Portable AC/Self-Evaporative Coolers

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Dannit

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I'm looking into making a small, closet-sized cellar and exploring the cooling options. The problem I see with the portable ACs is that they draw from the humidity in the environment, whereas for aging we want to retain humidity in the environment for the corks. Would it work to run one of these portable ACs in tandem with a humidifier? But then I guess I would have to constantly refill the humidifier. Looking for options/ideas on a budget.

I was also considering an old fridge, but they don't have enough space (I need it for carboys, not just bottles).

So I'm also considering a freezer (since they have more space) adapted with an Inkbird thermostat, but if the thermostat ever got stuck, it would freeze the wines. Any ideas on how to avoid such a problem?
 

NorCal

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With the corks I use and the wine I make, I’m looking for a 5 year shelf life. I’m approaching that on my Walmart cooled window AC unit. I don’t see any corks degrading due to humidity. It’s worked like a champ for me.
D6B3FA28-6D88-4232-9670-87684244168A.jpeg
 

Dannit

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So, does the window unit draw moisture from inside the cellar, or from the backside? That cellar looks about the size of what I want to make.
 

NorCal

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It’s cooling the inside of the box and exhausts into the garage. It would be a lot better if it was exhausting outside the garage, but it is what I could do.
 

ibglowin

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I live in Northern NM (desert southwest). Our humidity is extremely low except during the Summer monsoon season. I use a small Window AC unit that exhaust to the outside during the short but warm Summer months only. The average humidity (year round) is ~25% I would say. I have wines that are now going on 8-9 years old and they show no signs of breaking due to dryness. I use 1+1 Aglo corks. I do have some problems every now and then with commercial wines that are opened and they are bottled using 100% natural cork. Those often break off half way using a rabbit style cork screw. I have to remember to switch over to an "ah so" type of remover.
 

mainshipfred

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It's temporary but I have a cool mist humidifier in mine with the window unit. I also have an Inkbird that controls temperature and humidity. The cellar is 6x10x8 and when I first put the humidifier in it would only last a day or so. Now that I have maintained the humidity of 65% it will last for 3 or 4 days with a gallon of water. The ambient humidity right now is ~25%.
 

bstnh1

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I'm looking into making a small, closet-sized cellar and exploring the cooling options. The problem I see with the portable ACs is that they draw from the humidity in the environment, whereas for aging we want to retain humidity in the environment for the corks. Would it work to run one of these portable ACs in tandem with a humidifier? But then I guess I would have to constantly refill the humidifier. Looking for options/ideas on a budget.

I was also considering an old fridge, but they don't have enough space (I need it for carboys, not just bottles).

So I'm also considering a freezer (since they have more space) adapted with an Inkbird thermostat, but if the thermostat ever got stuck, it would freeze the wines. Any ideas on how to avoid such a problem?

I have a great deal for you -- I live in New Hampshire and for a small fee I'll ship you all the bags, bottles, etc. of nice cold air that you could ever want. lol
 

mainshipfred

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I have a great deal for you -- I live in New Hampshire and for a small fee I'll ship you all the bags, bottles, etc. of nice cold air that you could ever want. lol
And to help you out how about if I send some boiling water in a food saver bag. LOL!
 

StToddy

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To eliminate the humidity factor you could switch from corks to screw-top closures (very similar to what is commercially available). Eg. nicebottles.com sells Novatwist Capsules 60H30 (Pack of 100) and innovativesourcing.com sells screw-top wine bottles in various styles. (Then, if you live in the Phila, PA area, I will sell you my Sharp CV-10 portable AC ;>)
 
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