Whole Leaf Tobacco

My Simple Kiln $31 Bucks and an old Fridge

AmaxB

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Ok got me a small Fridge been in the garage the last 4 years going to make it a Kiln for fermenting / aging my tobacco on the fast track.
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Not for Flue Curing
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THe Parts:
1 Refrigerator.
1 Old Crock Pot
1 Wireless Temperature / Humidity Sensor (new $28.00) I got the kind that has indoor / outdoor ability - outdoor temp to 158F and outdoor humidity to 99%.
..........................The Sensor is a Acu-Rite Thermometer with Humidity
1 used Fan from an indoor space heater 110VAC.
1 Knob Type dimmer control (rated to 600 Watts) this is for the fan (new Dimmer $3.00).
A piece of clear plastic tubing i had laying around.
My cost of $31.00 if i don't count the little fridge, fan, and crock pot already had those.
The stuff I got I bought at wal-mart.
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I need to drill 1 3/8 hole for Power

Remove freezer / ice maker compartment
Assembly
Time needed Two Hours Max...
This has been done by others I'm copying theirs with my own spin,,,,
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Will be back with photos....
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Acu-Rite_Fan.JPG..Dimmer.JPG
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The skillet I wanted to use for it's temp control but my fridge is to small so I did a crock.
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Fry_Pan.JPG..Small_Fridge.JPG
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I stuffed it with tobacco put towels and water in the crock with sheet metal cover. Than hung the wireless thermometer sensor
set the crock on high and let her rip.
I now need to know at what setting on the crock pot will give me the temp and humidity I need. After a few hours I checked it.
Thermometer is working GREAT (No wires I like that Mom!).. setting the crock on high is a bit much had a temperature of 158F
that is where the thermometer tops out, and humidity of 98%. Ok will set medium setting on the crock pot and wait a few more hours
to see what I get. It's 3 hours later and temperature and humidity are still to high so I'll try the Low setting.
In the mean time after getting blasted with a cloud of rancid steam when I first opened the door I feel I must add a vent.
So I am thinking about this and know some guys have used PVC Ball Gates for the job. My cost is about to go up a few bucks.
Will also add a small drain tube for the release of water build up at the floor of the kiln. The drain tube will have two functions really
the first to allow water to drain and the second to let a small amount of fresh air in.
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Few more hours have gone by and just checked temperature and humidity. I have 133F and humidity of 93% still a little high 125F to 135F
with humidity of 80 to 90% is what I want.
A vent should fix this and I'll have a Mini Kiln!!!!
I'll get into details of how I put it together after I am sure all is working as it should.
Am already thinking I need to run an add for a broken Refrigerator free of coarse :)
 

AmaxB

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You do need a hot waterheater thermostat and Ive killed 2 of those remote themomerthers.
When I went over 158F testing last night I melted the remote sensor case a little...Don't know how hot it was the thing tops out at 158F
 

springheal

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My insulated wooden box looks a little smaller than your fridge. The main reason I am looking into compressed bricks for curing etc.

Running mine with crockpot on low setting, I could easily have a stable temperature between 125-135F with RH 70-75. I have a vent at the top to control humidity. Hardly need to touch it.

IMG_0041.jpg

With no water in crock pot, it got to 167F on high setting which seemed close to the max. I don't believe flue curing is an option running a crock pot dry and on the high setting for too long.

Removing the knob on the crock pot lid, enabled me to insert the tubing to keep the water level topped up. This way, I have great control to keep the humidity down should I need to.
 

AmaxB

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The high rh for a long time gets em, I think.
If it fails will do something different, am hoping it doesn't...

My insulated wooden box looks a little smaller than your fridge. The main reason I am looking into compressed bricks for curing etc.

Running mine with crockpot on low setting, I could easily have a stable temperature between 125-135F with RH 70-75. I have a vent at the top to control humidity. Hardly need to touch it.

