Cellar Ideas - Under a

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by dvmin98, Feb 27, 2013.

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  1. dvmin98

    dvmin98 Site Editor (2,588) Nov 1, 2010 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Im in NC and I dont have a basement, etc for cellaring. What I do have is an area under my staircase. It was a completely enclosed area, but I cut a hole in the back of my closet so that I could use the space. It is out of the light and it is definitely cooler than the rest of the house. Its located in the center of the house, so not next to an outside wall.

    Other than renting a place that is climate controlled, this my best option.
  2. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Realistically you just can't cellar in your house without a temperature controlled fridge. There is some flexibility, but storing beers under your staircase is probably not going to work very well. If you seriously want to try it, put a thermostat in there and check it periodically, especially during the highs and lows of the year. You really want to shoot for 55ish, and be as consistent as possible.

    My hunch is you're probably going to get over 70 in the warmer weather, which is just way too much.
  3. ironchefmiyagi13

    ironchefmiyagi13 Defender (642) Jan 9, 2013 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    agreed, too much fluctuation is the grim reaper for all beers. I bought a wine fridge that holds 18 bottles for around $150. you can take some of the racks out for standing up bottles as well as leave a few for laying on their side. If you are really serious about cellaring beers for a year or longer, this is the best way to keep those valuable brews fresh and at the ideal temperature for aging.
  4. beercanman

    beercanman Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 Ohio

    Just avoid light and temp fluctuations. I started cellaring at 58 degrees now I keep it around 68. I've had nothing but success with both. Long term I usually do 58-60. Best thing to do is figure it out for yourself. Everyone is gonna say something different. I started with just cases in a dark corner. Now I have climate controlled units. I still use both. Warmer tends to age a little faster. Long term I would go a little cooler. Just age the right styles.
    DJButters likes this.
  5. drz955

    drz955 Initiate (0) Dec 21, 2012 Massachusetts

    I just went with the shelf unit in the cool dark basement, usually around 54-58 degrees most of the year.


    Although, I wish I could afford a temp controlled unit : /
    mikeywtc and legend8706 like this.
  6. Mediczod

    Mediczod Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2012 New York

    Luckily I have a cool dry cellar. Being in NY with a precast concrete foundation, my cellar never gets above 60.
  7. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Disciple (351) Mar 13, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    If you have a place top put an old chest freezer or refrigerator get yourself one of these and set it to 55. If you don't have a basement it's probably the best option.
  8. jtdolla911

    jtdolla911 Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I put them under my stairs in my condo unit. I have central air/heating, so my condo never gets above 66 or below 60. It's worked well so far, but I've been looking for a better/more reliable temp control system.
  9. jaIsPoAn

    jaIsPoAn Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2012 New York

    Don't listen to anyone who tells you "you can't cellar if its not temp controlled ". That's all bull shit
    4kbrianb and beercanman like this.
  10. SDStoneEnthusiast

    SDStoneEnthusiast Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2013 California

    A modified wine cooler has suited me fairly well. You can usually find one for a good deal on Craigslist.

    If you insist on not using a fridge or temperature controlled unit, then just be sure wherever you put your beer
    is dark, cool, and consistent.
  11. dvmin98

    dvmin98 Site Editor (2,588) Nov 1, 2010 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    The area under my stairs is cooler than the rest of the house. My house stays at a steady 68 degrees, so I'd say its about 64-65 under there
  12. LuisQ

    LuisQ Initiate (172) Jan 9, 2013 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I have a standing freezer as my cellar. I hooked up one of those johnson control thermostats up to it and set the thermostat at 52+/-1*. I get a large temperature fluctuation. It gets down to 45 and rises up to 55 during one cycle of the freezer flicking on/off. What could I possibly do to lessen that gap? my water bottle is in the center of the freezer with the probe inside it, for reference. Thanks.
  13. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Is it just the air that gets down to 45, or does the water bottle with the probe get down to that temp? If so, something is wrong with your controller. If it's just the air, don't worry about it...your beer probably not fluctuating that much.

    OP, storing beer under the stairs should be fine, unless it gets really hot in there.
  14. LuisQ

    LuisQ Initiate (172) Jan 9, 2013 Florida
    Beer Trader

    ahh, ok.. you do prove a valid point there. didn't think about that. thanks.
  15. starkmarvelo

    starkmarvelo Disciple (370) Jan 20, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    People store beer here in Texas in their closets without issue. I aged a Barleywine for 5 years in my closet 65-70 without issue. Light kills faster than temp. You might want to watch out for mold under the staircase though.
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