Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My situation is much like spongefile's:

  • I'm using my iSi cream whipper for the first time, charging it as instructed out of sweat-deserving fear of pressurized items
  • Nothing is released when I push the lever, regardless of orientation, not even dripping liquid

Some differences:

  • the contents of the whipper are blended pressure-cooked beans whipped with 35% whipping cream + 3 iSi cartridges
  • when I charged the cartridges, leakage happened around the charge holder and some of the bean preparation leaked from around the device head
  • I later discovered that, after cleaning, I didn't reinsert the head gasket (but I'm not certain whether the valve and the perimeter of the head device head are blocked or not due to the potentially-drying bean contents)

I tried shaking it some more as well as the "release pressure" instructions that came with the manual to no avail - nothing comes out regardless of orientation.

Questions

  • How can I tell whether there's too much pressure or too little pressure? (Now asked as a separate question here.)
  • How can I safely remove the device head in case there is too much pressure and the valve and device head are blocked? (and, as spongefile asked, hat's the worst thing that can happen?)

Any pointers are enormously appreciated!

share|improve this question
    
beans? It's really easy to clog the dispensor ... my mom did it once with grated nutmeg (vs. store bought ground nutmeg) –  Joe Jun 13 '13 at 11:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I don't know how to tell what the pressure is on a whipper, but from the results of a blocked one, I'm going to make the following suggestion for attempting to safely disarm it:

  • You need containment. If you open the container too quickly, you're looking at a massive mess to clean up. I'd suggest possibly a cardboard box (disposible) or a large plastic container (cleanable), with a clear plastic trashbag over it, so that only your arms are going in. If you don't have a large clear plastic bag, you'll either need to make a window (we can cut a cardboard box, then tape the bag down) or find something else clear (shower curtain liner?). Containment also reduces the odds that the head will fly off and damage something.
  • Goggles or other eye protection wouldn't hurt incase something goes wrong.
  • Place the containment vessel on its side, with the whipper inside, and the opening so that you can see into it.
  • If you have assistance, tape the bag around your arms, so you have a good seal.
  • Slowly open the container ... if it's like the case when my mom did this, a little will leak out after a while. Give it another partial turn, and some more will leak out ... go slowly. Suddenly, the whole thing will release, making a complete mess.

If you're like my mom, and insist on attempting to save the whipped cream, you can place a bowl & spoon into the containment with you, and scoop it off as it oozes out the side ... but risk knocking the bowl over when it suddenly pops open on you.

...

That being said, if you're not in a rush to open it, I'd let it sit for a day or two, with the nozzle up, (possibly after rapping it hard on the floor a couple of times) then attempt to spray ... if you get a gas release, you might be able to depressure it some before attempting to open it.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks @Joe! I let it sit for about 10 days (b/c of lack of time) and then followed the steps above for safety. I actually also tried to unclog it with the conic brush that came with the siphon (creamright.com/product/PRT-WCD-IS3018.html) to see if that was at least possible. It wasn't hard and I didn't hear any gas release, so I went ahead (with protection) and tried to unscrew the head. There did not seem to be any pressure and it came out without too much effort. Thanks again! –  amp Jun 25 '13 at 3:28
    
I want to accept your answer so I'm thinking of modifying this question to focus on the safe removal and to ask about how to tell about the siphon pressure separately. –  amp Jun 25 '13 at 3:29
    
@amp : well, there's always the 'open it and find out' method ... but it's not necessarily pretty (unless it's under pressurized). Because there was leakage out the side before the whole thing blew, that might give you a clue as to the situation, once you get it far enough open so that there's no longer a good seal ... but I can't be 100% sure that all whippers are the same in that regard. –  Joe Jun 25 '13 at 12:53
    
done! and agreed. thanks again! –  amp Jun 27 '13 at 14:19

I don't know that there is a clear way to tell if the canister is over-pressurized. The typical number of cartridges used depends on the size of the whipper (usually 1-2 for 0.5L and 2-3 for the 1L). While it could likely take more pressure, I wouldn't exceed 3 cartridges in any application.

The mix of beans and whipped cream needs to be SUPER smooth for it to flow well in this application. Any type of chunks can clog the nozzle and become a real pain/mess. I suspect the leakage from the container initially was from not replacing the gasket. The way I think about it is, if you can perceive particulate when the mix is on your tongue, it's still too chunky for the whipper.

share|improve this answer

I know this was solved a year ago, but the problem was probably that it had no pressure at all. Without the head gasket, they almost always fail to seal and you lose pressure pretty quickly.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.