Curing Chamber Build

Discussion in 'Curing' started by mountbaldy, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. mountbaldy

    mountbaldy Fire Starter

    Hi all!,

    It looks like I'll be starting a curing chamber build here this Winter.  I asked for some curing equipment this Christmas and it looks like my folks pulled through!  I'll be getting a humidifier, temp controller, humidistat and controller, and a project box. I'll be assembling the controls and entire curing chamber. I'm also building a smokehouse too.  I have some stuff to get moved out for the curing chamber build but my plan is to utilize a college fridge and build my curing chamber around that.  I brew beer and make cheese as well so I'm looking to have enough room for at least (2) 6 gallon carboys and build a few shelves to age cheese on.  I'll be posting some before and after que view pics as time goes.  This one may take me a few months to accomplish but the new gifts will help motivate and speed things along.

    I've built large fermentation chambers in the past utilizing air conditioning units and single stage controllers.  This one will be a bit different since I'm going to be controlling humidity and temperature.  Anyhow, I'm sure I'll be posting plans here later in the week. ;-) 

    Merry Christmas!
  2. I'm in for this [​IMG]

    My curing chamber is a wine fridge (it's a little bigger than a dorm fridge) and I use a combo humidity and temp controller that I bought. 

    Question: A dorm fridge is pretty small, so I'm assuming you'll be building it out into a sort of chamber with some additional wood right? That way you'll be able to fit everything your hoping? Like this:

    Good luck and have fun!
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  3. mountbaldy

    mountbaldy Fire Starter

    rgautheir20420  -- You are exactly correct.  I haven't planned out dimmensions yet but, it'll happen real soon.  I'm going to probably end up building a cabinet to set my fermentation chamber on top of.  A friend of mine built one in his garage above a storage cabinet that I really like. You'll find some pics of his in "q view". 
  4. That's a nice setup. One thing I'll mention that I never thought about when I was putting my stuff together is that you'll need 2 different places for making the dry cured stuff. 1 space you'll need to be able to control humidity AND heat for fermentation. The other space you'll need to be able to control humidity and cooling for drying. The heat portion usually is in the range of mid 70's to upper 80's and drying is mid to upper 50's usually. Just some food for thought from my experience. 

    BTW, you might take a look at the UMAI dry bags. I've got some going right now and broke one open the other day. It was so easy and the results...thus far...are pretty damn good. Here's the Soppressata.

  5. mountbaldy

    mountbaldy Fire Starter

    Nice!!  I will keep that in mind!  The controller I'm getting is dual stage so it'll do both heat and cooling.  So that shouldn't be any issue.  I appreciate the heads up though!  I can't wait to start.  

    Their is a cured sausage product made by the Pennsylvania dutch (AKA Amish) called Lebanon Bologna and Sweet Lebanon Bologna, that is what I'm looking forward to make most.  You can only find the stuff in a small area in south central Pennsylvania and Maryland.  I live in Montana now and that stuff doesn't exist out here.  

    I"m also very interested in the salamis and other dry cured meats.  

    This chamber will also be used to do some tobacco curing as well.  I'm not a regular smoker but I'm interested in growing and curing tobacco as well.   I tried my hand at growing tobacco last summer but didn't get started until late.  That said, the same criteria for curing/fermenting tobacco is the same for curing meat. It's funny how this stuff works.
  6. mountbaldy

    mountbaldy Fire Starter

    Well it seems that my last post on here was right before I got pneumonia.  I was sick from X Mas until early February.  I'm finally making progress!  I'll be wiring up my controller tomorrow and hopefully getting my box put together here soon.  Things got delayed with being sick.  I'm hoping to get some meat curing here real soon though!  First up will be lebanon bologna....  Anyhow, I'll post some pics of the controller build as soon as I finish it up tomorrow!!
  7. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Glad to hear you're feeling better, Joe. Let us know how the build turns out.
  8. mountbaldy

    mountbaldy Fire Starter

    The controller project is done.  I'll use this beast for my smoker and fermentation chamber.  I'm going to hook it up to a cool air intake on the smoker side (smoke chamber) for cooling and a hot plate for additional heating.  Now I'm stoked to get going on the new fermentation chamber build.  The pic here is with the controller attached to the smoker.  It was quite the build.  It took me all day to get that little box wired.  I used 14 gauge solid wire... Probably should have gone with stranded but I didn't want to have to worry about heat in the box.

    The red and blue dots on the plugs indicate heating or cooling device.  The other plug is for humidity control.  The only downside to the STC-1000 temp controller is that it's in Celsius.  Not a big deal but it'll take getting use to reading everything in C.  Also for whatever reason, the humidity controller was a bit picky on how my hot wire was connected.  I finally got it figured out though.  

    Also I may be using an old fridge instead of building a new box.  I've got a fridge that I gutted for a previous build for brewing.  The downside is it is outside and has been for quite some time.  The fridge still works, the problem is it needs to be cleaned and it's outside where it is only about 30F outside right now and it gets colder at night.  

    Anyhow, that's a quick update!!

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