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I did it! I built my curing chamber! (Massive amounts of Build-View)

palladini

Smoking Fanatic
899
36
Joined May 23, 2013
 
Nice build.

Watch the fan, it can make for some fast case hardening and the draw from the back can introduce bacteria and dirt into the cure area.
He should have the intake on the top and the exhaust on the bottom, that way his intake is above the dust level.  He should use the same filters and screens though.
 

jmay

Newbie
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Joined Aug 5, 2014
I have a similar style fridge. The issue is if I turn my fan off it just gets to humid. It's the only thing that seems to reduce the accumulation of condensation water on the bottom. I found by leaving the door open a crack (1/2 inch) and the fan on I am able to maintain around 70% humidity and around 14 Deg C.

You warn that the fan will cause case hardening? Is this the case even with the fan below the sausages blowing out towards the cracked open door?
 

rob sicc

Smoking Fanatic
Group Lead
725
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Joined May 5, 2008
This is truely a work or art.  When will you begin taking orders?  lol  I iwsh I had the room for this.

Nice work.
 
1
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Joined Sep 10, 2014
Greetings 

I just read your article and it mirrored my efforts on a smaller scale. I used a no defrost 10 cu ft fridge and cut out the top freezer floor. I used the same temp controller as you did and an ultrasonic mister for humidity with a commercial humidity controler (for a green house). Here is my observations:

The temp controller keeps the range within 10 degrees and the humidity can't recover fast enough to keep it any closer than 30%. It runs from 67% to 99%. I would like to keep it at 70-80% but can't hone it any closer.

Any suggestions? It's been turning out great meats for the last 18 months but now and then I get a little case hardening and I know it's from irregular rh. I also have a computer fan in the fridge but no exhaust or inlet. It just runs all the time. Good or bad idea? I do develop a good mold fairly quickly but I wash it off with wine vinegar so I can see the meat drying. 

Since my wife and I started we have done about 160 lbs of capicolla (raw), 200 + lbs of salami/pepperoni and some spalla. Right now we have 33 lbs in the drier: 11 lbs of pepperoni (old trad.), 11 lbs of brisket salami, 11 lbs of venison salami, and an 11 lb spalla. All these are drying down to  a loss of 40% before it's harvested but we like our salami's at 50% weight loss. Our capicollo's are cut at 60 days (about 30% loss).  

Here are some pis of the past and present products.






 

gibsorz

Smoke Blower
104
13
Joined Aug 27, 2014
This is a sweet build. Exactly what I was planning on building, with the same amazon products I've been looking at. except I am planning on getting a frost free freezer to do it with...no glass door sadly (that is really cool with the glass door). But from what I have seen is the Frost free freezers do have a small built in fan. So with a hole punched in for wiring, it should be enough to provide the required airflow, just have to disconnect the defroster disconnect because it would steal away humidity.
 

xutfuzzy

Meat Mopper
OTBS Member
Thread starter
232
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Joined Sep 14, 2006
Good suggestions...I won't be making any changes right now because it's working and I don't want to mess with that.  Temperature and humidity are stable now, so why mess with a good thing?  Here is the one MAJOR suggestion that I will make:  Get a humidifier that doesn't have a push-button on/off switch.  The problem I found with my original model is that I had to press a button to turn it on, and it created humidity until the external controller turned it off by cutting off the electricity.  Then, when the humidity eventually dropped, the external controller would let the electricity flow again, but the humidifier needed to have the button pushed again to turn it on.  I tried various ways of taping it down with mixed results.  After enough times of going downstairs to check on it only to see that the tape job had failed and the humidifier wasn't working, I went out and bought a new unit that had a permanent switch to turn it on.   So, as electricity is cut off and resupplied, the unit is always in the "on" position and will start working again.

