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  • How To Freeze Dry Ice Cream?


    Below explains how we recommend doing Ice Cream, but everybody has their way of processing Ice Cream. Much of this information might be useful for other foods that might be susceptible to boiling/exploding.


    I pre-set my Freeze Dryer to…

    “Initial Freeze:” -10 degrees

    “Extra Freeze Time:” 4:30 hours

    “Dry Temp:” 110 degrees

    “Extra Dry Time:” 14:00 (add more hours as needed)

    Touch “SAVE”to save the new settings,

    then load the empty Trays and touch “START”.


    After about 20 to 30 minutes of being prompted with the “Load Food into Freeze Dryer”screen… I touch “CONTINUE”… the system moves to the “FREEZING”cycle, but I have not loaded my Ice Cream yet. I want the system to be very cold… I want the on screen Temp (sensor under shelf #3) to be a negative Temp before I load the Ice Cream. The “Extra Freeze Time:” setting of 4:30 hours gives me plenty of time to get my Ice Cream cold.


    After about 30 minutes (on-screen system clock time, and still in the “FREEZING” cycle), the on screen Temp (sensor under shelf #3) shows about -3 to -5 degrees (still have not reached my “Initial Freeze:” setting of -10 degrees). Accumulatively, the system has been cooling for over an hour at this point, system clock resets when the system moves into the “FREEZING” mode. Empty Trays have been in the Freeze Dryer during this hour, and the Trays are now very cold. Now it’s time to load the Ice Cream.


    I removed the very cold Trays (one at a time) and loaded the Ice Cream (Ice Cream Sandwiches and Mini Swirls) on to the bare cold Tray. No Parchment Paper or Silicon Mat, I want to eliminate any insulating properties the paper or mat might (??) have. I inserted one Thermometer into the Ice Cream on each Tray (to monitor the internal Temp of the Ice Cream).


    After 2 hours of system run time, (still in the “FREEZING”cycle), the screen Temp (sensor under shelf #3) now shows about -9 to -11 degrees, the Internal Temp of the Ice Cream is now at about Zero Degrees (per the Analog Thermometers). The FD’s Operating System does not have any sensor reading of the Drum Temp., however, I use an Analog Thermometer touching the Drum… the drum Temp is below -50 degrees at this point, as indicated by my Analog Thermometer touching the Drum. For whatever reason the Mini Swirls seem to get much colder much faster???


    Since the system has to get to -10 degrees (“Initial Freeze:” setting)… and then wait another 4:30 hours in the “FREEZING” cycle before moving to the “VACUUM FREEZING” mode, the Ice Cream (internal Temp) gets very cold. The internal Temp of my Ice Cream will typically get down to or under -20 degrees before the system moves to the “VACUUM FREEZING” cycle. That is very good, considering my Ice Cream comes out of my Refrigerator/Freezer at about +20 degrees, frozen, but not Frozen Solid.


    When the internal Temp of the Ice Cream (not the on screen Temp) gets to a “steady” (bouncing around a little) +110 Temp (my “Dry Temp:” setting), with a very low mTorr reading, I add another 4 to 5 hours of Extra Dry Time, then start my Dry-Check process.


    My lower “Dry Temp:” setting (110 degrees) does make for a longer Batch Run. The -10 Degree setting and the extra 4:30 hours also contribute to a longer Batch run time. The Extra Freeze Time:” of 4:30 hours could likely be reduced to something less than 2 hours if you start with much colder Ice Cream (sub-Zero Freezer). But, Colder Ice Cream might (???) make it difficult to insert the Thermometers (insert before deep freeze).


    Not all shelf/tray positions in the rack assembly are created equal… so, the Extra Freeze Time & Rotating the Trays assures me that all my Ice Cream is Frozen Solid!!! The Thermometers validate that assurance.


    Total DRYING time for my Ice Cream runs… about 28 to 30 hours with these settings, depending on the amount of Ice Cream in the Batch Run.


    You might get a little bit of a boiling effect with flavored Ice Cream, like Strawberry or Carmel Ice Cream, or if the Ice Cream is touching the edge of the Tray or the back on some trays. I try to keep any open space on the tray, at the very back of the tray (push all the Ice Cream forward in the tray). With very cold Ice Cream (-20), I get a minimum amount of boiling of the Ice Cream.


    The Mini Swirls are large, very close to the overhead Heating Pad, but it all worked for me with no problem. White Chocolate coating is still wet, but does firm-up when the cones cool.


    Your Ice Cream Freeze Drying experience may be different… but this is how it works for me when I do Ice Cream. The Analog Thermometers are not a requirement, just something we recommend using.

    Again… not everyone process his or her Ice Cream in the same manner.



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