Author Topic: ThermoKool 138  (Read 25597 times)

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Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2007, 01:29:20 PM »
Peter,

In Bill's case, because of the side to which the unit is turned, cold air would take longer to fill the bottom near the dough.  Conversely, if Bill turned the unit on the other side, the air near the dough would become colder faster.  Since Bill is heating the unit rather than cooling it, he is neither at a long-term advantage nor disadvantage since the warm air will rise in any orientation.  However, it is wise to have the dough away from the internal vent in any case (unless one is expecting direct thermal exchange), so Bill has chosen the best way to turn his unit.

- red.november


Offline Peteg

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2007, 08:21:53 AM »
Hey guys, Does the thermokool have a timer on it?  It would be great if you could set it to warm up and cool down at specific times.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2007, 08:25:32 AM »
Hey guys, Does the thermokool have a timer on it?  It would be great if you could set it to warm up and cool down at specific times.

No timer.

Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2007, 10:45:26 AM »
Peteg,

As Bill said, there isn't a timer built in, but if you're just looking for a simple on/off timer so that you can set it at X degrees and leave it for Y hours to shut off on its own like a modern oven, you can use a wall outlet timer like one of these:

http://www.improvementscatalog.com/home/improvements/32083-timex-digital-timer.html
http://www.improvementscatalog.com/home/improvements/97366-sylvania-digital-timer.html

The odd thing about wanting a feature like that though, is unlike a baked good from an oven, you have to be ready and waiting to take the dough out and use it right away, assuming the fermentation is complete, because you don't want it to over-ferment.  The only case where I see it being useful is if the temperature is well below room temperature and you want a long warm-up period with the unit off.

If you're looking for something that lets you program lots of different temperatures for different timed intervals at once, I'm afraid there's nothing like that on the market yet.  In a few more months I plan to add a USB interface to my unit so that I can program it as I just described using my computer.

- red.november

Offline Peteg

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2007, 08:57:01 PM »
Quote
In a few more months I plan to add a USB interface to my unit so that I can program it as I just described using my computer.


Wow.  That's pretty cool.

Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2007, 02:31:32 PM »
Since Peter has recently linked to this thread, I thought I would share a little bit of information regarding my use of the MR-138.  Lately I have used the unit for about 88% of all my fermenting.  The rest of the time I ferment my dough at room temperature (~68F) on a covered kitchen work surface.  The temperatures I set the unit at, almost exclusively, are 50F, 59F, and 86F.  I choose 50F for 24-hour or longer fermentations; 59F for all-day fermentations; and 86F for quick, 2-hour fermentations which favor a slightly sweeter result for the dough than room temperature fermentation.

- red.november

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2008, 08:41:50 PM »
November,

I am considering moving up to something a little bigger and a lot more accurate than the ThermoKool. With your vast knowledge of instrumentation, do you have suggestions for a source for this type of chamber? Thanks!

Bill/SFNM

Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2008, 09:35:29 PM »
Bill,

If you are looking for something more accurate, regardless of size, you will most likely have to look at laboratory equipment such as incubators.  These will cost thousands of dollars.  At least if you decide to buy the world's most expensive dough proofing box, you have options of controlling humidity (as you mentioned you wanted to before) and acquire environmental data for computer-aided analysis.  Here are some examples:

http://www.darwinchambers.com/incubators.html

- red.november

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2008, 09:46:44 PM »
November,

Yikes  :o :o :o

Any sources you can recommend for surplus lab gear?

Thanks for the help.

Bill/SFNM


Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2008, 09:59:23 PM »
Bill,

I would recommend searching eBay or labx.com for auction items.  The best deal you'll probably find is $500, but it'll most certainly turn out to be pretty dilapidated equipment.  In other words, crappy.  The certified reconditioned incubators will probably run you $2500 or more.  What, you didn't like the look of this model?  ;D

http://www.darwinchambers.com/KB024-Environmental-chamber.html

- red.november

Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2008, 10:24:48 PM »
Bill,

What's your acceptable price range?  Is five cubic feet enough space for you?  While I've shopped at the The Lab Depot before, I didn't think to look there this time since they usually sell at full retail price.  However, the following incubator is actually a pretty good deal if you don't mind the 50C upper temperature limit:

http://www.labdepotinc.com/Product_Details~id~443~pid~12869.aspx

- red.november

Offline Bryan S

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2008, 10:30:54 PM »
Bill/November, Prob way off base here but I'll post anyway. What about one of these? http://cgproducts.johnsoncontrols.com/MET_PDF/125188.PDF to control a mini fridge (5-6 cubic foot). I have one that I bought for home brewing (never got a chance to use it) but my home brewing days are over due to severe back problems. I'm just throwing this out there, prob not what your after.  :-\
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2008, 10:41:52 PM »
Bryan,

