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Making Passata/Tomato sauce


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#1 Komodo

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:56 PM

So its the time of year when people go buy (or grow) a tonne of tomatos and turn them into tomato passato/sauce.

 

My wife and I have done this the past few years but this year mum and dad and some other friends want to join in. But I'm concerned that the old hand crank machine we use will be a pain in the arse for 150ish kgs of tomatos so I'm looking for an electric machine.
I think I want a Reber (available from foodquip/winequip). They seem to be the most common. But what size? I also plan on getting the mincer attachment.

At this stage I'm thinking the either the 1hp or the 1.5hp unit (I'm a little bit tim the tool man and more power is better than less) and the N.22 mincer. I really think 1hp is the minimum.

 

Has any one got one of these and do you have any of the other attachments (dough mixer, pasta extruder, cheese grater)



#2 Breezy too

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

Haven't heard of that brand, but Constante imports on Bell St have some brilliant electric tomato machines.

We're upping from 180 to 260kgs this year and are just using the classic old pressed steel hand crankers. Couldn't believe it when they got through the 180kgs without breaking last year.

Good luck with your sauce day,

Breezy

#3 Kaiser Soze

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:48 PM

I've never used a Reber tomato machine, but I have used a Reber sausage stuffer and it was great. Nice bit of kit.

 

We did 90kg with a small clunky pressed steel machine this year, it's a few years old and I'm sure it'll give up the ghost at some stage, but for now it's still going strong.



#4 Komodo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:39 AM

Attached File  tomato.jpg   19.29KB   39 downloads

Type we currently have (and assuming the same type you blokes are using)

I have NFI you you guys do 100+ kgs with one. We normally do about 40kgs and it drives me bonkers. This year with stepping it up I decided there was no way I'm using a hand crank machine and mum and dads hand crank machine has gone MIA so dad is going me halvies in a motorised number

 

Attached File  making-sauce.jpg   50.42KB   41 downloads

Type I'm looking at.

Constante imports seems to have a unit very similar to the reber but they dont mention the brand



#5 carniebrew

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

Haven't heard of that brand, but Constante imports on Bell St have some brilliant electric tomato machines.
 

And as an added bonus, Costante are now stocking (basic) home brew supplies.  They took some convincing to do it properly, such as ensuring the hops/dry yeasts are in the fridge, but they seem to be getting more serious about it now.



#6 DrSmurto

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

I've never made that much passata in 1 hit so get away with a hand operated mouli. I generally do enough to fill the preserving urn (HLT) with bottles, the very ordinary photo below took 2 runs. The green passata is from ripe Green Zebra tomatoes. The red is San Marzano. It's a good feeling not buying tinned tomatoes.

 

I'd love a more industrial press, the one pictured above looks like a beast.

 

passata2_zps4f20ae04.jpg

 

EDIT-insert image


Edited by DrSmurto, 08 February 2013 - 09:46 AM.


#7 Stux

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

I've got a reber 5KG sausage stuffer and am so impressed with it that I intend to go the reber tomato machine

(Cooperage homebrew in NSW carries reber)

#8 Kaiser Soze

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:33 AM

Komodo - that motorised unit looks the business. I would buy one, if it had more use than once a year, or if I was doing more tomatoes.

 

We did 90kg, but it was a community effort with 3 families. It would kill me if I did it alone.



#9 Bribie G

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

attachicon.giftomato.jpg

Type we currently have (and assuming the same type you blokes are using)

I have NFI you you guys do 100+ kgs with one. We normally do about 40kgs and it drives me bonkers. This year with stepping it up I decided there was no way I'm using a hand crank machine and mum and dads hand crank machine has gone MIA so dad is going me halvies in a motorised number

 

attachicon.gifmaking-sauce.jpg

Type I'm looking at.

Constante imports seems to have a unit very similar to the reber but they dont mention the brand

Komodo, that first picture, is the handle permanently in or does it slot in and out like a Marga grain mill? With my Marga I took the handle to a local mechanics and they just straightened it out, cut if off and I now use it as if it's a drill bit in a high torque variable speed drill. It cranks about the same speed as an angry Italian mamma and removes the pain from the operation.


