Author Topic: Just purchased a freeze dryer  (Read 47247 times)

Offline Jarrett2800

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Just purchased a freeze dryer
« on: April 07, 2014, 07:21:42 PM »
I am new to prepping and I have been searching videos and blogs for a couple of months. I started by buying rice, beans, Mylar, and oxygen absorbers and think this is a good start. I have also been looking at all the freeze dried products out there but find them to be very expensive. I wanted my own freeze dryer and the price was $20,000 and up. No possible way I could afford that. Anyway, I came across a youtube video from harvest right. The video is short and not very informative however, I contacted the company and communicated with them about their home freeze dryer and since I educated myself on how the whole sublimation process works, I was able to ask technical questions which they answered in depth.

The item looked too good to be true but I sent off the $4100.00 to them anyway. I got a call from them today that they received the money and will be sending the unit out today. With the over the phone payment of $250.00 they went ahead and sent me a Mylar bag sealer which I already received. I should be getting the freeze dryer this week. I hurried with the down payment in March because they were having a sale trying to get their name out there. I saved $600 but I also upgraded to the stainless model so there wasn't much savings after that.

I'm not trying to sell their product for them. I'm hoping it works as good as they say but I just wanted to write this out to ya'll so you can look at their product if you are looking to find a freeze dry machine to make your own food. I am sure I will be able to save money in the long run. If anyone has any idea in NC where I can buy bulk fruit and such I would appreciate any direction. I have a sam's membership but I'm sure I can find it cheaper somewhere. I will keep you posted on the dryer's performance when I try it out. Oh, and before I forget I did receive a PDF on the owners manual and recipe book from the company also. All looks legit so far...


nelson96

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 09:12:22 PM »
When you get a chance to try it out, please let us know the steps needed to successfully freeze-dry food with it and how you think it performs.

.

Offline Erigorn

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 10:05:12 PM »
yes please test and report back. I am greatly interested in them.

I met them at a local outdoor sportsman expo in Utah about a month ago. They make it sound very good but not too good to be true. I was able to ask them many technical questions since i have researched them quite a bit. Just really hard to spend 4k on something, even if many other preps are somewhat in line. I am still looking into it though. A review form a TSP forum member would go a long way.

Please post back and I know many of us would be interested in things like:
cycle time (he told me 24-27 hours)
capacity (i read 1.5 to 2 #10 cans worth)
weight of stuff pre and post drying (i have yet to find a good resource on that which would be nice to know how much rehydrated food a #10 can of MH has in it)
cost of stuff you put in (not as important as pre/post weight)
How simple it is to use
anything else you can think of.


One thing of note is I believe Mylar has about a 10 yr shelf life while the #10 cans are more 25-30 yr (based on what some freeze dried companies have told me) Depending on your desired application you may want to look at canning them. If you have a local Mormon/LDS cannery they will loan out the canner and sell you the cans at very reasonable prices.

nelson96

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 10:14:41 PM »
One thing of note is I believe Mylar has about a 10 yr shelf life while the #10 cans are more 25-30 yr (based on what some freeze dried companies have told me) Depending on your desired application you may want to look at canning them. If you have a local Mormon/LDS cannery they will loan out the canner and sell you the cans at very reasonable prices.

Make it an even $5K with the sealer. . . .  http://www.canningpantry.com/flywheel-can-sealer.html

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 07:11:50 AM »
 :popcorn:

Offline Denver Terry

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 07:42:43 PM »
 :popcorn:

Offline Jarrett2800

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2014, 09:24:23 PM »
I received my dryer today. It didn't take long to assemble it. Harvest right sent me the manual a few days ago and I had plenty of time to read it. I tried to attach photos from my ipad after I typed a long description but lost everything I wrote so.. I will type this, post, then try to add photo's. Anyway, I spoke to Harvest Right before starting the unit just to make sure I did it right. They are very friendly and willing to help you get your product right. They did recommend me to try less sugary food first so I can get use to the unit. Fruits take longer to dry. I went to walmart and ashamed to say I purchased the following. Frozen (large) assortment of fruit, frozen beans, ice cream sandwiches, jello (had to try it), precooked ham and beef, and a last minute snickers bar at checkout. Surprisingly it all fit on the small trays except the whole pack of ham steaks.

