Circulation or extraction fan for curing chamber

tobertuzzi
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Circulation or extraction fan for curing chamber

Post by tobertuzzi » Sun Mar 03, 2013 17:37

Hi
So Im looking at installing a fan in my modified fridge/curing chamber. Im torn between extraction or just circulation. It will be just an 80mm computer fan. For extraction I was liking the idea of having it on a timer so it only came on for 15 mins a day, fan located top of the fridge and vent opposite side at the bottom. Circulation, bottom of the fridge, with a rheostat, low speed on all the time.

Pros and cons to either idea?

Thanks
Toby
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Post by Walleye1 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 13:58

Hi Tobertuzzi

I've been working on converting a commercial freezer into a dry cure cabinet as well. I worked with Suyi from Auber Instruments to come up with a controller that will both add humidity and remove it simultaneously. The dehumidity circuit is exactly that style of fan which vents to the outside at the top. There is also a bottom vent. Once I'm a little further along I will post pictures and details of everything.

I'm new to the site and new to dry cure but I have been making sausage, bacon, etc, and smoking everything for a number of years. Currently I have three different smokers of which two are built into my heated detached garage. My sausage smoker is a 220v watt burner and PID controlled with a redundant PID controller to act as a high limit.

I've been surfing around this site for a long, long time and thought I should quit hidding in the weeds! :mrgreen:

Mike
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Post by tobertuzzi » Mon Mar 04, 2013 16:44

Hi Mike

Yeah Im the same, been making sausage for a bit and new to the dry curing arts. I too have a controller from Auber mines just the plug and play one

http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_ ... cts_id=265

Thats kinda the way I was leaning I figure if I hook up the fan into the humidifier control then when the humidity drops and the humidifier comes on the fan at the top will extract warm air from the top. And maybe having the humidifier outside the fridge and vented in at the bottom via ducting. Then there will be more room in the fridge and it will still be bringing in fresh air in.

I too have 3 smokers, the one Im working on this spring is a double door stainless commercial freezer 50 cubic feet. I have a PID controller to install and going to grab a oven element from the scrap yard.

Ill post some pics up when I get the projects on the go

Thanks
Toby
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Post by Walleye1 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 18:34

Tobertuzzi

Here's the HUmidity controller from Auber that I'm using.
http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_ ... cts_id=263

The advantage is having the ability to glance at the controller and see both hte set value and the actual value at the same time. Also, if the humidity level is low it cuts in the humidifier, if the humidity level is hi it cuts in the fan and vents the cabinet to lower the humidity.

I also run a 2342 PID for the temp on the cabinet. It's also a dual display so you can see both the set value and actual value at the same time. It also has alarm circuits so you can actuall run a heating element at the same time for the incubation period.

Oven elements work real good for a heat source on the smoker. They are only worth around $30 brand new so they are definitely economic. If you interested I can post some wiring schematics that I made up when I was building a couple of smokers. Like I said, I always run a redundant controller as a high limit. That way if you have a problem such as a SSR failure in the closed postion, a TC failure, or a main PID failure and the main element is running wide open, the high limit comtroller will shut things down. I mainly did this for safety, expecially because I have my smokers in my heated garage.

Mike
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Post by crustyo44 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 20:29

Hi Mike and Toby,
I certainly would like to know more about the heating element installation in smokers. The high limit controller certainly has my interest, especially here in Australia.
Keep all the info comig, PLEASE!!!!!!
Regards,
Jan.
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Post by tobertuzzi » Mon Mar 04, 2013 21:11

Mike

Yeah I kinda wish I got the PID instead of the plug and play as I feel they are more easily customised. I got a cheap PID from china for my smoker tho, I think once I have experience wiring up that one I will probably replace the plug and play controller on my fridge. Yeah wiring schematics would be a great help. Thanks
Good idea on the high limit PID that would make you sleep easier for sure.

I just got 4 oven elements from the recycle centre, free....gotta love it. Have you found any difference in using the top (grill) or bottom element in the smoker? As far a heating time ect.

Thanks
Toby
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Post by Walleye1 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 21:42

Hi Jan

First off because I'm new here if I'm stepping out of line and not following protocall please remove my post or move it. I probably shouldn't be hijacking Toby's thread.

Here is a controller set up I have used in a couple of different smokers.

Image


Here's a couple of pictures of the controllers set up.

