Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

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ShadowDesertRat
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Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Post by ShadowDesertRat » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:39 pm

Evening ZS. Not sure if i am putting this in the right place, feel free to move it or let me know if it is in the wrong place. Was wondering if anyone out there had tried this machine before and if so if it worth saving my pennies for?

http://harvestright.com/home-freeze-dryer-machine/

At just a bit under $4k for the black model its a bit pricey but i figure in no time flat i could have a stock of food for the whole family and them some.

Altho this would prob be best for planning for much larger groups than one family.

Thoughts, opinions?

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JayceSlayn
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Re: Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Post by JayceSlayn » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:27 pm

This sounds like a very interesting development. I've written in an earlier post about how difficult proper freeze drying actually is, and while it has been a developed process of commercial producers for a while now, I am wondering how the transition to a home unit would work out. With the way technology goes, it is conceivable that this thing really works like a proper freeze dryer, but there are a few things I'd want to know more about before purchasing one.

It says that it has sensors to automatically sense and adjust the drying settings for you, and again with the way technology improves, I'd be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but freeze drying is a really complicated process. Many manufacturers have to do some pre-processing or alteration of their recipes before freeze drying to ensure that the resulting product comes out like you expect. I'm not sure at-home freeze drying would be capable of making some of these changes "easy".

Secondly, they (probably purposely) don't make any claims about how long a single freeze drying cycle takes, but in commercial freeze dryers, it can take days for a cycle of food to finish. The big issue is that you have to keep the food cold, but at that temperature the water sublimates very slowly, and so removal of the water content can take a very long time. If the cycle times are very long, it might eat into how convenient you think doing this at home with a fresh harvest might be.
Rahul Telang wrote:If you don’t have a plan in place, you will find different ways to screw it up
Colin Wilson wrote:There’s no point in kicking a dead horse. If the horse is up and ready and you give it a slap on the bum, it will take off. But if it’s dead, even if you slap it, it’s not going anywhere.

ShadowDesertRat
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Re: Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Post by ShadowDesertRat » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:44 pm

JayceSlayn wrote:This sounds like a very interesting development. I've written in an earlier post about how difficult proper freeze drying actually is, and while it has been a developed process of commercial producers for a while now, I am wondering how the transition to a home unit would work out. With the way technology goes, it is conceivable that this thing really works like a proper freeze dryer, but there are a few things I'd want to know more about before purchasing one.

It says that it has sensors to automatically sense and adjust the drying settings for you, and again with the way technology improves, I'd be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but freeze drying is a really complicated process. Many manufacturers have to do some pre-processing or alteration of their recipes before freeze drying to ensure that the resulting product comes out like you expect. I'm not sure at-home freeze drying would be capable of making some of these changes "easy".

Secondly, they (probably purposely) don't make any claims about how long a single freeze drying cycle takes, but in commercial freeze dryers, it can take days for a cycle of food to finish. The big issue is that you have to keep the food cold, but at that temperature the water sublimates very slowly, and so removal of the water content can take a very long time. If the cycle times are very long, it might eat into how convenient you think doing this at home with a fresh harvest might be.

In regards to your second point i had the same thought. It was my understanding that it can take up to several days for a cycle of freeze drying to complete however my thought is that with a big company freeze drying means doing huge amounts at once to meet a certain quota. With this machine it will be substantially less and so i figured it might be faster.

on the FAQ page they say that a cycle can take around 24 hours ( http://harvestright.com/faq/ ) if this is true i dont know. All things that will take more digging and hopefully finding someone that has used it and can say for sure

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Anianna
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Re: Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Post by Anianna » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:49 pm

It also has that information on the Features & Benefits page. It also says you can mix different types of foods in a single batch, which sounds iffy to me. It really sounds too good to be true. For $3,899, I'm not going to be the one to try it out.
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“People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now.” ~Book of Eli

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JayceSlayn
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Re: Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Post by JayceSlayn » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:56 pm

That's another good point, Anianna. I don't know how it's handled commercially - it might not be a big issue - but I wonder if there would be any flavor transfer from different items in the same space. Mainly the most volatile flavor components, I would guess...

I did go back and read it again just now, and read the 24-hour cycle. They did mention that it will take longer for some things to dry than others, and I think the time is partly dependent upon the quantity of food in the freezer, but it is likely more a function of the surface area to volume ratio. The deeper you have to go to get the water out and the less porous the food is, the longer it will take. That is one of the specific adjustments that can be made prior to freeze drying food. Cutting things in thin slices before putting them inside would help some.

EDIT: they also mentioned that it was a low-power device, but at the same time they state that it uses 500 watts while operating. That's not exactly what I call low power (certainly not from an off-grid perspective), and over 24 hours continuous duty, that sounds like a good chunk of electricity.
Rahul Telang wrote:If you don’t have a plan in place, you will find different ways to screw it up
Colin Wilson wrote:There’s no point in kicking a dead horse. If the horse is up and ready and you give it a slap on the bum, it will take off. But if it’s dead, even if you slap it, it’s not going anywhere.

ShadowDesertRat
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Re: Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Post by ShadowDesertRat » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:18 am

i found this. i haven't read the whole thing yet but it looks pretty in depth.

http://survivalblog.com/product-review- ... jl-part-2/

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itzybitzyspyder
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Re: Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:13 am

ShadowDesertRat wrote:i found this. i haven't read the whole thing yet but it looks pretty in depth.

http://survivalblog.com/product-review- ... jl-part-2/
That is a solid review! It's got me thinking about picking one up. It's gonna require some saving though...
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