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I'm gearing up for kilning...

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OldDinosaurWesH

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I'm gearing up for kilning, and I'm looking for some kind of a temperature / humidity gauge to put inside my box. Most conventional humidity / temperature devices that you would buy at the hardware store won't survive the high temperatures and high humidity. Or at least the one's that I tried last year didn't. I guess that I haven't been shopping at the right kind of places anyway.

Suggestions?

Also, on a related note, my "expert" said that 127 degrees F was the ideal temp. And 70 - 85% humidity. That's why I'm looking for a temp / humidity meter so that I can dial in my thermostat and water supply.

Wes H.
 

buck

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Lots of people use the following, there are different input voltages so make sure you choose the correct one for your needs.

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/220V-Digital...919844?hash=item3ae8ec8ce4:g:r24AAOSw0xZZdaKq
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Digital-WH70...226789?hash=item282dfcb065:g:q0sAAOSwhvFZGtYG

I bought a couple of PVC water resistant electrical boxes and out them in there.

http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/5205-Buck-s-first-kiln/page3

More info on kilning here.

http://fairtradetobacco.com/forums/35-Fermenting
 

mwaller

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I use this because I didn't want to have my own messy wiring, I wanted it professionally done and aesthetic

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B011...controller&dpPl=1&dpID=417y0W4HFmL&ref=plSrch

I have the same exact unit, but haven't tried it out yet. Seems very promising! The feedback I've read suggests that if you use a Crock-Pot for heat and humidity, you won't need to independently control humidity. In other words, a temperature controller and Crock-Pot will get you sufficiently close to the correct humidity, provided you keep the pot filled.
 

DistillingJim

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OldDinosaurWesH

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Okay, some good ideas here. Perhaps I need to clarify myself. I have a free standing machine (on wheels and everything) that already has all of it parts and pieces. It is called a proofer, and is used in commercial kitchens and bakeries to make bread rise. I am just looking for a free-standing device that I can put inside my machine to monitor temp and humidity, not control it. My machine already has a thermostat and attendant control mechanisms. Actually it works well as a kiln. I just want an independent device to monitor what my machine is already telling me. Preferably something that doesn't need electricity.

Thanks,

Wes H.
 

SmokesAhoy

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Any remote weather station that has the data you want would work too, similarly a stick on temp and hygro would allow you to check it as well then, you are allowed to open the door you know:)
 

deluxestogie

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At one point, I had an Accurite remote temp/humidity gadget inside my small kiln. It worked fine for maybe 1/2 year, then died from the heat/humidity. But for that kiln, it survived long enough for me to be satisfied that I didn't need to monitor the humidity at all.

Above 120ºF, tobacco will not mold, regardless of the humidity (assuming reasonable circulation and uniformity of temp). So I simply focused on having the tobacco stay in case (most of the time) and the water not drip from the kiln.

Bob
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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Thanks for all your suggestions. Now I have to decide what I want to do.

Fortunately I have some time yet. That is why I ask the forum. Lots of good ideas.

My machine has a whole lot of circulation, and I can dial in the temp to a pretty consistent number. Keeping the humidity up can be a challenge, as it gasses the moisture off in just a few hours. I have to refill the water reservoir at least twice a day. Something I have to keep an eye on, or my tobacco gets pretty crispy. Crispy won't hurt anything, but then I have to spend time re-hydrating. Time that should be spent kilning. This year I'm going to see what I can do to get a better seal on my machine to better hold in the moisture.

When I get my machine up and running, I'll take some pictures & post them to my blog.

Wes H.
 

SmokesAhoy

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Can you disable/block the fan that vents the moisture?

Failing that another idea would be to seal your tobacco, in case, inside poly bags and just allow it too run dry.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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No, I can't turn the fan off. It is one integral unit. Not without risking traumatic damage (read very $$ to fix) to the mechanism. That's okay though, as I am going to make some "cultural" changes this year to improve my functionality. Actually, it is a good thing that I have to keep an eye on my machine.

A commercial machine like mine shouldn't be left alone. Fire hazard, etc. etc. It has broken down on me twice, the first time it cost about $200 for the parts, the last time it broke it had a faulty connection I could fix myself. Those restaurant equipment guys are just as (or maybe more) expensive than auto mechanics, and equally disreputable. I could insert a long story about disreputable in here, but I won't use up the valuable server space.

Oh, and the last time I checked, a new replacement machine would cost in excess of $3,000. That was a few years ago. Certainly more $$ today. As long as I can keep the old one going, I will keep using it. I have a selection of spare parts hanging around just in case, and when it finally dies I will probably follow the plans from FTT and build a new one.

Again, thanks for the suggestions.

Wes H.

P.S. I prefer to let my tobacco hang and cure naturally. I only kiln what I need for the short term. This is why I'm growing so much this year. I want to be able to age it for an extended period of time. About a year ago, I had the good fortune to acquire some three year old air cured cigar tobacco and it was pretty tasty. Kilning is only a fair substitute for time.
 

SmokesAhoy

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Kilning is more than a fair imo. I've got fancy tobaccos in excess of 10 years old that don't offer anything substantially better than kilned stuff. To each his own though I guess since taste is so subjective. If repairs get too steep though a dead fridge, crock pot and temp controller can have you up and running again for 50-100 bucks all said and done.
 
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