While the Dorkfood DSV was originally designed and made with just sous vide in mind, we have discovered that a temperature controller such as ours can be useful in many other applications as well. Our Dorkfood family has used their brains and creativity to pair the DSV with projects from other kinds of food prep techniques to brewing, and even home crafts like creating clothing dyes.
Because the DSV is in essence, just a highly sophisticated temperature controller, its main use has been in sous vide cooking. But since there is not actual heating element or tub attached to the device, it can really power anything that needs to heat up and maintain a temperature under 200˚ F. This includes an electric pot or hotplate used in a bain marie set up.
In layman’s terms, bain marie is really just a fancy name for a double boiler system. We have enterprising Dorks that have applied the DSV to this set up instead of sous vide and have made some amazing custards, sugar and chocolate confections and many other mouth watering concoctions. Since the DSV maintains the bottom water bath at a precise temperature, this double boiler method is much more accurate than simply heating on the stove.
We have many Dorks that use their DSV to make homemade yogurt. This saves on money and allows for creativity and personal taste choices to flourish. Our Dorkfood family members have reported making their homemade yogurt in one of two ways – in glass jars and straight in the tub where water would normally go for a sous vide application.
Both methods work well and allow the yogurt to mature at a constant and controlled rate. Recipes for various yogurts abound, but the most common is to slowly heat the yogurt at around 110˚ F – 120˚ F from 8 – 12 hours our so. Once this is done, you have yourself some very yummy homemade yogurt of your choice of flavors and type.
Another way in which our DSVs are used in non-sous vide roles is with home brewing. Taste and quality of our alcohol has become more important with the craft beer cultural revolution. And, right along with that is the upsurge in popularity of home brewing the perfect beer. In some of these home brew recipes, a step is added called the mash process.
In this step, the brewer basically steeps the grain mixture in hot water to hydrate the barley, activate the malt enzymes, and convert the grain starches into fermentable sugars.
Since the mash should never reach past 170˚ F, the DSV is ideal for heating and maintaining a temperature in the hot water and grains that allow all of the reactions to take place that are needed for these beers. And, while the unit cannot help in the slow cool-down phase of brewing, many or our Dorks have found that precisely controlling the mash temperature is a big plus.
One of the applications that we learned about from our Dorkfood family is the making of clothing dyes. People have been making dyes since times of old and we are rediscovering this lost art. Many or our Dorks have found the benefits of making their own clothing dyes at home range from money saving to health based. Making your own dyes means you know exactly what is in them and also means you need not pay the store a lot of money for a tiny bottle.
Dyes can be made from any number of things including berries, dark veggies, minerals, etc. Basically anything natural that has its own pigment can be used to dye cloth. Our Dorks make their dyes using these ingredients mixed with hot water. This hot water mixture then steeps anywhere from a few hours to over night, depending on the preferred deepness and strength of the dye. Here again, the DSV lends itself nicely to helping control and maintain the precise temperature for the dyes to reach perfection.
These are but a few of the examples of ways that we, and our extended Dorky family, use precise controlled temperatures and the DSV in ways that Dorkfood originally never even thought about. We get questions and comments often about ways in which people might apply the DSV to their creative thinking projects and come up with amazing ways of heating DIY hot tubs or make clotted cream or soup. What do you use your DSV for? We love to hear about the new and interesting ways our extended family members are getting Dorky and thinking outside of the vacuum seal bag!