Vacant mobile home wine room...

Discussion in 'Wine Cellar & Storage Forum' started by Intheswamp, Sep 19, 2019.

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  1. Sep 19, 2019 #1

    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp

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    I'm a rank newbie and really won't be making a great amount of wine (so I say<grin>). Being located in south Alabama it is hot and humid down here. Winters are usually not that cold with subfreezing temperatures usually only at night and might be consecutive night time freezing for 2-3 day sin a row. We don't have a "frost line", so to speak. Our main foe is HEAT...and it does get hot. We run a/c down here probably six months out of the year. Spring and autumn can be a crapshoot on nice temperatures...usually it seems we transition from winter to summer and summer to winter without much of a spring or autumn. Most of the time, winters are "nice"...it's the summers that are killers. Anyhow...

    I have a roughly 10x12 (I need to measure) bedroom in a vacant trailer on our property where I'm planning (hopefully) to do *both* my fermenting and aging/storage. The trailer has central heating and cooling but rather than running the central unit I'm planning on a small 5000btu window-mount a/c to keep the room cool. The trailer gets HOT without the central unit running so in an attempt to $ave electricity, I will be focusing on cooling this single room in the hot structure.

    I purchased an Inkbird 308 temp-controller which can control the small a/c and a small electric heater. From what I've been reading the Inkbirds are good controllers (fingers crossed!). I'm hoping this setup will keep the room in the 65-70F degree range. I'm not sure whether the a/c I have can be modded to bypass it's thermostat, we will see. If it can be modified like this I will let the Inkbird handle the thermostat function and possibly get the temperature down to the low 60F range. I'm considering adding some rigid foam insulation to the interior walls and door to enhance it's insulation. I know that it's better to be down in the mid-50F range for wine storage, but, I've gotta make do with what I've got and this looks about as good as it'll get. From what I understand a stable temperature is more important than a low temperature in regards to storage.

    Fruit wines will be my predominant wines with maybe some muscadine wine. I really don't expect to ferment any grape wine, but you never know. I probably will be using Lalvin 71b yeast most of the time. Lalvin states that 71b's temperature range is between 59-86F. If I can hit temperatures down in the low-60's will that still be warm enough for good fermentation? I guess I could always place the primary fermenting vessels outside of the room and run the main central heating-cooling unit for a few days and then when the primary fermentation is over I could move it into the cooler room and rack to a secondary vessel.

    Well, that about sums up what's on my mind. I guess I wanted to verbalize(?) my ideas and if someone wants to give me some feedback, well, I'm all ears!!! Thanks!

    Ed
     
  2. Sep 21, 2019 #2

    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp

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  3. Sep 27, 2019 #3

    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp

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    Ah well... :)

    I made a little progress on the room yesterday. I got the small 5000btu a/c installed in the window and some foil-backed foam insulation sandwiched in between the panes of the window and storm window. I also added some of the foam board on the room-side of the "accordian" window filler on either side of the a/c unit. The goal here is to make this little 9x12 room as insulated as possible. I'm not so sure how well the interior walls are insulated, though, and the rest of the trailer will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter...most of the time. I may end up buying some more foam-board and covering the interior walls.

    The high-nap carpet still needs removing but I'm thinking it is giving a little insulating help, so not sure whether to just poly-seal the plywood floor or go over it with some cheap linoleum...I'm leaning towards the linoleum.

    Yesterday it was in the mid-90F degrees and the room eventually got down to 67F...this was with me going in and out of the room a good bit and also with the large gap at the bottom of the door unsealed. I don't think this will ever get to "proper" wine cellar temperatures but hopefully will be better than 80F^ temperatures...it should be good fermenting temps.

    Currently I have the Inkbird 308 plugged in the wall, a Kil-A-Watt meter plugged into it, and the a/c plugged into the meter. I'm trying to get an idea of how much electricity this setup is going to use. I'm shooting for the lowest feasible but economical low temperature that I can get it down to. Winter-time won't be a big issue, but the oppressing heat in south Alabama summers can be a challenge...this summer is extreme.

    The old trailer isn't in the greatest shape and it really hasn't been cleaned out since my MIL passed on, so I've got a lot of cleaning to do. It's mostly been closed up for around five years. I'm kind of going easy with cleaning stuff out but nothing really personal of my MIL (good lady of the Greatest Generation!), I'll leave that to my wife. I turned the water back on (had turned it off since we haven't been using the trailer). Water seems good. I may or may not turn the hot-water heater on. Went through replacing old incandescent and CFL light-bulbs with LEDs...turn the odd one on all along to give the trailer the "someone's there" look.

    That little room has good acoustics, too! My little Anker Boost Bluetooth speaker sounds really good...REO Speedwagon, Nazareth, and a few others were were in concert yesterday evening. ;)

    Anyhow, that's an update on the "The Room", FWIW.
     
    MalfoyUnforgiven likes this.

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