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Spin Cycle: Homestyle Centrifuge

August 19th, 2012 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

by Dave Arnold

Good news! I’ve found a home friendly centrifuge, the Champion E-33 from Ample Scientific. Dunno why you’d want a centrifuge? See my posts here, here, here, and here; or read Modernist Cuisine.

The Champion E-33 centrifuge from Ample Scientific

The Good:

  • It costs a shade more than $150 brand-new and is available on amazon.com ,shipped free with a prime membership. If Amazon runs out you can go straight to Ample’s website
  • It weighs less than 10 pounds and is the size of a toaster.
  • It is safe.
  • It is quiet.
  • Unlike used centrifuges, the E-33 doesn’t need major decontamination.

The Great:

  • The E-33 gives you a legitimate taste of what centrifuges can do in the kitchen.

Peach puree in the E-33, after and before.

The Not-So-Great:

  • The capacity of the E-33 is a measly 120 ml (a little over 4 ounces), so you won’t be making major quantities of clarified juice for your next party. The centrifuge I use at work, the Jouan C4-12, can spin 3 liters at a time, a nice capacity for a professional kitchen.
  • The E-33′s rotor only spins at 3300 rpm, generating 1300 times the force of gravity. The Jouan only rotates slightly faster, 4000 rpm; but its much larger rotor generates 4000 times the force of gravity at that speed. The lower g forces mean you need to spin significantly longer –what takes 10 minutes in my Jouan takes 30 in the E-33.

The inside.

What I’ve Tested:

  • So far I have only tested clarifying lime juice and peach purée. Based on those tests, I predict that the E-33 will do a fine job of clarifying any fruit juice or purée. I don’t know if it will work to make nut oils, but if it does it will doubtless take longer than thirty minutes. Cleaning the nut-pastes out of the tubes would also be a chore, and harvesting only the layer of primo paste on the top might well-nigh prove impossible. Ditto with some Modernist Cuisine recipes like pea butter.

What you’ll need:

  • A Champion E-33 centrifuge.
  • Some centrifuge tubes and a rack.
  • Some Pectinex Ultra SPL. This enzyme breaks down pectins and hemicelluloses in fruit juices and purées. Without it you won’t accomplish much at the g forces the E-33 can attain.
  • Some Kieselsol and Chitosan. These two wine clarification aids are available at many home-brew shops. Kieselsol is a suspended silica sol, and the chitosan is a hydrocolloid solution usually derived from shrimp shells. I’ve been using them to clarify lemon and lime juice for a couple years now; without them you won’t be able to clarify anything high in acid. See the abbreviated version of the technique below.

The Technique:

For low to medium acid fruits add 2 ml of Pectinex Ultra SP-L to every liter of juice. The amount of SPL you add isn’t critical. I usually juice hard fruits like apple in a Champion Juicer first, then add the SP-L. If the juice is fridge temperature you should let it sit an hour or so. If you warm the juice to body temp you can spin in 10-25 minutes, because the warmth speeds the enzyme. Remember: fruits that undergo enzymatic browning should be treated with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) as they are being juiced if you want to prevent oxidation. Put soft fruits like strawberries directly into a blender with 2 ml SP-L per kilo. Blend the hell out of the stuff. I usually leave my blender on till the friction from the blades warms the purée to just above body temperature. I’m using a Vita-prep high speed blender, so the purée heats up pretty quick — I don’t know if this technique is feasible with most home blenders. After treatment, spin the juices and purées in the E-33 for 30 minutes. You can try for less time, but when I tested at 20 minutes there were still a couple little floaty particles that hadn’t properly adhered to the pellet at the bottom of the tubes.

For high acid juice like limes use a three-step process. (Why clarify lime juice? So you can use it in carbonated beverages!) The acid inhibits the SPL, so it won’t work on it’s own. Add 2 ml of SPL per liter of juice and, at the same time, add 2 ml of Kieselsol per liter — make sure to shake the container of Kieselsol before you add it. The amount of SPL isn’t critical, but the amount of Kieselsol is . Stir your juice thoroughly and wait 15 minutes. Add 2 ml/liter of Chitosan. Again, the amount is critical. Stir your juice thoroughly and wait 15 more minutes. Add a final 2ml/liter of Kieselsol, stir, wait 15 minutes and spin. Strictly speaking, you don’t need to wait the full 15 after the last step, but I wait anyway.

Recommendations:

This centrifuge will be great for juices typcially used in small quantities — like lime juice, where 4 ounces is a meaningful amount. Lime juice is a good choice for small-capacity centrifuges because its low solids content ensures high yield. Justinos –liquors blended with fruit and spun clear– will be good in this unit because you could probably yield 3 ounces of finished booze per spin. That’s two shots –one for you and one for your mate. Clarifying bitters would also be a good use of this little guy. Heaven help you if you need to make Gin and Juice for 1000 people with the E-33. For that task, pony up for the pro-machine.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Atie

    Hi Dave, please remove the link to our site from the Blogroll section of the sidebar. The anchor text is “Outlook Import EML” please remove it!

    • davearnold

      How the heck did that get there? Someone has seriously messed with the blog site and I don’t have access to fix it. I’ll try.

  • Ricardo Prado

    Hey Dave
    Totally off topic but…what is the best way to stabilize a fatty raw milk cheese to be able to melt it fonduta style without it breaking? Suggestions?

    Ricardo P.

    • davearnold

      Howdy my man. Do you have access to modern cuisine? I think they have some recipes for stuff like that using melting salts and emulsifiers.

  • mirauncut

    Dave! I have been looking for one…thanks for the heads up..I really wish it could clarify larger quantities, but it’s still not bad. Do you think this would work to make the “pea butter” a la modern cuisine?

    • davearnold

      Haven’t tried it for that yet. just did a bunch of demos with it in Colombia –a real bear to spin that much

  • Paul A.

    My experience with pea butter in a home centrifuge is: yes you get pea butter, but the yield is dismal. You have to really want it.