Curing Chamber

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redzed
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Post by redzed » Sun Jan 13, 2013 00:11

CB, I refer to celcius of course. Sometimes I forget that there are Americans on this forum. :grin: I have those temps in my garage during the winter months, Nov-Jan, and we get tons of rain so the humidity is high. I'm currently in southern Arizona and tonight the temp is going to drop to -7°C, or 20F! Wonder why the heck we came down here! Will have to find consolation and warmth in the cheap booze here. :???:
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Post by CrankyBuzzard » Sun Jan 13, 2013 01:33

redzed wrote:CB, I refer to celcius of course. Sometimes I forget that there are Americans on this forum. :grin: I have those temps in my garage during the winter months, Nov-Jan, and we get tons of rain so the humidity is high. I'm currently in southern Arizona and tonight the temp is going to drop to -7°C, or 20F! Wonder why the heck we came down here! Will have to find consolation and warmth in the cheap booze here. :???:
Just making sure. I'd hate for folks to try and cure at 12 degrees F. :shock: might get a bit of freezer burn! :lol:

AZ is a strange place for sure! This time of year it can be perfect for shirt sleeves or parkas! You never know.

But, you do live in God's country most of the time! I fell in love with Canada many years ago!

Charlie
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Post by tobertuzzi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 17:36

Hey Redzed
Im about to cut holes in my fridge for air circulation. Does the air pulled from the extraction fan bring fresh air through the vacuum outlet automatically? or do you have to prop the spring loaded flap open?

Cheers
Toby
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redzed
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Post by redzed » Fri Mar 22, 2013 02:19

tobertuzzi wrote:Hey Redzed
Im about to cut holes in my fridge for air circulation. Does the air pulled from the extraction fan bring fresh air through the vacuum outlet automatically? or do you have to prop the spring loaded flap open?

Cheers
Toby
Yeah, it's quite basic, you have to prop it open. Mine always about a third open. I bought it at the Re-Store for a buck.
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Post by tobertuzzi » Fri Mar 22, 2013 05:30

Basic is good, less chance to fail....

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Post by markjass » Wed Jun 12, 2013 04:56

Hi tazplas

I am missing something here. The fridge kicks in if the temperature inside gets to hot. How do you increase the temperature in your chamber, i.e. what heats the fridge?
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Post by rbanks123 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 16:11

markjass wrote:Wow - how inspiring. Making a curing cabinet is next on my list after I have sorted out a new smoker. How do you stop mold growing inside the chamber, is the fan enough to do this? How do you replace the stale air - is occasionally opening the door enough?
Usually just keeping the unit clean is enough to prevent the mold from building. Always wash the nooks and crannies of your unit before and after a cure or every couple of weeks if you are using it continuously. You don't want to go nuts spraying disinfectants and such because you will affect the outcome of the cure (ie kill needed spores and whatnot). I have been using my setup for aging cheese as well so I take some special precautions.
I have my setup posted here http://artisanbros.blogspot.com/2013/04 ... amber.html and will be posting some of our results over the next few weeks.

Cheers
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Post by rbanks123 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 16:14

markjass wrote:Hi tazplas

I am missing something here. The fridge kicks in if the temperature inside gets to hot. How do you increase the temperature in your chamber, i.e. what heats the fridge?
The temperature is increased by room temperature. Assuming that is about 75ish degrees F. Eventually, if the fridge is turned off long enough, the temperature inside of it will be the same as the temperature outside (room). Hope that makes sense.
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Post by tazplas » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:48

markjass wrote:Hi tazplas

I am missing something here. The fridge kicks in if the temperature inside gets to hot. How do you increase the temperature in your chamber, i.e. what heats the fridge?
Hi Mark
Well, since i live in Perth not Hobart anymore, keeping the inside of the fridge warm is the least of my worries bearing in mind that it averages above 20C all year round. AT the moment, our daily temps are about 4-25, averaging where i have the fridge is about 15. In fact it hardly comes on at all at the moment.
The air still gets swapped out on a regular basis due to my wine addiction.

