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Water Baths and Immersion Circulators


nathanm
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If you have storage issues or plan on large batches, the Sous-Vide supreme might be flawed. OTOH, the price is very nice. I use the Fresh Meals Solutions set-up, which is kinda sorta immersion circulator on the cheap; can do large batches, small storage.

And I think can be had with European voltage.

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ive recently gone through the SV start-up process.

I ended up with a set-up from toronto:

http://freshmealssolutions.com/

the PID/bubbler I place in a medium Coleman Cooler. very little heat loss/evaporative loss.

of course EU doesnt cool their beer much! :laugh:

do they ship to EU? cant say. they do have a 220 v unit.

before you buy anything, study this system.

Im very glad I found out about it.

I love it.

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ive recently gone through the SV start-up process.

I ended up with a set-up from toronto:

http://freshmealssolutions.com/

the PID/bubbler I place in a medium Coleman Cooler. very little heat loss/evaporative loss.

of course EU doesnt cool their beer much! :laugh:

do they ship to EU? cant say. they do have a 220 v unit.

before you buy anything, study this system.

Im very glad I found out about it.

I love it.

The last time Anna and I were at his restaurant for lunch - he had units ready to ship all over the world.

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When you compare the SVM/FMM system with the LFP-SV2000 "immersion circulator", please note that the LFP-SV2000 specifies stability ±0.3°C which according to an e-mail from www.sousvide.eu might be at best ±0.1°C under optmum conditions (PID-parameters are factory-set and cannot be changed), whereas SousVideMagic specifies "with appropriate PID settings, water bath stability better than ±0.1°C may be achieved", but in fact my SVM/FMM is just now cooking a hanger steak and three cuts of brisket for 48h at 55.54-55.62°C, i.e. ±0.04°C (that's a stability we might expect from an immersion circulator), see also my last post in the old SV-topic.

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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I own the sous vide supreme demi and love it, the regular machine would be too big for my taste (and needs). If I should decide to get an other unit to cook something in parallel (rather unlikely, but who knows) I'd get the SVM/FMM setup, since it's nice and flexible and stores away small.

I am very tempted to build my own as shown in the current Make magazine (and online somewhere as well) just because it seems like a fun project and at less than $80 certainly not expensive. And in some respect it would be nice to have two machines, one for the 48hour meat, the other for some vegetables or a sauce etc. Things I yet have to explore.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I built mine with a $20.00 aquarium controller, $10.00 aquarium pump, and a $10.00 1,000 watt heater.

The whole set up is portable, so I can use it in a big beer cooler or a small container just for a few eggs.

The system can keep one degree F accuracy.

dcarch

BTW, The heater is a 2,000 watt 220vac heater which I am powering with 110vac. It should last forever. :-)

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I've owned a LFP-SV 1000 for a couple of months now and I've used it to cook brisket, duck & chicken breasts and pork belly.

I paid just over GBP100 (approx USD 160)

In use the temperature display varies from the set temperature by +- 0.4 degrees but I'm not sure the water is varying by that much -it may be because the sensor is very close to the pump outlet. In any case it doesn't matter to me.

For a start, I couldn't afford a SVS at GBP349 (USD 560)and I'm only using it to cook food - scientific precision is of no great interest to me: I suspect that variations in the raw materials have far more effect than the machine's temperature variations.

I can recommend the LFP-SV 1000 if you want to try out SV cooking: then you can progress to a bigger spend if you want to. I have to say I think SV is more of a texture thing than a flavour enhancer and my wife is so far quite unimpressed.

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I built mine with a $20.00 aquarium controller, $10.00 aquarium pump, and a $10.00 1,000 watt heater.

The whole set up is portable, so I can use it in a big beer cooler or a small container just for a few eggs.

The system can keep one degree F accuracy.

dcarch

BTW, The heater is a 2,000 watt 220vac heater which I am powering with 110vac. It should last forever. :-)

That sounds great! But I guess your 220V/2000W heater will heat with 500W at 110V (P = U²/R).

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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I've owned a LFP-SV 1000 for a couple of months now and I've used it to cook brisket, duck & chicken breasts and pork belly.

