Starting Using the New Curing Box

A few days ago, I started an new project – to build a curing box for my baccy leaves. Pictures of the construction appear in the post of a couple of days ago. Here is a pic of the completed job:

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I had to disassemble it to take it upstairs into the spare room. It is 40″ tall, 20″ long and 17″ wide.

I have started to use it. Here are some pics:

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Pic 1.

The leaves are supported by a piece of cane. I have used paper clips, bent into shape and pushed through the main rib, to hold the leaves. You can also see the thermostat sensor probe wire.

Pic 2.

Is a view of the leaves through the window with the lid off. With the lid on, I use a torch to see inside.

Pics 3 and 4.

Show the thermostat set up. It is supported by a small dictionary so that I can easily see the display (the dictionary just happened to be in easy reach). In pic 3, you can see that the electric lead passes through the V shaped cut-out in the flap. It powers a crock pot (slow cooker). There is nothing in the crock pot apart from a glass bowl, and the lid is not used. There is no specific reason for the glass bowl – it is there because the guy whose ideas I have pinched said he put some crockery in the pot. I suppose that the bowl is an additional heat store as well as the crock pot bowl.

On the thermostat display, when the crock pot is switched on, in the bottom left corner of the display, a red ‘dot’ lights up. As you can see, the ‘dot’ is not lit up. I set the thermostat to ‘switch off’ at 35.2C (The .2 is irrelevant – it happened because the setting change very rapidly). As you can see, the display reads 35.3C, and the pot is switched off. I waited to see what would happen. After 10 minutes, the temperature fell back to 34.7, and the pot switched on again. (That is because I set a ‘difference’ of 0.5 before the thermostat operates again to switch the pot on again)

These Chinese are bloody clever, but I wish that they would get someone who can speak English to translate their instructions!

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When I ordered the thermostat, I didn’t realise that it showed the current temperature in the box. I have a thermometer on order, which has not yet arrived, which seems to be superfluous. But perhaps not for two reasons. One, because it seem that thermostat temperatures are a bit iffy, and, two, because, as I understand it, the thermometer that I have ordered can indicate ‘wet’ temperatures. Let’s not get too technical. What the ‘wet’ temperature means is that the thermometer has the ‘gummages’ required to measure the temperature of the WATER VAPOUR in the air specifically. That temperature, when compared with the ‘dry’ temperature, can indicate the humidity of the air. If the humidity is too high, then you need to vent the chamber; if it is too low, you need to close the vents. I doubt that it will matter, if only because of inaccuracies in the machines, but it is fun.

I built the box out of the remnants of an old wardrobe which I had in the garage. The various gummages (crock pot, thermostat and thermometer) cost me just about £40 – about 7 packets of fags.

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But nothing is certain at the moment. A worry that I have is that there is a possibility of mould attacking the leaves, but I doubt that there will be time for such activity since the whole process, as I envisage it, should be completed over four days or so.

One last thing. As you can see from pic 1, I am only using about 50% or less of the capacity of the box (the leaves are generously spaced). Even so, it is possible that the capacity might be too small towards the end of the growing season. That is a bridge yet to be crossed. I can always revert to towelling and wadding the excess leaves.

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Our skills grow in direct proportions the growth of the sadistic persecution.

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3 Responses to “Starting Using the New Curing Box”

  1. The Blocked Dwarf Says:

    You could put a usb webcam in the box/pointed at the box and stream the live feed simply using eyespyfx (other webcam streaming providers are available). Then we could all watch the daily progress, the turning bacca brown and you could keep an eye on things if you should happen to be away.

    • nisakiman Says:

      Sounds a bit like watching paint dry.

    • junican Says:

      Nice idea, BD, but what’s wrong with looking through the window using a torch?
      Actually, removing the lid for a few seconds has little effect on the temperature inside. The warm air inside the box does not explode out of it. When I opened it to feel the leaves and take that picture, the temp only dropped by 1 degree.

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