Cheers

Steve
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Post by snagman » Wed Apr 16, 2014 09:40

tazplas,
Hi Steve,
Very
interested in your experiences with that
great looking curing chamber you built. Jan told me about your smoked cured meats,,singing your praises, and you singing his with his csabai, good to hear all that !
I have an under the house "cellar" of sorts, which has almost a year round temp of 18° and a constant 75% RH. In there, I have a previously used plywood smoker, which I have used as a drying cabinet on one occasion. The result was not too bad, but now I have made a batch of stifolder (a bavarian speciality much liked and made in southern Hungary, I have posted its recipe on the forum). This is stuffed into a 60mm colagen casing, so require a min 2 to 3 months drying.
Long story I know ! I am concerned about case hardening on a sausage this thick, but I already run three bloody fridges, so don' want to make another one. I could be wrong though. So, my main question is, how often does your fridge run when you are using it, and, what is your temperature setting as against the ambient ? How does your dryer perform, especially as regards case hardening ? Any other advice concerning drying issues would be most welcome too.
Regards,
Gus
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Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:11

Hey Taz, my ol' bud Snagman and I ride different horses together! :roll: He wrote:
Very interested in your experiences with that great looking curing chamber you built.
Taz, your chamber is a work of art! If I were you, I'd charge admission just for lookin' at it! :shock: Are you still making a cured sausage or two these days? If Snag and I came over to your house, may we make a sandwich? :mrgreen:

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
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Post by tazplas » Wed Apr 16, 2014 13:43

Hey Guys

More than welcome to catch up when you're in this neck of the woods :smile:

However, feel free to send donations. I'll PM anyone who would like my paypal details and then i'll send photos according to the amount donated :lol:

Anyways, in answer to your questions:
I set the humidity at the required level (70-75%) and the temp (13-15C) at the required level and the rest is history as they say although I generally only cure meat during the winter/autumn as in the summer.
The temp in Perth can get too high and affects the inside of my fridge. My fridge is placed inside a closed-in carport and that can reach 50 deg C some days in summer. At that stage the internal fridge temp gets to about 22C. As this was a converted wine fridge, it only has limited cooling capacity with a half sized cooling plate as opposed to a real fridge with a full sized cooling plate. Also does not have a real adequate air flow which is probably 75% of the problem. Something to consider perhaps if you live in a hotter climate.
You will have to keep an eye on the humidity - too much and it will take forever to dry, too little and you guessed it, case hardening.
I set my Rh at about 70% with a dead band of 2%. Typically, the humidifier will kick in and lift the reading to about 72% and then stop the humidifier. There is still residual Rh kicking around in there and can lift to read to 75% but then levels out over time. I only use filtered water.
I also have an internal circulating fan (computer fan - 100mm dia) that is run through a timer that kicks in every 15 minutes for 15 minutes. Seems to work so far has Jan can attest to. (Mind you, i believe he hasn't tasted the last batch i sent him yet so perhaps we should all wait for the results :wink:)
Don't stress too much about case hardening. Try and keep the humidity right and the fridge will suck out the moisture accordingly. Make sure the fridge has plenty of drainage. Just look for the desired % loss and then yank it out. I let some stuff go to 45% loss by mistake last year and was subjected to some real hardening. I vac packed it and re visited it 3 months later. Result - bloody perfect but time was the answer in that case.
Hope that helps

Cheers

Steve
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Post by snagman » Wed Apr 16, 2014 22:06

Thanks Steve for that informative and comprehensive reply. I will stick with the ply cabinet for this lot since the humidity is spot on @ 75%. The temp is a bit higher @ 19°, so we'll see what effect that has.
If this works well, I'll send you a bit of it, Jan too, he is a good tooth man.....maybe CW too if he's game....

Regards,
Gus
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Post by Gulyás » Thu Apr 17, 2014 00:02

My curing chamber is in my basement, where the temperature now is around 17 C. depending where I measure it. It's 3 degrees colder on the floor, then at ceiling.
Today I installed a 25 Watt light bulb, so the freezer turns on more time from the heat, because I could not get the humidity lower than 99%, unless I kept the door swinging pretty often. But I did have lots of fun doing it...... :mrgreen:

Hey Gus, long time no see, how did your stifolder turn out, because just maybe that'll be my next project.
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Apr 17, 2014 02:45

maybe CW too if he's game....

Boy, am I "gamey".... whew! :roll:
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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