Author Topic: Proofing Box - Updated version  (Read 3547 times)

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Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Proofing Box - Updated version
« on: April 11, 2008, 07:39:50 PM »
I have read about making a Styrofoam proof box with a light bulb and dimmer switch. Seems like a good idea except for the low tech look. Therefor I took this one step beyond and did the following;

Took an old Sharp microwave that was cluttering the garage for 6 years and ripped out the guts of it. Placed the internal light into the wall of the oven and wired it using the existing power cord with a dimmer switch mounted through the back panel. I also surrounded the inner walls with Styrofoam peanuts (hate the mess those things make) and put the cover back on. The glass tray will make any overflows easy to clean up. Also mounted an old Brookstones outdoor digital temperature gauge sensor inside by drilling a small hole at the top.

Total new parts cost $4.50. So far it seems to dial in the temperature and maintain it pretty well. First test is going on now.

To any casual observer it just looks like a microwave, little do they know what is going on inside.



Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Proofing Box - Updated version
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2008, 07:52:28 PM »
PNW,

Please keep us posted on your results. What are you planning to use the proofing box for?

Peter

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Proofing Box - Updated version
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 08:04:41 PM »
Peter,

Activating sourdough starter and I will be trying a second batch of dough using Bill's 19 hour room temp rise. First time I used the oven light method and it got a bit warm overnight and over fermented somewhat. Still produced a great pizza. Not sure what room temperature is for everyone, would be nice to have a standardize number that we could all refer to.


ps - I really wanted a Thermokool but obviously there are none to be had. I did purchase one of these bargains http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm?skunum=32806&src=SRQB but it was DOA and I sent it back. I assume that is why it was so cheap.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Proofing Box - Updated version
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 08:23:43 PM »
Not sure what room temperature is for everyone, would be nice to have a standardize number that we could all refer to.

PNW,

Room temperature will vary depending on where you live and the time of year, so it is hard to pick a "standardized" number. With high energy prices, I suspect that room temperatures will be creeping up in the summer and down in the winter as people try to adjust.

If you were in a commissary setting making fresh dough balls for several stores, such as Papa John's does, you would have the area where the dough balls are made be at a fixed temperature. Otherwise there would be too many variations in dough performance and dough life at the store level.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Proofing Box - Updated version
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 08:28:57 PM »
Activating sourdough starter and I will be trying a second batch of dough using Bill's 19 hour room temp rise.

PNW,

Obviously, the proofing box won't be of much help if you have to use a temperature lower than room temperature, whatever that is where you live. It will be useful when you need high temperatures to activate a starter or to refresh it before putting it back into the refrigerator. I also use my proofing box to warm up a very low hydration dough to be able to roll it out using a rolling pin.

Peter

Offline November

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Re: Proofing Box - Updated version
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2008, 11:58:05 PM »
Not sure what room temperature is for everyone, would be nice to have a standardize number that we could all refer to.

There is one in the scientific world.  20C is the most commonly used temperature in experimental settings, although a material's standard state is sometimes defined at 25C.  You'll often see me use 20C (68F) for examples or in practice because of the convenience of comparing my results to preexisting research.  I've been using 20C as the value for ambient temperature for the purpose of calculations since my first chemistry class a long time ago, so if you ever see me use the term "room temperature" that's the temperature to which I generally refer.  I have tried to convey this before in the ThermoKool thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5058.msg46627.html#msg46627  You can see one example of the commonality of 20C as a standard temperature here (20C = 293.15 K): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_thermal_conductivities

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Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Proofing Box - Updated version
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2008, 11:03:36 AM »
I have put this experiment into the circular bin. It lacked sufficient insulation to maintain temperature when the house temperatures cooled at night. If I watched it during the day it worked ok for a 4 hour activation of starter. Beyond that, the lack of cooling made it expendable.

Purchased a Koolatron C18, which is similar to Thermokool MR-318 (not the 138). It lacks the clear front door and is slightly smaller inside. So far it has held the temperature very accurately and the lack of window is not a big deal. Will try to provide more details in a new thread as I use it more.

PNW

Offline Fingerstyle

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Re: Proofing Box - Updated version
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2008, 10:19:28 AM »
I've been using a styro box and a night light. Maintains 82 F at 72 room temp, but too small to use for anything other than activating sourdough. It recently cooled off a bit here, and to proof some Leahy no-knead I tried my old convection oven. To my great surprise it maintains 80F at 70F ambient perfectly. All I need now is a method to deal with hotter ambient temps. I may experiment with placing a cooling box in the airstream  of a humidifier fan for evaporative cooling.

Vic
"... I say we ride some gravity." - Patrick Rizzo