Author Topic: Discussion of Refrigerators  (Read 13552 times)

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2009, 09:43:28 PM »
humble, I think you were right initially that as you said, it is definitely harder to reduce humidity than to add.

I and a couple others tried a small chest freezer with coils inside the walls,for some reason even with the lid closed and the unit sealed, humidity kept building and eventually I got puddles on the bottom (no drain). I gave up and sold it.

I think Wayne is right, the key question for fridges is are the coils on the outside so that condensation builds and drains outside-the-box vs inside, not whether the fridge has a fan to circulate the cold air.

The fridge I've ordered has the coils on the inside, well actually around the outside of the small aluminum freezer, no fan, and I think from looking at the one in the store, a tray to catch any condensation or melting water when it is on defrost cycle and hopefully a drain hose to outside the fridge. I'll take pictures and post once arrives after which will report on results.

BTW, Wayne has a monster commercial stainless fridge that we are all very envious of ;D.


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2009, 02:15:15 AM »
Sorry for arriving late to this discussion. I am still very new to this board.

I have had a good experience in REDUCING humidity quite effectively by placing a tray full of kosher salt into the fridge. The salt attracts all the humidity to it and also contributes to the flavor of cheese and cured meats. Pink Himalayan salt blocks are even better but too expensive. I would imagine that a tray full of rice would also work, however there is the danger of contamination with that.

I am a Manhattan apartment dweller, so I really don't have the living space or garage for a second refrigerator. I have been looking for a wine cooler that would fit in an apartment and be used for cheese aging and meat curing (Okay, wine storage too).

They take small space, look great, operate at the right temperature range and constantly circulate air, many even come with wooden shelves. However... they all seem to get terrible reviews; especially for build quality, thermo-electric failure and claims that these small manufacturers won't budge or help. Some of these brands are so bad that they have as little as 3 month warranties. The only exception to all of these rules in GE which has a $430/29 bottle unit with shining reviews. The trays of it however makes it impossible to put cheese on or hang meats from and boy, is it ugly (remember, not in a garage).

Has anyone here had a good experience? Can anyone suggest a unit for me?

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2009, 09:48:46 PM »
Debi, from the pictures I've seen of yours they have a small fan to circulate radiant cool air I think they do not have coils on the outside or underneath and a evaporation tray to externally collect condensation water like a full size fridge right? In which case natively they probably don't have super dehumidified dry air like a full size forced air fridge.

John you are absolutely correct I think I misunderstood where we were going with the air currculation - sorry!  :-\

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2009, 01:15:33 AM »
Well, I found a small unit and got it today; it seems great. It's a GE 21-bottle wine cooler. It has gotten some great reviews and seem to be a rare reliable unit from a mainstream brand in a sea of lame unreliable wine coolers from mystery brands.

It seems well built and has WOODEN shelves that are not tilted (many wine coolers has tilted metal shelves with arcs for bottles - useless for cheese)

This is NOT a thermo-electric unit. this is the good old reliable refrigerator mechanism. My apartment is usually quite dry (heated in the dry NY winter and air-conditioned in the humid NY summer) so I am not worried about it not being as dry as a standard fridge, but it still locks in less moisture than the competing thermo-electric units. It has a range of 40F-60F which is perfect - bot just for cheese but also for meat curing, and oh yea, the occasional wine.

Here's a link http://products.geappliances.com/ApplProducts/Dispatcher?REQUEST=SpecPage&Sku=GWS03ADWSS

Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2010, 05:15:38 PM »
Score!  I think.

My local pharmacy, just down the street, was closing to move into a brand new space.  They were selling every single fixture in there.  Sure, I could get a gigantic cooler (the ones that store drinks, milk, etc for selling) for $1700...or the old staff fridge...for $30!  It is about 5 1/2 ft tall, and is quite lightweight.  The coils are on the outside, too, but I don't have many more technical details.

Now, I'm going to have to do some work on it -- the outside is a bit rusty, which has impacted the gasket.  I'll have to replace the gasket and clean up that rust, but otherwise, inside, it looks quite clean.  It is a bit musky, but it has been unplugged (yet cleaned).

