Author Topic: Discussion of Refrigerators  (Read 14291 times)

Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2012, 11:01:22 AM »
A year and a half later, I am finally close to getting that old fridge up and running for cheesemaking (in the meantime, it has kept plenty of beer cold).  We'll see if the $30 on the fridge and $60 on the gaskets was worth it.
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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2012, 10:19:21 AM »
I've got the new gaskets on, and they fit great, but I'm having issues.

The temperature seems to be highly variable.

The humidity, however, seems to be consistent -- consistently low, or equal to the current humidity (the fridge is in my garage, outside).

I've placed water, and water-soaked towels in the fridge, but have not seen a change.  Also, I do have internal coils that produce condensation.

Logically, I think that the gasket is not tight, which is difficult to troubleshoot.  I might "vaseline" it to create a seal and see what happens (I don't have a good light to test with, right now).

One other thing -- there's condensation on the outside, right between the fridge door and the freezer door -- where the largest amount of rust had been before.  I can't determine what is causing that -- either the freezer or fridge.  That will need to be remedied.

Sigh -- I thought I was done!  I can't make cheeses if I can't get this sealed well!
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2012, 10:38:17 AM »
First off...I would think that area where you have condensation on the outside is a prime suspect area for your seal problem....try vaselining the seals in that area and see if it clears up.
Second...if you keep your cheeses in containers your humidity problem will probably not be a problem PLUS ...the more cheeses you have in your fridge the higher the RH will be anyway....I noticed with mine that when I first got it and ran some checks that the humidity was incredibly low. Now I find it considerably higher since I have just about filled it with cheeses, even though most are in some kind of container or other...not to mention once I got my temp inside up to 50F there was also a resulting increase in RH...running at the normal mid-high 30s I believe tends to reduce humidity specially if there is no input of moisture.
There are some ways using containers with water or draped wet cloths that you can increase humidity also.

Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2012, 12:34:56 PM »
I'm going to try with the vaseline tonight; first on one gasket, then the other if it continues.

I'm going to begin my aging cheeses with ones that I need to seal, anyway, but perhaps the containers are a good temporary solution until I can get the entire fridge humidified.
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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2012, 10:21:55 PM »
I think I figured out my problem.

This is the temp/humidity gauge I am using:
http://www.acurite.com/weather/humidity/acurite-digital-indoor-outdoor-thermometer-with-humidity-clock-silver-00891a2.html

Indoor/outdoor temp and humidity -- except that the humidity is for inside, not outside.  So now I'm quite confident that my fridge is more than humid enough -- I have water droplets forming on the ceiling.
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2012, 07:48:41 AM »
The same company makes a unit that has outdoor humidity sensor. That's what I have in my cave.  I haven't calibrated it yet, but it seems to be in the ballpark.  We don't need 1% accuracy for this task.  http://www.walmart.com/ip/Accurite-Large-Digital-Wireless-Thermometer/16888918 

Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #51 on: September 13, 2012, 11:31:06 AM »
The same company makes a unit that has outdoor humidity sensor. That's what I have in my cave.  I haven't calibrated it yet, but it seems to be in the ballpark.  We don't need 1% accuracy for this task.  http://www.walmart.com/ip/Accurite-Large-Digital-Wireless-Thermometer/16888918


I stuck the entire thing in the fridge today, and will check when I get back -- but I saw that last night, and will be buying it.

There's condensation around the vaseline.  At this point, I'm going to chalk it up to poor design.  This is where the majority of the rust had been; I'm guessing that this section, right between the freezer and fridge, is poorly insulated, causing the metal to cool off.  I believe the seals are effective, and that as long as it doesn't rust, I'll move on.
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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2012, 10:10:43 AM »
The same company makes a unit that has outdoor humidity sensor. That's what I have in my cave.  I haven't calibrated it yet, but it seems to be in the ballpark.  We don't need 1% accuracy for this task.  http://www.walmart.com/ip/Accurite-Large-Digital-Wireless-Thermometer/16888918


I stuck the entire thing in the fridge today, and will check when I get back -- but I saw that last night, and will be buying it.

There's condensation around the vaseline.  At this point, I'm going to chalk it up to poor design.  This is where the majority of the rust had been; I'm guessing that this section, right between the freezer and fridge, is poorly insulated, causing the metal to cool off.  I believe the seals are effective, and that as long as it doesn't rust, I'll move on.


Everything has gone great.  The vaseline has helped the seal.  The humidity has actually dropped, without a container of water in it, which is great because this means I can actually manage it.  I've now got the Johnson Controls switch in, set at 55 ( as I just got some wine in).
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2012, 12:39:35 PM »
I used a small freezer, 6.9 cu ft, with the coils running under each shelf and the humidity seems to be perfect ranging between 85% and 90% without any other equipment.  Humidity condenses on the coils but at 56 degrees can't freeze.  I have plastic racks under the bamboo mats to raise the cheese off of the shelves.

Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2013, 10:39:46 AM »
Finally, my cheese cave is complete.  I've written about it in this thread before, but I'll sum it up. 

The local drugstore was moving, and selling its fixtures.  I was hoping to get one of those drink fridges for cheap, but they were still $2000+.  In the back, though, I found this old fridge for $30:
-- that inside is cleaned up, too, from when I got it.

Since I couldn't figure out the model -- just that it was late 70s from Sears -- I learned a lot about gaskets, and ordered one online (from http://www.barefrigeration.com).  I took blue door panel off, removed that awful rusted gasket, cleaned thoroughly, and screwed on the new one.  After scrubbing the rust off of the fridge, I sealed it with a can of paint specifically used for resealing fridges.

(Blurry!)


Since this is a wine and cheese fridge, and I have about 36 bottles in there now, the two shelves weren't sufficient -- for spacing, or security.  I don't need bottles dropping off.  I got lucky, and this Sterilite 5-drawer unit fit like a glove.  It will make sectioning off areas a breeze:





Finally, done! 
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Discussion of Refrigerators
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2013, 11:23:58 AM »
That insert is really cool!!  You really lucked out finding one that fit that well.  Great job!!