"Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion - The Perfect Man Cave
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:14 PM
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Default "Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion

Well, it begins!

This arrived today.



I have 2 pounds of Heartfelt Beads for it, and have interior drawers and shelves made in Spanish ceder on order, and I'm amassing a shit-ton of cigars. The drawers look something like this, although configurations vary tremendously ...



My configuration will have one of the big drawers at the bottom, 3 of the medium drawers, none of the skinny drawers, and an extra shelf. That way I can go with either 4-drawers/2-shelves or 3-drawer/3-shelves depending on how many boxes I am aging versus loose cigars in the drawers.

For those who might like to do this a little cheaper, you can simply buy Spanish cedar trays and outfit it like this.



I'll post updates on the project as it progresses, but if you are interested in the process see these links:

Wine Cooler 101 | BOTL Brothers of the Leaf® Cigar Forums

Wineadors: Convert a Wine Cooler into a Humidor | NewAir.com Blog
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: "Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion

find the drain plug and make sure its in.

T
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:07 AM
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I was totally going to do this with my parents old wine fridge but they junked it before i could get it
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: "Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion

OK, I'm making a little progress. I have the beads distributed throughout the cooler along with a few boveda packs and it's stable now at 65%. Cooler will keep it between 54-66*, and 66* is about ideal. One problem with these, however, is if the power goes out and comes back on, they are programmed to go to 54*, which is too cool. There are complicated solutions with temperature controllers and probes, which would normally appeal to my Rube Goldberg side, but in this case, I wanted simple. Simpler is better. So I ordered this off Amazon.

Tower Manufacturing 30334007-08 15 amp Right Angle GFCI Male Plug And 9 Scientific


It is a GFCI plug, but this one is manual reset, which means if the power goes out and comes back on, this won't pass power through until I reset it. So I will leave the cooler going at 66* and if power goes out while I am gone, the cooler will remain off until I get home to reset it.

Here it is with the wire racks and some of my stash.



Ignore the fat guy in the reflection. My drawers are 4 months away, but I have some trays coming. In the meantime I'm freezing my collection to kill any beetle eggs.

I know some of you think its not needed, but there are two schools of thought here. One are the folks who have not had beetles and they scoff at the possibility. Those who have ...



Well, better to freeze and not have needed to than to not freeze and see this one day. I've gone bat-shit crazy on cigars lately, well over one large, and I'm being careful. Good thread on beetles and freezing here.

How to Freeze and the Science behind it. Long Post - Cigar Asylum Cigar Forum

I'm putting the cigars (or boxes) in gallon and two gallon freezer bags, sucking the air out of them and freezing for 48 hours at 0*. I should never have an issue in my wineador. I don't bother with the smoking stash in my desk top humidors, but the wineador is for aging the good stuff and I'm going to be careful.

Since I'm not going to be putting in fans, either (not really needed), I guess the next update will be when the trays get here. Then nothing until my furniture arrives.

@T v2.0 -- thanks for the review on the HC Colorados, very nice. For the price, I got two boxes. They're worth well over the $3/stick I paid for them.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: "Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion

Call me silly, but this is new to me that you used the cooler function of the wine fridge to also keep the sticks cool at 66*, which I'm curious as to that number, but whatever. Different discussion.
I thought you were simply buying it as a 'box' per say that was sealed / air tight to keep / control humidity. Not to do both.
And, it's got a purdy glass door so you can jack your rod to your well spent money!

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Old 07-10-2015, 08:07 AM
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Default Re: "Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion

Many folks don't use the cooler function. But the tobacco beetle tends to get active anywhere over 75*, apparently. If your gars are at 80* and above 70% RH for a length of time your chance of having a beetle problem skyrocket from what I've read. The old rule of thumb was 70* @ 70% RH, and that's probably still good. I've always thought, for years, that my sticks smoke better at 65% RH and from what I'm reading now that I'm back into cigars, that tends to be the new "standard", if there is such a thing. So think 70* @ 65% RH, right?

Well, some folks, especially those who age sticks, think 65* is ideal, in fact 65* @ 65% RH. I don't think it matters all that much, anything temp or RH between 65-70 is probably good. At home in Philly, I would not even turn the thing on at all because the family has to have the house never above 72* at any time, so just using it because it looks nice and has a great seal is fine.

OTOH, in Chicago, I frequently leave my windows open up to 80*, and on hotter days, when I leave to go to work, I crank the A/C up to 75*. So I use the cooler function set at 66* with that GFCI plug. Another reason you might use the cooler function is if you were going through an extended power outage after a storm, several days, and your A/C was out.

So, basically, I do not see any cigar peeps saying, "Hey, you gotta have this nice wine cooler for your cigars to keep them properly!" Not at all. A standard humidor or a coolidor in the basement are fine. The wine cooler is, as you say, just a pretty accoutrement, and it can be left unplugged, it's just a large, glass front humidor, and if you've priced big humidors lately, it's also much cheaper than a humidor that size.

