Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Cellar Ideas - Under a

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

  1. dvmin98

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Posts:
    696
    Likes Received:
    808
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Posts:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    3,650
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Posts:
    412
    Likes Received:
    1,128
    Location:
    Tennessee
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Posts:
    992
    Likes Received:
    1,803
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I just went with the shelf unit in the cool dark basement, usually around 54-58 degrees most of the year.

    [​IMG]

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

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Posts:
    87
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Posts:
    1,808
    Likes Received:
    2,323
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Posts:
    522
    Likes Received:
    436
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Posts:
    871
    Likes Received:
    1,314
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Posts:
    13
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Posts:
    696
    Likes Received:
    808
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Posts:
    62
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Florida
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Posts:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    1,060
    Location:
    California
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Posts:
    62
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Florida
    ahh, ok.. you do prove a valid point there. didn't think about that. thanks.
     
  15. starkmarvelo

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Posts:
    2,181
    Likes Received:
    1,907
    Location:
    Nevada
    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.
     
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe