Author Topic: Using aquarium heater in cheese cave  (Read 878 times)

Offline Shalloy

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Using aquarium heater in cheese cave
« on: August 14, 2012, 06:25:30 PM »
I have a keg fridge that I also want to use to age cheese.  But the kegs sit at about 4-6c which is obviously too cold for aging cheese. So my idea is to put my aging cheese into a container then sit this container inside a larger foam box with a few inches of  water in the botom, and place the aquarium heater in the tub of water. Then use a temp controller to keep the water at the required temp for my cheese whilst the rest of the fridge stays nice and cold for my kegs.
This worked well to keep my fermenter warm when brewing beer in winter, until I setup a fermenting chamber.

I think the added bonus would be that the water will also help produce the required humidty. The heater probably wouldnt switch on that much but at least if the cheese box did start dropping down in temperature too much it will switch on and warm the water back up.

Any thoughts on this idea?

(I would of course put a splash of bleach in the water to stop bugs growing)


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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Using aquarium heater in cheese cave
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 07:22:28 PM »
I think that is ingenious!  Totally creative solution!

Offline Shalloy

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Re: Using aquarium heater in cheese cave
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 04:27:44 PM »
Anyone see a reason why this wouldnt work?

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Using aquarium heater in cheese cave
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 07:14:31 PM »
I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work, though I'm certainly not an expert.  One thing I do understand pretty well, though is energy balance.  You are basically suggesting that you are going to take a machine whose job it is to expel heat from the system, and place inside of it a device whose job it is to add heat to a system.  I, personally, would want to monitor the amount (cost, really) of electricity this setup would use.  You're paying to bring the electricity in to heat up the water and the cheese area, and then paying to remove that same heat from the fridge.  It might work great--it really just depends on the difference in the set temperatures for the cheese area vs the rest of the fridge area, and how well you can insulate the one from the other.  If you can do it well, it won't cost much, if you can't, it will cost a lot and might reduce the life of your fridge.

I use a kill a watt meter to measure how much it costs me to maintain my cheese cave at the right temperature.  Right now, it's about $6.50/month-tolerable.

If you do it, let us know how it turns out.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Boofer

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Re: Using aquarium heater in cheese cave
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 12:55:44 AM »
...or you could get a small 4.x cu ft fridge and controller dedicated to your cheesemaking.  ;)

K.I.S.S.

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Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.


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Offline Shalloy

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Re: Using aquarium heater in cheese cave
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 01:15:01 AM »
Another fridge isnt an option as I dont have the room. I would keep the top cheese box well insulated from the rest of the fridge. Im assuming that once it reached temp it wuld probably hold very well and the heater would hardly need to come on. This time of year to age my blue at 11-15C I could just keep it in the garage. I probably only need to put it in the fridge with the heater once Im doing extended aging at around 8C. The kegs are at 4C so its only a 4C difference really. Might just do some testing first and see how it all goes.


Offline bbracken677

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Re: Using aquarium heater in cheese cave
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 07:09:15 AM »
Reminds me of the Steven Wright joke :

"All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand."   oh, wait....that's not it. This is it:

"I bought a de-humidifier and a humidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out."




If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Using aquarium heater in cheese cave
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 10:26:28 AM »
"I bought a de-humidifier and a humidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out."
;D LOL

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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Using aquarium heater in cheese cave
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 07:22:17 PM »
I'm certainly for the--"go for it and see what happens" approach so long as it's not likely to end in loss of life, limb, or sight.  You should be pretty clear on that front, unless you plan on swapping out the aquarium heater with some sort of combustion to heat the inner box.  :o
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...