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$20,814
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
116
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, June 9 2016 3:00 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated June 9, 2016

The Cave: Fermentation Control Unit

The Cave controls temperature and humidity wirelessly for fermenting beer or wine, aging cheese, or dry curing meats.

The Cave: Fermentation Control Unit

The Cave controls temperature and humidity wirelessly for fermenting beer or wine, aging cheese, or dry curing meats.

$20,814
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
116
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, June 9 2016 3:00 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated June 9, 2016

About

The Cave is a fermentation control unit that can be installed on many different types of refrigerators or freezers.  With the Cave you can heat, cool, humidify, and circulate air to meet your fermentation requirements. It includes wireless controls to give you complete versatility for any fermentation project. 

You can use the Cave to ferment almost anything with complete control of humidity and temperature. Age homemade cheeses. Hang salamis or dry cured meats. Ferment beer (even lager your own home brew). You can make yogurt, proof bread dough, ferment pickles, brew kombucha, make rice wine . . . the possibilities are endless.

Now you can ferment beer, salamis, or age cheese right in your own home with the Cave.
Now you can ferment beer, salamis, or age cheese right in your own home with the Cave.

No worries.  Every purchase of the Cave comes with a download of three e-books, with everything you need to know to get you started brewing beer, making cheese, or dry curing meats.  Pick one project to work on, or try them all!  Our comprehensive guides will walk you through the process with plenty of pictures, recipes, and explanations to get you well on your way.

These 3 e-books will teach you everything you need to know to get you started fermenting.
These 3 e-books will teach you everything you need to know to get you started fermenting.

These projects can be as easy or as complicated as you want them to be. Some cheeses or dry cured meats take only a few minutes of active time, and most recipes can be made with readily-available ingredients and equipment.

Many dry-cured meats take just a few minutes of active time to make before hanging in the Cave.
Many dry-cured meats take just a few minutes of active time to make before hanging in the Cave.
The Cave maintains temperature, humidity and airflow.
The Cave maintains temperature, humidity and airflow.

The Cave is assembled in the USA with quality components and can turn almost any working refrigerator into a fermentation chamber.  With the Cave, you can heat or cool, giving you a temperature range of 110F down to the coldest your fridge can handle.  It can humidify up to 99% relative humidity, as well as circulate air for even-aging of meats or cheeses.

The Cave has an intuitive touchscreen interface.  It can also be controlled wirelessly on your computer, tablet, or smart phone, which is useful for those times when you may be out of town, or want to schedule changes in advance.  Everything about the user interface is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly.

Control your Cave wirelessly on your computer, smart phone, or tablet.
Control your Cave wirelessly on your computer, smart phone, or tablet.

The Cave must be installed onto the top of a working refrigerator or freezer.  Installation is easy and takes just a few minutes. All that is required is a drill, a 2-inch bit, and a phillips screwdriver.  You will have to drill a hole, attach some screws, plug it in, and then you're good to go.  

Installation of the Cave control unit is easy.
Installation of the Cave control unit is easy.

Once the Cave is installed, the refrigerator is plugged into the back of the unit.  To control humidity, an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier can be plugged into the interior port.  Sensors in the unit will determine when to give power to the refrigerator, humidifier, or heater.

A wide range of refrigerators or freezers will work with the Cave. You will want to look for one that does not have dual temperature zones: if the top of the refrigerator has a freezer component, it may skew the temperature readings and you will not have consistent temperatures inside the chamber. Dorm fridges, chest freezers, upright freezers, beverage refrigerators: these are all excellent options.  

If you plan to use the heater component of the Cave (for example, for making yogurt at 110F), plan on using a chamber that is ten cubic feet or smaller.  Otherwise, use as large of a chamber as you would like.

We have made a fully functioning Cave, and it is awesome.  Never before has it been this easy to cure meats or age cheeses.  But in order to get the Cave into your hands, we need to do a few things.

  • In order to manufacture the control box for the Cave, we need to buy the molds and pay for tooling costs.
  • We need to raise enough money to pay for an initial run.  In order to get prices down, we need to buy our component parts in bulk, which is why we are raising funds for pre-orders ahead of time.
  • Finally, we want to upgrade the Cave's overall design to make it easier to install on any type of refrigerator. With a few small changes, we can make it even easier to install, and sized to fit various thicknesses of refrigerators.
Valencay is an easy yet impressive goat cheese that can be made in the Cave.
Valencay is an easy yet impressive goat cheese that can be made in the Cave.

