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Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2014–


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Me again with as mall but hopefully not too stupid question: i have read the very interesting Dave Arnold article on cooking issues concerning the level of vacuum changing the texture of meats. My question now: how do i define the vacuum level on chamber vacuum sealers? Since i do not see any Option on programming the vacuum percentage on most machines we are talking about. Is this done through the time or how? Thanks a Lot!

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I finally received my 35XP a few weeks ago and have been using it extensively. Having lots of fun with infusion and compression, some cucumber and red radish pickles I made this past weekend with aged sherry vinegar on a 5-minute infusion cycle were a particularly noteworthy success.

 

I have however been having one seemingly minor issue with the conditioning program, which has the rep at Testek stumped...waiting for some more information from Minipack themselves. Specifically, this always fails on the first run with a "SERVICE - VACUUM TIME" message with exactly 2:39 left on the countdown clock. If I run the cycle again immediately, it seems to always succeed the second time.

 

Any other XP-series owners run into something like this with their unit? It seems a relatively minor thing, but I'd obviously like to rule out that it's a symptom of some more serious problem.

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I also have totally random issues with my MVS31X - My issues seems to stem from the machine's display getting stuck on a digit, say 94.5, and the machine running until error -- That is, unless I gently tap the display, at which point it will jump up, eventually to 99.1 and count up from there. I just had the entire vacuum pump professionally cleaned after it died last fall, and this new and interesting issue has arisen. It basically worked like a charm for 2 months and then this came up. I haven't heard of too many other problems with people and their minipacks -- I wonder if I got a touchy machine -- It isn't as if I use it all the time either -- I probably use it 5 times (max) a week.

@danelks -- Maybe we both have wiring issues with our machines? That is really the only thing I can come up with.

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@Unpopular Poet - wiring for my issue seems less likely but I can't really rule it out - faulty wiring would I'd assume cause the same failure each time. Since the XP series have a more complicated embedded microcontroller I'm thinking it's more likely to be a programming fault...

 

I will follow up to the thread if and when I get more info from Minipack.

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Tonight I'm trying to use the Polyscience 300 to pickle coleslaw in the Polyscience 2.5 quart canister.  The first problem was plugging the vacuum hose into the unit so that it would actually pull a vacuum.  Had a similar problem with a Diesel Jeep once.  Next problem was the Polyscience instructions say the marinate preset, P3, has a factory vacuum level of medium.  But for me the factory setting of P3 seemed to indicate it was using the minimum vacuum level.  I over rode and set the vacuum level to medium (57 Torr).

 

The instructions for canister marinating say to set the canister vacuum port to the "Open" position.  When I did this the valve seemed to hiss as vacuum was applied, so I set the canister to "Vacuum" and ran through the modified P3 cycle, which takes 27 minutes.  However the canister did not seem to release vacuum, so I concluded the instuctions may have been correct (at least in this case) to set the canister to "Open".  So I did so, fiddling with the control a bit, and ran the cycle a second time.

 

The marination is about done and I will try the coleslaw in a few minutes.  Though I have a feeling my procedure is probably still not right.  Can anyone give me suggestions?

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With the Polyscience 300 is there any way to hold the vacuum level after the vacuum time expires?  I ask because it is so neat to watch ice water boil.

 

There is a cuisine related issue here but that does not detract from how neat it is to watch ice water boil.

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Me again with as mall but hopefully not too stupid question: i have read the very interesting Dave Arnold article on cooking issues concerning the level of vacuum changing the texture of meats. My question now: how do i define the vacuum level on chamber vacuum sealers? Since i do not see any Option on programming the vacuum percentage on most machines we are talking about. Is this done through the time or how? Thanks a Lot!

 

The Polyscience 300 lets one program vacuum level based on time, for which the manual gives equivalence in Torr and inches of Hg.  There is also a correction for altitude above sea level.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi I´m trying to find info on the Brand ¨Basser Vacuum¨. Does anyone have references about their products?

Is an external aspiration model, What is the general opinion about this kind of vacuum sealers?

I´m planing in buy the Fresh33 model, for a small business i´m starting. I´m doing beacon and duck ham.

 

 

 

Thanks

Rodrigo

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From what i ve heard they did produce the complete edge sealer range of German company allpax people are extremeley happy with, specially hunters. Since they do use bosch Pumps aswell i think they will do quite a good job in the chamber vac area aswell?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally received my 35XP a few weeks ago and have been using it extensively. Having lots of fun with infusion and compression, some cucumber and red radish pickles I made this past weekend with aged sherry vinegar on a 5-minute infusion cycle were a particularly noteworthy success.

 

I have however been having one seemingly minor issue with the conditioning program, which has the rep at Testek stumped...waiting for some more information from Minipack themselves. Specifically, this always fails on the first run with a "SERVICE - VACUUM TIME" message with exactly 2:39 left on the countdown clock. If I run the cycle again immediately, it seems to always succeed the second time.

