Author Topic: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems  (Read 3149 times)

Offline John (CH)

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My new chest freezer Cheese Cave has been working great with 85% humidity for the last week with 3 unwrapped and 3 vacuum bag sealed gouda's aging nicely away and thus I thought my new role as an Affineur was easy.

That was until I unwrapped the 3 Goudas from their vacuum bags to dry out and placed them back in my freezer Cheese Cave. The result has been an increase from 85% to 92% relative humidity. I didn't want to believe it and thought hygrometer was just inaccurate but when checking the now 6 unwrapped cheeses this morning I noticed they were a little tacky to the touch.

Not good, so I left the lid cracked by 2 in/5 cm with a high tech soda-pop can for the last 5 hours, just checked again, amazingly still 92% RH. So I've now left the door wide open. It's almost like it's own little crygenic vault where cold high humidity air doesn't escape!
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 06:04:05 PM by Cheese Head »


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Offline Tea

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2008, 05:11:21 PM »
I wonder if putting one of the closet driers in there for a while would help draw out some of the humidity.
Baking soda is also supposed to draw out moisture.
Just a thought.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2008, 06:03:56 PM »
Thanks for ideas, I'm going to switch off the freezer and point a fan into it even though it's going to result in warming the cheeses.

What's a closet drier ????

Offline Tea

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2008, 07:07:34 PM »
There packs of "stuff" not sure what really, some are chemical based,  etc, that you put in the corner of a clothes cupboard and draws out the moisture from the air to keep everything from going moldy.  They get to a saturation point, so they need to be replaced when needed.
Ask your wife, as might know better what I am refering to.
HTH

Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2008, 07:14:52 PM »
Thanks, understand now :).


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Offline DaggerDoggie

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2008, 12:55:05 PM »
I've had the same problem from time to time.  One thing I have thought about is getting a bag of calcium chloride, not the food-grade stuff we put in milk, but it comes in bags and is cheep.  They use it around construction sites and on dirt roads around here to keep the dust down.  It sucks in the moisture from the air.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2008, 01:21:58 PM »
Good idea, I found that with freezer on and lid open it didn't work as freezer trying to make cooler and just kept building condensation on walls at top 1 foot which must be where coils are. Ended up unpluging freezer and moving cheeses temporarily to house fridge and blowing freezer completely dry. Olive oiled most of cheeses and returned, so far 82% RH.

Basically one or two cheeses drying is OK, 4-5 at same time gives off too much humidity, very sensitive!

Offline DaggerDoggie

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2008, 01:37:34 PM »
I find that when I add new cheese, the humidity jumps.  With the calcium chloride I and thinking I could fill a plastic coffee container, like a large Folgers coffee can, fill it with the stuff and let it absorb the excess moisture and throw out the crystals when the get soaked.  Hopefully, I would only need to do it occasionally. 

Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2008, 01:42:54 PM »
So that's the same cheap stuff that put on paths to front door and driveways / roads to remove ice in winter right? Will be tough to find down south here.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2008, 08:46:17 PM »
Well my Cheese Cave Freezer is back up to 93% RH. What to do.


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Offline reg

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2008, 06:53:56 AM »
CH if you drop the temp a few degees i think the RH will drop considerably, at least thats what has been happening with me

reg
reg

Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2008, 07:00:30 AM »
Thanks reg, but I'm at 52F and I don't really want to go below 50 and I & DD need a long term solution.

This morning my hygrometer read 94% RH, so enough, turned off power, pointed fan inside and blew it out for 15 min, and plugged unit back in.

Noticed that upper inside walls of freezer were damp but not lower sides or bottom or top, this must be where the cooling coils are inside the walls causing condensation from air there. At end of blowing fan with ambient 60% RH (Houston in summer is subtropic high humidity) air into freezer, gauge had only dropped to 82% RH. I've also noticed that effect before when I take a digital hygrometer from cold to warmer location like when take a soda pop from fridge to outside that you will get condensation on it giving making the gauge read too high until dries off. So that's why I think the still high reading. Or I didn't blow it out for long enough.

Makes sense but now that freezer is plugged back in, the gauge reads 91% RH !?! When air is cooled it can hold less moisture giving it a higher RH reading, like when you get higher humidity in early morning than in sunny afternoon. Could it be that cooling air in freezer has same effect pushing the reading back up?

Reg, I realize this different to what you said, could it be that your lower RH at lower T is because your fridge is pumping harder and thus removing more moisture from air?

Problems problems, fridge has way too low humidity, sealed freezer has too high. Goldilocks story.

Offline reg

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2008, 05:39:34 AM »
" Reg, I realize this different to what you said, could it be that your lower RH at lower T is because your fridge is pumping harder and thus removing more moisture from air? "

i'm still using the large cooler and changing the ice pacs every day at this point. i do plan on building, buying or stealing a cave that will work but right now is the busy season at work so there is just no time to think about how to make one that will do what we want. october will be another story though

reg

reg

Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2008, 06:07:39 AM »
Thanks, OK so that theory didn't work.

Yesterday I wiped the top upper half of my cheese cave freezer walls where the cooling coils are and that felt damp with a tea towel, once in morning and once in evening to try and het RH down. This morning, back up to 94% RH with only two unsealed cheeses in it! Luckily no mold on anything except a lttle on cheeses. Removed the Monterey Jack and put in humidity control drawer of very cold household fridge so just left with single blue cheese. I also just changed the freezer's control from 1 minimum to 6 max, but I don't think that will make any difference as it's overridden by the external thermostat control, so just comes on or off when that unit says to.

I'm beginning to think the problem isn't so much moisture evaporation from the cheeses, but just the design of the system itself in that with lid down it is a reaonably sealed system that somehow continues to build moisture from some air that enters?

Offline reg

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Re: John's Cheese Cave #5 - Medium Radient Chest Freezer Problems
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2008, 06:45:58 AM »
or a combination of both ? or having the sealed enviroment were no moisture can escape ?

i'm thinking of purchasing a decent size wine cooler then taking it apart and adapting the hardware to my existing meat drying room. it has two concrete walls and two plastic covered walls and concrete floor. this may work who knows but will not happen until fall.

reg
reg