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Finally Building a Cabinet!!!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey!

I have been grilling, smoking and making sausage for several years now and I am finally ready to start curing.  

I have been doing quite a bit of reading but there are still some questions I need answers too.

Let me start off by listing my hardware and if anyone is able to help me answer my questions id be very grateful.

 

A friend of mine deals commercial fridges and hooked me up with this guy. Brand new Fogel 21" CC-7.

 

    

 

I went down to Target and got a small Crane Ultrasonic Drop Humidifier.  I also ordered an IMAGE 110V Digital Air Humidity Control Controller, and an Elitech 110V All-Purpose Temperature Controller.  They should be here in the next few days.

 

    

 

As far as air flow glows this is my first question.

Should I put a hole in the fridge and install a cabinet fan for airflow?

I saw this fan kit for home theater cabinets and it would make a nice clean look.  I am hesitant because of the size of the cooler.  I don't know if I install a pair of these that I won't create to much airflow. One out and one in?  I would like to avoid having to rely on opening the cooler door on a daily basis for airflow.

 

  

 

I also have a thermometer and a hygrometer that I will place inside the cooler.

What else am I missing?  I guess my main concern is hot to get the airflow established and regulated.

Thanks!

post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

This is the internal panel below the cooling fan at the top of the cooler.  I removed the light panel (won't be needed?) and plan on installing the temp and rh controller.  I want to mount the thermometer and hygrometer on the left side.  Quick idea what I'm talking about here.

 

    

post #3 of 16
Looking good! How will you hang the meat and what will be your vertical clearance? Basically, how long/tall of a piece of meat will you be able to fit in there?
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xutfuzzy View Post

Looking good! How will you hang the meat and what will be your vertical clearance? Basically, how long/tall of a piece of meat will you be able to fit in there?

The cooler came with a couple racks. I'll put one up top.
I have 20" of vertical room to work with, 18" side to side, and another 20" depth.
If i need to hang something longer I have another 8" towards the front where the chamber is taller.
Edited by PBLRDom - 6/5/14 at 5:41pm
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Here is a pic of the racks that it came with.  Im just going to use one and place it all the way at the top and hang some S hooks from it.

 

post #6 of 16

Looking great! I've been thinking about the air flow for my next cabinet...my humble suggestion....since you're all digitaled up...put one fan down low and put it on a time clock. Run it a few times a day for a couple of minutes. For the exhaust..get one of them vents with a "flapper" in it that closes when the air isn't flowing....it'll save you a lot of wasted humidity.

post #7 of 16

looks great, i would suggest you put a variable power to fan. Over  curing you should reduce air flow a little every few days. If not sausage drys too fast and can case harden. At least that has been my experience. Good look looks great, lots of great sausages and lomo to cure. BigRub

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the prolonged update y'all. I forgot to mention I was going in a 2 week cruise to the Caribbean. Back now and working on the chamber.
      

    

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Finished wiring everything up to check for complete functionality and hung it all inside for a quick test run.

 


Edited by PBLRDom - 7/2/14 at 2:15am
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
One thing I can already see is that once the fridge hits it's temp if the humidifier is still on it's rate of change is so high that it climbs above my desired humidity really fast. I set the humidifier to its maximum output, so I'm thinking that some delicate calibration is needed to find a balance. I honestly don't think I'm going to need an exhaust vent of any kind. The airflow from the fan off of the condenser at the top of the unit seems to be pushing everything around really well.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Unit is assembled and functioning. I'm working on calibrating it now.

What I'm finding is that once the fridge reaches it's temperature the humidifier is still working.

Once the humidifier reaches it's target the fridge kicks back on and my humidity shoots through the roof.

So I'm trying to find the balance via timing and humidity control.

 

  


Edited by PBLRDom - 7/2/14 at 2:15am
post #12 of 16
Dom, morning..... I don't know squat about those chambers.... but..... I have read where a salt solution pan will work in those units... The humidifier may be too large for the size of curing chamber.... you "might" give it a try.... below is a chart of different "saturated salt" solutions and what they do........

.......click on pic to enlarge......

post #13 of 16

Hi PBLRDom,

I have a very similar set up and find that fluctuations are a normal part of the cycle. If I set my Humidistat 50% and My Temp Control at 50F, for example, I will see my actual readings swing +/- 5% & 5F.

FWIW....

Definitely put your humidifier on its lowest output setting.

WHat are you using as a heat source? I found using a lower wattage heat source slowed the cycling.

Also, if your controllers have any sort of hysteresis adjustment..try reducing it.

And lastly...that internal fan might be too much air movement...you might have to put a shroud of some sort on it and direct the airflow down the back wall rather than straight down onto the products your drying...possibly give you case hardening headaches.

And really lastly, dont get to hung up on the fine tuning. Just make sure you can get a decent average constant Temp & RH. Then do something small and simple like a breasola. Trust me all your settings will change when you put product in there.

post #14 of 16

the  relitive humidity will go up as themp drops.  As the temp stabilizes so will the humidity. I have a 20cu freezer for my chamber and had to go to a pc power supply 12 v fan, and control fan speed with a cheap volt regulator. Works great, I start it on high and one a week slow it down. 

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Omw to work but I was able to finish everything today for the chamber before I had to rush out the door.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Dom, morning..... I don't know squat about those chambers.... but..... I have read where a salt solution pan will work in those units... The humidifier may be too large for the size of curing chamber.... you "might" give it a try.... below is a chart of different "saturated salt" solutions and what they do........


.......click on pic to enlarge......



I looked into the solution in the chamber and I mocked one up last night.  Over the course of about 12 hours the humidity ranged from 20-90% while my temperatures stayed within a 5 degree.  I did spend the last 4 hours adjusting the condenser settings as well as controller settings and I can keep humidity with 5% of a targeted setting and temp within .7 degrees C.  Thanks for the suggestion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingo007 View Post


I put my humidifier on its absolute lowest settings. I don't have a heat source.  I live in Phoenix AZ, the ambient temperate 9 months out of the year is significantly higher than the desired temp.  I have my hysteresis set at the lowest setting in my final calibration.  Im going to have to keep an eye on the case hardening.  If it becomes an issue than I'm going to place something under the fan shroud to redirect the airflow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRub View Post

 
the  relitive humidity will go up as themp drops.  As the temp stabilizes so will the humidity. I have a 20cu freezer for my chamber and had to go to a pc power supply 12 v fan, and control fan speed with a cheap volt regulator. Works great, I start it on high and one a week slow it down. 

If anything I have just a little to much airflow, no need for an additional fan.
Edited by PBLRDom - 7/3/14 at 11:28am
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