my first attempt at building a curing chamber. advice needed

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my first attempt at building a curing chamber. advice needed

Postby Sam3 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:34 pm

Good evening everyone, i have just joined this fantastic forum, and popped a bit about my self in and introduction in the Chatter section. I apologise now for the length of this message, but hope that you will read it all and post comments accordingly please.

i am about to start to build my first meat curing chamber, this will be predominately to produce some air dried venison products, i am a keen deer stalker, and wish to vary what i have available to me, however as we all know, ideas and ambitions grow and spread, so who knows what i will want to try after a while. I do know i am eager to maybe in the future build my own home smoker.

i will list here what products i have already purchased / scavenged or been given, as well as highlighting what other products i am thinking of buying, and how i envisage these going together, all advice, guidance and help will be greatly appreciated.

first of all i was going to follow recommendations outlined in an article i found from an american gentleman, the link to said article is here,

http://mattikaarts.com/blog/meat-curing-at-home-the-setup/

however after finding a few fantastic articles last night, which also led me to this forum, i am going to mainly concentrate on the recommendations in the following article by Phil

http://www.localfoodheroes.co.uk/?e=780

ok the following items i have already got are

1) a full size (almost 6ft tall) neff frost free larder fridge which has a fan built into it, so giving me additional air circulation
2) 2 x 100mm diameter round air vents with fly screen
3) 1 x 100mm diameter round extractor fan with fly screen
4) 1 x 12" 45watt tube heater
5) 1 x STC1000 thermostat / controller
6) PVC coated wire shelves for fridge
7) stainless round Hanging Rail complete with Stainless S hooks
8) 1 x 380mm x 300mm x120mm White IP rated plastic electrical enclosure box


Items still to be purchased

1) 220v AC Digital LCD Humidity Controller
2) Hygroset 11 Round digital Hygrometer

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quality-Importers-HygroSet-Hygrometer-Humidors/dp/B000H6CZQE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513706994&sr=8-1&keywords=hygroset++hygrometer

3)Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

[url]https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crane-Ultrasonic-Cool-Mist-Humidifier/dp/B01BDEWN5Q/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1513707247&sr=8-1&keywords=crane+ultrasonic+cool+mist+humidifier
[/url]

4)A dehumidifier of a type not known at present.

Ok so ere is what i was / am intending to do

I wish to install 2 of the 100mm vents low down through one side of the fridge, with the 100mm extractor fan positioned high up on the opposite side of the fridge, the plan is to use the extractor only when the humidifier switches on, so as to draw the humidified air to draw air around the fridge and out at high level, as per article above from american gentleman.

as per the article from Phil in "local food heroes" that i read last night, i plan to use the STC 1000 controller to control both my fridge and the heat tube which i am thinking of installing internally low down either on the base or mounted to the side of the fridge, i was thinking of setting the temperature parameters as follows, fridge on if temp gets over 15C and off once it gets to 12C, Heater on if temp falls below 9C and off once it gets to 11C, this fridge will be in my garage as it is the only place i have for it currently.

I then wish to install into my "control panel" which i will build (anyone with wiring diagrams, please can i scrounge a copy off of you)the 220v Humidity controller, it is my belief that this can control two items, so i wish for it to control the Crane Humidifier which will have the extractor fan wired into the same terminals, so that both come on together, and secondly a dehumidifier, parameters for these i would appreciate advice on, but i was thinking if humidity gets below 65% the humidifier switches on and if humidity gets over 80% the dehumidifier would switch on and then switch off at 70% RH, again advice on dehumidifier brand / model would be greatly appreciated.

It is also my intentions to remove the standard glass shelves from the fridge, and install a stainless hanging bar in the top of the fridge, so that i can hang product from it, as well as 4 x PVC Coated wire rack style shelves into the fridge, so that there is good air flow through each shelf.

sorry for the lengthy message, however i hope that you are able to get an understanding of what i wish to build / achieve.

Regards Sam
Sam3
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Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:42 am

Re: my first attempt at building a curing chamber. advice ne

Postby Twosunsco » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:56 pm

Sam,

I myself am a beginner at curing. I have recently constructed my curing box from an old fridge and I'm in the fourth day of observation, note taking, and dialing in my settings. I live in Michigan and my curing box is in the garage where it's a balmy 15 degrees F. At this point, I have no need for the refrigerator to be on, just the heater.

My setup differs from yours in that I do not have any exhaust or air intake. I plan on just openning the doors once or twice a day to get fresh air in. I do have a fan for internal circulation.

Based on your previous post, your temperature range sounds a little wide. You may want to invest in a high quality thermo hygrometer that can record your highs and lows.

Also, I suggest you take good notes and record everything you change.
Twosunsco
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