I paid just over GBP100 (approx USD 160)

In use the temperature display varies from the set temperature by +- 0.4 degrees but I'm not sure the water is varying by that much -it may be because the sensor is very close to the pump outlet. In any case it doesn't matter to me.

For a start, I couldn't afford a SVS at GBP349 (USD 560)and I'm only using it to cook food - scientific precision is of no great interest to me: I suspect that variations in the raw materials have far more effect than the machine's temperature variations.

I can recommend the LFP-SV 1000 if you want to try out SV cooking: then you can progress to a bigger spend if you want to. I have to say I think SV is more of a texture thing than a flavour enhancer and my wife is so far quite unimpressed.

Congratulations! GBP 100 for an immersion circulator is a real bargain, and I agree that a ±0.3°C temperature swing (or even a ±1°C swing) will probably affect your end-product much less than the quality of the raw material. Temperature swings in the surrounding medium are attenuated within the food, see here and here.

Nevertheless it is recommended to check your bath temperature with a calibrated thermometer for food safety considerations, see the sous vide page in wikiGullet and the article Importance of temperature control on pasteurizing times.

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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I built mine with a $20.00 aquarium controller, $10.00 aquarium pump, and a $10.00 1,000 watt heater.

The whole set up is portable, so I can use it in a big beer cooler or a small container just for a few eggs.

The system can keep one degree F accuracy.

dcarch

BTW, The heater is a 2,000 watt 220vac heater which I am powering with 110vac. It should last forever. :-)

That sounds great! But I guess your 220V/2000W heater will heat with 500W at 110V (P = U²/R).

You are correct. I was thinking about the other 2,000 watt heater that I have which runs at 110v, I connected it to a diode, which is a halfwave rectifier, that cuts the wattage in half.

dcarch

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I built mine with a $20.00 aquarium controller, $10.00 aquarium pump, and a $10.00 1,000 watt heater.

The whole set up is portable, so I can use it in a big beer cooler or a small container just for a few eggs.

The system can keep one degree F accuracy.

dcarch

BTW, The heater is a 2,000 watt 220vac heater which I am powering with 110vac. It should last forever. :-)

Hi,

Any pictures of your setup, or details on the parts you used? Tried Amazon, but, couldn't figure out what controller you're using.

Thx,

Frank

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I've been loving my Sous Vide Supreme. It's very stable temp wise and the thermostat is extremely accurate. It's fairly large I guess but I have a spot where I leave it set up permanently, and it gets used at least five days per week. The capacity is around 10 liters or so, or 2 Imperial Gallons. The only shortcoming I've found in the time I've owned it is that occasionally it would be nice if it were even larger. I can get a whole pork loin in it with room to spare, though, and a bulk package of chicken breasts (maybe 10 lbs) fits just fine. Probably couldn't do a whole turkey though. You would have to contact the company to see what shipping would be- it's free within the US. Amazon in Europe might also be a good option.

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I built my home SV setup using a Ranco temperature controller. http://www.amazon.com/RANCO-ETC-111000-Digital-Temperature-Control/dp/B0015NV5BE

I paired that with a $5 flea market crock pot, some heat shrink tubing around from another project which you need to put on the temperature sensor to protect it, plus a short extension cord to wire the relay to the crock pot. I probably spent $70 all told, and it's dead simple. The only thing I would maybe add is an aquarium bubbler to move the water around. Even without a bubbler it performs beautifully.

I've used it a lot, it's such a simple concept. I've successfully held it for hours at 130, 150 and 190F.


I have simple tastes. I am always satisfied with the best - Oscar Wilde

The Easy Bohemian

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I would highly echo the recommendations for the Fresh Meals Sous Vide Magic + FMM combination; rock solid temperature control, great flexibility as to bath (I am using a 20L bath), low price (300 for the entire solution, vs. $450 for 10L, uncirculated SVS with no bath flexibility) and amazing service (I just had an issue with mine and got the whole thing resolved on a sunday night). The only advantage I could see to other systems is kitchen aesthetics if you prefer a more polished look.

