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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings. This will be my first post here…..

I am looking for some plans that might help me figure out how to build a wine cooler. I’m not too concerned with the wood and insulating aspect, but figuring out how to incorporate the cooling / humidifying portion is something I’m not familiar with. I would like the cooler to vent to the front bottom, but have no idea how this accomplished.

…….mike
 

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It'd prolly be pretty similar to mor Refridgerators....... you'd need some kind of Grill that allows decent airflow (even with a couple of Muffin fans that come on when the Compressor does) to run somewhat cool and efficiently. Depending on the size.... Why not use the Equip. out of a "Dorm" size fridge or two?
 

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Greetings. This will be my first post here…..

I am looking for some plans that might help me figure out how to build a wine cooler. I’m not too concerned with the wood and insulating aspect, but figuring out how to incorporate the cooling / humidifying portion is something I’m not familiar with. I would like the cooler to vent to the front bottom, but have no idea how this accomplished.

…….mike

WELCOME TO THE FORUM

I'm trying to figure out what you mean by "building" a wine cooler. The units I'm familiar with are self contained "refrigeration" units that are insulated, and can be vented from the front from the factory. Are you wanting to build your own refrigerator?

There are commercial units that are designed for specific square/cubic footage that you add to your enclosure. Maybe you could be more specific as to the application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry about the lack of detail.

I plan to build the cabinet myself out of a combination of cherry plywood and hardwood. I will use some 2” high density rigid insulation (blue board) and sandwich that between the plywood with solid 3X3 cherry corner posts. I’ll then joint the panels onto the corner posts with M&T upper and lower hardwood planks (similar to a bed frame). I’ll then build rolling shelves for the bottles and two doors for access. I haven’t quite figured out how to build the doors and hinge them yet….

So yes, I am basically duplicated what you see in the magazines, but I plan to customize it with some decorative trim, crown molding, etc….

I can use a self contained cooling unit that you would see in a wine cellar and vent it out the top or back, but I’d prefer the cabinet to vent out the front on the bottom, just like a refrigerator. If this becomes too difficult to figure out, I’ll default to the self contained cooling unit.

While I think I have this thing figured out, I’d like to see some plans or hear from others who have done this to make sure I’m not too far out in the weeds or doing something stupid.

Plus, I’m not all that interested in re-inventing the wheel…
 

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If I had one it'd be full of beer...not much of a wine person.
Wouldn't the cooling system screw with the wood??? Or did I mis-read the post.....AGAIN????:laughing:
 

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Corndog,

If the wood is sealed properly the moisture won't be too much of an issue for the wood. Temperature variations would be more likely to mess with the wood, but with good insulation, that's not a major issue either.

bmdrew, I'm not familiar with the cooling units you're considering, but wouldn't it be possible to vent using some simple ductwork to redirect the airflow to where you want it? Maybe 2" deep rectangular plenum the runs the entire width of the unit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Frank,

The cooling units I’ve looked at require a direct vent and strictly prohibit forced discharge air (duct work).

As far as the wood is concerned, no, it will be just fine whether it’s sealed or not with the most typical species found in cellars being untreated redwood. The reason being is wine coolers serve the same function as wine cellars. They maintain a steady state environment for long term storage of wine. With fine wine that a person wishes to cellar for several years, it needs a stable temperature of about 55 deg F and a relative humidity of around 50%. Temperature fluctuations are what destroy a good bottle of wine, and the humidity is what keeps the cork from becoming dry and cracking. Once the cork cracks, the bottle will leak and the wine will be exposed to oxygen. When this happens, you’ll get a nice expensive bottle of vinegar.

As far as beer is concerned, I love a good micro brew, but I drink it too fast and there’s no need to cellar it.

My favorite drink of all time, is called “FREE”.
 

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bmdrew, totally agree, the temps shouldn't be an issue on one side or the other of the wood. I was saying the only issue might be variance in temperature between the inside of the cabinet and the outside of the cabinet, which will necessarily be heated by the cooling unit. I'm a big fan of good wine myself, and have considered building my own cabinet instead of buying as well. I have a few more household projects to accomplish first though.

Do you have any links to the cooling units you're talking about? I'd love to take a peak at them and see if there's some way to engineer (it's what I do) a way to get what you want out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Frank,

I believe the trick with the temp difference is to make sure the unit is sealed and to use a vapor barrier. I plan to use rigid insulation, so that should act as the vapor barrier if I seal the panels and use some tape.

I haven’t had much time looking for cooling units, but here’s a couple links anyway, with the first one being the only place I’ve found that sells “cabinet” cooling systems verses “cellar” cooling units. Some of the sights will give you an idea of what I’m trying to duplicate. I plan to build a drawer system over shelves too. The drawers are going to be a bitch….

http://www.vinotemp.com/wine-cooling-cabinet-systems-c-22_84.html
http://www.rosehillwinecellars.com/3rsV2/manufacturer.php?category=wine_cabinets
http://www.winecellarinnovations.com/refrigeration.htm
 

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bmdrew,
I built a wine cellar about two years ago, and purchased the cooling unit AND racking from Rosehill. They were extremely helpful with the design and build out of my cellar. The racking came from Canada. I bought the Breezaire cooling unit of the appropriate size. There are pictures of our cellar on their website :icon_smile:

I built the cellar because when my wife and I got married, we both had separate "cabinet" style coolers with a total of about 450-500 bottles of wine. Our cellar has a capacity of 1,100 bottles in racks, plus another 200 or so in boxes up above the racking. We're currently at about 800 bottles.

You may want to consider adding a poly vapor barrier between the rigid insulation and the inside panel. I don't know if the rigid foam is a good enough barrier...Rosehill might know the answer.

There's also another place that has LOTS of information. It's called Strats Place http://www.stratsplace.com/wine.shtml You should be able to find more information about building a cellar there. There are lots of people who post pictures and specifications for their cellars on the site as well.

Lastly, here's a couple of (bad) pictures of my cellar:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Jeff,

I’m envious. I don’t which more, all those bottles or that you have a cellar……

I screwed up when I finished my basement (where I had the room for a cellar). At the time, I thought a second kitchen would be more useful than a cellar, so I did not run duct work, install insulation, a vapor barrier, and to top off my misery, I have floor heat. So…I can’t build a cellar and I’m stuck with a second kitchen that does not get used.

Thanks for the link and the pictures. The Breezaire unit is one I’m looking at. http://www.winecabinets.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=AMWE&Category_Code=Breezaire


...mike
 

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Mike,
I have been very pleased with my Breezaire cooler. With the wine cellar in my basement (which is already a bit cool), and the level of insulation I have, the unit doesn't run that often, maybe 2-3 times a day during the hottest times, and very seldom when it's cold out. In hindsight, I wish I had installed a ducted "split" system rather than a self-contained unit. That way I could place the compressor/condenser/evaporator unit outside and installed duct work to cool the space. It would have been much quieter and more efficient. I may end up retrofitting the room later if the cooler ever dies.

A friend of mine has the Whisperkool unit and has been disappointed with the performance. He says it runs quite a bit and the temperature varies more than he'd like.

Oh, and if the second kitchen isn't being used, TEAR IT OUT AND BUILD A CELLAR :thumbsup:. You'll be glad you did...I read a news article recently about real estate, and a wine cellar is pretty high on the list for helping with resale...:yes:
 
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