We want to make it easy for you to start fermenting, right in your own home.  Whatever your fermentation project, we're ready to help you reach success with these great rewards:

The idea for the Cave was born two years ago, and since then, we've been working around the clock to develop, product test, and perfect the Cave.  With your support, we'll be bringing the Cave to your home according to the following timeline:

We want to create the highest possible quality product for your use, and we want to get that product to you as soon as possible.  By sourcing labor from the USA, we hope to deliver on both fronts.

While some parts will be sourced overseas, these are the major components that will come from the USA:

  • Molds and molded parts for the housing unit
  • PCB stuffing
  • Final assembly of all parts

For us (as for many in this modern world), the traditions of the rural farmer have been lost through the generations. While cheesemaking used to be an integral part of every homestead with a cow, it is now an act most commonly relegated to factories.  

We want to bring those traditions back: the traditions of homemade, slow food. Of making cheese with your children and brewing beer with your buddies. We want to savor our food again, knowing that it was made with care, and not for a mass-produced market.

Start a tradition of homemade pepperoni with the Cave.
Start a tradition of homemade pepperoni with the Cave.

So help us keep this knowledge alive: start a hobby that you can pass down to your children and your friends.  Fermentation has roots that go back thousands of years.  Let's take it out of the factories and bring it back into our homes again.

We are James and Karen Christian. We are a husband/wife duo who love to ferment foods, and we want to share that passion with you.  We've been making cheeses and salamis, brewing beer and fermenting pickles for years.  James has a background in international business.

About two years ago the idea for the Cave was born.  Since then, we've been working to bring the Cave to market.  But we also couldn't do this alone. We have been working closely with Veenema Design Works to build the Cave and give it the functionality that we would want in our own chambers.  We're excited to finally share the Cave with you, and to give you the ease and flexibility that it offers.

Risks and challenges

This is our first time navigating the manufacturing world, but we have some great advisers and mentors who are helping us along the way. Risks we may encounter involve negotiating contracts with manufacturers, delays in shipping and manufacturing, setting up shop. The biggest risk is the time it will take to complete the project, though we've tried to account for possible delays and build extra time into the projected timeline.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    Three fermentation e-books: learn how to brew beer, make cheese, and dry cure meats.

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Heirloom Yogurt Starter. Can be re-cultured indefinitely, and requires no specialized equipment. Includes instructions for making yogurt. Also includes download of 3 fermentation e-books.

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Sourdough Starter. Comes with instructions and enough stone-ground organic rye flour to feed the starter for the first three days. Also includes download of 3 fermentation e-books.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Gourmet Bacon-Making Kit. Make 10 pounds of bacon (you supply the pork belly). Includes cure and seasoning for apple cinnamon and ginger garlic bacon. No specialized equipment needed. Also includes download of 3 fermentation e-books.

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $38 or more About $38

    The Stein. Hand-thrown mug made in the USA for all your home brews (beer, kombucha, coffee, tea. . . )

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    All of the above. Hand-thrown stein, gourmet bacon-making kit, sourdough starter, yogurt starter, and download of 3 fermentation e-books.

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    3 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    The Cave-Early Bird Special. You supply the refrigerator, we supply the controls. Installation is easy. Assembled in the USA. Soon you'll be on your way to fermenting beer, dry curing meats, and aging cheeses. Also includes download of 3 fermentation e-books.

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    Limited 24 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $335 or more About $335

    The Cave. You supply the refrigerator, we supply the controls. Installation is easy. Assembled in the USA. Soon you'll be on your way to fermenting beer, dry curing meats, and aging cheeses. Also includes download of 3 fermentation e-books.

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    19 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $405 or more About $405

    The Cave, plus everything above. You supply the refrigerator, we supply the controls. Installation is easy. Soon you'll be on your way to fermenting beer, dry curing meats, and aging cheeses. Also includes a hand-thrown stein, gourmet bacon-making kit, sourdough starter, yogurt starter, and download of 3 fermentation e-books.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    5 backers
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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    The Cave-Early Bird Special. You supply the refrigerator, we supply the controls. Installation is easy. Assembled in the USA. Soon you'll be on your way to fermenting beer, dry curing meats, and aging cheeses. Also includes download of 3 fermentation e-books.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (30 days)