The machine works like this. The digital display on the front of the machine provides the time left. It starts by cooling to -50 degrees for 9 hours. It then starts the external vacuum pump which is plugged into the unit. Once the vacuum reaches 500 mtarr, the tray heaters turn on. As the food warms, the evaporated liquid increases the air pressure which is constantly monitored. Once it reaches 600 mtarr, the heaters turn off. The moisture condenses reducing the air pressure back to 500 mtarr and the cycle starts over with the tray heaters. Once the air pressure stabilizes, the vacuum pump turns off and the unit remains at -50 until you turn it off. Once the food is removed, you can flip the switch to defrost and drain off the water. (This is how I understand it).

The unit comes with a vacuum pump manufactured by JB Industries. It is the platinum model which is their best model they make. The downside is the pump is kinda loud. The unit is not. I figured I'd load it at night and let the pump run while I'm not home.

Anyway, I will try to attach pics and update you tomorrow on the finished product.

Offline Jarrett2800

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 09:37:47 PM »
 :banghead: I will have to wait to post pics when I get to a real computer.

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 10:09:33 PM »
 :popcorn:

Offline Jarrett2800

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 05:45:21 PM »
I finished up drying a whole #10 can of sliced peaches. Unfortunately it took almost 3 days to finish. I do understand fruits high in sugar take longer and the fact I'm in NC and we have been getting a ton of rain which effects the process as well because of the high humidity (I've been told by Harvest Right). The peaches are done and taste great. I will surely try the fresh stuff next time and not the syrup can stuff. I haven't tried fresh yet but I'm sure there will be a difference. (I tried to rinse off the syrup prior to drying. Not sure if that helped). I think I will just focus on the necessities. Since I have in my stockpile 250 lbs of rice etc, I will just focus on precooked meat so if anything happens in the near future my canned fruits and veggies will still be good.

I purchased a whole loin from Sam's Club and had it sliced 1/2 inch. I'm going to season and grill then dry. I will probably break them up in pieces then put them in Mylar. The impulse sealer that came with the dryer works awesome. 2 seconds and the bags are sealed.

I still haven't used the dryer enough to formulate an opinion. I don't think the advertisement was 100% truthful because I have yet to dry anything in 24 hours. The meat might surprise me though. I will update that process when completed.

There is one more thing that I wasn't aware of when I made the purchase. The vacuum pump, though made from JB enterprises and top quality, the oil has to be replaced regularly due to contamination and water absorption which is kinda expensive especially if you replace the oil with the ultra fine processed oil called black gold. It must have gold in it to be so expensive.

Don't get me wrong, I sound negative but in fact, I'm happy with it and the ability for me to freeze dry my food the way I want to the taste that I like, I am pleased. I still haven't gotten to a real computer to upload pics. I will one day...

Offline Bubafat

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2014, 09:49:55 PM »
Sorry, not trying to be a jerk but it's mtorr not mtarr.

Sounds like a cool unit and very very reasonably priced.

nelson96

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2014, 10:06:19 PM »
Thanks for the updates Jarrett. . . .  Keep them coming.

Offline Erigorn

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2014, 10:18:43 AM »
Yes thanks for the reveiw and keep them coming. Still debating on this...have to freeze dry a ton of food before you couldn't just by 5 grand in freeze dried food...plus labor. Still appealing to me though.

Offline Jarrett2800

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 08:40:56 PM »
I could have just bought that amount in already freeze dried food but then I would be stuck with what the companies had freeze dried. I can prepare the food I like to eat and freeze dry it myself for later use. I love bbq and have yet seen that on any food list plus some of the food just doesn't taste good to me. I debated for a while before I purchased it and I don't regret it besides I'm the envy of all my prep friends.  ;)

Offline Erigorn

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 10:42:01 AM »
Yes you are  :D

Any more info you can share with us yet on dry times for other items?

Offline christphrmurray

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2014, 11:05:20 AM »
If you are near Greensboro the farmers market is good. There's another one in Raleigh. Talk to the venders see about getting a discount for cases of fruit and veggies. Also talk to the produce manager at Walmart one I use to work at would mark down produce if you would by it by the case.

Offline doublehelix

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2014, 11:47:27 AM »
Is it me or have the prices on the NorthStar units gone up quite a bit.

I received a quote for $20K used FOB from one supplier.

$5K I could swing with a group investment, but can't justify $20K.