With no water in crock pot, it got to 167F on high setting which seemed close to the max. I don't believe flue curing is an option running a crock pot dry and on the high setting for too long.

Removing the knob on the crock pot lid, enabled me to insert the tubing to keep the water level topped up. This way, I have great control to keep the humidity down should I need to.
Nice Job springheal you could be bigger this fridge is small. How long does it take you to reach temperature?
 

AmaxB

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Pics of the build...
A few changes replaced Dimmer with variable Control for fan and made a notch to drain water instead of plastic tube.
After using things I had already cash spent $38 bucks Time to build about 4 hours...
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01_Mount_fan.JPG..02_Outlet_box.JPG..03_fan_outlet_wired.JPG
04_remote_sensor.JPG..05_outside-vent-fan_speed.JPG..06_inside-vent_pipe.JPG
07_power_in.JPG..08_vent-pipe_clode-up.JPG..09_draining.JPG
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010_crock_01.JPG..
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rest of the photos in next post
 

springheal

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If it fails will do something different, am hoping it doesn't...Nice Job springheal you could be bigger this fridge is small. How long does it take you to reach temperature?
Sorry, I can't really be too specific. Cranking it up with cold water can take several hours to reach 120-130F. When I boil a kettle of water, then add that to the empty crock pot, it takes an hour or two to stabilize. My crock pot is rated 160 watts. Difference between high/low, I dunno.

Geeze, you've made rapid progress!
 

AmaxB

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I was just curious it is a nice looking crock. Mine is old old and was a cheapo the knob doesn't even have temp mark it just clicks 3 times.
 

Knucklehead

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Those will get the job done. I guess I'll fiddle around with a kiln this winter. You guys are a bad influence. :D
 

deluxestogie

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In my Cozy Can, I use a 2 quart Crock Pot. It has no problem reaching 165ºF for flue-curing (set to "Hi" on the Hi-Lo setting knob), while dry. It is rated at 100 watts on Hi. It's all about insulating the container.

Bob
 

AmaxB

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Knuckles you should by all means it will take your Tobacco up a notch. Not expensive and easy to do, after running all night mine is showing 123F and 92%
 

Rickey60

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I was just curious it is a nice looking crock. Mine is old old and was a cheapo the knob doesn't even have temp mark it just clicks 3 times.
I got that same old crock pot. I can't remember how long ago we got it, back in the late 80's I think, but it works good. lol
Rick
 

AmaxB

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Hi-Ya Rickey60
Yep it is pretty old unfortunately it quit on me this morning so I went out an got a replacement for it.
Not a Crock I bought a Hot Plate I like having a wide range of temperature control.
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Sm_Hot_Plate_Box.jpg
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I've had it in the Kiln bout 4 hours now temp is staying right where I want it. I like something like this better than a crock
because I can fine tune the temperature.
 

Knucklehead

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Hi-Ya Rickey60
Yep it is pretty old unfortunately it quit on me this morning so I went out an got a replacement for it. Not a Crock I bought a Hot Plate I like having a wide range of temperature control.
I've had it in the Kiln bout 4 hours now temp is staying right where I want it. I like something like this better than a crock
because I can fine tune the temperature.
I really like the low profile, too.
 

deluxestogie

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I really like the low profile, too.
Of course, a pan of water adds to the height, and it's lacking the heat retention of the crockery. Since the greatest power drain occurs when the resistance conductors first begin to heat, a short cycle may add to the electric cost.

Bob
 

AmaxB

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Of course, a pan of water adds to the height, and it's lacking the heat retention of the crockery. Since the greatest power drain occurs when the resistance conductors first begin to heat, a short cycle may add to the electric cost.

Bob
Ha.. Depends on the pan Bob.. and for power will maybe but not so much I would be concerned. Does a crock stay on or cycle don't know?
The Up Side on the plate is control eliminating need for other controls

Be careful too of the exposed hotplate. You do not want any leaf falling on it and catching on fire.
Yes Sir must be responsible if not fire can be and is a risk.
 
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