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Beer Cellar

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Keep in mind most wine cellars at old world wineries are completely underground and insulated by many layers of stone and earth.  Plus entrances are so narrow and long that heat transfer due to convection is pretty much non-existent.  The seasonal swings in these cellars are going to be much less varied then the average home cellar in a residential basement (nearly all of which are not even completely underground). 

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I've been in some wine cellars in Porto that were hardly cold in the summer and I have heard that can be similar at many chateau's in France.  It would be neat if I could recreate the cellars where the mold and mushrooms grow off the corks, but I have feeling it put my allergies on full throttle.  Even if it's two floors below.

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i'm not talking cellars for making the wine - understand that. i mean for cellaring bottles. even in portugal, most of the port shippers will send their bottles down to oporto after they are made, or they will actually make the wine there. and more and more, those cellars being modernised to include things like air con. obviously many wineries don't because of cost.

but more and more of the top wineries in france store their bottles before sale in aircon. the ones who'll tell you it does not matter are invariably the ones who have not yet installed it, for costs or whatever reason.

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10 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

i'm not talking cellars for making the wine - understand that. i mean for cellaring bottles. even in portugal, most of the port shippers will send their bottles down to oporto after they are made, or they will actually make the wine there. and more and more, those cellars being modernised to include things like air con. obviously many wineries don't because of cost.

I am talking about the cellars in Porto like Niepoort, Croft, Kopke, Graham, etc...  None were particularly cold in the summer months. 

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18 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

I've been in some wine cellars in Porto that were hardly cold in the summer and I have heard that can be similar at many chateau's in France.  It would be neat if I could recreate the cellars where the mold and mushrooms grow off the corks, but I have feeling it put my allergies on full throttle.  Even if it's two floors below.

I can't believe the mold on the outside of the bottle does anything good or bad for the wine inside the bottle.  I have a climate controlled cellar with about 700 bottles and do my best to keep the mold from growing.  Like you said not good for allergies, among other things.

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18 minutes ago, Thig said:

I can't believe the mold on the outside of the bottle does anything good or bad for the wine inside the bottle.  I have a climate controlled cellar with about 700 bottles and do my best to keep the mold from growing.  Like you said not good for allergies, among other things.

This type of storage is sought after in wine

benign+mould.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, BrightonCorgi said:

This type of storage is sought after in wine

benign+mould.jpg

 

That's just a byproduct of them not being able to control the humidity and temperature, no real benefit to the wine. The ideal storage for wine is around 55 degrees and 60 to 70% humidity and mold will not grow in that range.  I am not saying it hurts the wine, there is just no benefit.

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1 hour ago, BrightonCorgi said:

This type of storage is sought after in wine

Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible!

 

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1 hour ago, Thig said:

That's just a byproduct of them not being able to control the humidity and temperature, no real benefit to the wine. The ideal storage for wine is around 55 degrees and 60 to 70% humidity and mold will not grow in that range.  I am not saying it hurts the wine, there is just no benefit.

The high humidity causes it.  The most sought after cellars in France have way worse than this picture and is considered a benefit. I have seen cellars that were just top to bottom black mold.

aptopix-france-wine-auction-97945ef4709d

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37 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

The high humidity causes it.  The most sought after cellars in France have way worse than this picture and is considered a benefit. I have seen cellars that were just top to bottom black mold.

aptopix-france-wine-auction-97945ef4709d

I will just defer to a couple of direct quotes from "Wine Spectator" which I am sure knows more than either of us about wine.

"Humidity is good in a wine cellar, but too much humidity can encourage the growth of mold and mildew, which could make your wine labels stinky and could affect the integrity of the cellar itself. If you notice mold on your labels, walls or racking, you might want to look into a dehumidifier."

 "Many cases of cork taint are caused by other environmental problems at wineries, such as moldy cellars, antifungal treatments and flame-retardant paints."

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1 hour ago, Thig said:

 "Many cases of cork taint are caused by other environmental problems at wineries, such as moldy cellars, antifungal treatments and flame-retardant paints."

I have never heard of excessive humidity causing cork taint.  For sure with other two I have heard of.  Some of these moldy cellars have been storing wine for 100's of years.  Certainly I would be concerned about mold in my wine cellar (natural cellar under ground), but more because of my own respiratory health; not the wines. 

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i would be in an opposite camp. i don't think it is considered a benefit at all. i remember in one highly regarded cellar in burgundy, i saw mould-covered bottles and asked if i could take a pic. before i could move the camera, the winemaker had grabbed the bottles and wiped them clean. no way was he having pics like that out there.

it is perhaps painted as a benefit by some because conditions make it very difficult to remove. do you really say to a visitor that it is a problem that they can't afford or can't be bothered to remove or do you say it provides the ideal environment? winemakers aren't idiots.

the cellars are high humidity (some humidity was considered good because it helped keep the cork from drying out - another plus for screwcaps) because of the position they are in and there is often not much they can do about it. also, when older bottles get that sort of mould, they'll leave them rather than disturb them because they are too precious.

if you stick a bottle in conditions like that, unless the mould is so bad it stuffs the cork, it won't do any harm to the wine (will destroy any labels) but it doesn't do any good. but when making the wine, you want the place as clean as possible.

long history of this. winemakers in a few places in the napa, and some here, had to basically clean out the cellars and everything in them and scrub everything down and start again because of mould. for many years, the rhone and hunter valley considered brettanomyces as a regional character - old books talk of the sweaty saddle character. and it was far more widespread than just those two places. turned out, everyone had been putting a kind face on an infection that was damaging to the wine. and found in the wineries. i'd argue that the wines from both regions are far better now without brett. bordeaux was another region that was often infected.

wineries in these places now tend to the spotless - sure, plenty of exceptions, some of which make fantastic wine - rayas and mogador in priorat are two that make my place look neat. but in general, the cleaner the winery the better the wine. and that most definitely includes the better wineries in france.

