I receive one that's not properly calibrated? I built a DIY temp controller using a PID box and calibrated using ice water (0 degree C) and boiling water (100 degree C). It didn't work out well because when I calibrated it to Ice Water, the temperature would be off for boiling water and vice versa.

Also, I ordered one last week. how long does it usually take to ship? Is there a way to check the order status? I sent out an email on Monday but never received a reply.

Your unit is being built. Units are built on order and take about a week +- a few day depending on order volumes that week

  • Like 1

Jeff Wu

Senior Engineer

Anova Culinary LLC

BBQ Fanatic, Organic Gardener, Organic Grape Grower

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So basically the only way you can mess up the device is by immersing all of it, colored part and stainless steel, in water? You could technically put the water level all the way up the stainless steel and it would be ok, but it would obviously overflow the container? Thanks!

Yes - you would have to significantly immerse the colored portion but you would have a wet counter before that.

Jeff Wu

Senior Engineer

Anova Culinary LLC

BBQ Fanatic, Organic Gardener, Organic Grape Grower

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Is there a cooling fan or did you mean the impeller?

Yes, sorry, when I said fan, I meant the impeller fan, not a cooling fan.

I've convinced my superiors to release calibration functions ahead of schedule - which was suppose to be a "feature" on the next version release.

The systems are capable of user calibration adjustment right now.

Tapping the top right corner of the boot screen 3 times will pop up a screen you will allow you to +- the temperature read. Press "0" to accept or "x" to exit. The adjustment increments are in 0.1C when you hit either the plus or minus.

Anova_LCD_interface_intro.jpg

You can make the system match any thermometer you want but please be careful when doing this.

Thanks, after making adjustments, I tried calibrating against a Thermapen again and got these results:

100 (Anova) -> 100.5 (Therma)

130 (Anova) -> 130.1 (Therma)

160 (Anova) -> 159.7 (Therma)

So it looks like there's not just skew in the results but also negative bias of about 1.3%.

Also, the UI could use a lot of work and does not take advantage of the touch screen at all. The way to set the temperature/time is that it increments up by 1 every time you press it. That means if the current temperature is 145F and you want to set it to 144, it requires 9 button presses. Either up/down arrows or a keypad entry would be far superior.

Also, I wish there were a way to turn the fan off, there are times I'd be willing to put up with a little bit of temperature inaccuracy in exchange for running completely silent. The fan is not overly loud but I can hear it in the other room with the door closed and it's still a distraction when cooking in the same room.

The system uses a resistive touch screen right now - Here is an over view on resistive screens Wikipedia and why we chose it. This type of screen isn't as UI friendly as an iPod or cellphone ( has capacitive screens that has multi-touch / drag functions) but it is fantastically durable. There are a lot of UI constraints on what I can do with a 2.7' resistive unit - If we ever switch to a capacitive screen I'll make the UI fly.

No the cooling fan off cannot be turned off. Also make sure what you are hearing is not the pump sucking air because of low water level.

I'm a UX designer by trade so I know about the capabilities of resistive touch screens and the like. I don't want fancy drag or multitouch, just a simple 10 digit keypad would greatly increase the ease of use of the device.

A few other feature requests after using it for a bit:

* The ability for the unit to make a sound once it comes up to temp. That way, I don't have to check on it once every 5 minutes to see whether temp has been reached.

* The ability to see the current temperature of the bath on the home screen (ie: when the unit isn't running). Since I have to turn the unit off to make any adjustments, it'd be nice to still be able to see what the state of the bath is, especially if I'm dropping temp.

* I don't get why when it's active, there's two types of displays and it seems to switch between them randomly. If it showed the display with more data until it got up to temp (or if a timer were running) and then showed just the temp once it reached temp, that would be great because then I could tell at a glance what state it were in.

* An ETA calculator for the bath coming up to temp would also be a nice-to-have. That way, I can know roughly when I should go check on the device again.

* I meant the ability to turn the impeller fan off, not the cooling fan. Also, I'm sure it's the impeller making the noise, not the unit sucking up air.

After cooking a test egg in it, the built in thermostat is most definitely off. What came out was a 142F egg, not a 145F egg.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I investigated the issue today at production and found out that one dude (a new guy) was reading meter values wrong - I told him he was making me look bad.

Anyways production control caught this last week and already self corrected.

Solutions:

1) bump up your set temp (0.9C) 2) use the self calibration function that I posted 3) I can do it for you if you really want to send your unit back to me

Thanks, I'm glad you caught the defect!

PS: I am a guy.

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Thanks, after making adjustments, I tried calibrating against a Thermapen again and got these results:

100 (Anova) -> 100.5 (Therma)

130 (Anova) -> 130.1 (Therma)

160 (Anova) -> 159.7 (Therma)

So it looks like there's not just skew in the results but also negative bias of about 1.3%.

