The Wine Fridge Humidor


Recommended Posts

I'm ever so close to buying a wine fridge to store my smokes in, but no matter how much I research this topic on the forum, I can't get difinitive answers to the following:

Can I buy a thermo wine fridge, add beads, switch on the fridge, and not worry? MUST I make modifications?

How do I avoid condensation? Will the condensation drip onto my cigars?

If I must make modifications, or if condensation is a big problem, then this purchase is either completely out of the question, or I will simply never switch the fridge on.

Thanks for any wisdom you guys can impart!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 53
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I'm ever so close to buying a wine fridge to store my smokes in, but no matter how much I research this topic on the forum, I can't get difinitive answers to the following:

Can I buy a thermo wine fridge, add beads, switch on the fridge, and not worry? MUST I make modifications?

How do I avoid condensation? Will the condensation drip onto my cigars?

If I must make modifications, or if condensation is a big problem, then this purchase is either completely out of the question, or I will simply never switch the fridge on.

Thanks for any wisdom you guys can impart!!!

I second that i have just got one and i am also left wondering chime in guys lets see if we can get some definitive rules going

Cheers guys

Oz

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that condensation would be a given with a wine fridge; however, I don't think it will be dripping onto your cigars. Most likely...any condensationt that forms would be along the sides and back of the unit. It would be adviseable to store any cigars you put in the fridge to be in a cigar box, and to keep the boxes away from the sides of the fridge. You may eliminate this problem to some degree be lining the interior of the fridge with cedar. That is of course a lot of work. Beads of course are essential. Probably several pounds worth. Better to over do it. Good luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys,

If you buy a thermoelectric wine cooler, you don't have to worry. You'll have to had enough humidity beads

and everything will be fine. I add a pound of beads in mine and I don't have any problem. If you don't

have enough boxes the humidity can drop, so add some empty boxes.

It's the best option if you don't want to invest too much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope this helps: I've been using a 28 bottle thermoelectric wine fridge for a couple of years now, with a pound of rh beads and have had no condensation issues. Had to set the temperature knob to its highest temp setting in order for fridge to not be too cold. Currently using three hygrometers(temp and rh) placed top, middle and bottom shelf. Recommend not placing boxes in front of fan. Before plugging fridge in and placing into service, clean interior of fridge with mild soapy water, rinse and dry with door open in order to get rid of any plastic odors. Plug in fridge, set temperature, place beads in (mine located at top and bottom of fridge) , place hygrometers in and monitor your temp/rh for a few days (you may need to adjust temp setting and the moisture level of beads to desired levels) to establish temp/rh stability. Then load your goodies in the fridge and monitor temp and humidity levels (make any adjustments as necessary). Depending on you climate, fridge's cigar load and the frequency you open the fridge you will need to add moisture to the beads to maintain desired humidity level.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great advice guys filling it might be the major problem though LOL

cheers OZ

Link to post
Share on other sites

My wine fridge does just fine without modifications. I have bouta half lb of kitty litter in the bottom of the fridge with some cedar pieces out of a box and the humidity holds well. I open it quite a bit to get the smell, so I have to give the beads a spray a little more often. Do be sure to clean it with baking soda/water mix to get the plastic smell out first and let it air dry for a bit as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Vinotemp 28 ct and I get condensation. I have about 3.5lbs of beads in there with 2 CPU fans and a collection tray at the bottom to collect the moisture. I am on the road a lot and didnt want to buy something I have to check every day. I empty the condensation tray out every 3 weeks probably, it could last longer but I dont want extra water in there if I dont have to.

I recommend:

-get some CPU fans

-Lots of beads, never have enough

Take each persons response here with a grain of salt, b/c at the end of the day, it all depends where the fridge is located and your external temperatures. My RH is 63-65% year round and temp is 64-66*, depending on how cool I want to keep it

Bart

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's fantastic gents. Thanks very much.

I'm going to get a 28 bottle Wine fridge from Penguin (no Vinotemp in Russia). It's a 65 litre fridge, no compressor, 70 watts, 10-18 degrees Celcius range, 460х735х540, and it looks like this http://www.entero.ru/item/16069

I'm gonna clean it out, let it air for a bit. Then put my boxes in (empty boxes too), put some beads in it (will check out exact amount later), put some hygrometers in, switch it on and monitor it.

Glad to get that off my chest. Have been researching this whole topic for about 6 months now!

Link to post
Share on other sites
I use a fridge and have never had to plug it in to cool it. I do have a small bulb in there in case it gets too cold.

Works great for my boxes.

Was also thinking of this option. Where's your fridge located? Temperature can get pretty high in my flat - especially in winter when the Soviet heating system switches on. Like living in a nuclear reactor..

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a number of fridges.

Zero modifications.

Condensation is only an issue on the hottest summer days AND if you have the temperature set to low. The lower the difference between inside and outside temps the less condensation issues. Having said that - condensation will only form on the back wall and collect in the drip tray.

I turn the fridges off during winter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've got a number of fridges.

Zero modifications.

Condensation is only an issue on the hottest summer days AND if you have the temperature set to low. The lower the difference between inside and outside temps the less condensation issues. Having said that - condensation will only form on the back wall and collect in the drip tray.

