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Author Topic: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer  (Read 15434 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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After 8-9 yrs of using a Classic 5qt KA mixer, I finally decided to pull the trigger on a spiral mixer.  My curiosity about the necessity of a "real" mixer for making NP dough has finally pushed me over the edge.   I have used the KA extensively and thoroughly and I want to know if having a fancy mixer will make any difference if at all for my doughs.  Although I don't make a classic (VPN) dough, I am familiar with my dough and my desired crust qualities soa I will be able to tell how much of a difference this mixer will make compared to my KA dough. 
I will also do a review of the mixer and attempt to answer some questions for those who are curious. 

I ordered the Famag IM-5S from pleasanthillgrain.com after some very helpful discussion and advice  from members Scott R and Alex (Doouball).   I ordered this mixer back in the beginning of March and it has been on backorder since then.  I even considered canceling the order several times, but it has finally arrived.   The mixer came packed very well.

More info can be found here.
https://pleasanthillgrain.com/famag-high-hydration-grilletta-spiral-dough-mixer




« Last Edit: July 01, 2021, 05:31:52 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2021, 08:47:23 AM »
Looking forward to seeing your thoughts on this mixer. I still mix by hand but have been keeping an eye on these home sized spiral mixers.

Offline 02ebz06

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2021, 11:00:48 AM »
Looking forward to your review as well.
Been thinking about getting one if/when my Viking mixer dies.
Bruce here... My cooking toys --> Pizza Party Emizione, Pellet Grill, Pellet Smoker, Propane Griddle, Propane Grill

Offline billg

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2021, 05:37:28 PM »

Best piece of advice I can give is to pay close attention to the dough temperature.  These little buggers develop gluten real fast and can heat the dough faster than usual.  They are dough machines!!!!! 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2021, 07:02:39 PM »
I did notice that last night making my first batch of dough.  I put a few pieces of ice in the water but the dough still heated up very quickly.  I think my finishing dough temp was at 78F.   I will have to start off with more ice next time. 

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Offline jsobolew

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2021, 07:19:19 PM »
I have the IM-10 and while it's a well built, sturdy mixer, there is always a bunch of flour at the bottom of the bowl that doesn't get fully mixed in unless I get my hands in there and manually mix it. I feel a little foolish mixing it partially by hand when I spent $1,600 on this mixer. My pop-up business exploded and I'm already looking at a larger mixer anyways.

Offline billg

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2021, 07:22:02 PM »
I did notice that last night making my first batch of dough.  I put a few pieces of ice in the water but the dough still heated up very quickly.  I think my finishing dough temp was at 78F.   I will have to start off with more ice next time.

Under 80f should be ok.  I sometimes put my flour in the fridge the night before and use cold water. 

Offline billg

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2021, 07:32:41 PM »
I have the IM-10 and while it's a well built, sturdy mixer, there is always a bunch of flour at the bottom of the bowl that doesn't get fully mixed in unless I get my hands in there and manually mix it. I feel a little foolish mixing it partially by hand when I spent $1,600 on this mixer. My pop-up business exploded and I'm already looking at a larger mixer anyways.

Do you have the new or updated breaker bar from Famag? 

Offline billg

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2021, 07:35:20 PM »
I have the IM-10 and while it's a well built, sturdy mixer, there is always a bunch of flour at the bottom of the bowl that doesn't get fully mixed in unless I get my hands in there and manually mix it. I feel a little foolish mixing it partially by hand when I spent $1,600 on this mixer. My pop-up business exploded and I'm already looking at a larger mixer anyways.

Here's a picture:
https://piratespizzashack.com/products/offset-breaker-bar-for-famag-im8-fixed-head

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2021, 08:08:45 PM »
Do you have the new or updated breaker bar from Famag?

Yes.  It is angled closer to the mixing arm.  Here you can see the clearance between the mixing arm and the bar.   I would have liked to see even less clearance but perhaps the folks at Famag know a thing or two about mixers that I don't. 

I pulled an image off of YouTube that was a post 4 month ownership review and the angle of the breaker bar "appears" more acute.  Mine is the one in red. 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2021, 08:11:11 PM by Jackie Tran »

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2021, 08:19:18 PM »
Jsobolew, as far as unmixed flour at the bottom of the bowl, I didn't not notice any on the maiden voyage last night.  I made a 650gm dough using KAAP flour with an effective hydration of 61%.   I put all the flour in first and dissolved the CY and salt in the water and added that in increments.  Softened lard was added after all the water was taken up by the flour.   I did use a spatula to help direct the dough back towards the center bar because my dough batch was so small.  Perhaps that played a role in an even mix.   After the dough was removed, I did note a few scant scraps of wet dough stuck to corner edge of the mixing bowl.





