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sixdoubleo

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Now that I have 3 batches going, and am about to start a 4th and 5th batch, I really need to start thinking about setting up some more permanent and stable storage for my carboys and all the bottles Im going to have.

Currently my three batches sit in carboys on my kitchen counter and I've been leaving the whole house A/C on 73-74 degrees while I'm at work. Obviously not ideal. I live in Northern California where it's already in the low 90's and about to get into the 100's.

Also, as I bottle this stuff I'm going to need a good, cool spot for aging/storing the bottles

My idea was to convert my "computer" room into a winemaking/tasting room. It's about a 10'x10' room, and is already outfitted with countertops along two walls (used for building and working on computers). These will be perfect for winemaking. It also has a a closet that is about 4'x5' with a real door on the closet (as opposed to sliding closet doors).

Now I figure it simply isn't practical to keep the entire room at the temperature needed for storage. So I figured what I could do is keep the room itself cooled by the main A/C in the house, keeping it at about 70-75 degrees. I wont be storing any wine in the room itself. Only doing primary fermentation, racking, and bottling operations.

Then I would revamp the closet a bit to outfit it as a cellar.
Tear out drywall, extend framing and double-insulate. Re-drywall with greenboard.
Install an exterior, insulated door.
Build a bottom shelf along three sides of the closet for storing carboys. I estimate I can fit about 6-8 carboys on a shelf. Then above the carboys, do wine racks all the way to the ceiling.

I would frame an opening above the door and install one of these Koolspace 300 units to cool the closet:
http://www.beveragefactory.com/wine/cooling/koolspace/AP-3.shtml



So a few questions:

1. Does anybody have any experience or opinions on this cooling unit? Recommendations on others?

2. If I pull a carboy from the 60 degree "closet" cellar and then rack it in the 72-degree wine room, then return it back to the 60-degree closet, is that causing too much temperature fluctuation for the wine or is it anything I need to worry about?

Be interested to hear how others in warmer climates are dealing with cooling issues for your winemaking and storage spaces.

Thanks!
 
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Runningwolf

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I you remove heat from one area you are going to direct it somewhere else. Is the back of this unit going to be outside? Why not store your carboys in the room rather then the closet. Under 75 degrees I think you would be ok. Also will your shelves support the weight of that many carboys. More important then the cooler temperature will be constant temperature. One other important aspect, will this room have running water in it for your wine making?
 

sixdoubleo

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I you remove heat from one area you are going to direct it somewhere else. Is the back of this unit going to be outside?
No the back of the unit will vent into the winemaking room. I was actually wondering about that because my initial thought was that the exhaust from the cooler would significantly heat up the room. I wonder how much it would heat the room up? Similar to a refrigerator maybe?

Why not store your carboys in the room rather then the closet. Under 75 degrees I think you would be ok.
Well I can keep the room 73 degrees IF I keep the A/C on full-time...something I dont want to do. If I'm gone all day, the room will likely get to about 80 degrees.

Also will your shelves support the weight of that many carboys.
Definitely. I've built a few workbenches and I'll probably build this carboy shelf similar to those.


One other important aspect, will this room have running water in it for your wine making?
Unfortunately there's no way I can get running water to this room (easily). There is a bathroom right next to it that I can use and it wont be too inconvenient.
 

winemakingontario

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2. If I pull a carboy from the 60 degree "closet" cellar and then rack it in the 72-degree wine room, then return it back to the 60-degree closet, is that causing too much temperature fluctuation for the wine or is it anything I need to worry about?

Thanks!

Wine making needs a consistent temperature around 72.

Wine storage needs a consistent temperature. The cooler the better.
 

Wade E

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A friend of mine had the Koolspace for about 6 years with no problems at all and it worked great. He has since stopped making wine and is big time into religoin and rid himself of all that stuff. He had that unit for sale on here for awhile and said it still worked gtreat. I actually went to his house and saw and felt it in action and it was pretty and cool in the room. Id get one if I had the need for it. I also agree that you dont need the carboys in that closet as temp changes arent a big deal at all when they are in carboy for 2 reasons, 1 is that in big volume these changes dont do much and 2nd is that there is a airlock preventing your wine from breathing unlike in a bottle.
 

sixdoubleo

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Good to know Wade, thanks. I saw the thread you're referring to which is actually what caused me to start looking into that particular brand/model.

OK, but remember my room is only a stable 73 degrees right now because I'm leaving the AC on 24/7. I'm afraid to see my electric bill. The whole point to this is so I can stop doing that.

If I stop leaving the AC on, that room is going to be 80-84 degrees while I'm gone to work (or on vacation) and then 70-74 degrees when I am home. That wouldn't be problematic for the wine to have a daily fluctuation of 10-15 degrees?

I also figure since I need a place to store bottles anyway, whats the harm in keeping the carboys in the closet too?
 
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Wade E

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Oh ok, I see your point now. I still dont think it would hurt it cause the wine temp of a 6 gallon batch wouldn't change that much just over a few hours but if you were to leave it for a few days that would be a different story. I would however keep it in the closet during fermentation though especially in the beginning when its starts getting vigorous cause that in itself can raise the temp of the wine a few degrees.
 

sixdoubleo

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Oh ok, I see your point now. I still dont think it would hurt it cause the wine temp of a 6 gallon batch wouldn't change that much just over a few hours but if you were to leave it for a few days that would be a different story. I would however keep it in the closet during fermentation though especially in the beginning when its starts getting vigorous cause that in itself can raise the temp of the wine a few degrees.
OK, gotcha...hence one of the benefits of bullk vs. bottle aging. I'm gettin it :)

However I still come back to...I need a nice cool, temperature stable cellar for my bottles. And if I have the room, might as well age the carboys in there and keep them out of the way. I get it though...you're saying I don't necessarily NEED to.
 

Wade E

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Correct, Just know that in a few years youll be most likely needing that space where the shelves are for more botles, trust me on this so dont make that shelving there to permanent!
 

rodo

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That wouldn't be problematic for the wine to have a daily fluctuation of 10-15 degrees?
I just installed an AC unit in my wine storage room, when we initially turned it on it had dropped the temp by 13 degrees and I noticed trails if tiny bubbles in several bottles in the wine rack.

That being said I don't think it would be wise to have that kind of temperature fluctuation.
 

Wade E

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That was the wine contracting which is fine as long as it doesnt keep doing that which it wont if the temps are stable. remember that a little 02 is actually a good thing as long as its kept to a minimum. Thats how wine barrels work.
 

rodo

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Yes, but wasn't he asking if it would be OK to have a dailey cycle of 10 - 15 degrees?
 

Wade E

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I think he has it down and was stating why hes keeping the carboys in the closet becase I didnt read the post correctly before.
 

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