I turn the fridges off during winter.

Thanks Rob, that's brilliant mate.

I'm off to get a fridge!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Take each persons response here with a grain of salt, b/c at the end of the day, it all depends where the fridge is located and your external temperatures. My RH is 63-65% year round and temp is 64-66*, depending on how cool I want to keep it

Bart

This is right on the money! The problems with your fridge will depend on the climate that it is being used to counteract. Many, many people own active refrigerated systems out of desire and not out of need to counteract an 85 degree ambient environment. If you are trying to combat large swings or high temperatures you will be better off with active systems designed to react quickly to changing conditions.

Anyone who runs an actively refrigerated system owes it himself to use a certified data log to see how their system responds to environment changes. Without that data one can't objectively discuss their results with any numerical reference. If you live in a hot environment and don't supplement your system with your home air conditioning you are asking for wild fluctuation in your refrigerated cooler. Just because your hygrometer is not accurate enough to read the changes does not insure you that the changes are not happening!

I am not looking to run down another's opinion or experience. I am only conveying my experience in this field, which is rather extensive.

- Piggy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck with it Roger. I think I mentioned I have an old bar fridge not plugged in and the only mods were to seal all the little gaps on the inside (around the thermostat and so on). Sounds like your only issue will be the winter heat and so turning it on to cool as required. Also agree with the other guys the Rh beads work really well.

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is right on the money! The problems with your fridge will depend on the climate that it is being used to counteract. Many, many people own active refrigerated systems out of desire and not out of need to counteract an 85 degree ambient environment. If you are trying to large swings or high temperatures you will be better off with active systems designed to react quickly to changing conditions.

Anyone who runs an actively refrigerated system owes it himself to use a certified data log to see how their system responds to environment changes. Without that data one can't objectively discuss their results with any numerical reference. If you live in a hot environment and don't supplement your system with your home air conditioning you are asking for wild fluctuation in your refrigerated cooler. Just because your hygrometer is not accurate enough to read the changes does not insure you that the changes are not happening!

I am not looking to run down another's opinion or experience. I am only conveying my experience in this field, which is rather extensive.

- Piggy

Hi Ray

I am a bit unsure as to how the data logging system operates is there any chance of you enlightening me ,as i have just purchased a Vintec 30 bottle cooler, which i would imagine is a actively refrigerated ,and i want to try and do this properly ,any help from the "GURU" would be much appreciated

Cheers Oz :cigar:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Ray

I am a bit unsure as to how the data logging system operates is there any chance of you enlightening me ,as i have just purchased a Vintec 30 bottle cooler, which i would imagine is a actively refrigerated ,and i want to try and do this properly ,any help from the "GURU" would be much appreciated

Cheers Oz :confused:

Crafting a response... been a little chaotic the las couple of days! -Ray

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ozzy,

First I would like to openly reject the "Guru" title. I don't believe in them and don't expect others to believe me as one. I appreciate the complement and take it as such but reject the title nonetheless. I have built a few refrigerated humidors. I have built them, tested them, failed at being pleased with them, tested them again, been disappointed again, rebuilt them, retested them... you get the picture. I have been around the patch with these active systems. I have built them, tested them and used them as a consumer would for years now. I still don't know all there is to know about them.

I often want to emphasize many things when I reply to a humidor thread and a couple of the things that I wanted to emphasize here is the examination of whether or not one really wants or needs one of these gadgets. Another is in the objective testing and discussion of results. I have to emphasize that it is not now, nor has it ever been my intent to criticize or otherwise cast dispersions on the results of other DIY humidor makers. In my opinion if you are happy with what you have there is no one else who needs to endorse your work to make it "satisfactory." I am not the guy who measures levels of humidor satisfaction in any humidors other than my own.

post-79-1264559460.jpg

This is one of the data loggers that I use. If you buy one certified it will cost you approximately $200 bucks. What this little bugger does is sample the air in your humidor at various intervals and records the temperature and humidity data. You can chart and graph the data like you may have seen in my various posts. There really is no way to "objectively" test a system you build without a similar device. I think that is all that there is to say about data-loggers. There are a lot of them on the market and most of them in this price range have similar features and specifications.

I would like to add a little about data. I am not saying that the machines I build are any better than those of another due to a specific instrument that I use. What I am saying is that the results that I claim are not speculative but objective and verifiable due to the fact that I have and use accurate, high resolution instruments to test my results. I do make one claim. If you don't test your results you should be careful about what you profess them to be. Satisfaction is subjective and a different topic altogether; you don't need to spend a lot of dough to be happy with what you buy or what you build. I have said this over and over again. You don't need a sophisticated, expensive system to keep your cigars in the condition that you like them in most instances. For those of us who live outside that nominal environment, that envelope that "we" consider to be proper, we need to buy or make something that will house our cigars to our satisfaction.

If you are one of those guys, like me, who is a bit overly anal about storing your cigars, well you are on a road to great discovery. Along that road you may be in for some great disappointments as well. Your first might be that these systems are not perfect. Knowing this as I do has leads me to recommend non-active refrigeration systems to those who don't truly need one. I say spend the money on cigars. If you decide to move forward with your project, review the material on this site and look at many of the open discussions that many of us have had on the subject. If you want help please contact me and I will be happy to provide what I know and apply it your project to the best of my ability and time.

