[Greenbuilding] Chest type Freezer efficiency

mrgoodbeer at juno.com mrgoodbeer at juno.com
Wed Aug 1 12:45:21 CDT 2012

Put a clipboard with inventory sheet next to the freezer, mark off what you take out, add what you put in.
For storing wine at cellar temp, 50-55, you need a cellar, or a fridge or freezer with the override thermostat. Ideally, you want 50-55 degrees, something like 50-60% humidity (I forget the exact range, darkness except when accessing the wine, and minimum of vibration (not near a busy road or air compressor). More important than a certain temp is a stable temp that doesn't vary much. There are special wine space conditioners costing up to thousands that will maintain any insulated space with the proper conditions for wine, but those are mainly for collectors and very serious hobbyists who have more money than they know what to do with. As the most practical choice, mine is in the crawl space at 40-75 degrees and a humidity that makes cardboard boxes moldy and weak in a couple years. But the wine is still good, and as arthritis makes it harder to get to, it ages longer.
To make wine, up until bottling and storage, you want 65-75 degrees. You can fudge the temp of the fermenter itself with various methods such as putting it in a cardboard box (with holes in opposite sides) in front of an AC vent, wet towel and fan, 3 sided insulated box in cold corner of basement, etc., or it may need to be near some heat source in the winter. The Yahoo Group called Refrigerator Alternatives will be interesting for some of you.
Do not wait until everything is perfect to start making wine (or beer). That will never happen and you will miss drinking a lot of good stuff. See Winemakermag.com for info on getting started, and a directory of supply shops and winemaking groups. Beginning equipment for 6 gallon batches (30 bottles) will be around $100. The bag-in-a-box kits are relatively foolproof and simple to process, and make some wonderful wine. They can be made any time of the year, depending on your conditions. You can start one in half an hour, and have it bottled in 4 to 6 weeks. Then you will know what to do if you ever get vines planted. Don't make things more complicated than they need to be. Just get started, and as you learn you will understand what needs to be done next.

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