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  #1  
Old 11-11-2009, 08:31 AM
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Default Building a curing chamber for dry curing

or The death of another freezer..

It’s a relatively simple conversion regulating all three of the variables, cooling, heating and humidity. Keep in mind my unit is held in a very dry area of my house and this conversion method was based on the units needs given the location.

First I started with a working freezer. I installed a thermostat that would regulate the temperature from -30 to 90*F.



There are other types of temp controllers or you may find a thermostat with a narrower temp range which will also work fine. I set the thermostat to temp 57*F. If the temperature ever climbs to 60* or higher the freezer kicks on, chills the climate to 56 or 57*F and shuts off until it senses a higher temperature again. Should I need a warmer climate I have a variable temp. heater/fan situated inside the chamber as well.

I wired in a couple of outlets for the accessories. One outlet is set lower for the heater/fan and fogger and another higher up for the humidistat.





These two accessories, the fogger and the heater/fan, (using the “fan only” mode) are both plugged into the hygrostat via and ext. cord and will kick on when the RH falls below 65%. The fogger and the fan come on together and distribute the humidity uniformly throughout the chamber until the humidity reaches 72% then the hygrostat shuts off both the fan and the fogger. The humidity evens out to an average of 69-70% and the unit lays dormant until the next need is sensed.

Should the unit sense an excessive humidity level, the humidistat actuates a 3” 110v hobby fan that blows air out at the lower level ducted by a 3”I.D. piece of PVC pipe.

Installing the fan was just a matter of drilling the hole using a hole saw, mounting the fan on a mounting block and slipping the PVC into the drilled hole.






The dryer air is let in at the upper corner of the unit through several drilled holes.



This venting seems to remove the humidity steadily in a more natural manner, however if the humidity becomes too excessive the fan kicks on pulling the dryer air in from the top and pushing the humid air out at the bottom.

Since I’ve employed this multi system approached my moulds have remained more positive with exception of a ham that’s been giving me a run for my money. I’ve attributed the greener mold that occurred on this project to the netting I used to hang the ham. After a good scrub, the ham was replaced without the netting and I haven’t noticed further occurrences.

In all, it seems a pretty dependable running unit needing very little assistance. I just water the bowl once a week or so, pay the light bill, and everything through proper adjustment seems to work fine.



I’m called away on work for extended periods, up to a week or more at a time so the unit has to operate totally on its own. It’s taken a little thought and time to get everything to operate as it does and there was a medium cost at about $170 - $200 to build but it seems to work fine now that it’s finished.

Thermo, hygro, and humidistat used were obtained from the following links:
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/1RC43
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/1UHG3
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/1UHG2


My fogger came from this site:
http://www.bigappleherp.com/Big-Appl...=2&category=10


The 3” exhaust fan can be obtained from the following link:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103787

The variable temp heater/fan was purchased on sale at a home center.

The digital monitor I use was purchased from Extech.
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/5PE71
It can be obtained at a more inexpensive price elsewhere, however I would suggest a medium level mechanical hygrometer. These can be purchased from around $10 - $100.00 depending on the quality you choose.

Many of these mechanical accessories can be found more inexpensively if you do a good search online for competitive prices.
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Last edited by DangerDan; 11-11-2009 at 08:07 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2009, 09:49 AM
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Nice Build Dan!
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:08 AM
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And that is how that is done!! Points!!!
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:25 AM
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Buildin one a them this winter to Dan, feller I work with is given me the freezer, pays to feed em some Q an sausage!

Nice job on that en!
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:42 PM
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any reason why a refridgerator couldn't be used in this app?

seems to me the websites i have browsed, seems the temps need only get around 50-70?

i bet summin like this could also be put into use as a cheese cave??
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:51 PM
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As always impressive Dan. I may have one in my future so you may be mentoring me on the build. LOL
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:16 PM
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Thank you Sir .....
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walking Dude View Post
any reason why a refridgerator couldn't be used in this app?
A fridge could be used. I've seen some that have converted them but they seem to lack space (to me anyways). The freezer doesn't have any unused space except maybe about a foot at the bottom depending on the size of the product . Even with a fridge you'd still need a thermostat.

This year I'll be making my Genoa in 120mm casings. These mighty monsters are about 28" long. After shrinking they end up to about 90mm but the length will still be there.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:50 PM
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Great post Dan... OK fine I'll give ya some points... ;{)
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Derek View Post
I didn't even see this thread, I am so glad I did.

Thanks for putting up this tutorial Dan.
Read more, ruin less meat.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:48 AM
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Default

I have the fridge I need for my curing chamber. Now I am trying to decide on what equipment to purchase. I also can't break the bank on my equipment.

I am looking at these two controllers, but it would be nice to find one that could be mounted on the outside of the chamber and run a probe inside. That way I can avoid running outlets into the chamber, which seems problematic and unsafe to me.

http://www.amazon.com/C-A-P-HUM1-Hum...s=cap+humidity

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=AH1JDG368QYFS

I am also contemplating this temp/humid combo controller.

http://www.amazon.com/AIR-2-Temp-Hum...s=cap+humidity

I would appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:13 PM
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Default AIR-2

I have been looking at the same model. Was wondering if you purchased it and if so how is it working for you?


Steve
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:29 AM
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Nice build
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