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SP5 Performance - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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SP5 Performance

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  • SP5 Performance

    James, et al,

    A very quick update on the SP5 spiral mixer I bought recently. Blew my brains out at a launch party I held, baking boule, baguettes, foccaccia, etc., etc., for nearly 100 people. Should have kept the menu less complicated, but that's my way. Anyhow, the SP5 didn't miss a beat; it just sits there and works, and works, and works. Doesn't jump around on the counter. Doesn't heat up the dough. Because of the way my formulas work, I only had it up to six pounds of flour at a time, not the eight it will handle. Not a groan. This is one serious, professional, bulletproof piece of gear. I'll update further as time goes on. Baking 18 1 kilo boule and a bunch of other stuff next week; then on to the 150 kaiser roll order. These will really tell the tale of the SP5.

    Also bought "The Original Super-Fast Thermapen 5 Thermometer," through King Arthur's Baker's Catalogue. It's manufactured in England and imported by ThermoWorks, Alpine, Utah, www.thermoworks.com. It will read from -58 F to +572 F. This thing reads the interior temp of bread in about two seconds flat, as opposed to the half and hour or so for the cheapo hardware store "instant read" I had before it hit the garbage can.

    Weird thing is the calibration record was authorized by one "John Carswell" in England. My 1856 frame house was originally built for a watchmaker and silversmith by the name of John Carswell. Wait, "Do not adjust your set. Welcome to the twilight zone." Old John's buried right up the road from the house, so I guess he decided it was time to stop in for a visit. How weird is that?

    Jim
    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

  • #2
    What would be really weird is if you could go up the road with your "Original Super-Fast Thermapen 5 Thermometer" and take old John's tempurature!

    By the way, I'm not encouraged by your mixer review Jim. How will I ever buy it pennies the dollar when you are so enamored with it? Couple that with the latest value of the Canadian and I'm even more discouraged!

    Comment


    • #3
      Pennies to the Dollar

      Stuart,

      Old John? Just about to look for my shovel. Sorry, bud, eat yer heart out on the SP5. You'll just have to talk to Richard at TMB about that severe lack in your life. Tell the wife to wrap one up for you. She can have my KA600 for free.

      Jim
      "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

      Comment


      • #4
        sp5

        I assume we're talking about this:

        http://www.avancinispa.it/default.asp?*p=86&fId=22

        I'm a little concerned about euro-motors in the US market. In the machine tool trade, they never really get it right, and the motors have a tendency to overheat and underpower. Is your motor straining and heating?
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

        Comment


        • #5
          Motors

          Dmun,

          This is just a further update on the SP5. To answer your question, I used the SP5 all day yesterday to make 20 one kilo boule of different sorts and a double batch of pain a l'ancienne dough. The motor did not strain, heat up or miss a beat working with six pounds of flour at a time (8 pounds is max). There is only a minor and normal chain drive sound. This is exactly my experience with Italian woodworking equipment. Not sure where your experience is, but I've never had a problem with European equipment, except for that **xx!!! Triumph TR6 I bought in a dazed moment. Clutches by the dozen.

          The SP5 is just what an appliance should be: mute, efficient and just a small part of bread making. Unlike the KA 600, now I just set my timer and walk away. Very pleased with it is an understatement.

          Jim
          "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

          Comment


          • #6
            thanks

            Originally posted by CanuckJim
            Dmun,
            Not sure where your experience is, but I've never had a problem with European equipment, except for that **xx!!! Triumph TR6 I bought in a dazed moment. Clutches by the dozen.

            Jim
            Thanks for your comment. The machine tool motors that are problematic are all three phase, perhaps to work on north-american voltage single phase current, the motors have to be completely re-engineered (or locally sourced)
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

            Comment


            • #7
              Three-phase

              Dmun,

              Ah, now I understand. Three-phase, 220 volt systems do not travel well from Europe to here. Had a similar experience with printing presses from Switzerland. Then again, let me tell you sometime about trying to get a North American hair dryer to work in England, with a xx!!@@, so-called English plug. Not good, fried wire.

              Jim
              "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

              Comment


              • #8
                Dave,
                I am thinking about the SP5. Can you elaborate on the challenges of converting 220V motors, phases, etc. The "Idiot's Guide" guide to small industrial motors. I would like to learn more on the topic in general.