Image

Image

I've been working with a guy in the USA on a little different design. It's what I'm going to be using in a new build if I ever get time to get to it. We used a different controller for the high limit and I like this one better because it also has the dual display so you can always see at a glance what the high limit is set at. It also is using the 5000 watt 220v element and blower from Sausage Maker. The other thing in this design was to have the ability to use the Stoker to control the cabinet temperature. I have incorporated the Stoker into my sausage smoker as well. The advantage to using the Stoker is having the ability to have unlimited meat probes, change anything you want to and monitor temps via WiFi and on your smart phone. Anyway here's the wiring diagram.

Image

Mike
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Post by tobertuzzi » Mon Mar 04, 2013 22:03

Great thanks alot Mike, that will be very helpful when I come to wiring mine.

Looks like a great setup

Toby
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Post by crustyo44 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 22:27

Hi Mike,
CW is the man in charge here and he certainly will not remove any posts that are helpful and applicable to our fine hobby. We are all here to learn, like me and some others and if we make something acceptable, we show photo's of it as well. Great!!!!!!!!!!!
So please keep the posts coming!!!
Thank you for the schematics, there are helpful to me a lot. No doubt I will pick your brains again.
Cheers,
Jan.
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Post by redzed » Tue Mar 05, 2013 08:11

I have a small fan placed on the top shelf of my curing chamber. It runs when the humidifier does. It mixes the air and forces the vapour back down. On the bottom side of the unit I cut out a hole and installed a spring loaded receptacle used for built in vacs. That way I could control the amount of intake air or effectively close it completely. A computer fan centered on the fop of the modified all-fridge exhausts stale humid air every 12 hours for 30 minutes. There is a temporary drop in the humidity after each exhaust cycle, but it recovers usually within 20 to 30 minutes. Traditional drying was done in an airy or slightly draughty location, so, in my opinion, a regular air exchange is beneficial.
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Post by Walleye1 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 13:51

Redzed

That's the same thoughts I had regarding traditional drying. My cabinet stared life as a commercial freezer with a top mount compressor. It has a built in fan to circulate the air in the cabinet. I had to rewire it to come on when the compressor cuts in because it was thermostatically controlled. The fan really pulls air in and through the cooling coils and down the back of the cabinet.

I have also ran a 3 inch fan to remove humidity which is also controlled by my humidity controller. This should also act as an air exchange. I have the fan at the top side of the cabinet and also put a vent in the bottom on the opposite side.

Mike
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Post by Walleye1 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 15:03

Toby

I missed your question regarding the elements. No, I don't think there is a difference between the top and bottom elements. Different elements may have been designed with higher or lower watts per inch but the ones I use happen to be top elements. This was more to do with getting the phisical size I wanted.

Here's a couple of pictures of how I installed them. I used a heavy duty 1/2 sheet pan to mount the element to. I made 1 inch legs under it to allow a little air flow. I also have another sheet pan with legs above the element to protect it from any grease driping down.


Image

Image

Image


Mike
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Post by tobertuzzi » Tue Mar 05, 2013 17:50

Mike

Great looking setup, yeah the baffles/drip tray is super important. The last thing we need is a grease fire in our smoker. So your extraction fan turns on when the RH is greater then your high end setting on the controller? I dont have that option on my plug and play so I was just going to have it turn on when the humidifier comes on. Or like what Redzed has and just have it on a timer. Either way fresh air will be introduced

Thanks
Toby
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Post by tobertuzzi » Tue Mar 05, 2013 17:52

Thanks Redzed, sounds like exactly what I was planning

Toby
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Post by Walleye1 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 18:21

tobertuzzi wrote:Mike

Great looking setup, yeah the baffles/drip tray is super important. The last thing we need is a grease fire in our smoker. So your extraction fan turns on when the RH is greater then your high end setting on the controller? I dont have that option on my plug and play so I was just going to have it turn on when the humidifier comes on. Or like what Redzed has and just have it on a timer. Either way fresh air will be introduced

Thanks
Toby
Toby

That's pretty much it alright. As an example, with this controller if you set the following:
SV = 75% (This is the humidify setting)
Hy = 1.5 (this is the dead band)
Alm1 = 79% (this is the dehumidify setting)

The result would be:
When the humidity drops to 73.5% (SV minus Hy) the humidifier would cut in. It would cut out at 76.5% (SV plus Hy).
When the humidity rises to 80.5% (Alm1 plus Hy) the dehumidify fan cuts in. It would cut out at 77.5% (Alm1 minus Hy).


Mike
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