Author Topic: Cave, Commercial - Ammonia Smell, Ventilation Issue  (Read 593 times)

Offline Little Creek Cheese

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Cave, Commercial - Ammonia Smell, Ventilation Issue
« on: June 13, 2012, 05:34:38 AM »
We have a coolroom full of hard cheese ( cheddar & romano ) from time to time we ripen our camemberts in the same room, we haven't had camembert in there now for at least 10 days, but the ammonia is stronger than before, we have a tray of water with white vinegar in it just to soak up some of the ammonia and it's changed every 2nd day. any suggestions , is it normal?


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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Cave, Commercial - Ammonia Smell, Ventilation Issue
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 06:56:19 AM »
It is normal, and if you don't ventilate the room the ammonia will begin rotting the walls out.

It's heavier than air so you need to exhaust from the floor or, alternately if you can, leave the door open for a period of time every day.

Offline Little Creek Cheese

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Re: Cave, Commercial - Ammonia Smell, Ventilation Issue
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 08:15:15 AM »
Thanks Francois,

We are just about to have a fight with our builder, they blame only the soft cheese which apparently they did not know about,

My chemist freind told me it was lighter than air which is why I have water trays up on racks

Online linuxboy

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Re: Cave, Commercial - Ammonia Smell, Ventilation Issue
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 08:41:20 AM »
All cheese produces ammonia from the protein breakdown process. A bloomy rind produces it faster than many other types because the rate of breakdown is faster. Using vinegar is challenging because it's not very effective, and requires a lot of work. The right solution is figure out an air exchange and ammonia evacuation strategy. As a quick fix, you could lower the temp to slow it down a little.
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Cave, Commercial - Ammonia Smell, Ventilation Issue
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 03:53:09 PM »
It's heavier in our situation:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_ammonia_heavier_than_air

Your walls will start to corrode from the bottom.  If you exhaust from the floor and push fresh air in from the top you should be able to displace it.  Depending on where your chiller is using the open door method may not be very effective.


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Offline Little Creek Cheese

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Re: Cave, Commercial - Ammonia Smell, Ventilation Issue
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 07:59:17 AM »
Thanks Linuxboy, that's what we thought, the builder is saying because the architect called the room "hard cheese store" and we had white rinded cheese in there the cooling unit is not covered under warranty. going to be a interesting meeting tomorrow.
Thanks Francois, our situation is essentially low humidity, and if it was high humidity , the dodgy way the builder made the rooms , e.g. with the drain at the highest point, would mean we have even more problems
we are looking into creating a water bubble filter , but there was never a lot of science in the ones I used to make, at the moment we are thinking no more whites nor hards for sometime until we can get a solution,

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Cave, Commercial - Ammonia Smell, Ventilation Issue
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2012, 03:23:02 PM »
Are you doing natural rind? In a large cave scenario, I found that the cleaner the rind the less ammonia in the air. I designed a bubbler too but never got the chance to use it. I understand they use bubblers at Jasper Hill.
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Cave, Commercial - Ammonia Smell, Ventilation Issue
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 07:37:32 PM »
Oh boy, have you ever been in an aging cellar of Mimolette? Talk about hard cheese with ammonia!

Like Francois said; heavier than air. I would put an outgoing vent on the bottom of the door or wall and it will suck it right out - just don't make it go too fast, you don't want drafts in your cave. When you do that, you may find you need to lower the temperature slightly because as ammonia escapes from a bottom-mounted exhaust/vent/fan, so will cold air. Remember that cold air is denser than warm air so it goes where ammonia goes - to the bottom.