Finally got a wine fridge to cellar my beer

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Dontcounttoday, May 6, 2012.

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  1. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I've been storing all my beer in boxes in my closet, in the shelves of my kitchen cabinets, and finally started just piling them in boxes in a corner in my spare bedroom. Unfortunately we live in Chicago and the temperature range out here is crazy, and we do not like to run the AC in the summer for the 10 hours no one is home. I've been keeping my eye out for a nice sized wine fridge for some time now, and just this past weekend I finally grabbed a standing, 110 bottle wine cooler for $250 off CL. I managed to fit my entire collection in there plus non-cellared beer of which I have a lot. I am not entirely sure its meant to hold as many bottles on each shelf as I have stored there, so I hope it doesn't all come collapsing down and destroy everything I love, but the manual has nothing about weight limits per shelf. Heres some pictures of my new cellar:

    All boxed up
    [​IMG]

    Ready for the cellar:
    [​IMG]

    The rest:
    [​IMG]

    The fridge:
    [​IMG]

    Cellar list for anyone interested

    I know it shows 65 degrees but it did take me awhile to load it up. Set now to a nice 57. Its roughly 160 cellared beers and maybe 40 that I took out of the main fridge.
     
  2. Pittsky

    Pittsky Initiate (0) May 28, 2009 Florida
    Beer Trader

    damn, thats some serious dark lordage....which are the fancy'er DL bottles?
     
    ediaz likes this.
  3. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Heh yeah the past 3 years my girlfriend and I have gone and we get the full allotment each. This year my 2 friends came and didn't want all of theirs so I got 4 more there. THEN later in the day a guy stops me outside the gates and asks if I want another ticket. $30, and he throws in ANOTHER ticket for free. So 2 additional tickets at face value. 8 more DL, and to really sweeten the pot both were scratch off winners, which was sweet because our first 2 tickets were both losers. Anyway, the varients are:

    BA Alpha Klaus w/Plum
    BA Owde Engwish
    Biggs' 'Stache
    2012 Bourbon Barrel DL
    2011 Brandy Barrel DL
    2012 Cognac DL
    Conquistador De Muerte Porto
    Cuvee Du Viking
    SoBro

    Currently have trades set up for BA Alpha Klaus w/Cherry and (hopefully) '12 Vanilla Bourbon DL. Need to find a BA Behemoth. Someday in the near future I am going to have one hell of a DL tasting
     
  4. JohnfromPurdue

    JohnfromPurdue Initiate (90) Apr 27, 2009 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    You mind sharing where you got that? I've been looking into buying one.
     
  5. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Craigslist in the Chicago area. It was listed for $250 and I tried to talk the lady down but she had 4 other replies that same day, so I took it at full price. Its original cost is something like $1200 and the thing is fully functional so I am really pleased with the price. They moved into a house and it was left there, and they had no use for it. The door handle is busted off but it opens fine still, just no lock. I can fix that though. Also it looks like it was damaged either in a previous moving or while still in box, because the left side panel is slightly warped away from the base at the bottom so theres not a tight seal. I already sealed it up with some caulk though, and its airtight now.

    Sorry way more than you asked for, but if you just keep an eye out on your local craigslist you will find something eventually
     
    gklover1 likes this.
  6. goosewhisperer

    goosewhisperer Initiate (0) May 28, 2011 Colorado

    Great buy! I would love to have that much beer at my finger tips. Really nice collection too.
     
  7. EseLocoSS

    EseLocoSS Initiate (119) Feb 2, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Lucky you! I was the first person to reply to her post and she was going to sell it to me but I had to leave for vacation. :(
     
  8. gueuzehead

    gueuzehead Initiate (0) Jul 6, 2011 Washington

    What's the make/model of it. I would love to find a local one that size for sale.
     
  9. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Unfortunately its no available new from the manufacturer any longer, though you may find it third party still. Its Vintage Keeper 110 (they also have 220 which is just larger, stores 220 bottles laid down instead of 110).

    I am sorry, you should have gotten it if you were the first to respond, but I cannot say I am not happy that I got it...
     