                Thanks!
                James
                Pizza Ovens
                Outdoor Fireplaces

                Comment


                • #9
                  Three phase

                  Alternating current is commonly understood to change polarity from positive to negative sixty times per second. It is important to understand that instead of switching from positive to negative directly, it changes in a wave form. You may know that the 220 current coming into your house is a combination of two 110 volt lines. What you may not know is that the two legs are sixty degrees out of phase, and that they form two of the three legs of three phase current.

                  Three phase current can be supplied directly by the power company. I have it on the pole right across the street from my house. Usually the utility won't sell it to you unless you are a major commercial user, and the connection costs big bucks. Here's what it looks like:



                  from wikipedia article

                  Home users of three phase usually have to manufacture their own third phase. The best way to do this is with a rotary converter, a little generator that manufactures three phase. They are expensive, and noisy. There are also solid state converters, which basically fool the motor into thinking it has the third phase, and the motors run at two-thirds power, and don't have neat features like instant reversing.

                  Three phase motors have a slight edge on efficiency over single phase motors. They are also slightly easier to make, since they don't need a commutator start mechanism, that lump you see on top of electric motors. These advantages would be completely theoretical except for the way commercial electricity is metered. The demand meter measures your peak usage in any given month, and you are billed as if you had used that much electricity 24 hours a day. Ever wondered why skyscrapers keep their lights on all night? They wouldn't save any money by turning them off. Since three phase motors don't need a jolt of electricity to start them, they keep those usage jumps down.

                  For home use, it's much better if you can buy dedicated single phase equipment. For just one mixer, like a Hobart commercial mixer, it's just not worth the trouble of three phase wiring. I run a little machine shop, so that's a completely different story.
                  My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Three phase

                    James, Dmun,

                    I may have misdirected you guys. The SP5 is not a three-phase set up. It's straight 110 household, and no modifications of any kind are needed. Just plug and knead.

                    Jim
                    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      SP5 vs KitchenAid

                      James,

                      A further update on mixers that may make your heart sink. I contacted the main KitchenAid website about the problems I had with the 600. Response? "We don't deal with Canadian customers." The Canadian KA site has no "Contact Us" button, only a phone number. Tried countless times to phone, but got tired of elevator music and "your call is important to us." Finally talked to a human there today; she "never has had a complaint about our mixers." Wouldn't do anything except direct me to a repair outlet, so I could use the 600 as a "back up." You'll probably appreciate my thoughts on that one. Suggested she surf a bit and find all those outraged people who have bought lousy KA mixers. Shocked and amazed is a proper description.

                      Called the place where I bought it: no refund without the original box. Didn't keep it, big enough to park my Honda in. They did, however, relax the rules a bit, and I will get an in-store credit for what I paid for that boat anchor. More gear, just what I need.

                      Don't forget, the KitchenAid slogan is "For the Way It's Made." Huh?

                      Caveat emptor.

                      Jim
                      "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        But you did get an in-store credit. Better than nothing. What are you going to buy now?

                        James
                        Pizza Ovens
                        Outdoor Fireplaces

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just works

                          James,

                          Yet another update on the SP5. Good thing is there`s nothing to add. The thing just plain works and works and works, and I`ve worked it pretty hard over the last month. The only thing I`ve found is that when you`re working near the flour limit of this machine, it`s best to add it in two batches, just to keep the dust down to a minimum. Of course, wet ingredients go in first, with the flour on top.

                          Jim
                          "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: SP5 Performance

                            I have a Delonghi mixer that works fine an can mix a sufficient batch of dough. However, being the fanatic I am, I want to buy either a sp5 or the electrlux other people are suggesting. How do they compare?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: SP5 Performance

                              I hope you can come up with a definitive answer! I haven't been able to!

                              At SFBI in August I looked the SP5 all over and it is super simple. We did not use it. The instructor said it produced dough that was comparable to what we made in the bigger sprials in class. Has only one speed - about halfway between the slow and fast speeds ont the larger spirals. One class member had the Electrolux and said the bowl sizes were the same. The Electrolux has multiple speeds and is more versatile. But it is not a spiral and uses a scraper. While I hear good things about it... I cannot lead myself to buy it! So I am in limbo land and mix by hand (which is not IMO a bad thing!)

                              Good Luck!
                              Jay

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