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The Curing Chamber, calling all of you who have built a chamber for advice.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Now that the sausage bug has bit I really want to go to the next level and work on cured sausages. I have looked at all the components needed and I plan on collecting everything over the next couple of months so I can build a curing chamber.

 

I have a few questions for you all.

 

1. What do you curing gurus think about this humidity controller. It is quite a bit less expensive than the ones I have seen everyone use

 

http://www.amazon.com/IMAGE%C2%AE-Digital-Humidity-Control-Controller/dp/B009VY1ANM/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1421940733&sr=1-1&keywords=temperature+and+humidity+controller

 

 

 

2. Has anyone put a system externally and piped it in? My thinking is that is the unit is outside of the chamber it will allow more room in the chamber, and it seems to me to be a bit more sanitary. Also during higher times of humidity I would think that having the mass of water outside would help.

 

3. I have read that if planning to have the chamber in the garage it is best to not have a fresh air inlet. This is due to the quality of air in the garage. What are the thoughts on this?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003

 

1. What do you curing gurus think about this humidity controller. It is quite a bit less expensive than the ones I have seen everyone use

 

I dont see a problem with it functionally...just check the power rating of your humidifier in case you need a relay, but 5A should be plenty. As for quality?????

 

2. Has anyone put a system externally and piped it in? My thinking is that is the unit is outside of the chamber it will allow more room in the chamber, and it seems to me to be a bit more sanitary. Also during higher times of humidity I would think that having the mass of water outside would help.

 

I've considered it...for the humidifier I use, 1.1/4" PVC fits right in the discharge. Ultimately been to lazy to do it and the ultrasonic unit i use doesn't take up that much space.

 

3. I have read that if planning to have the chamber in the garage it is best to not have a fresh air inlet. This is due to the quality of air in the garage. What are the thoughts on this?

 

I would agree. My chamber is in my garage where I do all sorts of mechanical things..painting, grinding welding etc. I dont have a vent...I just open the door every day to check on everything and air exchange. Been working for me for 3 years now.

 

HTH

Dingo

 

post #3 of 10

I will be watching this cause I have been researching curing chambers myself.

post #4 of 10

Always wanted to do it just never have.

post #5 of 10

DS, I think dingo has answered your other questions as well as anyone. I will offer just this advise and it's purely advise. Here's the temperature and humidity control unit I'm using. I REALLY like it and it's worked very good for me so far. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-HygroTherm-Temperature-Controller/dp/B0019IHK9Q/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1421943031&sr=8-10&keywords=humidity+controller&pebp=1421943039386&peasin=B0019IHK9Q

 

Also, be sure to include how you plan on doing the fermenting stage for whatever you're doing. The fermenting stage and drying stages require very different environments. I usually only have 1 batch going at a time, so I do everything in a converted wine fridge. If you plan on doing 2 batches with different start times, then you'll need to be able to ferment somewhere else while the other batch is drying. Just some food for thought.....

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dingo and RG. These are the answers I've been looking for.

More than likely I will only be doing one batch at a time. If the need arises for more than one project at a time I will tackle that then.

I like the looks of the all in one Hygro Therm. I will give it a serious look.

Now I have to decide what to use for the chamber. And for heat. If properly insulated a light bulb may do the trick. I'm seriously considering building my own box as I haven't found a good deal on CL yet.
post #7 of 10

DS, here's the DIY paint can heater that I'm currently using in my wine fridge. I'm able to maintain 90+ degrees in there with this and a 60W light bulb easily.

 

http://www.brewstands.com/fermentation-heater.html

 

It does take up a bit of space though. A low wattage warming plate might do the trick and take up less space. As for building your own box, if you go that route, you'll need to consider how you will cool it also. For drying a temp range of 50-60 degrees usually is used (I dry at 55 and 85% RH). Now you're looking at having a heater a cooler AND a humidifier in there. Again....food for thought :D

post #8 of 10

Unless you happen to live in the "ideal" environment to cure meat, i think you have to use a frost free refrigerator as your cabinet. The concept relies on the DE-humidification  inherent in frost free operation. The cycle is this;

 

Heat source heats chamber

Temp controller turns fridge on lowering temp & reducing humidity

Hygrostat turns on humidifier raising humidity

Temp reaches set point...fridge turns off

Humidity reaches set point...humidifier turns off

Heat source heats chamber

etc etc

 

I like the controller RG proposed..neat all in one unit.  I use a 25w light bulb for my heat source. There is some conjecture that a light source can cause rancidity in fat...i've never experienced it. I tried a ceramic reptile heater once..it was 60w and caused my fridge to cycle to often so went back to light bulb. If you could get a lower wattage ceramic heater that would be ideal.

 

re fermentation - I used to have a seperate chamber for this but had to abandon it for space reasons. Now I use my old vertical brinkman propane smoker. I seal up the vents, put a 60w light bulb in the bottom and a saturate towel on the lower rack. It'll run 80F & 90%RH for about 24 hrs before I re-wet the towel.

 

HTH

Dingo

post #9 of 10

I have used the humidity  and temp controller from amazon. Do not place the humidity probe near the top of your smoker, as the probe will melt.

<a href="http://s1370.photobucket.com/user/lcjones228/media/Box%20Smoker/2014-12-06181903_zpsee224081.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1370.photobucket.com/albums/ag265/lcjones228/Box%20Smoker/2014-12-06181903_zpsee224081.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 2014-12-06181903_zpsee224081.jpg"/></a>

As you can see the gray probe was set close to the top. I moved it down by 12" and it is ok.

<a href="http://s1370.photobucket.com/user/lcjones228/media/Box%20Smoker/2014-12-06181639_zps831403e9.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1370.photobucket.com/albums/ag265/lcjones228/Box%20Smoker/2014-12-06181639_zps831403e9.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 2014-12-06181639_zps831403e9.jpg"/></a>

If you need my wiring diagram. Im me and I will draw it up for you 

post #10 of 10

Auber TH210. This is as easy as it gets. Plug the chamber into the "T" plug and set it. Plug the humidity device into the "H" plug and set it.

 

51byf0QnZFL._SL1000_.jpg

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