Monday, January 18, 2010

Cheap humidity controllers

I've previously posted about humidity control, and how to control a humidifier inside the fridge. Back then, the only control i could find that was easy to integrate was quite expensive, about $120. Just recently I happened upon (read somewhere, or someone told me, i don't remember) a much cheaper controller. $50! They're available at Grainger.

They have one that is a humidifier controller and a dehumidifier controller. They look pretty nice! The disadvantage of these versus the THC-1 is that each one controls EITHER humidification OR dehumidification. The THC-1 offers a switch.

29 comments:

matt said...

I use the that exact humidifier controller, and love it. I plan to get one for my fermentation box, and also the dehumidifer one, that will operate a fan, so I don't have to keep the door of my curing chamber open for ventilation from time to time.

Another controller I have seen is this one: http://www.4hydro.com/growroom/hum1.asp

It controls both humidifier and dehumidifier.

Personally I like have a separate controller for each - much cheaper to replace if one breaks down.

STEVE said...

Has anyone looked at the "zoo med hygrotherm humidity & temperature controller?"

http://www.petco.com/product/109981/Zoo-Med-HygroTherm-Humidity-and-Temperature-Controller.aspx

I'm just getting started with charcuterie, so I'm not sure if it will do the job... I'll be posting about my progress at http://youngslog.blogspot.com

Jasonmolinari said...

Someone mentioned this previously. The thing to keep in mind is that it controls 1000w total. The fridge alone might be close to that, so you might be right at the limit of the current draw for that controller...

matt said...

The controller looks interesting (ZOO).. I wonder how accurate the temp/humidity sensor is. I agree that a fridge might use 1000W when running, I would assume newer ones use less.

I really dislike "all in one" controllers though.. If the humidity sensor part of it packs up, you have to replace the whole thing.. Personally I like a separate controller for both.

Jamie said...

I considered using this type of humidity controller when I made my chamber, but opted against it for two reasons: 1) it requires either that you install an outlet inside your chamber (pain the neck) or that you run an extension cord into your chamber (inelegant); 2) it's still $50. Even though I had no electrical experience I opted to wire a simple dehumidistat ($20) inside my chamber (linked to a computer exhaust fan). I plan to post pictures of the chamber construction to www.meatclub.org soon.

Anonymous said...

So if you could only use one for the chamber, which would be best for a refriderator chamber. Humidifier or Dehumidifier??

Anonymous said...

I recently set up a curing rig and I am having a humidity problem. My chamber was keeping perfect heat and humidity until I put ten pounds of Saucisson sec inside. The humidity jumped from 65rh to 85rh. I checked all of my settings and they were set to the proper levels. I do not have a light bulb in my chamber. Would it make that big of a difference?

Jasonmolinari said...

YOu put a giant batch of sausage that is releasing moisture. The jump is normal.
Are you using a regular frost free fridge which dries the air as it cools? If so, it just isn't cycling enough, you have to make it cycle more often.

Anonymous said...

I am using a frost free, upright freezer. The ten pounds was a bit heavy handed. The freezer seemed to be doing so well in my two week test period I figured it was good to go. Will the high humidity damage my sausage or just prolong the curing process. How can get the freezer to cycle more often?

Jasonmolinari said...

The higher humidity should be ok if it's short lived (maybe a week or 2) and may actually help slow the process for more flavor.
The freezer did well for 2 weeks b/c there was nothing in there adding humidity to it..i assume it was empty?

You have to put it in a warmer environment to make it cycle more often or generate heat inside it (lightbulb/terrarium heater).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your humidity advice,

One last question. A local chef recommended using an Ultraviolet light in the curing chamber to control bacteria. My only concern is that it might kill the bacteria introduced from a starter culture.
If it gave enough heat I could use for humidity control as well.

Thanks again

Jasonmolinari said...

No experience with UV lights..but i'd be worried about the beneficial molds i try to grow on the salame...

Anonymous said...

here's a plug in humidity controller for 49 bucks:

http://www.drillspot.com/products/437125/Dayton_1UHG3_Humidifier_Control?s=1

Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks! That controller looks great.

Anonymous said...

Hello again,

Too much humidity guy here,

I finally have my humidity under control:) My sausage however has started to bloom some specs of white mold. My knee jerk reaction was to throw all of it away. I did not do that. A friend mentioned that white mold is not bad, only the green and the black mold. I did not introduce the mold myself, so I am still a bit worried. Do you have some guidance? Can the mold be removed or is it safe?

