Advice on building a larger curing chamber?

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reddal
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Advice on building a larger curing chamber?

Post by reddal » Thu May 04, 2017 15:45

Hi,

So my last batch of Chorizo is out of the chamber and I think has worked very well. The next batch is now in there starting to dry.

My chamber can hold about 30kg of Chorizo - so with a single chamber I can produce about 5kg a week on average. However I want to make more than that!

I'm thinking about making a second, larger chamber - which would always be kept at final drying conditions. The smaller chamber would be used for the initial fermentation and higher humidity drying - but after a couple of weeks I could transfer the Chorizo to the larger chamber. ie have 3 30kg batches in the larger chamber at once.

Something like this would work for the large chamber I think - https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/p ... oor-fridge . Thats 1200l capacity so pretty big.

Do you think there would be any particular challenges to a chamber this size? Is this the right kind of solution to scaling up production?

thanks for your advice - reddal
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Butterbean
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Post by Butterbean » Thu May 04, 2017 16:29

I think you will find the bigger the chamber the easier things will be. Just like a large pot of water is easier to control the temp in than a small one. (Hope that makes sense)
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Post by LOEBER74 » Thu May 04, 2017 18:39

This is close to what I am shopping for presently. A double bypass door commercial cooler, No need for the freezer in a domestic and a more robust cooling system. I've seen them come up on craiglist and similar sites. I have read that the glass front and bright light can be an issue, so I will probably end up filming over the glass.
reddal
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Post by reddal » Thu May 04, 2017 19:17

LOEBER74 wrote:This is close to what I am shopping for presently. A double bypass door commercial cooler, No need for the freezer in a domestic and a more robust cooling system. I've seen them come up on craiglist and similar sites. I have read that the glass front and bright light can be an issue, so I will probably end up filming over the glass.
My existing curing chamber was built from a single door, glass front commercial cooler. I have the cooler connected to a temperature controller so it only gets power when cooling is needed - which isn't often. You can disable the light on the model I have - but I haven't bothered. Also I haven't had any issue with the glass door - I guess its not as insulating as a solid door - but no big deal. In fact the glass door is a nice feature as you can always see whats going on in the chamber without having to open the door.

The alternative in terms of building a large chamber would be to build something from scratch - walls, insulation, an AC unit etc. This kind of thing might be a good solution for humidity control - http://www.winecorner.co.uk/product/hyg ... ne-cellars (though a bit expensive!).

- reddal
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Post by reddal » Tue May 09, 2017 11:23

OK new idea for a large drying chamber.

Rather than spend a lot of money on a big fridge and convert it - I could add some equipment to my wine cellar to control the temperature and humidity - and be able to use the whole room for drying chorizo?

I would still be using my existing chamber for initial fermentation and the first couple of weeks of higher humidity drying - but after that I would transfer it to the wine cellar - which I would maintain at 13c 75% rh.

The temperature in the wine cellar is already pretty good - only ranging from about 9c to 16c through the year. I would install a cellar conditioner to keep the temperature more constant (something like thisthis) and then a humidifier/dehumidifier to maintain 75% rh.

I don't think there are humidity controls on the cellar conditioners - but they try to maintain some humidity (50% to 70%) unlike some AC units. However at 75% rh the conditioner might fight to lower the humidity and end up fighting with the humidifier?

The wine cellar is about 3mx3m so not huge - but has plenty of space in the middle for a lot of chorizo! Do you think this idea would work well? Any concerns?

thanks in advance for any advice - reddal
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Post by LOUSANTELLO » Wed May 10, 2017 13:36

I bought a Turboair 48 cubic foot double door system and it's great. Each side uses metal rack shelves that are adjustable within 1" increments differently for each side. A deli down the street from me uses a walk in cooler with outboard controllers for his curing projects. As long as the temperature and humidity stays consistent, just about anything will work. Just like salt water fish tanks, you have better consistencies with larger tanks than you do smaller units. If something fails on a large tank, you have more room and time for error.
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