Otherwise, keep the suggestions coming!  Let others benefit from your knowledge!
 

gibsorz

Smoke Blower
104
13
Joined Aug 27, 2014
There are more than two ways to skin a cat. The most important part is that it works.
 

alan warfield

Newbie
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Joined Jan 21, 2016
 
Good suggestions...I won't be making any changes right now because it's working and I don't want to mess with that.  Temperature and humidity are stable now, so why mess with a good thing?  Here is the one MAJOR suggestion that I will make:  Get a humidifier that doesn't have a push-button on/off switch.  The problem I found with my original model is that I had to press a button to turn it on, and it created humidity until the external controller turned it off by cutting off the electricity.  Then, when the humidity eventually dropped, the external controller would let the electricity flow again, but the humidifier needed to have the button pushed again to turn it on.  I tried various ways of taping it down with mixed results.  After enough times of going downstairs to check on it only to see that the tape job had failed and the humidifier wasn't working, I went out and bought a new unit that had a permanent switch to turn it on.   So, as electricity is cut off and resupplied, the unit is always in the "on" position and will start working again.

Otherwise, keep the suggestions coming!  Let others benefit from your knowledge!
What model humidifier did you replace the home depot one with?
 

quantri

Newbie
2
10
Joined Mar 10, 2016
I have 1 question, seems to me that by using the fan for your air exchange

you are losing your desired Humidity and Temperature making your compressor

and humidifier work overtime. I have been making sausage and pepperoni (both

fresh and dry cured) for 18 years and it seems to come out perfectly all the

time. Once the product has gone thru the initial temp./humidity phase of about

48 hours (depending on the product) there is absolutely no need for air exchange.

During that initial 48 hours, I just put a piece of 1/4 " dowel between the door and

the box and my humidifier and compressor hardly ever run.

My set points are 70 deg. F and 70% R.H.

From there I go to the final stage of just cooling for approx. 30 days.

Just my thoughts.
 

mendozer

Fire Starter
55
11
Joined Sep 13, 2012
this is awesome! I've been wanting to do this for so long, but haven't found a beverage cooler cheap enough. Numerous controlling items are out there now and would work great. I plan to use this hopefully for dry curing meats too. 
 

mendozer

Fire Starter
55
11
Joined Sep 13, 2012
I also meant to ask, how often do you need to clean it? I was planning on putting UV lights in there for improved sanitation. But I don't know how that would affect the mold growth we want. 
 

Swine Savvy

Newbie
5
8
Joined Sep 25, 2018
Great looking stuff guys, i kniw this thread was started some time ago but i have some air flow questions. I have a large double door True glass door cooler. When it is in cooling mode, there is a large internal fan that is quite powerful, i havemt hooked everything up yet but im wondering if this fan will be on enough throughout the day to give me case hardening issues ? Also is the exchange of air as important as air circulation ? Pease help.
 

airmec

Fire Starter
44
21
Joined Dec 6, 2016
Great looking stuff guys, i kniw this thread was started some time ago but i have some air flow questions. I have a large double door True glass door cooler. When it is in cooling mode, there is a large internal fan that is quite powerful, i havemt hooked everything up yet but im wondering if this fan will be on enough throughout the day to give me case hardening issues ? Also is the exchange of air as important as air circulation ? Pease help.
I placed a sheet of plexi about 2in larger in dia and about 2in lower (used the four mounting screws) to make the air move around the sides not straight down
 
1
0
Joined Nov 17, 2018
you can also find coolers like that at PCI auctions.com I just bought a 3 glass door for 1.00 they are not all cheap like that but if your patient you can
buy between 1.00 and 200.00
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
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Joined Nov 12, 2010
If you want to slow the fan speed down, you can always install one of these... about $15... they are about 2x3" ..

Yeeco AC 110V 4000W SCR Voltage Regulator Speed Control Driver Dimming Dimmer Thermostat Governing Temperature Governor Fan Motor Controller
 

4EvrDude

Newbie
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Joined Aug 29, 2019
DaveOmak, my neighbor and I are building our own Drying and Curing Chamber. We’re in Manson. We may have to draw on your expertise....:-) ???

One question I have is do you need a separate fermentation chamber?

How do you introduce new product? What happens when you already have a lot of product into the chamber which has already been through the fermentation process? Thanks!!!
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Nov 12, 2010
Holly has more experience than I... He could answer your question mobetta than I.....
 

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