  10. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Well I added support cables for the shelves which should remove some of the strain of having more weight than it is intended to, and I added temporary cardboard from cut up beer cases to make the shelves level and not crash into each other when I take out a single bottle.

    [​IMG]

    I know the cable system isnt exactly beautiful but it does the trick in the only way I could really think of. I did have to drill a hold in the top of the cooler but its just a wood ceiling so it was easy to caulk back up. Whatcha think??
     
  11. shuntstout

    shuntstout Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2010 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    noticed you have some Santa Fe BB State Pen, Marble Imperial Stout or maybe Reserve and some Imperial Java Stout! good to see someone else is trading from New Mexico besides me! haha. Bad Ass Cellar my friend!
    Cheers!
     
  12. Patrick

    Patrick Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    That is really awesome.
     
    Jmitchell3 likes this.
  13. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Yeah that was all in one of my very first trades. I have yet to crack them open, except the Java Stout, which I recall as being fantastic, but it was before I was reviewing beers
     
  14. shuntstout

    shuntstout Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2010 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    N
    Cool, well if you ever want to trade for some local NM brews again let me know, I would love some DL;) and I got plenty of all thos brews to trade
    Cheers!
     
  15. EseLocoSS

    EseLocoSS Initiate (119) Feb 2, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    It's ok man. I'm glad a fellow BA was able to get it.
    Besides, I was able to get this bad boy (which will be covered in Three Floyds stickers soon).
    [​IMG]
     
    mnbearsfan, Hanzo and Dontcounttoday like this.
  16. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader


    Ahhhh thats awesome, and huge! Is there a temp control and are there shelves or will you have to build them out?
     
  17. EseLocoSS

    EseLocoSS Initiate (119) Feb 2, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    There is a temperature knob that goes from 1-10. 1 being the warmest. Once I get it turned it and let it sit for a few days I will see what the temperature range is. If it doesn't get warm enough, the worst case is I'll by a temperature controller to help keep it between 50-55 degrees.
     
    OneBeertoRTA likes this.
  18. EseLocoSS

    EseLocoSS Initiate (119) Feb 2, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Nothing wrong with cellaring in the boxes they come in. The important parts are to make sure to keep them in a place that will stay around 50-55 degrees and to keep out the light.
     
  19. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    My uncle works in a metal shop and made me a couple of shelves to go on top of the wine racks so that the bottles will sit nicely. Its difficult to get a picture of the etching because its so fine on a shiny surface but it should be obvious what it is. Heres the completed unit:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Waiting to see what this thing is costing me on my monthly electric bill; I am sure I won't like it
     
  20. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    According to my girlfriend, who takes care of the electric bill, it was about $30 above our average though we were also starting to use the AC a bit, so its hard to say. Maybe $20-30 a month this thing runs me in electricity. The unit is set to 53 degrees now and runs quite often.

    It does worry me that my shelving and overstocking of the unit makes it difficult to keep the entire thing at the right temperature. Near the top it is definitely at 53 degrees, but at the bottom shelf its about 61. I do not know if its because there is some leak that I did not patch correctly or its just not that powerful of an AC unit in that thing, being as though it just plugs into a normal 120v outlet.
     
  21. fatbeats18

    fatbeats18 Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    i just bought that same exact thing for my stuff!!
     
    Dontcounttoday and EseLocoSS like this.
  22. mcaulifww

    mcaulifww Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2011 Virginia

    First off, This is freakin awesome. You got a stellar deal on that massive thing. second, that's a boatload of DLs.

    As far as your concern for temperature consistancy, may I suggest you put the non-celler beer from your fridge on the top shelf, if that stays the coldest consistantly. 61 degrees wont hurt cellarable beer, but probabvly isnt a good idea for te other stuff.

    But serously dude, that is majestic
     
  23. EseLocoSS

    EseLocoSS Initiate (119) Feb 2, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Make sure you get a temperature regulator... you are going to need it.
     