 

Any other XP-series owners run into something like this with their unit? It seems a relatively minor thing, but I'd obviously like to rule out that it's a symptom of some more serious problem.

 

I haven't had that problem, though I have only used the conditioning cycle a few times. (How often are you SUPPOSED to do it, do you know?)

 

I have had a different issue, though... Has your display ever gone completely blank, or half blank? 

 

Don't hesitate to call Minipack directly. There's a very helpful tech there named Jamal, who I've spoken with a couple of times. 

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I haven't had that problem, though I have only used the conditioning cycle a few times. (How often are you SUPPOSED to do it, do you know?)

 

I have had a different issue, though... Has your display ever gone completely blank, or half blank? 

 

Don't hesitate to call Minipack directly. There's a very helpful tech there named Jamal, who I've spoken with a couple of times. 

 

I've just been keeping an eye on the oil and running it when it looks cloudy from water vapor. Depends how much you seal liquids, I think.

 

I haven't had that problem in particular. I have been talking with someone at Minipack actually, but they haven't come up with much yet...still back and forth.

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  • 3 weeks later...

While I am still pleased with the Polyscience 300, I find it does have a fault. When draw a vacuum using the external vacuum port, sometimes it works and sometimes it does nothing (even though the machine pulls a vacuum inside the chamber). I'd say more often than not the external vacuum feature does not work.

 

I think the problem has to do with how the supplied vacuum hose fits -- or doesn't fit -- in the vacuum port. It may of course be user error...not helped by the wretched Polyscience 300 manual.

 

Any advice or thoughts?

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I'm planning to modify my VP215 to add a digital vacuum gauge, and program for seal at %vacuum as an option to time.  After that mod, I will consider adding MAP gas venting and/or an infusion program.  I have not been able to find any posts on this modification.  I can't imagine someone here has not already done something similar...  Have I missed anything?

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For all of you Minipack MVS35XP owners out there -- how are you enjoying your machine -- I have the capability to possibly upgrade to it at this point and I am thinking that I will.  I have a MVS31X, which is great, but I find that time and time again, anytime I do a hot or liquid application, I end up messing up the pump -- Currently the machine says it is pulling 99.9, but I know from experience is quite a bit less.  Perhaps even in the low 90s.  Thanks for the input....The other item I am looking at is the Polyscience 300 -- but I may be in the same boat with liquids and hot items.  

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I've been quite happy with my 35XP. I abuse it with hot foods and liquids all the time and the pump is still going strong. I just changed the oil though, at about 550 cycles, because it looked milky... I wish knew how often you really have to do that because at that rate it adds about two cents in costs to each cycle.

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horseflesh -- that was exactly what I wanted to hear -- Now if Polyscience would just call me back...

 

EDIT:  That came out whinny..didn't mean it that way.  Just chomping at the bit!

Edited by Unpopular Poet (log)
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I too am very happy with my 35XP, aside from the odd issue with the conditioning program (which is still an ongoing discussion with MiniPack - it appears I may need a replacement control card). I use the soft air and infusion cycle so frequently that I can't imagine not having them.

 

Horseflesh, for what it's worth, running the conditioning program tends to get rid of that cloudy/milky consistency in the oil. I think the manual suggests replacing the oil after a certain number of cycles but I don't remember the total off the top of my head. The machine keeps track of that for you buried somewhere in those menus...I intend to replace the oil no less than once per year though, even if I don't hit that total. Better safe than sorry.

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I've used the conditioning program a few times but haven't noticed a visible difference in the oil. That may be meaningless, though. 

 

Do you have the manual soft air knob? Mine came with one and I have honestly never tried the programmable soft air, since the knob is so darn easy to use. 

 

Any other problems with your unit? Mine does have a quirk--the display may go blank, or just half blank, until you power-cycle it. This only seems to happen if I interact with the control panel, eg changing programs, and then only if I leave it alone for a while.

 

If I just turn it on and operate it, I don't think it has ever blanked out. Makes me think it may be a software problem... Minipack suggested opening up the unit and re-seating the cables, which I have not yet tried.

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I've definitely seen relatively cloudy oil become crystal clear after a couple of conditioning runs (you need to let it settle for a few hours afterwards, as it will draw in a lot of air).

 

No soft air knob on mine, just the software program. I imagine we must have different revisions.

 

The only problem I've had is the one I described a few posts back, where the conditioning program sometimes terminates early with an error message. No issues with the display that I've seen.

 

It seems given my location I may have to install the replacement control card myself - which I'm actually not too concerned with (provided it doesn't affect my warranty). I wouldn't mind getting a look at the guts of the machine in all honesty.

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