Jasonmolinari said...

White mold is most probably safe, and actually good to have.
If you really don't like it, just make a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water and wipe the sausages down with that.

Kenth Borglund said...

Hi Kenth from Sweden

Look at www.forttex.com they have cheap controllers

look at my facebook

Kenth Borglund

Sweden

Kenth Borglund said...

Hi again

Hope you understand my english, i am from sweden so you have too exquse :-)

As i wrote above forttex controllers are cheap ang very good accuray. But yoy guys have the opportunity too have auber instrument "over there" so you can get very good instruments, cheap too control the temperature

http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=3

There is more nice equipment to have, why not a temp humidity logger Temperature/humidity data logger TFD 128, cheap and very good accuracy.

If you are looking on my facebook is FOTO the same as Pictures. Swedish is very easy too learn, just move here fore some years and you can speak it :-)

Kenth

Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks Kenth. Your english is very understandable.
Auber instruments does make some good, reasonably priced stuff. Thanks for the link.

I'll come to sweeden if you share some reindeer salame and prosciutto:)

Kenth Borglund said...

Acctualy i found a cheap dehumidifyer on conrad.com

http://www.conrad.com/Air-Dehumidifier.htm?websale7=conrad-int&pi=561115&ci=SHOP_AREA_37359_0601007&Ctx=%7Bver%2F7%2Fver%7D%7Bst%2F3ec%2Fst%7D%7Bcmd%2F0%2Fcmd%7D%7Bm%2Fwebsale%2Fm%7D%7Bs%2Fconrad-int%2Fs%7D%7Bl%2Fint%2Fl%7D%7Bsf%2F%3Cs1%3Edehumidifyer%3C%2Fs1%3E%2Fsf%7D%7Bp1%2F4d1d38e2195ceb109bfc193623899ed5%2Fp1%7D%7Bmd5%2F44b4d40a84b5aa75bed9b0aba6fe04ec%2Fmd5%7D

I was thinkin about to rebuild it and lead the water outside the feremtation chamber true a pipe instead of the tank. And control the on/off by the http://www.forttex.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=24&zenid=9606a180f87d37cdab9dd422d15308bd

I have to set the hysteres on the DHC-100+ to +- 5%, it may work ?

From Kenth "The reindeer"

PS. Look at this swedish site

www.vildhasse.se

Korv = sausage
Ostar = Cheese
Björn = Bear
Ren = Reindeer
Älg = Moose

As i told you not so difficult language

Kenth

Jasonmolinari said...

Kenth, that should work, but is your humidity high or low? In a regular fridge the humidity normally is low...not high.

Kenth "The reindeer" Borglund said...

Acctually high, maybe beacuse i live next to the sea, 60 km north Göteborg, (Gotenborg)

Kenth

WTF's 4 Dinner? said...

Been awhile since any action on this blog, but I'd like to hijack it to ask a quick question! I've been very interested in converting a fridge into a similar chamber for temp / humidity control with some circulation factor. I want to build this for dry-aging sub-primal beef cuts at home. Any recommendations where online to look at a model setup? Thanks, and great reading. I've done some work on charcuterie - mostly venison - but not to your crews standards yet!!!

Jasonmolinari said...

sorry, don't know where to point you regarding aging meat setups.

Martin E. Andresen said...

Hi Jason

Thanks for a very interresting blogg inspiring me to start curing meats. Before I buy, is there a reason I can´t use a humidity controller like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/Air-Humidity-Control-Controller-sensor-Temperature-220V-/260821727132?pt=AU_B_I_Electrical_Test_Equipment&hash=item3cba2fb79c#ht_10799wt_1165?

It´s very cheap. I know I have to do some wiring, but I don´t care about that, having built a few beer brewing equipment sets the last few years...

Jasonmolinari said...

Martin, that controller looks PERFECT! I wish i could get one here for $10!

Kenth said...

Auberins are now selling good humidity controller.

http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37&products_id=265&zenid=7d0aad8c3fb590fdc24d8ff8595039af

Jasonmolinari said...

Kenth, thanks for the link, that controller does temp and humidity. Seems pretty awesome and perfect for us!~

Joe Carter said...

You can also try some other humidity controller from here.