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Hi All. Not sure if this is the right forum but here goes...  Question for those that have wine cellar cooling units. We had a 900 cubic foot wine cellar constructed when we finished our basement three years ago. The walls are insulated with R-20 (batt insulation plus 1" foam board) and the ceiling is R-30. The current capacity is 750 bottles but this can increase to ~1,100 if we add a second tier of racking. 

Until recently the budget did not allow for both building an inventory and purchasing a cellar cooling unit. Being in the basement, over the past 3 years the cellar temp had fluctuated between 57 degrees in the dead of winter to 65 degrees in the summer.  With around 500 bottles currently, most being reds from the Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions dating from 2009 to 2016, I thought it best to invest in a cooling unit to insure the wine didn't all peak early before we got around to drinking it. 

The plan was to either purchase a ducted unit or through-the-wall system but ended up with a ducted, Wine Guardian DS025 split system which was installed last week. As soon as it was turned on, it immediately reduced the room temp and, once the bottles had all reached the desired temp of 55 degrees, the system only runs for around 5 minutes, 10 times per day. 

Although we didn't have a cooling system prior, I did have a stand alone humidifier in the cellar prior to keep the humidity at 50% (controlled with a smart switch).  I though it would be best to include an integrated humidifier with the Wine Guardian unit since cooling inherently removes humidity from the air as it's cooled. 

The integrated humidifier is very similar to a whole house humidifier with water running down a pad which evaporates into the air being circulated.  However, the amount of water running out the bottom drain is much greater than my whole house humidifier by comparison.  For this reason, for now, I've left the old school humidifier in the cellar which is proving much more efficient.  I've also increased the temp to 57 degrees as the slightly higher temp improves the humidity level. 

Getting to the question... For those of you with a cooling system, how are you humidifying the cellar and what is your set temperature?  Also, do the "drink by" guides assume wine is properly stored at 55 degrees, 50% humidity? 

Original Post

I have a similar sized cold room which I converted into a wine cellar. It is well insulated and I keep it very cool with a modified heat pump system (50F). My humidity never dips below 50% with an open sump pump in the cellar.

You did well to install a system which will keep a constant temperature. The emphasis is on constant. The temperature you keep it at is not as important compared to fluctuations which can spoil your wines.

Drink by guides are really depending on personal preference. As for myself I like them well aged with tertiary notes and tend to exceed guidelines by quite a bit.

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