Welcome to Freeze Dried Friday on SurvivalBlog! We’ve been making so many things in the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer that we want to share some of them with you. If you have something wonderful you’ve prepared in your freeze dryer that you would like to share with SurvivalBlog readers, take a photo of it and send it in along with a description. We might just feature you here! Today we’ll have a quick note about a shaft seal failure. But first:
Keeping the Freeze Dryer Filled
Harvest season is getting close here. Some herbs are just about ready to be harvested, and I can see the garden produce weighing down the plants in the garden. But they just aren’t quite ready yet. So what do you do with you’re Harvest Right Freeze Dryer while waiting for the bountiful harvest to come in?
A trip to Costco (or similar) for their fresh fruit is always an option. Costco is known for their fantastic selection of beautiful fruit, but it comes with a drawback. Unless you are a restaurant or juicing on a regular basis, it’s tough to use it all before it starts going bad. That’s true, unless you have a Freeze Dryer, of course!
Eggs, Eggs, and More Eggs!
Around here though, we have what we commonly call the French toast alert. For those unfamiliar with the term, that is when you know you have an incoming emergency, so you stock up on perishable things that you may not have a chance to get later. These are things that you can generally make French toast with— eggs, milk, and bread. But why wait for the emergency to approach to buy in bulk when you have a freeze dryer!?!
The Bread is covered because we buy wheat berries in bulk from the Bishop’s Warehouse which are processed as needed in our Country Living Grain Mill. The milk and eggs get run through the freeze dryer. A gallon of milk will fit in one batch and is the standard fare when there is nothing else to run. We prefer ours over purchased powdered milk, which is typically non-fat or low-fat. We run whole milk through the freeze dryer, and it reconstitutes and tastes just like fresh milk. The chickens determine when the eggs get run though. They are recovering from the heat and are pouring the eggs on now. When we have more than eight dozen eggs in the fridge, it’s time for a batch to go in.
Shaft Seal Failure
Freeze dryer pump number two is in a failure mode right now. The rear shaft seal is failing and leaks oil, leaving a good-sized puddle every time the pump is run. Sadly, Century Tool is backordered on this particular part and can’t give a time frame on the delivery. In the meantime, the leak is small enough that it doesn’t affect the performance of the pump, and we are able to run a complete batch without the oil level dropping too low. But the mess is something else.
I first tried to cut a milk carton to fit under the pump to catch the oil, but I soon realized that it wasn’t large enough. The pump feet flattened it out, allowing the oil to run freely on the table. Then it hit me. My wife uses the commercial heavy duty aluminum foil in her kitchen. I just snagged a piece just a bit larger than the pump foot print. A couple of folds later, I had an aluminum trough with a 1/2-inch rim to contain the oil mess while the pump runs.
It’s not pretty and it certainly isn’t durable, but nobody messes with the pump. The foil is strong enough to work as a temporary trough. After about three runs of the machine, I simply drain the oil into the oil filter along with the other used oil and it gets recycled back into use. It’s simple, inexpensive, and effective. I may keep that trough under the pump all of the time as a “just-in-case” sort of thing.