Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor - Page 2




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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekkie Tub View Post
    Hi Biltong

    Where did you get your temperature controller from?

    Looks nice and easy to control the temperature.

    Currently curing meat in my biltong dryer and also placing it in the fridge on the lowest setting with a small fan placed on the bottom to circulate air.

    So this can take it to the next diy level.

    Tekkie,

    What ever temperature setting you use on your refrigerator, you need to make 100% sure it does not approach freezing temperature for meat - which is -2⁰C.

    Once you get there, the ageing process will cease and cannot restart again if the temperature is raised.
    Last edited by biltong; 2017/07/19 at 07:13 AM.
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  2. #22
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    Default Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Quote Originally Posted by biltong View Post
    I made it. Read first post.
    But where did you buy the components from?

    Does the controller or the temperature sensor show on your phone?

    Would be awesome to see the temp on my phone so looking for more information on how you did that?

    I do see some beer making websites sell temperature controllers but not sure how good they are or if yours is better...
    Last edited by Tekkie Tub; 2017/07/19 at 01:04 PM.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    You buy it from a bunch of places. RS components, Communica, Mantech, DIY Electronics, Micro Robotics etc etc.

    Yes, all the parameters are shown on my phone and I can adjust the temperature and humidity setpoints from there too.

    To do that, use and HC-05 Bluetooth module connected to the serial port of the Arduino.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tekkie Tub View Post
    But where did you buy the components from?

    Does the controller or the temperature sensor show on your phone?

    Would be awesome to see the temp on my phone so looking for more information on how you did that?

    I do see some beer making websites sell temperature controllers but not sure how good they are or if yours is better...
    Last edited by biltong; 2017/07/19 at 03:55 PM.
    1999 Discovery 1, 300 TDi - "Tink Tanky"

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    "A technician will let a system degenerate to the level of his understanding and maintain it there."

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    10 days and may is starting to get a deep cherry colour. Not a speckle of mold, and no crust.

    It really seems to work very well. Temperature Control is perfect.





    Last edited by biltong; 2017/07/26 at 08:24 PM.
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Aaah, looks fantastic
    Flip

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  6. #26
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Some feedback.

    I had a bit of a setback. Early in the week, the controller started to freeze, but I manged to catch it. That was mostly due to the supply neutral wire on the terminal that did not bite properly and caused voltage drop and perhaps some flux that was not properly removed which could casue tiny leakage current. Fixed that and it ran perfectly for 5 days.

    However, on Friday night I and my son went with two guys who shot me a Kudu and as luck would have it, of course the controller tripped just when I thought it was all sorted.

    The box temperature when I got there at 11:00 Saturday morning raised to 9⁰C and unfortunately caused a thin slimy layer to develop on the skin of the meat. That is consistent with my experience from biltong drying. You only need a few hours of wrong temperature and you have trouble quickly.

    As a result, I took it out this morning, had to cut the steaks at day 14 and trimmed off all the sides.

    I think I might also want to consider another fan on lower level as the lowest cut was the most affected.

    The warthog round closest to the fan was almost unaffected. I washed it down with vinegar, then water and put it in the freezer along with the steaks.


    Of course I had to test, and is currently chewing on a piece grilled on the Typhoon plate.

    In terms of tenderness, already a significant improvement from what we are used to on Eland Steaks, but you need at least double that for taste improvement. You can see there is still quite a bit of moisture to be removed.


    All in all, it looks promising.

    I now have in there Kudu rib-eye, a sirloin and a rump.
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  8. #27
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Without learning, there is no progress, well done!
    Flip

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  9. #28
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Right,

    Second batch of meat goes better. Did not had temperature control problems this time but I found that the meat still made a slimy layer on the bottom which indicated inadequate ventilation.

    Yesterday I washed that off with vinegar and water and placed a fan in the bottom of the fridge blowing upwards to get airflow from that direction as well.

    This looks much better. I want to see a dry outer on all sides.
    1999 Discovery 1, 300 TDi - "Tink Tanky"

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  10. #29
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Hi Biltong

    Thank you for this awesome thread! I've been wanting to purchase/import a dry ager but they are VERY expensive!

    I'm not a DIY guy, would you be interested in building a dry ager to sell?

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  11. #30
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Firstly, can you use something more basic such as the STC-1000 controller?

    Secondly: I'll have access to a cold room soon: can you age in one of those @ 2degC and with some heavy duty fans?
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  13. #31
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Firstly, can you use something more basic such as the STC-1000 controller?

    Secondly: I'll have access to a cold room soon: can you age in one of those @ 2degC and with some heavy duty fans?

    Jelo, as far as I know there is no reason why you cannot get away with only temperature control. At the moment, I made provision for humidity control but it seems to be not needed.

    Yes, a cold room box will work quite fabulous actually but take care with the amount of fan power as it becomes a substantial expense and too much ventilation could dry out meat faster.

    The denser your meat is packed, the more attention you need to give to your ventilation strategy as eventually it becomes with it to make a perforated wall behind the shelves that you pressurise with fans to give you equal spread of air.

    The important thing it you want the meat to have a dry skin.
    Last edited by biltong; 2017/08/06 at 06:39 PM.
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  15. #32
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    I was thinking of curing ham and so on. The price of decent aged ham is excessive, while raw pork leg isn't especially expensive on its own.

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  17. #33
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    I was thinking of curing ham and so on. The price of decent aged ham is excessive, while raw pork leg isn't especially expensive on its own.

    http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.co...l#.WYhZLoiGPmE
    My idea too.
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  18. #34
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Kudu aged 12 days after I added the extra fan last weekend.

    This worked very well. Got a nice skin, and started to lose weight.

    So tonight we made a test.

    OH my word...

    This is probably the best, most tender, tastiest piece of meat I ever had.

    I don't think I am going to age this one for much longer.

    This cut was thin, so we lost 35% in off cuts (which we will use to make stock) so one does need the really big round chunks for less loss.







    Last edited by biltong; 2017/08/11 at 08:50 PM.
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  19. #35
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Quote Originally Posted by wildhunter View Post
    I'm not a DIY guy, would you be interested in building a dry ager to sell?
    I actually have a multi-purpose thing in mind that can dry Biltong at 18⁰C at the most and age meat like here. Dual function.

    Now the Biltong drier one will be interesting as it will have to be variation on the commercial drier that I designed and manufactured many years ago.

    The commercial driers has some extra hardware that one cannot plump into a refrigerator setup but which was needed to ensure the compressor runs 24/7 while reheating was all done with the waste heat of the system otherwise the power bill will go boom.

    With the commercial driers, drying times are always the same. Capital cost too high for home use.


    For home use, one will have to take a somewhat different approach and it will affect drying times slightly in wet weather. The psychrometrics control behind this will have to be carefully planned to have a system with a lower capital cost and reasonable running cost. With a commercial system I did not had to do humidity control, with a home unit one will have to due to the lack of extra hardware of the commercial unit.

    So yes, maybe one day but not before I have a good feeling for the process I am busy with now.
    Last edited by biltong; 2017/08/11 at 07:59 PM.
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  20. #36
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    Default Re: Sunday morning project: Meat Aging Refrigertor

    Very neat. Watching this with interest.
    Flip

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