Dehumidifier for curing chamber (UK)

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Dehumidifier for curing chamber (UK)

Postby Steven_B » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:21 pm

Hi all... my first post...

Looking for recommendations for an effective compact/mini dehumidifier for my curing chamber (old fridge, not frost-free) (currently curing pancetta and guanciale, soon to move on to fermented sausages).

I've been researching this but many of the links to sellers I find are out of date, or not in the UK.

Also, most of the 'bad' reviews I read on Amazon might not be relevant to the curing chamber application, so it would be useful to hear from others with curing chamber experience.

Best wishes
Steven

(Devon, UK)
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Re: Dehumidifier for curing chamber (UK)

Postby wheels » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:38 pm

Welcome Steve.

Dehumidifiers tend to be too large to use in old fridges. I tried one and it was less than successful - it made things worse, not better. Also, the small ones tend to be 'Peltier type' which are said not to be effective below 15°C.

Many people solve this problem by using a small tubular heater to cause the fridge to 'cycle on' which generally reduces the humidity.

Hope this helps.

Phil
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Re: Dehumidifier for curing chamber (UK)

Postby Steven_B » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:16 am

Thanks Phil,

This is really useful information!

Thinking about what you said, I realise that - since I don't yet have a heater wired up to the heating output of my STC-1000 temp. controller - the fridge temperature is down to 7/8/9oC in recent weeks. Therefore, the RH is up (owing to the cooler temperatures) AND the fridge is never cycling on (set for cooling at >12oC).

Also done some reading about dehumidifier technology now, and see that refrigerant type de-hum's also typically struggle at <18oC.

The next question, then, is much the same as the first one but replace 'dehumidifier' with 'small tubular heater'.

Thanks
Steven
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Re: Dehumidifier for curing chamber (UK)

Postby wheels » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:43 pm

I got mine from a supplier on Amazon - search amazon for Tubular Heater 1ft and there's loads around the £12 - £14 mark.

Hope this helps.

Phil
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Re: Dehumidifier for curing chamber (UK)

Postby Steven_B » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:08 pm

Thanks Phil... found and bought one.

Steven
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Re: Dehumidifier for curing chamber (UK)

Postby DiggingDogFarm » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:31 pm

A "food-safe" (see note below) silica gel (desiccant) pillow placed over a small PC fan that's connected to a humidity controller.
Very simple and inexpensive.
I use this set-up in three cured-meat curing chambers/cheese caves.
The smallest being ~2.5 cubic feet, and the largest ~7.5 cubic feet.

More info here.....
http://www.perfect-cheese.com/high-humidity

I can provide pics of the components of my set-up if this is something you're interested in. Again...it's very simple.

Important note: Note all common silica gel is appropriate for this application. Some silica gel contains added cobalt chloride (color indicator) which is classified as a category 2 carcinogen.
~Martin
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, non-conformist and contrarian who questions everything!
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Re: Dehumidifier for curing chamber (UK)

Postby Steven_B » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:58 pm

Phil's suggestion of the heater tube has worked very well.

The RH now sits between 62% and 72% - typically it's around 65%. This is with a small number of fairly dry products in the fridge.

Martin... thanks for the tip on the gel-fan set-up. Pic's of yours would be good.

Fig 2d on the perfect cheese link says that the monitoring was done for 3 days... but the figure only covers about 12 hours. Am I missing something?

How often do you need to dry your silica bag pillow and how long does it take to dry?
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