« Last Edit: July 02, 2021, 05:21:36 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline jsobolew

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2021, 08:20:32 PM »
Do you have the new or updated breaker bar from Famag?

Yes, mine looks like the one pictured with the breaker bar that bends in. The problem is that the spiral never gets to the edge of the bowl where flour collects. Also there is a pretty big gap under the breaker bar where flour kinds just settles and there is usually a chunk of crusty dough left on the bottom of the bowl in that area. I've tried a bunch of different work flows (water first, flour first, all at once, etc.) and nothing seems to fix it except mixing it partially by hand.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2021, 08:35:51 PM »
Jsobolew, what is your normal batch size, what type of flour are you using and what is the hydration of the dough?

Offline Elchimi

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2021, 08:42:16 PM »
I like to do 100% biga from fridge with the spiral mixer, the dough doesn’t get that warm then

Offline jsobolew

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2021, 08:47:55 PM »
Jsobolew, what is your normal batch size, what type of flour are you using and what is the hydration of the dough?

I used to do a 9.6Kg batch which is pretty much the upper end of what it's capable of. Now I do 2x 6.4Kg batches. 67-69% hydration, a blend of All Trumps and Central Milling 00 flour.

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2021, 08:55:43 PM »
100% biga from the fridge with a mix of ATs flour  at 67-69% hydration?  That sounds like a very strong dough.  It makes sense that you have some bits of unincorporated flour.   Do you ball after a short rest and bake the same day or do your doughballs go back in the fridge for a cold rest for the next day.  Any pictures of your pies?  And you are making hybrid style pies? 2-3min bakes?   Feel free to send me a PM if you'd rather not post details of your dough.  I would completely understand. 

Chau

Offline jsobolew

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2021, 09:06:25 PM »
100% biga from the fridge with a mix of ATs flour  at 67-69% hydration?  That sounds like a very strong dough.  It makes sense that you have some bits of unincorporated flour.   Do you ball after a short rest and bake the same day or do your doughballs go back in the fridge for a cold rest for the next day.  Any pictures of your pies?  And you are making hybrid style pies? 2-3min bakes?   Feel free to send me a PM if you'd rather not post details of your dough.  I would completely understand. 

Chau
I use a sourdough starter, not biga. I think maybe you got me mixed up with someone else above. I ball after a short rest, leave out for a few hours then fridge for 1-3 days. Yeah, they're hybrid pies, 16", 2-3min bakes.

Offline jsobolew

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2021, 09:09:35 PM »
Here’s a few of my pies.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2021, 09:09:40 PM »
 :-D You're right.  I was reading on my mobile phone and read your post and the previous person who uses 100% biga and combined the info in my mind.  Lol.  My bad.   I was like wow...100% biga and ATs.   Must be a really strong dough!!   Ok. Makes more sense now.   ;D

And those pies are absolutely gorgeous 😍

Offline billg

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Re: First impressions and review of the Famag IM-5S Spiral mixer
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2021, 09:20:12 PM »
Billg, as far as unmixed flour at the bottom of the bowl, I didn't not notice any on the maiden voyage last night.  I made a 650gm dough using KAAP flour with an effective hydration of 61%.   I put all the flour in first and dissolved the CY and salt in the water and added that in increments.  Softened lard was added after all the water was taken up by the flour.   I did use a spatula to help direct the dough back towards the center bar because my dough batch was so small.  Perhaps that played a role in an even mix.   After the dough was removed, I did note a few scant scraps of wet dough stuck to corner edge of the mixing bowl.



I think you are referring to jsobolew's post about the flour.  I have not had any problem with the Sunmix or Famag with flour that was unmixed.  I had a problem with the Famag with smaller dough batches and dough temps, but the famag 10 I owned did not have the offset breaker bar which I believe has now been addressed.  The biggest issue with both brands is dough temperature.  I thought it was more of an issue with the Famag and that is why I sold it.  I just had to work too hard to get it right.  I wish the offset bar was available before I sold it because I bought it for a great price.

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