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Purchased a VinoTemp Wine Cooler to convert to wineador...

Hey fellas....i just purchased a VinoTemp 12ct winecooler that i plan to convert to a wineador (ran out of room in my 150ct humi)...bought if off craiglist for 25.00...they guy said the front display didnt work.....but little did he know that he gave me a good working one!! I plugged it in and works like a charm...i can change the temp from 62-70 and has a built in light that can be manualy turned on. My question is.....whats the best way to go about making it into a good working wineador?? Do i need to line it with spanish cedar? Or can American red cedar work fine? Since here in San Diego...no one seems to sell Spanish Cedar...i would have to order it online. Right now i have sealed off the drain plug and placed 2 cigar boxes and a digital hygrometer/thermometer & 2 humidifiers. Since i just bought it yesterday...the interior of the cooler smelled like a cooler, thats the reason why i placed 2 cigar boxes to get someone of a cigar box smell to penetrate the interior. I left the wineador unplugged last night with the hygrometer/thermometer inside to see what kind readouts i would get. This morning the readings were 70 degrees and 62 RH and thats with the interior being empty (no cigar boxes or humidifiers & metal shelves). To make the wineador work correctly do i need to have it plugged in so it can use the built in fan to control the temp? Would the cooling cause to much moisture or humidity? (like a refrigerator) This is my first project...so some questions might seem noobish...but would like your expert advise. Below are pictures and my checklist of my plans...please feel free to add to anything that i might be doing wrong. (1) Line with Spanish Cedar if possible, (2) purchase kiln dried cigar trays, (3) Cigar oasis, (4)digital hygrometer/temp, (5) Fill with lots of cigars. Anything else? Pictures: image image

Comments

  • Russ55Russ55 Posts: 2,765
    I am about to start a similar project myself. This was suggested to me as a remedy for the smell issue:

    madurofan:
    The plastic smell is an easy fix. Stuff it full of crumpled up newspaper and let it sit for 24 hours or more. The newspaper has the miraculous property of removing smells. You can thank kuzi for that tip.




  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    Your checklist is pretty good. To answer you question about the cedar though, NO it is not ok to use any other form of cedar. Spanish cedar is actually in the mahogany family not the cedar family. Its not necessary to line the inside if the vinotemp with wood but if you are going to it most be Spanish Cedar. The cheapest way to acquire spanish cedar is to get some empty cigar boxes. Most B&M's well give them to you or sell them to you for next to nothing.

    The reason behind using a vinotemp is not only to control RH but Temp as well, so yes I would plug it in and set it at 65* or higher if possible. The reason you use a thermoelectric wine cooler like the vinotemp is that it will not suck the humidity out of the air like a traditional compressor still fridge will. The down side is that the thermoelectric device being used will create a little condensation, that the reason for the drain hole. The general consensus has been to plug the drain hole and place a tray of beads in it to catch the condensation.
  • Matt MarvelMatt Marvel Posts: 930
    madurofan:
    Your checklist is pretty good. To answer you question about the cedar though, NO it is not ok to use any other form of cedar. Spanish cedar is actually in the mahogany family not the cedar family. Its not necessary to line the inside if the vinotemp with wood but if you are going to it most be Spanish Cedar. The cheapest way to acquire spanish cedar is to get some empty cigar boxes. Most B&M's well give them to you or sell them to you for next to nothing.

    The reason behind using a vinotemp is not only to control RH but Temp as well, so yes I would plug it in and set it at 65* or higher if possible. The reason you use a thermoelectric wine cooler like the vinotemp is that it will not suck the humidity out of the air like a traditional compressor still fridge will. The down side is that the thermoelectric device being used will create a little condensation, that the reason for the drain hole. The general consensus has been to plug the drain hole and place a tray of beads in it to catch the condensation.
    The B&M I go to sells them for two bucks a piece. I couldn't see anybody else selling them for more than that.
  • kent1146kent1146 Posts: 86
    You're off to a great start.

    - Use only Spanish cedar.  American cedar, or any other wood, won't have the right smell, humidity retention properties, or anti-mold / anti-beetle properties of cedar.

    - You don't need to line the humidor with cedar.  Many people just pick up a bunch of used cigar boxes from their B&M (for free, or $1-$2 each), store their cigars in there, and just stack the boxes inside their wineador / coolerdor.  You can remove the wire shelves for even more storage space.  No fancy construction needed.

    - If you ARE going to line or build your wineador with Spanish cedar, I'd recommend you look into a larger unit, like a 28-bottle.  Cedar shelves and lining is an awful lot of work and money to sink into a project, so you might as well do it for something that you won't outgrow anytime soon.

    - Cigar Oasis isn't absolutely necessary.  Most people use Heartfelt beads.  A lot cheaper, and gets the job done just as well.

    - De-odorize the wine cooler with either newspaper, baking soda, and/or sunlight.  A few days of any of those 3 will do the trick.

    - Yes, plug the wineador in.  The temperature control mechanism won't work unless it's plugged in.  Once you have humidity control in there (heartfelt beads, or an oasis), monitor the temps / humidity through your digital hygro, and adjust as needed.

    -  Sorry about the wallet.  You just started down one slippery slope of turning your cigar smoking habit into a cigar collecting habit.






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