I thought about suggesting using a temperature controller and building an insulated chamber from scratch, but in order for it to have the accuracy Bill is after, one would either spend a lot of time, money, or both trying to calibrate it.  Keep in mind Bill can already dial in a temperature with 1F resolution.  The problem for him is keeping the temperature precisely all the time.  A makeshift or self-engineered solution probably won't yield any better results than the ThermoKool MR-138.  If it was only a size problem, I'm sure Bill would rather just buy another MR-138.

- red.november

Offline Bryan S

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2008, 10:55:31 PM »
Bryan,

I thought about suggesting using a temperature controller and building an insulated chamber from scratch, but in order for it to have the accuracy Bill is after, one would either spend a lot of time, money, or both trying to calibrate it.  Keep in mind Bill can already dial in a temperature with 1F resolution.  The problem for him is keeping the temperature precisely all the time.  A makeshift or self-engineered solution probably won't yield any better results than the ThermoKool MR-138.  If it was only a size problem, I'm sure Bill would rather just buy another MR-138.

- red.november
Well I was thinking that with A419 temp controller, he could use a full size fridge if he wanted to, like the home brewers do. With the A419 you plug that into the outlet then plug the fridge into the A419 and they say it works very well. I didn't think it was what he was looking for, just threw it out there.  :-[
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 10:57:42 PM by Bryan S »
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2008, 10:57:34 PM »
Bryan,

A refrigerator does not offer the ability to warm the dough beyond ambient temperature.  I believe Bill uses his MR-138 for applications requiring warming as much as cooling.

- red.november

Offline Bryan S

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2008, 11:03:52 PM »
Bryan,

A refrigerator does not offer the ability to warm the dough beyond ambient temperature.  I believe Bill uses his MR-138 for applications requiring warming as much as cooling.

- red.november
Gotcha.  :-[
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2008, 01:23:45 AM »
If you're looking for a temp controller to make a proofing box, here's one that works on 120/240 volts, heats and cools, and is about $50 delivered. Looks pretty slick!

(http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=270107910907&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=017#ebayphotohosting)

ETC-111000 Ranco Digital Temp Control 120/208/240V

The GOLDLINE SP-30 ALTERNATIVE

The Ranco ETC is a microprocessor based electronic temperature controller designed to provide on/off control of heating and cooling.

The ETC is equiped with a Liquid Crystal Display(LCD) that provides a constant readout of the sensed temperature, and a touch keypad that allows the user to easily and accurately select the set point temperature, differential set point, and heating or cooling mode of operation.

The unit can be operated on either line voltage, 120/208/240VAC. With its wide temperature setpoint range and selectable heating or cooling modes, the ETC can be used for a wide variety of applications such as Research, Science, Laboratory, Education, Aquariums, Hydroponics, Pools and more.
Some of ETCS Microprocessor outstanding features include :

Large and easy to read LCD
Sensor Thermistor
2 Inch Long x 1/4 Inch Diameter
8 Feet of Cable included
Remote Sensor can run up to 400ft away
SPDT Output Relay
Wide Range: -30 to 220:F
User selectable Fahrenheit/Celsius scales
Lockout Switch to prevent tampering by unauthorized personnel
Simple 4-step keypad programming.

     Villa Roma

« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 01:34:15 AM by Villa Roma »


Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2008, 05:31:35 PM »
Recently, the ThermoKool MR-138 received the attention of the experts over at HowStuffWorks.  Here is their review:

http://products.howstuffworks.com/thermokool-deluxe-mini-fridge-mr-138-review.htm

On a personal note regarding the listed "con", I have never experienced condensation buildup in mine; and I'm sure I've had mine longer than the reviewer.  I have also noticed more "personal" reviews from people on other sites using the unit specifically for fermenting dough.  I wonder how much of that interest began here at Pizza Making.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2008, 05:53:39 PM »
November,

In the course of my perambulations around the Internet, I often find material that was lifted from this forum. What has surprised me most is that in most cases no attribution is given. People just lift the material and pass it off as their own, often to the praise of others who read the material.