Thermapens have a ±0.7°F deviation - you shouldn't consider even using that as an absolute standard. God knows what is drift is on that thing and also if you are testing under lab standards temperature baths where parameters are held constant. The one only standard that can be used for temperature calibration is this http://us.flukecal.com/products/temperature-calibration/its-90-temperature-standards/5681-5683-5684-and-5685-quartz-sheat-0. Unfortunately these babies are 3K to 7K a piece and we keep them under lock and key.

You are asking a lot out of a $199.00 unit - its hard to find something that even comes close this unit's functionality unless you want a $1K to $2K lab unit

  • Like 1

Jeff Wu

Senior Engineer

Anova Culinary LLC

BBQ Fanatic, Organic Gardener, Organic Grape Grower

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I'm a UX designer by trade so I know about the capabilities of resistive touch screens and the like. I don't want fancy drag or multitouch, just a simple 10 digit keypad would greatly increase the ease of use of the device.

I tested a keypad/arrow system but we can't build interfaces just for one subset of people - we have to design for everyone's accessibility.

Have you considered other people have larger fingers? This was made abundantly clear during our beta last year.

Jeff Wu

Senior Engineer

Anova Culinary LLC

BBQ Fanatic, Organic Gardener, Organic Grape Grower

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Yea, keep it simple! I like the design now, the unit brings up to temperature, holds it there and circulates water. This is all most people need, I think over designing and extraneous features would either lead to price increases or unneeded complexity.

“...no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

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A non-technical question for you, Jeff - how do those of us who don't live in North America get our hands on one?

Thanks for your responses to all the other questions above. It gives a good feeling about your company.

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

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Your unit is being built. Units are built on order and take about a week +- a few day depending on order volumes that week

Thanks for letting us know! I ordered one late Tuesday night and was wondering how long they take. So it takes +/- a week before it even gets shipped? Will it ship from TX where you guys are located? I'm just trying to estimate how long until it reaches my door and I can try it. This will be my first adventure with sous vide, so excuse my excitement. ;-) It's always been out of the range of what I was willing to pay until now.

I hope you guys are planning a way to handle the influx of orders you're going to receive after reviews start coming in about your product.

Jennifer

Apparently, I have my mom to thank for loving to cook. As she always says, "You should thank me for never cooking. It forced you to learn how!"

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I'm buying the Anova Sous Vide Circulator as soon as it's available in Canada.

A circulator is potentially the perfect device for an application that's unfamiliar to most people right now: making cheese at home. I've been making cheese at home for 4 years now. There's a reason why the hobby/art of making artisanal cheese at home hasn't picked up; you need absolute control on temperatures between 86F and 108F without scorching the milk. The temp control is so demanding that you need to rise the temp by 2F every 5 minutes. These new circulators have the potential achieve that in a water bath uniformally. People won't spend $200 for a cheese vat, but if they already have a sous vide circulator, they might just go ahead and try to make some fresh mozz at home. I really think the hobby will pick up once most house holds have a circulator.

Can't wait to try it!!!

Edited by EMG (log)
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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for continuing to answer our questions. I've placed an order last week and just recently got a shipping email, so I'm excited to start using this baby. It really looks like it hits a sweet spot in the market and checks all of the technical and marketing check marks.

You had mentioned that the calibration feature was actually destined for a newer release of firmware. I'm assuming because of the embedded nature of your devices, the F/W is not customer upgradable. Is that right? I don't suppose you are bundling JTAG cables with your units... :biggrin:

Edited by fourthMEAL (log)
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if this model takes off, they would be wise to figure out a system to do that. im betting the majority of owners might not be that interested, after all, "working well" is usually all one needs.

rather than add $$ to the product with a port of some sort, they might consider an 'upgrade' program that allows one to return the item for an upgrade at the factory for a reasonable fee.

makes every one happy!

:biggrin:

id love a feature like that

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A non-technical question for you, Jeff - how do those of us who don't live in North America get our hands on one?

Thanks for your responses to all the other questions above. It gives a good feeling about your company.

Working on retail distribution now - a lot of them want strait up consignment which is okay with us but our end we need to increase production to provide units.

Your unit is being built. Units are built on order and take about a week +- a few day depending on order volumes that week

Thanks for letting us know! I ordered one late Tuesday night and was wondering how long they take. So it takes +/- a week before it even gets shipped? Will it ship from TX where you guys are located? I'm just trying to estimate how long until it reaches my door and I can try it. This will be my first adventure with sous vide, so excuse my excitement. ;-) It's always been out of the range of what I was willing to pay until now.

I hope you guys are planning a way to handle the influx of orders you're going to receive after reviews start coming in about your product.

Systems are batch produced right now which is how most scientific instrumentation companies build products. Production control starts batches every Tues and Thurs which is why everyone sees Mon/Fri ship outs. There probably will need to be a shift to assembly line operation with some sub assembly outsourcing very very soon.

