Author Topic: ThermoKool 138  (Read 22077 times)

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Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2007, 04:02:29 PM »
Bill,

Now that is definitely making an efficient use of space.

- red.november


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2007, 09:14:48 AM »
This device continues to please. A large pan of rye bread to be proofed was too big to fit. No problem, just lay the MR-138 on its side. Truly a boon to my bread/pizza making to be able to control fermentation/proofing temps.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2007, 09:30:41 AM »
Bill,

That's a great idea 8). Necessity truly is the mother of invention.

Now, let's wait for November's algorithm for correcting what you may have changed by turning the MR-138 on its side ;).

Peter

Offline November

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2007, 11:47:58 AM »
Peter,

That's funny, but one of the beautiful things about this unit is that, except for the fans, it's completely solid-state.  It should still work in zero-g or upside down if you wanted it to.  Only a slight change might occur if you have it on its back or front because of the airflow direction.  Obviously one wouldn't want to orient the unit on its back because of the vents.

Although you might have meant it as a joke, the thermal acceleration curve for the unit changes while on its side, so I could calculate that, but the overall time to cool or warm up should be the same.

- red.november

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: ThermoKool 138
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2007, 12:25:37 PM »
November,

I wasn't completely joking. Since you have been posting on the forum I have become much more conscious of how even minor perturbations can have an effect on the surrounding environment. I even wondered what effect turning on the light for the MR-138, or even leaving it on all the time (which I wouldn't do anyway), would have on the predicted results. Or opening the door once in a while to check on the dough container (e.g., to release built-up gases). I assume the effects of these actions would be minor.

Peter

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