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#10 Komodo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:07 PM

Yeah I ended up buying the 1.5HP unit.

Ordered it from Winequip / Foodquip.
Being delivered to my factory this afternoon.

 

I'll order the mincer attachment later in the year once the credit card recovers from todays little outting.

I also need to work out what mincer I want as I can get the N12, N22 (in short body long body or with stainless blades) or the N32.

 

Bribie not a bad idea. I have aseen a few adapted like that. But this gives me a route to a mincer as I want to give making salami a go later this year.


Edited by Komodo, 08 February 2013 - 12:12 PM.


#11 NorCal Brewer

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:34 PM

I know i'm a bit late to the the topic, and i don't do much with tomato sauce but i do make sausages.  I get my casings, and equipment from Home Make It and noticed they do a lot with tomato sauce, they have been really good to deal with so you might want to check them out too.  The store i go to is in Clayton, but i'm fairly sure they have one in Reservoir.



#12 Komodo

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

I got a courier to got it for me on friday. Other wise its an hour to resevoir from my place or work (frankston / dandenong). I went to foodquip as they were the cheapest by a long shot for the machine I ordered. Courier I got through work as I was getting something else shipped over from that side of town so cost me nothing. Even so the cost of an indirect taxi truck service isn't worth worrying about.

 

 

We did 100kgs of roma tomatoes (10 x 10kg boxes at $10 per box)

Burned through about 20kgs of LPG

Bottled 91 x 720ml bottles.

Took four of us a total of 9 hours (including having a BBQ lunch and then rolling out fresh pasta to have with some pork sausage, onion and fresh tomato sauce for dinner.)

 

Need to work out a simpler way of boiling the bottles though next time as the waiting killed us. Thinking I'll build a stand for a 44gal drum to boil all the bottles in. We probably spent 2.5 hours of the 9 hours just processing bottles and another 2.5+ hours reducing the sauce. So I'd say 4 hours to wash the tomatoes, blanch them, puree them with the machine, wash & sanitise all the bottles and bottle which isn't too bad really. Just need to speed up the time to reduce the sauce and process the bottles.

Actually processing the tomatoes with the machine took not time at all. We had to stop the machine and wait for the next lot to finish blanching several times as the machine is miles quicker than we could feed it.

 

We also processed 8 punnets (roughly 3kgs) of strawberries with the hand crank machine for making cider - we worked out it took about the same amount of time to do those 8 punnets through the hand crank machine twice as it took us to push 20kgs of tomatoes through the electric machine 4 times.


Edited by Komodo, 11 February 2013 - 10:03 AM.

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#13 Kaiser Soze

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:33 AM

Nice one Komodo!

 

Yes, processing the bottles is by far the slowest part for us too. But by that stage, people have beers in hand and we just hang out the back and cook a BBQ at the same time, so it's generally not too much effort.

 

We don't reduce the sauce like you do. Do others? We tend to just bottle what comes out of the machine, and reduce when we cook with it if required.


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#14 Komodo

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:12 PM

Seems to be mixed opinion on reducing it. Some do some don't.
But then some add basil some don't, some add lemon juice some don't.

Some people have the bottles simmering for hours (I know one of my freinds family light a fire underneath a 44gal drum and keep it going for at least 24 hours). Other just process them for the minimum time.

More than one way to skin a cat and all that and I think a lot is done because thats how "they've always done it" and that way way probably developed through superstitions and knowledge at the time.



#15 Kaiser Soze

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:21 PM

Cool, figured it was just that. Did you take a pic of the machine in action?



#16 DrSmurto

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

I don't reduce, cooking time when using passata does that.

 

I follow the instructions that came with the Fowlers preserving book, 2 hours at 190F (93C).



#17 Komodo

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

Yeah see we only have them in water once its come to the boil we back it off so its just a slow rolling boil for 15 minutes.
BUT we're already bottling the sauce at above acceptable canning temperatures. Where as if you're bottling the unreduced passata at near ambient temperature you need to have it in a water bath for a long time to get that internal temperature up to acceptable canning temperatures.