Peter

Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2008, 06:11:30 PM »
Peter,

Typical of what I see is a statement like, "I read somewhere this was being used for fermenting dough."  For example:

http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2007/09/purchase-able-fermentation-box-it.html

On other occasions, the person giving the review isn't the same person who bought it.  For example:

http://www.atlantacuisine.com/cgi-bin/eforums/YaBB.pl?num=1197903877

- red.november

Offline Jackitup

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2008, 06:34:29 PM »
November,

In the course of my perambulations around the Internet, I often find material that was lifted from this forum. What has surprised me most is that in most cases no attribution is given. People just lift the material and pass it off as their own, often to the praise of others who read the material.

Peter
I also find this very annoying. I think we're all guilty on occasion just out of absentmindedness, but I always try to give credit where it's due. I frequent the bbqforum.com and have referred many people to this site when asking about pizzas I have made and posted pics of. I'll give the recipe I use and tell them it all started here, great site. Or as in the pasta recipe I posted a couple weeks ago. I could've easily taken credit for that but it was a recipe from Prima's owner/chef in Cozumel. Some people just need their back scratched I guess or just don't think it's important. By the way, the bbqforum guys are not shy about jumping on someone for doing that either. If someone picks up on it they let them know.
Jon
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.            -Mark Twain

Offline jasonmolinari

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2008, 10:03:07 PM »
November, you appear to have an issue with my blog post. I didn't specify where i saw that the Thermokool was used to ferment bread dough, because I didn't remember, and i STILL don't where i saw it first. I read about 10 forums, of which 3 or 4 are about bread, and the rest about cooking, so it could have been on any one of these, and when i wrote it I wasn't going to spend an hour trying to figure out what forum i saw it on. It really wasn't that important to say "a guy on pizzamaking.com uses this to ferment dough" because that wasn't the point of the post.

When i know where something came from i attribute it properly, if i don't i don't, because i don't want to mis-credit people.

As far as the Atlantacuisine review, why do you say the person isn't the one who bought it? BEcause it was an Xmas gift? I don't understand what you're referring to, or what the issue is with the person's review.

You can also email me directly if you are annoyed by something i wrote.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 10:09:10 PM by jasonmolinari »

Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2008, 01:39:56 AM »
November, you appear to have an issue with my blog post.

No, I don't, and I don't know why you would say that.  Just because I said it was typical of the posts I see?  I think you're confusing me with someone else.

As far as the Atlantacuisine review, why do you say the person isn't the one who bought it? BEcause it was an Xmas gift? I don't understand what you're referring to, or what the issue is with the person's review.

Yes, I said that the person wasn't the one who bought it because he received it as a gift.  I don't understand what your issue is with my post.  Again, I am posting examples of what I find are typical sources of personal remarks and reviews for the MR-138.

You can also email me directly if you are annoyed by something i wrote.

No, I'd rather say directly that I'm annoyed by what you just now wrote.  I had no problem with what you wrote on your blog.  Both of my links were meant to serve as counter-examples to Peter's findings, especially the Atlanta Cuisine link.  If a person receives a unit for a gift, obviously he/she has very little chance of knowing where the idea to buy it came from.

Offline jasonmolinari

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2008, 06:24:26 AM »
November, then i will apologize immediately. I must have completely misunderstood the meaning of your post.

In reading the thread, i gathered that Pete was annoyed when people don't properly attribute their findings to people, and i thought you posted my blog as an example of someone who did not properly attribute what he was writing about.

For the atlantacuisine post i took your comments to mean that the person giving the review isn't even the one who owns it, since he didn't buy it.

I apologize for completely misinterpreting your points, and will go back to my corner now.

Offline Grog

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2008, 11:20:34 AM »
I just bought a Thermokool 138, and it is doing a bang-up job with my pizza dough.  The only problem is that the unit blows plastic-smelling air into the chamber when heating or cooling.  This is not an issue with pizza dough, which I keep in tightly enclosed Cambro containers.  The problem arises with food that is directly exposed to the plastic-smelling air.  A few days ago, I seared a large piece of eye round beef and put it in the Thermokool, with the temperature set at 130 degrees.  About 10 hrs later, the beef reached 130 degrees (a perfect medium rare) according to an instant-read thermometer.  The beef looked great.  It was as tender as filet mignon and perfectly colored.  But it absorbed the plastic smell and tasted of plastic.  It was inedible, and I had to throw it out.   

Has anyone else experienced this?  Does the smell go away with use?