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4 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

I have never heard of excessive humidity causing cork taint.  For sure with other two I have heard of.  Some of these moldy cellars have been storing wine for 100's of years.  Certainly I would be concerned about mold in my wine cellar (natural cellar under ground), but more because of my own respiratory health; not the wines. 

humidity won't cause cork taint. TCA does that. but not keeping your winery clean and free of mould helps to promote things like TCA. i've walked into places where you can smell the TCA - seems like the entire room is tainted. this is because TCA does more than just stuff corks. but once there, hard to get rid of it.

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26 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

humidity won't cause cork taint. TCA does that. but not keeping your winery clean and free of mould helps to promote things like TCA. i've walked into places where you can smell the TCA - seems like the entire room is tainted. this is because TCA does more than just stuff corks. but once there, hard to get rid of it.

Treating the corks also promoted TCA.  There is a lot of TCA infected port wines from the 80's solely because of this.  Indeed is hard to get rid of.  

I take it you are not a fan of Musar wines then?  They have many faults rolled into one...  One of my favorite Producers.

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8 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

Treating the corks also promoted TCA.  There is a lot of TCA infected port wines from the 80's solely because of this.  Indeed is hard to get rid of.  

I take it you are not a fan of Musar wines then?  They have many faults rolled into one...  One of my favorite Producers.

i'm actually a fan of musar. cork taint offends me very quickly but i am not as susceptible to brett as many.

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2 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

i'm actually a fan of musar. cork taint offends me very quickly but i am not as susceptible to brett as many.

I lean far more towards rustic over polished wines. Musar whites are fantastic too.

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On 2/2/2018 at 9:30 PM, Ken Gargett said:

really impressive.

a thought for both beer and the wine cellar comments -

and i say this as someone who has been on the wrong end - get one of those year round thermometers and test the place. they will measure through the year and give you highs and lows (and remember that the movement of temperature can be more damaging than a consistent temp, even if it is a bit high - so it is probably a lot worse if you are going from 45 to 65, as an example, than if it sits at 60 all year). i suspect you will be stunned at the variation. never met anyone who has done it who has not been staggered at how much more the space, even if it has insulation, varies. and then think seriously of some form of cooling. refridgeration is expensive but a small aircon unit might work. sure, understand what you say about cost/benefit but if you do not have proper storage, unless you are turning over everything fairly quickly, there is little benefit in having a system that ruins all your prized beers (and wines).

and yes, i have lost treasured wines because of poor storage so i am not just speaking from what the text books say. rather from weeping in a corner!

Ken - thanks for the input and I took your advice.  Largest fluctuation I have seen so far is +2 degrees.  The area outside of the cellar is heated (faintly) and cooled, so summer its gets AC to keep it steady - winter the heat it shut down to that area and it stays rather consistent.  If I see further fluctuation I'll keep you posted.  So far so good.

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Just saw this thread and I must say, that cellar is a thing of beauty. Wish I could do something like that but space and temperature fluctuations stint allow it. I had to go with this instead but it works.


20180522_124729.thumb.jpg.b7988b1331f65f31f84790ad9f639bc1.jpg

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Just saw this thread and I must say, that cellar is a thing of beauty. Wish I could do something like that but space and temperature fluctuations stint allow it. I had to go with this instead but it works.

 

20180522_124729.thumb.jpg.b7988b1331f65f31f84790ad9f639bc1.jpg

 

This looks like something I would be doing soon.

What temperature are you keeping inside this refrigerator? 60.1 Fahrenheit?

Would it be worthwhile keeping beer in there past a year or 2?

Thanks,

Artin

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Artin said:

 

This looks like something I would be doing soon.

What temperature are you keeping inside this refrigerator? 60.1 Fahrenheit?

Would it be worthwhile keeping beer in there past a year or 2?

Thanks,

Artin

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Artin, 

I have an external thermometer that keeps the range between 52 to 56 so it doesn't run all day. I have beer that is more than 5 years old and have no issues with it. Each shelf will hold ~3 cases of 750ml bottles so make sure you look into how much weigh the shelves can support. The maker on this unit is Summit and was the only one I could find to hold the shelf weight. Cost was ~$3,000 including white glove delivery.

Hope this helps.

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Artin, 
I have an external thermometer that keeps the range between 52 to 56 so it doesn't run all day. I have beer that is more than 5 years old and have no issues with it. Each shelf will hold ~3 cases of 750ml bottles so make sure you look into how much weigh the shelves can support. The maker on this unit is Summit and was the only one I could find to hold the shelf weight. Cost was ~$3,000 including white glove delivery.
Hope this helps.


Yes, definitely. Thanks for the info.


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Artin, 
I have an external thermometer that keeps the range between 52 to 56 so it doesn't run all day. I have beer that is more than 5 years old and have no issues with it. Each shelf will hold ~3 cases of 750ml bottles so make sure you look into how much weigh the shelves can support. The maker on this unit is Summit and was the only one I could find to hold the shelf weight. Cost was ~$3,000 including white glove delivery.
Hope this helps.


Come to think of it I’m most likely going to get a refrigerator that’s about a 1/4-1/2 the size of that.

Saw a few by EdgeStar that looked cool. Ideal for storing beer, soda, and wine.

https://www.winecoolerdirect.com/edgestar-53-bottle-148-can-wine-beverage-center/CWBV14853.html



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