Bottom line, most probably use it without plugging it in. I'll keep it running in Chicago, but won't when I get back to Philly. Using the cooler function is totally dependent on the environment in which you keep the thing. Often (usually) unnecessary.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: "Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion

Interesting. I knew the issue with the beetles and those that freeze them to get rid of any chance of them and then 'restoring' from the freeze, but didn't know the thought process on the temp/rh numbers. Have seen the threads on BOTL but never really paid much attention to them. Good education. Thanks.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: "Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion

when you want to buy a 2nd wine cooler for cubans, you let me know, I gotta guy or 2. One dude is local, with a shitload of hard to find, aged cubans.

Other dude is Hans from the Netherlands.

I also have about 4# of kitty litter in a bag in the basement you coulda had. Shit works great, but better for an application such as this, vs my smaller desktop humi's.

T
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: "Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion

After what I've spent I'm not ready to start tasting Cubans yet. Frankly, my limited experience with them has been less than stellar, anyway. And the value proposition for them is ridiculous. I'll try them when they end up in the local B&Ms and online shops, but I'm not going out of my way to find any until then.

I finally got my setup more or less finished. The last batch of cigars for aging is in the freezer now, I took the outer wrapper off the cedar boxes in the wineador and spritzed my beads with DW again, and will let that stabilize for 48 hours. My cedar trays should be here soon and I will introduce them one at a time to the wineador, spritzing the beads and giving each a week or more to stabilize. I've found the key to this is to be patient and keep the RH 5% above where you want it to settle for at least a week when you introduce something like a new cedar tray.

Sooo. Here are the humis



The bottom one is for my sampler sticks, sticks folks have sent me, or singles I picked up here and there to try. There are likely about 60 sticks in there, some singles, some doubles, a triple or two, so probably about 35-40 different sticks.

The one in the middle is for daily smokers, I have about a box and a half of the Joya Reds and about 10 of the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Natural Epicures in there and I'll put a few maduros in there, too, when that box comes out of the freezer. I'll be smoking primarily out of these two humis most of the time.

The little humi on top is for my infused cigars. I got a sampler tin of the Acids, and they went in there, so that is likely my infused cigar humi for life, I don't think I could change it back, and I usually have at least a handful of infused around, though I don't smoke them often. It was a cheap freebie humi with a cigar special from years ago, but it works. Bovedas in all these.

The wineador is for aging, so I won't be going in there much except to pull a stick out to sample as they age. That's my 'system' for now. I think it works. @T, yes I've read about the kitty litter, and I'm sure it works, but I have heard it take a larger volume of them than the special purpose beads, by as much as 50% or even double. It's silica so I'm sure it works, but the beads are more efficient, volume-wise, I like the 'calibration' the do with salts, and since it's a lifetime purchase, I didn't GAF about the price. If it's good enough for museums, it's good enough for my wineador. I can't say anything bad about the KL (enough praise for it on the web, that's for sure), but fuck it. For the $1,000+ of cigars I'll have in there I wanted beads, pure and simple. I just wanted them.

And I'm not going to work my way up to a second wineador. I put all the cigar emails in my spam filter for a while so I'm not tempted, and much of what I buy will go in the humidors. But IF I start collecting more, I'll go to a coolidor next, keep it in the basement. No need for two fancy dealies like the wineador, like Quads said, it's primarily a pride of ownership, cool looking display thing. It's no 'better' than a coolidor for its intended purpose.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: "Wineador" -- Wine cooler to cigar humidor conversion

Progress pic July 19

The thing is pretty much stable now, holding 67% RH near the top and 65% near the bottom according to my two calibrated and matched hygrometers. I wanted to get a couple of spanish cedar trays, though, while waiting another 4 months for my fancy drawers, just because it is so crowded. Some of the fancier boxes simply take up too much room.

Boxes arrived, and since the wineador is now stable, I decided to acclimate these outside the wineador. They fit perfectly in a 2 gallon freezer ziplock and I tossed them in there with a couple of 84% bovedas, each. Dampening the wood direcly with a sponge with DW, while a very common practice, is not recommended. I'll let them sit in those bags for a full 2 weeks, then move them to the wineador.

My apartment is usually about 75* during the day and the wineador is keeping a steady 66*, so the fan goes on every now and then. I don't feel the need for additional fans, the 2* difference in RH from top to bottom is not material enough to warrant any attention, IMO. My OCD is not so bad that I feel the need to mess with that.

And I gotta stop buying cigars. I literally have no more room, in fact a box and 5 singles are in a ziplock back with a boveda now because I can't get them in there until I get the trays in action. Another good reason to freeze everything first, I don't worry now about storing them at 75 or even 80*, because I know they are sterile.

Interesting story, at Syklopz's bday outing yesterday a buddy of his I met at the Red Lion said an antique furniture dealer by him has a walk-in meat freezer at his place. Reason? He once sold a piece of furniture that introduced bed bugs to a customer's house. Now he freezes every piece of furniture he finds in the meat freezer before delivery.

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