$30 is good, cheap gamble to see if it works.  I've got my work cut out for me.  If I make a red-mold cheese, I don't want it to be from iron oxide :)
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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2010, 05:24:38 PM »
Sounds like you got a deal. 
I would suggest turning it on prior to purchasing, or having a service guy come out to look at it.  You might pay 30 bucks to take it home, but pay 450 dollars replacing  rusty/leaky primary condensing coil.
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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2010, 03:39:47 PM »
I verified with the company breaking down the store that when he got there, it was running.  Was it working well?  I don't know.  I did plug it in, and it sounded like it was working.

I wouldn't spend money on replacing parts; I would just as soon throw it out and buy a new one.  I'm going to plug it in this weekend to see how it goes, and see what the temperature is.
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Offline iwantthegold

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2010, 01:48:55 PM »
A bit late on this one guys but Iratherfly has the right idea in my mind.  If you are a bit science minded you should search for the critical relative humidities of various salt solutions.  They have the ability to regulate the humidity if made properly and you can buy the salts from various sources. Even a solution of regular table salt (about 2 tbsp per liter of water) has the ability to keep humidity at 75% in pure water, and even higher in tap water (I had up to 83%) on that experiment.  There is still that problem of the opening of the door but individually sealed containers could solve that problem.

 Hope that helps
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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2010, 04:42:46 PM »
I don't understand this.   Can you explain it a bit further?  My confusion stems from the fact that I have had humidity levels approaching 100% with water alone..   I don't understand the relationship between the salt and the humidity.
Thanks.
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Offline iwantthegold

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2010, 07:23:45 PM »
Salt, as you should know from the concept of preservation has been used for thousands of years and has the amazing property of pulling water to surfaces.  The reasons that salt solutions work are more easily explained here:

The water vapour concentration, and therefore the relative humidity over a salt solution is less than that over pure water. This is because water is present in both the gas and the liquid phase, whereas the scarcely volatile salt molecules are only present in the liquid. They dilute the water and hinder escape of water molecules into the air. The rate of return of water molecules to the liquid surface is proportional to their concentration in the gas, where there are no salt ions to interfere. The system therefore adjusts to an equilibrium where there are fewer water molecules in the air than there would be over a pure water surface. The RH is therefore lower than 100%. (source: http://www.natmus.dk/cons/tp/satslt/satsol.htm)

if you have any other questions or the actual procedure let me know

Ethan
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2010, 09:38:14 PM »
Thank you Ethan. I have been using the salt and water method for years but had no idea WHY it worked better. I just knew Mama did it and it worked for here so I did it too.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2010, 06:30:10 AM »
So,  if I understand this correctly you are saying the following:

If I use water to humidify a refridgerator, the humidity may rise to 100%
If I use saltwater to humidify a refrigerator, the humidity will not rise to 100%

Is that a fair summary of what you mean?
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Offline iwantthegold

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2010, 08:54:29 PM »
No worries Debi, the science i know has to come in handy sooner or later!

Wayne: although that is a summary, I do not know if I would call it "fair."  It has EVERYTHING to do with 1. the type of salt and 2. the concentration of salt used.  The odds of you ever getting all the way to 100% is pretty impossible if you aren't using perfectly pure, distilled water because of the dissolved compounds (i.e. hard water) affecting the interaction of the molecules that I posted last.
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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2010, 10:14:21 AM »
I've had my old fridge running for a week now.  The musky smell is virtually gone.  Time to order a new gasket, however...

It got nice and warm in Georgia this week (finally, Spring!).  I opened the fridge, stored in my garage, , and there was a lot of condensation along the top of the inside -- so much so that it could pour out.

Is it conceivable that a better gasket would eliminate this issue, or am I wasting my time with this old piece of junk?  Oddly enough, the humidity was only ranging 40-60%.
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2010, 11:46:36 AM »
Actually... that sounds very desirable - a refrigerator that doesn't dry is perfect for cheese