• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Curing/Drying Chamber mods...

indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
6,704
3,318
Joined Apr 27, 2017
So, I've made 7 different batches of salami in my new chamber and have monitored it over the last year or so to see how it runs. I've noticed that when I fill it up with product, the salamis losing a lot of moisture in the first 7-10 days will spike the humidity and the evidry 1100 dehumidifier can barely keep up. The refrigerator running pulls a lot of moisture out on the evap coil while it is running, but when the set point temp. is reached and the refrigerator shuts off, the humidity climbs fast and the dehumidifier runs the entire time the refrigerator is off. This speeds the cycling time becasue the dehumidifier uses heat to dehumidify the air. So the chamber warms faster, which increases the amount of time the system fan is running.

Long story short, I have too much air flow at the start of drying-even though humidity is high and temps. are good. So....I've been thinking of ways to address this issue. My salamis are good....no severe case hardening enough to stop drying and lose product, but I would like to lessen the dry rim on the salamis, especially on the ends. I do realize that drying will be more pronounced on the ends because of the tapered shape, but IMO I have too much drying on the ends. I could install a rheostat on the fan to slow it down, but that might affect the performance of the refrigerator. I had an idea hit me late last night. So I went with it to try out...

I have a bunch of used canning lids that I have saved for when I need to use a canning jar just to put odd and end stuff in. I took a bunch of those and drilled a small hole in the center, just large enough for the salami hanging string to fit through. I slid one lid on each salami string about 3/4" from the top of the salamis. I'm thinking this will do 2 things-It will protect the ends from direct air flow coming down on them from the return at the top of the chamber, and it will increase turbulence inside the chamber for better, more even drying. We'll see how this goes....
IMG_20210108_130826.jpg


IMG_20210108_130839.jpg


I used regular size canning jar lids. I may need wide mouth lids....we shall see...
 
Last edited:

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,585
1,585
Joined Sep 28, 2018
I am building my own curing chamber right now and have explored different ways of controlling humidity during early curing.

I live in Wisconsin so the air is pretty dry in the winter. I am going to set up a purge fan with one way air intakes so that if the humidity spikes, the purge fan gets turned on for a predetermined period of time then shuts back down. This should give a quick purge of excess humidity without spiking the chamber temp.

If you want to control your fan speed, I would suggest you not use a rheostat. Look into a PWM instead. This would only work on your DC motors. To control speed on a AC motor, you would need an inverter and they are costly.

In my cabinet, I got rid of the compressor altogether and instead am using a thermoelectric cooler that runs water through a radiator inside the cabinet. Not sure if this will be better than the compressor chiller or not.

I am toying with the idea of using a separate controller to control the water temp so the radiator doesn't over chill the air.

Your lid idea should help the ends stay a bit less dry. A good idea.

I hope you don't mind me asking you some more detailed questions once I get my chamber running.




JC :emoji_cat:
 

indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
6,704
3,318
Joined Apr 27, 2017
Do you have a detailed post on your thermoelectric cooling set up? I still have the true double door commercial refrigerator and it would be easy to modify.... I would really like more hanging space...
 

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,585
1,585
Joined Sep 28, 2018
Do you have a detailed post on your thermoelectric cooling set up? I still have the true double door commercial refrigerator and it would be easy to modify.... I would really like more hanging space...
I will be posting my build starting next week. I am using a 120 Watt thermoelectric cooler module to chill the water for the radiator.

I am wondering where I should locate the radiator top or bottom of the cabinet? I am thinking top because cool sinks....

JC :emoji_cat:
 

indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
6,704
3,318
Joined Apr 27, 2017
Curious to see your build thread when you post it.
I would mount it near the bottom because moisture will condense on the coils. If you put it high, it could drip on your salamis and you will have bad mold issues. I would use a small computer fan to circulate the air slowly.
 

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,585
1,585
Joined Sep 28, 2018
Curious to see your build thread when you post it.
I would mount it near the bottom because moisture will condense on the coils. If you put it high, it could drip on your salamis and you will have bad mold issues. I would use a small computer fan to circulate the air slowly.
I was wondering about that. Well, high mount won the day so I guess I will be adding a drip deflector. I was planning on doing that but now it is a fo sho.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
6,704
3,318
Joined Apr 27, 2017
If you want to control your fan speed, I would suggest you not use a rheostat. Look into a PWM instead. This would only work on your DC motors. To control speed on a AC motor, you would need an inverter and they are costly.
The freezer fan is 120V, 60Hz, 0.15Amp.
What inverter would you suggest?

One other route I could go is the physically reduce the size of the fan blades....shave the blades. I can buy a spare fan blade to cut down, save the original for future use if I ever decide to revert the chamber back to a freezer.
 

indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
6,704
3,318
Joined Apr 27, 2017
So, the variable speed fan controller works great. I have it running about 10% power and the fan is pushing just a whisper of air, just enough to have a little circulation in the chamber to even out the humidity. I have it on the top shelf pointed straight up blowing on the ceiling.

One tip- put your humidifier on about 25%. Let it creep up slowly so you lessen the humidity spike when it shuts off. you want the humidity to line out without having the dehumidifier turn on...if you can.
 

indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
6,704
3,318
Joined Apr 27, 2017
Also- calibrate your humidity controllers every 6 mos.

I just did mine and they were off by -5.5 and +4.....
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.