Any suggestions on where to get one at a reasonable price??

Harvest Right is on my radar, but it looks like a garden-variety flower freeze dryer with some automation added.  Not bad for the $4K price and I might spring for one.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 11:53:26 AM by doublehelix »

Offline beakerello

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2014, 09:03:54 AM »
What's the latest on this......pics? Where is the OP located? OP if you are near Tulsa, OK. I'd be happy to upload pics for you.

Offline rikkrack

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2014, 07:35:34 AM »
 :popcorn:

Offline Erigorn

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2014, 04:26:26 PM »
Just found a fantastic review of this freeze dryer on survivalblog.com

http://survivalblog.com/harvest-right-freeze-dryer-part-1-by-hjl/

It is a very very good and throrough review. With cost analysis, tips, tricks and so forth. It is a long but good read if you are interested. I am looking seriously into this and this was awesome to get such a full report.

Offline mnotlyon

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2014, 11:43:39 AM »
I'm considering getting one of these to rent to local food producers. Please keep us informed.

Offline Hobby2244

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2014, 09:51:48 PM »
 >:(  I BAUGHT THE HARVEST RIGHT ABOUT THREE WEEKS AGO, IT ARIVED TWO DAYS AGO. I AM NOT HAPPY SO FAR WITH THE COMPANY AND THE WAY I HAVE BEEN TREATED, I WAS TOLD THAT I WOULD GET THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL AND MY INVOICE THE NEXT DAY IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.
IT WAS SENT A CHEAPER JB VACUUM THAN THE ONE THEY ADVERTISED. WHEN ASKED TO SEND THE ONE THE OWNERS MANUAL SPECIFICALLY MENTIONS " THE JB PLATINUM VACUUM PUMP SEC7 7.1 OF THE OWNERS MANUAL "
I WAS TOLD THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE. I CALLED JB IND. AND THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE. WHEN I TOLD THEM THE OWNERS MANUAL HAD NO DISCLAMER STATEMENT SAYING THEY COULD SUBSITUTE A CHEAPER PUMP AND I WANTED THE PLATINUM. IF THEY DID NOT WANT SEND ME THE PUMP THEN TGET COULD REFUND MY MONEY AND HAVE FEDEX COME AND GET IT.
THE SALEMAN SAID "NATHEN" HE WOULD HAVE IT PICKED UP. HO I HAD ASK 4 OR 5 TIMES BEFORE I GOT MY INVOICE. I GUESS $4,200 DOLLARS DOESN'T MEAN MUCH. THEY OVIOUS DON'T NEED OR WANT MY BUSINESS. I HOPE THEY WANT YOURS. I WILL BE GLAD TO SEND ANYONE COPIES OF THE EMAIL.

Offline Hobby2244

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2015, 06:46:32 PM »
THIS IS HOBBY2244 I WOULD LIKE TO LET EVERYONE KNOW THE OUT COME OF MY PURCHASS OF THE HARVEST RIGHT FREEZE DRYER worked out from the post I made on Nov 17, 2014.  ;D I so sorry that did get back with eveyone on the out come sooner, I had forgoten about my original post.

So let me start out by apologizing to The owner of Harvest Right, Dan Neville for any lost sells my post may have caused. About two or three days after my post he personally called me, and apologized for way things were handed, he was not awere of my post. I had sent him a email that as luck would have it thier internet was down and he had not seen my email. through my phone calls, he got the massage to call. When called me it was to let me know that he very much appeciated my business and was sending me the Platium pump, I told him that I would send the other back he told that he wanted me to keep it so i would have a backup.
The machine has exceeded my expectaions. I am now no first name basis with Dan and so glad he called he was so upset with the mix up and also offered me my money back if Iwas not happy with the way the freeze dryer worked. My post was made because of I was mad at a salesman who just handled me wronng by saying he would have the freeze dryer picked up.
               
I had done my research and I truly wanted the Freeze dryer It is a very high quality well built machine.  And would highly recommend it to anyone that it is well worth buying. IS A VERY REPUTABLE COMPANY.

I SHOULD NOT HAVE LET THE ACTIONS OF ONE PERSON IN A GOOD COMPANY UPSET ME LIKE THAT.
ANY QUESTIONS FEEL FREE TO CALL ME AT 270-860-3733 I'm very sorry Dan.

