Curing Freezer/refrigirator question

Discussion in 'Curing' started by mark66, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    I am using external digital temperature controller (STC 1000) and Humidity controller (WH8040) Temperature controller works great throughout any range from sub zero to 70s. Problem is humidity controller tells me that my internal humidity is at 46 right now and varies to upper 80s for few minutes. I would say my average is about 70 RH. Is this fluctuation acceptable? Freezer is running empty for about 24 hrs. I think my fluctuation is because it's frost free unit and there is humidity on the coil. The heating element does not function because it's to warm inside. Internal fan was wired to run continually.

    So again is this humidity fluctuation a big issue?

    Thanks!
     
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's a big swing. what are you using to add humidity?
    Also having the fan run all the time could cause case hardening of your product.
     
  3. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with DanMcG...that's a big swing....It would be nice to know what you are using as a humidity source and also a heat source? Maybe your humidifier is putting out to much and overshooting the mark? Also, that RH Controller has hysteresis adjustment...maybe try lowering it. FWIW
     
  4. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    Nothing so far. I had internal fan run continuous. Made a change and wired fan normal . Fan runs when in defrost mode and when compressor is running.As of this minute running it as a fridge 34 to 38 F. and humidity is almost constant in 50s.
     
  5. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Wait...so what is the humidity controller controlling?
     
  6. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    Right now Nothing. When it gets real cold outside I will add humidifier. Freezer is wired for it now.
     
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You might think about installing the humidifier now... Most cured meats, need about 70-80% RH to keep from case hardening...
     
  8. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    With frost free freezer and location of condenser and fan running when compressor is on my humidity is about 80 and higher.
     
  9. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    First batch

    2 Lonzino, 1 Copa and 2 bacon.


     
  10. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    try to get your humidity around 70%, It will be high initially with all the meat you started with. It took me a while to get my chamber dialed in, but I also only do it in the winter when the conditions are right for me.
     
  11. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    I can get my humidity down upper 60s to about 72 but my temperature has to be set in mid 50s?
     
  12. Yeah, I have the same controller.....no unwanted wild fluctuations......frost -free rigs have caused folks a lot of frustration.




    ~Martin
     
  13. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    It's a little different for me here in SW Colorado where the avg rh never gets above 30%. I treat my chamber as a controlled environment..so no matter what the temp/rh is outside, the chamber does it's thing. I use a frost free fridge for temp reduction/De-humidification, a heat source to increase temp, an ultrasonic humidifier to increase rh...then the fridge cuts in and the cycle starts again. The down side is that my temps/rh are constantly fluctuating to a small degree. I've been running this for 3 years now..turned out plenty of tasty product....burned through a few used fridges though. FWIW
     
  14. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    Sounds like you are cycling a lot. So when humidity is low you run humidifier, when temperature gets to high you run compressor to cool it down . While cooling evaporator coil builds up with moisture which will make humidity climb.Frost free or not problems are same. They all have evaporator coil. We will get it figured out yet.  LOL
     
  15. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Mark66,

    The way I understand the "Frost Free Curing Chamber" solution operates is a different to the way you explain it. The reason I went this route was I could build an effective (although not ideal) controlled environment. The frost free refrigeration system, by definition, reduces humidity when the compressor is running (thus no frost build up). So, with a frost free set up the cycle goes like this;

    Heat source raises temp > set point...fridge turns on....humidity reduces

    Temp reaches < set point fridges turns off....Humidity < set point....humidifier turns on

    Humidity reaches set point....humidifier turns off

    Heat sources raises temp > set point....etc

    Yes it cycles a lot...hence the number of fridges I've gone through, although used fridges are always luck of the draw. But It works...not ideal....but when you learn the nuances and tune your chamber,....it works.

    The key points;

    Frost free fridge only.....dehumidification

    Ultrasonic humidifier....no heat generation

    Decent external temp & rh controllers

    Then it is test, test & test again.....forget everything you learned in the test as soon as you put meat in it.

    HTH
     
  16. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    Well as of today I am able to maintain from 58F to 64F and humidity will change in this temperature range between 72 and 81. this is day by day challenge. Cycle time between compressor kicking on is about 15 min.
     

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