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I currently have 4 fridges at my house. One is for food. One is my kegerator. One is for beer to drink now. One is for beer to drink later. The beer for now is creeping into my food fridge, as the beer for later is creeping into my beer for now fridge.

What I'm getting at is I think I need another fridge. I'm looking at some wine fridges as possible long-term storage options. They all keep the bottles on their sides, which I'd rather not do.

Does anyone have any suggestions of a good wine fridge on the cheaper side, or of a better long-term storage option more suited for beer?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Get a freezer on craigslist. Find one cheap. 50-300 bucks depending on size, the deal, and condition. I see them for 100-150$ for the huge ones all the time. I have a 20 cu ft stand up. It's the biggest one you can get. Buy a temp controller online, a brewshop, or at a beverage supply place (~50-60$), and set it to desired temp. I use 55º, that's a good starting point. But anywhere between 45-60 should be fine for most styles for storing/aging/serving. The freezer is better then the fridge for many reasons I won't get into at this moment. But the best reason is that it won't be running all the time like a fridge will, which saves your electricity bill.

My setup was about 200$, and I have over 200 bottles in it. The shelving didn't make sense for bottle heights, so I put them in the boxes.

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For the longer-term storage stuff, building an enclosure cooled by your current long-term fridge could be a good idea. I'm thinking of an insulated plywood box (cooled by your existing fridge) of the type that is typically thought of as a fermentation chamber.

In Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide there was a design that I considered using for this purpose. Of course there are many other designs of this type available on the Web.

Anyway I would look in that direction over the wine fridge route due to cost and the small size of most wine fridges.

Just a thought.

Of course you could always just drink faster. ;)

JE

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Thanks Jeremiah! Do you have any links to those designs? I'd love to see what you're talking about. And I'm saving the beer for later, silly. Trust me, I drink fast enough. (Growing beer belly proves it) –  hookedonwinter Jan 4 '10 at 21:25

4 Beer Fridges?!? Wow, sounds like it's time to start thinking about a walk in cooler. Hit up your building supply recycling joint and find some cooler panels. Get a cheap AC unit, and a coolbot (google it). Either frame out one in your basement or on your porch like a friend of mine.

Maybe a commercial fridge would work too, but how awesome would it be to have your own walk in cooler...

Dig out a root cellar and use free old fashoned geo/thermal to keep your cellar beers cool. Plus you could have a secret beer bunker then.

4 beer Fridges?!? that is impressive.

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If only I owned my house... The kegerator is a full size fridge, the other two beer-only fridges are mini-fridges. And the food one is full size, but the bottom shelf is being taken over. –  hookedonwinter Jan 4 '10 at 21:10
    
+1 for "beer bunker"! –  Taylor Jan 4 '10 at 21:11
    
Ok, that makes more sense, I was picturing 4 full size fridges for beer. maybe a mini not so walk in. like @timwebers fermentation chest. then it's not part of the house. –  Jeff Bearer Jan 4 '10 at 21:16

I went on Craigslist and bought a Vinotemp wine cabinet. It is supposed to hold around 400 bottles of wine. I'm not positive but I think it was about $500 used. The whole setup was meant to store wine on its side obviously, and this is not optimal for beer. I went to the container store and bought some ventilated shelving. It's the kind of stuff you would expect to find in a pantry. I cut it down with a bolt cutter to the right width and set it on the already existing wood rails. I did also buy a 3/4"x3/4" stick of wood from Home Depot to make little rail extensions for the front by the door to better support the shelves. This is obviously not a cheap solution, but I will say that I am very happy with it, and it has worked fantastic so far. I also have not noticed an increase in my electricity bill.

alt text

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Bigger: twitpic.com/np3ly –  hookedonwinter Jan 4 '10 at 23:21

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