More About the Curing Box

Readers will recall that the Curing Box has not worked correctly in that the tips of the hanging leaves had dried out completely, some of them still green. I had a good think, and have come up with this solution:

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The leaves are rolled up inside the towels which are suspended from the rail using two elastic bands around the towels, a piece of string and paper clip hooks. I think that the solution has these advantages:

1. The towels are there to absorb moisture but also to hold the moisture in somewhat. I see no reason that they should not perform the same function in the box.
2. The leaves are not hanging down, and therefore the higher heat at the bottom does not matter.
3. What I am chiefly interested in, in the box, is to have a constant temperature, which is what the thermostat is for. From observations over a period of time, I see that the temp near the top of the box varies around 34/35C ((about 97F). The towels should gradually absorb that heat and reach much the same temp. I can check that using the probe on the new thermometer if I wish to.
4. The temp at the bottom of the box is 42C (about 105F). By lengthening the pieces of string, I can lower the towels further into the box, and thus into a higher temp position, which I can check with the thermometer probe.
5. I have already removed the mid-ribs.
It was about 3pm when I set everything up, and, since then, I have been checking and recording temperatures. I have the thermostat temperature readings and the thermometer probe readings. The thermometer probe is inside one of the towels. The probe temp lags behind the stat temperature by around 5ºC. This may be because the probe is quite close to the moist leaves. I’m aiming for a temperature inside the towels of around 35C, which is the recommended temperature. The box reached the desired temperatures about 7pm. Since then, I have increased the stat temp to see if it will continue to increase. It has done (as it must, if energy is continuously being pumped into the box by the crock pot).  Tomorrow, I’ll take the towels out and check what is happening. As long as I do it quickly, it shouldn’t matter.
We’ll see.
I’ll take this opportunity the thank JB from Ireland with whom I have been discussing this set up for several days. She is going to use an old chest freezer in a similar way. She is going to do a dry run any time now, but she hasn’t got the ripe leaves yet! She has described me as ‘the pioneer, but I would describe myself as the ‘guinea pig’!

One Response to “More About the Curing Box”

  1. P. Ondrin Says:

    A thought. An egg incubator does much of what you are trying to achieve.

    Your box has no insulation which you have overcome with the use of towels.

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