Good luck! - the "Humidified Pig"

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ozzy,

First I would like to openly reject the "Guru" title. I don't believe in them and don't expect others to believe me as one. I appreciate the complement and take it as such but reject the title nonetheless. I have built a few refrigerated humidors. I have built them, tested them, failed at being pleased with them, tested them again, been disappointed again, rebuilt them, retested them... you get the picture. I have been around the patch with these active systems. I have built them, tested them and used them as a consumer would for years now. I still don't know all there is to know about them.

I often want to emphasize many things when I reply to a humidor thread and a couple of the things that I wanted to emphasize here is the examination of whether or not one really wants or needs one of these gadgets. Another is in the objective testing and discussion of results. I have to emphasize that it is not now, nor has it ever been my intent to criticize or otherwise cast dispersions on the results of other DIY humidor makers. In my opinion if you are happy with what you have there is no one else who needs to endorse your work to make it "satisfactory." I am not the guy who measures levels of humidor satisfaction in any humidors other than my own.

post-79-1264559460.jpg

This is one of the data loggers that I use. If you buy one certified it will cost you approximately $200 bucks. What this little bugger does is sample the air in your humidor at various intervals and records the temperature and humidity data. You can chart and graph the data like you may have seen in my various posts. There really is no way to "objectively" test a system you build without a similar device. I think that is all that there is to say about data-loggers. There are a lot of them on the market and most of them in this price range have similar features and specifications.

I would like to add a little about data. I am not saying that the machines I build are any better than those of another due to a specific instrument that I use. What I am saying is that the results that I claim are not speculative but objective and verifiable due to the fact that I have and use accurate, high resolution instruments to test my results. I do make one claim. If you don't test your results you should be careful about what you profess them to be. Satisfaction is subjective and a different topic altogether; you don't need to spend a lot of dough to be happy with what you buy or what you build. I have said this over and over again. You don't need a sophisticated, expensive system to keep your cigars in the condition that you like them in most instances. For those of us who live outside that nominal environment, that envelope that "we" consider to be proper, we need to buy or make something that will house our cigars to our satisfaction.

If you are one of those guys, like me, who is a bit overly anal about storing your cigars, well you are on a road to great discovery. Along that road you may be in for some great disappointments as well. Your first might be that these systems are not perfect. Knowing this as I do has leads me to recommend non-active refrigeration systems to those who don't truly need one. I say spend the money on cigars. If you decide to move forward with your project, review the material on this site and look at many of the open discussions that many of us have had on the subject. If you want help please contact me and I will be happy to provide what I know and apply it your project to the best of my ability and time.

Good luck! - the "Humidified Pig"

Thanks for your reply Ray now i understand data logging, the Guru thing was very much tongue in cheek,but one cannot deny your wisdom and apparent expertise in this area,your advice is very much appreciated, and as you say i am on the cusp of a great adventure that i assume will be a life long journey :rotfl:.

I bought an active system wether that be good or not i am stuck with it now for better or worse :buddies:, but i agree with you that different systems might not operate the same in different areas, as here in Perth we are having one of the hottest summers on record driest spell for 35 years, thank god for air-conditioning as it has been low 30's to 43 Celsius.

Now roll on Autumn/Spring and as you said if you get it so your Cigars are the way you like them that is all that really matters, but i imagine that the active systems are the hardest to master,i will do more extensive research and see where i end up, but if you hear a knock on PIGGYS humidor door it is more than likely me :party:

once again thank you for your sage advice

will be in touch

Cheers Mate

Oz (Steve) :party:

Link to post
Share on other sites
i have just purchased a Vintec 30 bottle cooler, which i would imagine is a actively refrigerated

Are Vintec units thermoelectric? I was looking at one of these, as I have a voucher to use at a local appliance store. The staff weren't able to tell me, and I couldn't find any information on the vintec website...

Cheers!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Are Vintec units thermoelectric? I was looking at one of these, as I have a voucher to use at a local appliance store. The staff weren't able to tell me, and I couldn't find any information on the vintec website...

Cheers!

Look at the back. If there are a number of copper lines, not wires but coolant lines, a compressor or similar vessel for coolant then the system is refrigerant based and not the Peltier type.

If you look at the pictures in my wine fridge project you will see the back of a compressor/refrigerant system to compare it to.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Look at the back. If there are a number of copper lines, not wires but coolant lines, a compressor or similar vessel for coolant then the system is refrigerant based and not the Peltier type.

If you look at the pictures in my wine fridge project you will see the back of a compressor/refrigerant system to compare it to.

Thanks Piggy!

I've had a bit of a read of various threads and decided that, realistically, I'm looking at a thermoelectric wine fridge with a heap of beads.

My only worry is condensation, so I will look more into ways to combat that. As I don't have many boxes yet, I was planning on storing some wine in the bottom half of the fridge. Is this going to increase problems with condensation?

Sorry to be asking stupid questions, but I have NFI!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.