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When you compare the SVM/FMM system with the LFP-SV2000 "immersion circulator", please note that the LFP-SV2000 specifies stability ±0.3°C which according to an e-mail from www.sousvide.eu might be at best ±0.1°C under optmum conditions (PID-parameters are factory-set and cannot be changed), whereas SousVideMagic specifies "with appropriate PID settings, water bath stability better than ±0.1°C may be achieved", but in fact my SVM/FMM is just now cooking a hanger steak and three cuts of brisket for 48h at 55.54-55.62°C, i.e. ±0.04°C (that's a stability we might expect from an immersion circulator), see also my last post in the old SV-topic.

I have to admit that after 48h stability had changed from ±0.04°C to ±0.05°C. Still better than absolutely necessary.

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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I built mine with a $20.00 aquarium controller, $10.00 aquarium pump, and a $10.00 1,000 watt heater.

The whole set up is portable, so I can use it in a big beer cooler or a small container just for a few eggs.

The system can keep one degree F accuracy.

dcarch

BTW, The heater is a 2,000 watt 220vac heater which I am powering with 110vac. It should last forever. :-)

Hi,

Any pictures of your setup, or details on the parts you used? Tried Amazon, but, couldn't figure out what controller you're using.

Thx,

Frank

Here is my setup components. I have two setups:

SVsetup.jpg

dcarch

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  • 3 months later...

A quick note for anyone with a Polyscience Sous Vide Professional:

I've had mine since November 2010 and always thought it was extremely loud. There's no way I could fall asleep in the next room with a closed door while it was running - this wasn't a big deal for relatively short cooking, but it was almost prohibitive for 48+ LTLT cooking (I work from home too!).

All the comments I had read suggested that it was supposed to be a reassuring, soothing sound - like a small waterfall. After seeing a recent post here on egullet from dmg, I asked how loud it was and received back a recording with a light hum and clear water circulation noise (you can't hear water circulation at all over the hum with mine).

Based on that, I called Polyscience this morning and they agreed it should not be anywhere near as loud as I was describing - and also didn't seem surprised (they suggested an issue with the motor).

I'll be sending it back shortly and will update with the outcome.

Bottom Line: If your SVP is louder than you think it should be, you might be right - give Polyscience a call.

Edited by jduncan81 (log)
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  • 7 months later...

I am sending away my second SVS today! The first one lasted 3 months: worked perfectly in these three months, but the suddenly started heating the water without stopping (i had it set to 60C, it heated to 60C, but did not stop and continued heating til I had to stop it at 85). I think I was lucky that I did not leave it unattended for a day as I normally would. The second machine lasted for about 6 months - started leaking yesterday. So disappointing! I was using it twice a week on average - so not overusing it I guess. Am I the only one having such problems? or is it just bad luck:)

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  • 6 months later...

Well, I am ready to take the plunge and invest in an immersion circulator. My research so far has identified the "expensive" options - PolyScience Chef and Classic Units plus a variety of other thousand dollar plus options- and a growing number of more affordable options.

On the low end of the "affordable" scale are the in and out of distribution SideKic, priced at a very low $180 or so, and the up and coming $300 Nomiku, a kickstarter project, which won't be available until December. Slotted in between these and the very expensive options is the Underground Circulator. It seems to be a more robust unit than the SideKic and Nomiku, with technical specs like a 1,000 W heater, 20 C to 100 C temp range and the ability to handle up to 26 litres of water. Its look and development history seems more restaurant based, and I've read one or two online comments from restaurant users who like it. The other option I've found in the $500 range is the PolyScience "Creative" unit. It looks like a dialed down version of the "Chef" unit. It claims a 1100 W heater and a 20 litre capacity. But their site identifies that it is only for "casual use" so I wonder about durability.

Does anyone have experience with these midrange units - the Underground or the Polyscience Creative Series?

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I am sending away my second SVS today! The first one lasted 3 months: worked perfectly in these three months, but the suddenly started heating the water without stopping (i had it set to 60C, it heated to 60C, but did not stop and continued heating til I had to stop it at 85). I think I was lucky that I did not leave it unattended for a day as I normally would. The second machine lasted for about 6 months - started leaking yesterday. So disappointing! I was using it twice a week on average - so not overusing it I guess. Am I the only one having such problems? or is it just bad luck:)

Anna...