Offline goofyshooter

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2015, 08:09:03 PM »
Jarrett

What part of NC are you in?

Offline jb59

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2015, 09:05:36 PM »
This would be a good purchase for a small prepper group.  Or would you have to purchase the commercial version for that scenario?  I'm not real educated on that stuff.

Offline dpreppers

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2015, 06:31:24 AM »
Glad to hear a good review on the Harvest right.  I saw it at the survival expo in Denver this year and it looked really promising, especially for my family since we have so many food allergies.

This would be a good purchase for a small prepper group.  Or would you have to purchase the commercial version for that scenario?  I'm not real educated on that stuff.

The unit I saw was big enough for a family and maybe a small group, I think you'd get maybe a #10 can size worth after one run. 

For those that have this can anyone confirm if the run time is indeed around 24 hours or is it longer?

Offline midwesterner

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2015, 02:08:35 AM »
The run time depends on how much moisture has to be extracted. The 24 hour period is a rough average. I've done shredded cheese that took about 18 hours, diced ham that took about 21 hours, and fresh sliced garlic that took close to 30 hours. The default freeze-down time is 9 hours. The default drying time is 5 hours, but it takes a few hours for the vacuum to drop enough for the freeze cycle timing to start. If you know the food you're drying is moisture-rich, you increase the drying time. I think the most I've reset it for is 7 1/2 hours for near-liquids like sour cream and ricotta cheese.

A full tray of diced ham (about a pound) yielded just over a pint. So four trays (which is what the machine holds - all four trays combined are roughly the size of a full restaurant sheet pan or two of the half-sheets that are often sold as cookie sheets) would have yielded a little more than 2 quarts. A pint of sour cream yields a little less (maybe 10-15%) than a pint after drying. Same for yogurt. Raw pork loin slices don't shrink all that much after drying, nor do raw ground beef patties or tenderized round steak pieces. Chicken breasts, sliced to 1/2" thickness as everything needs to be, didn't seem to shrink at all. Mini Marshmallows don't shrink at all.

Oil changes are necessary after 5-8 batches, depending on how much water was extracted. As the oil gets contaminated, the drying time gets longer and longer, until it may not ever fully dry out. (Fortunately, you can stop the machine and change oil without unloading it, simply resetting the timer after restarting it.)

Batch #38 will go in tomorrow. Frozen veggies that were on sale. They don't shrink either. While it may be cheaper to buy freeze dried food in cans when you factor in the cost of the machine and the operating costs, it's balanced against being able to control exactly what you're freeze drying. That can offset the added expense for many.


Offline sshickson

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2015, 08:47:49 PM »
I received my freeze dryer yesterday from Harvest Right....have you done anything in it yet? My husband and I are beginner preppers and we started a garden this last year so I am looking at really fresh items for our Dryer. We started 4 trays tonight and I can't wait until tomorrow evening to see how it turned out.

I sliced sweet potatoes and tossed them with a little EVOO and Sea Salt as a snack for the kids, tired of buying Cheetos and chips, we also did fresh green beans the same way, plus a tray of Avocado and a tray of apples.

We considered buying some pre-packaged freeze dried "Survival Food" Kits, but they are very expensive and you don't know what all went into them and how they will taste, etc. Plus, is it food my family will want to eat. I realize that you will eat what there is in the event of an emergency, but I would rather make sure it is WHAT I want as well.

We will start by Freeze Drying our left overs, I am tired of stuff sitting in the frig and being thrown away when it doesn't get eaten. I will not be throwing away food or money, and it will add to my emergency pantry at the same time. I will fix extra on some dishes specifically for that purpose, but this way I am not having to spend a lot of extra money purchasing a year supply of food for a family of 6!

Please let me know how your first batch turns out and I will post with regards to mine.

Offline Gypsyman

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2015, 10:07:53 PM »
How long did it take to receive your HR units after you ordered? I've been looking for small to mid sized commercial unit without success so far. May have to go with the HR dryer.

Offline sshickson

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Re: Just purchased a freeze dryer
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2015, 08:38:07 AM »
How long did it take to receive your HR units after you ordered? I've been looking for small to mid sized commercial unit without success so far. May have to go with the HR dryer.

Took me about a week or 10 days to recieve. They emailed me my receipt along with a start up sheet, owners manual and recipe guide with a few recipes ahead of time so the day we received it we were ready to go.