    Mshea805 likes this.
  24. fatbeats18

    fatbeats18 Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    done and done! i have it at 52. i have had it for about 4 days and life is that much better!
     
  25. EseLocoSS

    EseLocoSS Initiate (119) Feb 2, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I have mine at 52 as well with a 2 degree differential. I have the probe in a bottle of water so that it measures the temp of the liquid. The liquid will stay colder for longer when compared to the air inside the fridge so it will save some money in the long run since it won't turn on so often.

    Do you have anything over the glass door to keep the light out. Right now, I have a sheet hanging over the door but I want to put something over the glass (big sheet of magnet, cork, etc) so I can hang or display labels, caps, etc.
     
  26. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Disciple (331) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    No chance it is that high. Unless it is leaking or just ridiculously inefficient. Very cool unit, dude.
     
    BrettHead likes this.
  27. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I've placed my thermometer in several places in the unit. Near the top it is the correct temp, and in the middle its closer to 55, and at 60 on the bottom. If you were to use the unit as it is designed, a few bottles on each shelf lying on their sides plus a large gap at the back, there is tons of airflow. The way I have it, everything is very compact and the steel shelves I put in go all the way to the back. The only airflow is the sides.

    The unit looks like it was slightly damaged at some point, because there is a gap at the bottom. I sealed it up though and if its leaking somewhere else I dont know where that would be.
     
  28. fatbeats18

    fatbeats18 Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    i have a black felt fabric cut out the size of the window... perfect for me. that actually sounds preetty nice. i have a bunch of stickers i wanted to put on the glass, but i like it clean how it looks right now.
     
  29. archey

    archey Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2010 California

    I think I asked you on Reddit about the electricity usage for your unit. $20-30 a month sounds a bit high. I have 14.8 sq. ft. chest freezer that I keep at 50-57F with a Johnson temperature control. It uses less than 0.3 kWh a day (measured with a Kill-a-Watt), which comes out to about $2 a month.

    Do you have ambient temperature readings of the room you keep your Vintage Keeper in?
     
  30. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I have a laser thermometer I bought just to check for air leaks on the fridge. The whole room including the area around the fridge is at room temp.
    As for the $30 spike that may just be that we started up the AC a bit for the first time. Is there something I can buy to check electricity usage in an outlet?
     
  31. archey

    archey Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2010 California

    I use a Kill-a-Watt 4400, but the the 4460 has a built in battery backup if you ever wanted to pull it out of the outlet.

    http://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4460-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B000RGF29Q
     
  32. Jmitchell3

    Jmitchell3 Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2013 Arizona

    the java stout is amazing.
     
  33. fire34fighter

    fire34fighter Aspirant (229) Dec 31, 2013 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    sorry to dig up an old thread, but aren't you worried about the fact that the front is glass and light can get to it? or does the glass filter UV out?
     
    Dontcounttoday likes this.
  34. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Nope! The glass has UV protective film so that is not an issue.

    Just so happens I took everything out as it was becoming kind of disorganized. Took 2 days to resort all my cellar and get it inventoried, but its back in and looking good as ever. Fridge is still going awesomely!

    [​IMG]
     
  35. cwehr13

    cwehr13 Aspirant (204) Aug 4, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Awesome set up, I have been lurking on CL for a while for something like this.
     
  36. fire34fighter

    fire34fighter Aspirant (229) Dec 31, 2013 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    how many size bottle holder is that(how many wine bottles is it supposed to hold, and how many beer bottles do you find out can fit? Considering getting one for myself since my only closet option is on an exterior wall near my entrance door so the temp changes a lot..
     
  37. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    It's made to hold 110 wine bottles on their sides, so the racks are not flat. I wanted to maximize space so I got some custom made steel trays for the racks, and it holds about 200 bottles of various sizes.
     
  38. Infinite1

    Infinite1 Aspirant (273) Jul 2, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I have two small wine coolers holding about 12-15 bottles each. What is that giant one you have called ? I would like to look for one
     
  39. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Vintage Keeper 110 (they also have 220 which is just larger, stores 220 bottles laid down instead of 110). Got it on CL
     
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