I cannot speak for others, but I've had my SVS (original, not the demi) for over 2 years and have never had a problem with it. How much do I use it? I would say enought that I'm wondering when it's going to "quit" on me. I tend to leave it on for 1-2 weeks at a streak; emptying water out and cleaning about the same. I would say there is rarely a time when it is not powered up and waiting at 130 F for more than 2-3 weeks at a time. I tend to cook things in bulk (bagged separately) and freeze them so we have plent of ready made food at the ready.

Let's just say our family has become very accustomed to eating perfectly cooked sousvide food!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

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I have an original Polyscience, a SVS, and a Sidekic with a Nomiku on order.

They all are solid and suited for different circumstances. I do not know anything about the underground unit.

I think the Sidekic is excellent for the Price, but has a bit of an unwieldy shape and a heater on the weaker side. There are plenty of workarounds though if budget is the main issue.

The SVS is an excellent product, though its big because it has the integrated bath, and can be awkward to empty. I use it alot but do prefer a pump.

Polyscience makes excellent products, and I'm sure the creative is great.

I'm not sure what in what capacity you are going to use this, but if you can afford it I'd go with one with a pump to get some flexibility on size of containter.

When, I'm making 72 hr short ribs or brisket,, I want to do a large amount at a time. Especially since a vac seal and immediate ice chill creates a product that can last in the fridge/freezer without much degradation.

Mike

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Thanks Mike,

I'm definitely interested in a pump based product, and it looks like the SideKic's heater may be on the weak side for some of the larger applications I will occasionally try. The real question for me I think is between the Polyscience $500 unit, their $800 unit and the Underground.

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I believe the FusionChef circulators are the most powerful on the market.

The Pearl is @ $1000 and the Diamond (more bells and whistles like 3 timers instead of one, support for core temperature probe, data logging and control with PC software included, accuracy to 1/100th degree etc) is about $2000. They sell them as "clamp on" or you can order one built into an insulated steel bath that reduces power consumption by 70%.

I have the Diamond, and it's build quality and performance are incredible. I originally had the Polyscience Professional, and it's a toy in comparison (not a bad unit, just not in the same class by a long shot).

The FusionChef's are pricey, but the moment you remove it from the box you know it's an industrial grade machine.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm looking to buy my first Immersion Circulator and I'm leaning towards the Julabo brand right now over Polyscience but I'm having a hard time deciding if I should go with one of the newer consumer oriented models or one of the more lab/professional models. Here's sort of how I see them broken down:

Julabo Consumer:

fusionchef Pearl - $1,189/$1,444 for Pearl Z - 68F to 203F; .05F accuracy; up to 15.32 gallons; 3.7 gal/min; 1.2kW heating capacity

fusionchef Diamond - $2,500 - 68F to 203F; .01F accuracy; up to 15.32 gallons; 3.7 gal/min; 1.2kW heating capacity; programmable memory

Julabo Professional:

EH - $1,246 - 150F to 302F; .05F accuracy; up to 13.2 gallons; 4.0 gal/min; 1kW heating capacity

Polyscience Consumer:

Sous Vide Professional Chef - $800 - 59f to 212F; .07C accuracy; 8 gal capacity; 3.2 gal/min; 1.1kW heating

Sous Vide Professional Consumer - $500 - 59f to 210f; .1C accuracy; 5.3 gal capacity; 1.6 gal/min; 1.1kW heating capacity

Polyscience Professional:

Model 7306/Classic - $1,022 - ambient to 302F; .05C accuracy; 8 gal capacity; 1.3 gal/min; 1.1kW heating capacity

Nomiko:

$369 - up to 212F; 0.2C accuracy; 5 gal capacity; 2.6 gal/min; 750W heater

So right now I've more or less narrowed it to the fusionchef Pearl, Julabo EH, and Polyscience 7306 with leaning towards the 2 Julabo models. How often do you use it for heating anything beyond 203F? I was thinking about using it for homebrewing in the future which would require at least boiling of water, but I'm not entirely set on that.

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I have the Polyscience Professional and use it between 3 and 5 times a week. It is really well made and efficient. I have a couple cambro containers in different sizes with the lids cut to accommodate the circulator and they work great. I can't imagine that .02 degrees of accuracy would be a problem. I have never had my circulator set above 180*.

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