meat cabinet

cathouse willy
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Post by cathouse willy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 02:04

Hi Red it was your thread on your lonzino that was my inspiration so Thankyou.
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Post by cathouse willy » Mon Nov 20, 2017 19:32

More goodies from the meat dryer, a coppa and bresaola. These are "first timers" so I kept them small.Next time I'll do more.


Image[/img]
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Butterbean
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Post by Butterbean » Tue Nov 21, 2017 00:21

Looks terrific.
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redzed
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Post by redzed » Tue Nov 21, 2017 02:31

Absolutely first class! One of the nicest bresaolas I have seen! Image

How long did you dry in your chamber?
cathouse willy
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Post by cathouse willy » Tue Nov 21, 2017 02:56

Thanks for the compliments, It was in the chamber for 21 days and lost 30% of its initial weight.A lucky first time.
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A meat cabinet issue

Post by SMR » Fri Oct 12, 2018 17:58

So, I have a top freezer/bottom refrigerator that is fairly new. I use an Inkbird temp controller to turn on the refrigerator to cool the bottom section and to turn on a heating pad to warm the bottom section. I have an Inkbird humidity controller to turn on an ultrasonic humidifier to raise and a pelletier dehumidifier to lower humidity within the bottom chamber. The refrigerator is self defrosting; however, the mechanical clock only runs forward when the refrigerator is energized. So, when I have a full load of curing/drying sausage hanging in the chamber at 80% humidity, the moisture condenses on the evaporator coils in the back of the freezer section. After 2 days or so, the coils become packed with ice and the refrigerator chamber warms up due to the frost build up. The self defrosting timer has not reached it's part of the cycle and I have to manually melt the ice on the coils with a hair dryer.

I am thinking that I need to remove a good portion of the freezer floor/refrigerator ceiling to equalize the temperature in both chambers. I think the evaporator coils stay frozen because they are in an insulated and isolated freezer box. If they could be exposed to the warmer temperature maintained in the curing chamber, the coils would probably melt quicker between cooling cycles.

Have any of you experienced the frost build/up in your chambers? I don't want to cut through the freezer floor and risk hitting a coolant line or wire if there is a better way to deal with this. Thanks for any suggestions.
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jcflorida
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Post by jcflorida » Sat Oct 13, 2018 16:44

Have any of you experienced the frost build/up in your chambers? I don't want to cut through the freezer floor and risk hitting a coolant line or wire if there is a better way to deal with this.
This seems an odd problem. The defrost timer only runs when the fridge is running, but the evaporator coils can only freeze moisture when the fridge is running. I have a similar set-up and have never had a problem with frost build up on the coils. On my fridge, the only thermostat is in the refrigerator section and the relative freezer/refrigerator temperature is controlled by a damper in the duct from the freezer to the refrigerator. There is a fan that helps blow cool-dry air from the freezer to the refrigerator. I set the freezer temp to the minimum to ensure that the damper is wide open. Anyway, I have a few thoughts, but would like to know a couple of things . . .
- What temperature are you trying to maintain?
- Do you know for sure that the evaporator fan is working?
- Why do you need a heater?
- Have you checked the accuracy of your humidity controller?

John
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Post by SMR » Sat Oct 13, 2018 17:15

Hey John, I am going to adjust the fridge thermostat to see if that helps. I had duct open wide but had thermostat set to "coldest". Maybe lowering that will do it. I have a second temp probe I just put in freezer. It is 16 deg. F. In there.

- right now I am maintaining 55 Deg. F. Ambient has been 70s. Humidity at 75%
- Fan is working fine.
- fridge is in garage in NJ. Gets cold here. Winter time I need the heating pad to get to 55 or higher.
- have a second humidity/thermometer inside fridge. Humidity within a 2% of controller.

Thanks,

Steve
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Post by jcflorida » Sun Oct 14, 2018 00:55

SMR wrote:Maybe lowering that will do it.
With your controller set to shut the fridge down at 55°, the fridge thermostat will always be in the run condition since even at its warmest setting, it will be trying to make the temperature probably around than 40° or so.

I assume that the heating pad is not doing anything now since ambient is 70°?

Does the freeze-up only occur when you have a "full load" of sausage in the chamber?
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Post by SMR » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:55

That sounds right with the thermostat setting. I was hoping that maybe the freezer section would get above 32F during the non-run time so the coils would defrost.

The heating pad does not go on at this time of year. I might try hooking it (or some heat tape) to the second temp. controller and putting it in the freezer compartment to get the interior warm enough to melt the coils during the non-run times.

This only happens when I have a large load of sausages going. I think 30 lbs is a bit beyond what the conventional design of my curing chamber can handle humidity-wise...too many pigs in the pool.
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Post by jcflorida » Sun Oct 14, 2018 15:28

I think that the issue is the amount of water you're putting into the fridge when you load up with 30 pounds. The most I've ever done at once is about 10 pounds. Let's get a little nerdy:

Raw pork is 65-75% water depending on fat content, let's assume 70%. 30 pounds meat therefore has about 21 pounds (21 pints) water. My records show that the sausage looses about 15% of it's weight in the first 3-4 days. 15% of 30 pounds is 4.5 pounds. All of the weight loss is loss of water, therefore the system has to get rid of 4.5 pints of water in a few days. Subtract from that whatever water the dehumidifier collects and any water that may condense on the floor of the fridge. The rest has to be frozen out by the freezer defrost cycle. The defrost systems on fridges are not designed for anything like that water load. I don't see how cutting the floor out of the freezer will change this calculation.

I cannot offer any solution as I've never had to address it. Maybe heating the freezer section will work. Just checked my freezer and its at 14° right now.

Another thing that may enter into the issue is the dehumidifier. If yours is anything like mine, the pelltier's heat is being exhausted into the refrigerator, and little water is being collected.

If it was me, I'd just keep the hair dryer handy every couple of days until the sausage drys enough to get the water load down to levels that the fridge can handle. (But I'm just an old retired guy with lots of time on my hands :smile: ).

Maybe some of the folks who do larger batches will pipe up.
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Bob K
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Post by Bob K » Sun Oct 14, 2018 15:32

If is any help to you no one has run into coolant lines between freezer and refrigeration, whether it be a side by side or top -bottom unit. You will probably run into electrical wires though.

Its probably the best way to solve the problem.

http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=8198
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Post by StefanS » Sun Oct 14, 2018 15:48

Topic mentioned by BobK needs be updated. That chamber is running perfectly for almost 2 years. If you guys interested - i can do that in next couple days.
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Post by SMR » Sun Oct 14, 2018 16:17

Thanks guys, I think John is spot on with his water balance calculations. I initially thought about cutting the floor between the freezer and fridge so that the ambient conditions within the freezer would match the curing chamber and allow the coils to melt between cooling cycles. This would not change the water balance calculation, but it would move the water from the coils to the evaporator pan below the fridge (and probably then overflowing onto the garage floor :roll:).

I think I am going to first try to figure out if I can control the built in defrost heater with a second temperature controller and bypass the system's timer and bi-metal thermostat. I am experimenting with the heating pad now in the freezer since it is not doing anything in the curing chamber at the moment.

Just another retired guy with lots of time to screw around with this stuff.
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Post by SMR » Tue Oct 16, 2018 01:14

The heating pad in the freezer is working well. On at 32 deg., off at 50 deg. It takes several cooling cycles to get back to 32 deg in the freezer so the heating pad is not running too much. This might do it. We will see how it works in the winter time.
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