If this is your first time doing sous vide start with something simple and easy like sous vide sweet corn on the cob (which is the best corn you will ever have). Back in 2009 I saw some guys at MIT sous viding with old lab circulators so I tried it for the first time at the office and was an epic disaster with bags opening up and lab circulators tinted with fishy smells for months. I didn't attempt this technique again for a year until I made something decent which led me to pitched this product idea at an internal meeting.

I'm sure forum members here can pitch in with a few starter ideas.

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for continuing to answer our questions. I've placed an order last week and just recently got a shipping email, so I'm excited to start using this baby. It really looks like it hits a sweet spot in the market and checks all of the technical and marketing check marks.

You had mentioned that the calibration feature was actually destined for a newer release of firmware. I'm assuming because of the embedded nature of your devices, the F/W is not customer upgradable. Is that right? I don't suppose you are bundling JTAG cables with your units... :biggrin:

The systems are not firmware updatable by customers - you would have to open up the system to be able to do that. I had a multifunction mini USB-A slot built in on the side but they didn't survive well in a kitchen that is "fume heavy" - I have to be PC about how I say it.

Jeff Wu

Senior Engineer

Anova Culinary LLC

BBQ Fanatic, Organic Gardener, Organic Grape Grower

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if this model takes off, they would be wise to figure out a system to do that. im betting the majority of owners might not be that interested, after all, "working well" is usually all one needs.

rather than add $$ to the product with a port of some sort, they might consider an 'upgrade' program that allows one to return the item for an upgrade at the factory for a reasonable fee.

makes every one happy!

:biggrin:

id love a feature like that

Although seeing a new feature that is firmware enabled and not hardware is always a tad frustrating. A reasonable (read cheap) factory upgrade would also be fair.

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should production be able to be ramped up with no quality loss, items like this one at this price point would fly off the shelves at places like William-Sonoma and Sur la Table.

wonder what % of people that cruze those stores even know about SV. this would catch interest if it could be seen.

then again there is ChrisKimball and TestKitchen. they did show that had the SVDemi as a 'gadget' but nothing more.

this might change their mind.

just wait until I order mine so there wont be a 6 m back log.

:laugh:

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Systems are batch produced right now which is how most scientific instrumentation companies build products. Production control starts batches every Tues and Thurs which is why everyone sees Mon/Fri ship outs. There probably will need to be a shift to assembly line operation with some sub assembly outsourcing very very soon.

If this is your first time doing sous vide start with something simple and easy like sous vide sweet corn on the cob (which is the best corn you will ever have). Back in 2009 I saw some guys at MIT sous viding with old lab circulators so I tried it for the first time at the office and was an epic disaster with bags opening up and lab circulators tinted with fishy smells for months. I didn't attempt this technique again for a year until I made something decent which led me to pitched this product idea at an internal meeting.

I'm sure forum members here can pitch in with a few starter ideas.

I hope this means mine will be shipped out tomorrow (crossing fingers) since Monday is a holiday. As for starting with something simple, that's definitely happening. I'll make stuff that can normally cook in water, so if the bag leaks it won't matter. Like you mentioned corn is one option. I always experiment when I'm trying something new. Before I made my first batch of creme brulee, I made some vanilla ice cream to make sure I could make the custard right and not burn it. Once that came out beyond perfect, I went straight for the creme brulee. Now I'm in trouble because I make it as vanilla-ee (sp?) as I want and to me it tastes better than what I get at most restaurants. Since I've never eaten at a high class place, I don't know how it would compare to that. All I know is that I've been sitting twiddling my thumbs waiting for a sous vide machine with a circulator so I could start learning how to cook with it. It's FINALLY within my price range. I only had to wait 2 years!

should production be able to be ramped up with no quality loss, items like this one at this price point would fly off the shelves at places like William-Sonoma and Sur la Table.

wonder what % of people that cruze those stores even know about SV. this would catch interest if it could be seen.

.

.

.

this might change their mind.

If they could ramp up production and get it into those store, they would fly off the shelf. Polyscience wouldn't be too happy, but they can cater to the more professional level cooks who need a huge $1,000+ product. This will cater to us newbies who don't want to spend much money or those that want multiple units.

For me, I learned about sous vide online. Then when I started reading more about it and wanted to try it, I researched where I could buy a machine and how much they cost. When I saw that Polyscience was carried by W&S, I went straight to their store to look at it just to be able to physically touch the product. There was no way I could spend that much money, but I wanted to get my hands on one to see dimensions and such. If the Anova was on the shelf at the same time at the $200 price, I would have bought one right away. Now that the circulator versions are hitting this price point, I think a lot of people who have been holding off will be willing to buy one.

Doing the math, I'll just drive less. That will pay for it very quickly. The cost of purchasing the Anova costs less than 3 tanks of gas for me. lol!

Jennifer

Apparently, I have my mom to thank for loving to cook. As she always says, "You should thank me for never cooking. It forced you to learn how!"

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