Our lids start popping within 2 - 3 minutes of being placed in the water as we are bringing it to the boil. Based on the face that we're bottling straight out the the kettle at well over the minimum 82degrees internal temperature then putting them in a water bath to raise the temperature even more to create the vacuum to set the lid I have no doubt in my mind that our bottles are more than safe enough. Admittedly the American based NCHFP site I should be simmering for 35-40 minutes. But I also read that they class simmering as 190 degrees F which is around 88 degrees C so getting it to boiling is far hotter than they are calling for. YMMV

 

Again horses for courses. We've always done ours this way. I learned from my parents and they learned from family freinds who are italians who one assumes learned from their parents and so on and so on. I've never had any spoil and I dont believe mum and dad ever had any spoil.

Apparently the unreduced option is better for seafood dishes from reading I've done.



#18 DrSmurto

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:42 PM

Sorry, I must not have been clear.

 

The passata is very hot when going into the jars as i cook them first to make them soft, then press them into the jars. I fill up the urn with hot tap water so ~50C. Doesn't take long for the urn to get up to temperature.

 

The reducing step i was refering to is when i use the passata for cooking. I then cook it down to whatever consistency the meal requires. The spag bol i made last night was simmering away for 3 hours. More of a ragu.

 

But as you point out, lots of different ways to do this. Just ask someone for a bolognaise recipe and wait for the seemingly endless interpretations.


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#19 TasChris

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

I've never made that much passata in 1 hit so get away with a hand operated mouli. I generally do enough to fill the preserving urn (HLT) with bottles, the very ordinary photo below took 2 runs. The green passata is from ripe Green Zebra tomatoes. The red is San Marzano. It's a good feeling not buying tinned tomatoes.

 

I'd love a more industrial press, the one pictured above looks like a beast.

 

:icon_offtopic: Nice to know there are some other Vacola users out there

 

Cheers

Chris



#20 Breezy too

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:17 PM

attachicon.giftomato.jpg

Type we currently have (and assuming the same type you blokes are using)

I have NFI you you guys do 100+ kgs with one. We normally do about 40kgs and it drives me bonkers. This year with stepping it up I decided there was no way I'm using a hand crank machine and mum and dads hand crank machine has gone MIA so dad is going me halvies in a motorised number

 

attachicon.gifmaking-sauce.jpg

Type I'm looking at.

Constante imports seems to have a unit very similar to the reber but they dont mention the brand

 

I have NFI you you guys do 100+ kgs with one. We normally do about 40kgs and it drives me bonkers.

 

I was amazed too; but many hands make light work I guess. That and the ample quantities of beer and bloody marys (fresh tomato juice!) on offer.

 

Where did you get your tomatoes Komodo? Our usual, The Tomato Man on Moreland Rd won't have his in for a couple of weeks and we're all booked in for this weekend.

 

Would you consider hiring your new beauty out for $50 Komodo?-)

 

Bit cheeky I know, and no probs if you're not keen; but I'm going to have to buy one extra hand cranker anyway to cover our increase from 180 -> 260kgs this year and the $50 could just go to you to help cover your investment. We'd look after it like our own.

 

People were asking about process; here's ours:

 

  1. blanch tomatoes for 30-60 seconds to soften
  2. Put tomatoes straight into the moulis and get the helpers cranking. We found this a lot easier if the hot tomatoes were roughly cut in halves/quarters as they went in.
  3. Juice into one tub, pulp into another
  4. Helpers take juice, add salt and pour into washed and spray sanitised bottles
  5. Helpers cap bottles
  6. Fill kettle (100L beerbelly brewkettle) with bottles and water and simmer for 1 hour.
  7. Drain water from kettle, remove bottles and add next load of bottles, return hot water to kettle and simmer new load for 1 hour
  8. Repeat step 7 until no more bottles.

That process has produced our most consistent, longest lasting sauce. We tried cooking the sauce and bottling hot sauce; but that was dangerous; especially towards the end of a long day (if you know what I mean).

 

Last year the girls made chutney out of all the pulp - it was ok; but not good enough to repeat. I think we have a new chill sauce option to try this year.

 

Cheers

 

Breezy


Edited by Breezy too, 11 February 2013 - 09:18 PM.