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Cold storage room - the topic


Magictofu
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We recently bought a new house with a huge garden and plenty of basement space for a cold room. In fact, there is already a cellar in the house but it is on the main floor and requires an insane amount of energy to stay cool year round... so we are planning to transfer the whole thing to the basement in order to reclaim some living space on the main floor and save some energy. This way, we will also be able to build it to our own specification. Since we already have a compressor, it will have both a passive and an active cooling system (for extra safety).

Now it is time to design our cold storage room... we plan to use it for storing vegetables from the garden, jams and preserves, a few wine bottles and deal with the occasional fridge overflow. We were also thinking about dry-aging meat when buying whole or half carcass for the freezer from local farmers and to experiment with curing sausages, bacon and ham.

We want to make our cold cellar as efficient and polyvalent as possible and are looking for design suggestions.

If you want to share pictures of your own cellar / cold storage room, please do so... we might get inspired!

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  • 3 months later...

Bumping this topic

I bought Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike and Nancy Bubel. It is quite an interesting read but not necessarily what I had in mind.

So far my plans are as follow:

A medium sized room in the basement with 2 exterior walls and two heavilly insulated interior walls and ceilling.

One compressor to use only as back up for certain projects (e.g. ageing meat).

One hole to exterior for extra cold air in winter (I wish i could find a way to automatically open and close the trap according to temperature inside and outside the cold room).

3 walls full of shelves, one with a foldable table.

A few hooks to hang onions, garlic and charcuteries (occasionally).

The floor is quite uneven in that section of the house, I'm not too sure I want to fix it before building everything else. It used to be the furnace room.

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I have remodeled a lot of rooms and we have one cool room .start from the ceiling and work your way to the floor....floor last always in my rule book....sounds like a great plan you have there!!! I have no compressor it is just kind of a concrete room painted with a door built into our bluff in the basement...it maintains perfect temps for vegetables but not for meet

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I read Root Cellaring in my 20s.....if it is the same one ..you have a vintage book!!!!

ETA I just looked it is the same book ..still on my shelf ...

I am old!

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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One hole to exterior for extra cold air in winter (I wish i could find a way to automatically open and close the trap according to temperature inside and outside the cold room).

If you can find something like an electric roof vent (you would have to turn the fan around) then all you need is a digital thermostat with a temperature probe. I have a beer fridge in the garage that I use to ferment beer in Summer. I use the digital thermostat to keep the frig at the proper temps.

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I live in Louisiana and very few homes have basements. I have always wanted a root cellar and am envious of those of you who have them. There is something so old fashioned and romantic about them (in my mind). If anyone wants to post pics, I would love to drool over them.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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One hole to exterior for extra cold air in winter (I wish i could find a way to automatically open and close the trap according to temperature inside and outside the cold room).

If you can find something like an electric roof vent (you would have to turn the fan around) then all you need is a digital thermostat with a temperature probe. I have a beer fridge in the garage that I use to ferment beer in Summer. I use the digital thermostat to keep the frig at the proper temps.

JimH reminded me ..there is a roof vent with a fan and thermometer in the cool room ...the room is bone dry and pretty much stays a constant temp I keep the fan running most of the time to pull air out instead of in but it can be reversed if needed it is a very simple set up made with a dryer vent hose and a small fan scavenged from something else ..... so far year around it stays the same temp ..I think because it is built into the bluff and very well insulated by bedrock

not a speck of moisture in there.. and that can be good and bad because vegetables do kind of dehydrate if I do not use them up .. and that is strange considering I grew up in a place where all basements had dehumidifiers and sump pumps!

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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When I was a kid we had a cold room off the basement. Reading this thread reminded me of the way it smelled. I wish I could describe it - it would almost be worth building a root cellar so you could hang out and smell it.

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  • 6 months later...

My project has been put on hold because of other house related emergencies. However, by removing the old oil furnace, we now have a failry large space at the North East corner of the house just at the base of the stairs from the Kitchen above. Before proceeding however, we will need to redo the walls, add insulation and make sure everything works properly (we might have to redo a bit of the plumbing and electricity).

Right now, although it is not a "proper" cold room, it still contains potatoes, onions and winter squashes.

There's a very interesting article in the New York times on root cellars:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/garden/06root.html

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