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jmacnaughtan

Keeping bottles stable

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Hi everyone.  

 

I have a rather bourgeois problem, and wonder if anyone else has found a cheap (or free) way of solving it.

 

Like many people in the city, I don't trust the security of my cellar downstairs, so my wines are currently sitting in a Climadiff 120 bottle electric wine cellar, in my living room.  This works great.  However, the cave has only two shelves plus the base, and to reach that capacity I need to stack the bottles - and this is where the problem arises.  Every time I open the door, I live in fear of an avalanche.

 

I've tried using cardboard dividers from wine boxes, but they take up a lot of space and I'm worried about the smell affecting my wine.

 

So, does anyone know of any way of keeping the bottles in place, while not taking up a lot of space and not affecting the wine?

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This is a classic problem in off-site storage locations. Many, many people (including many professional offsite storage warehouses) store in cardboard boxes without issue. However, many small wine coolers have an issue with humidity control. I'm not familiar with Climadiff but one of my cabinets of a similar size has a persistent mold problem near the condensation collection area. That could quickly get out of hand with cardboard in the cooler.

 

The best solution that I've heard of (short of sourcing additional shelves for your unit) is to cut to length sections of PVC pipe with a diameter large enough to fit a wine bottle inside the tube and stack them inside your cooler. They will be very stable and inert so won't smell, get moldy, etc. and it makes accessing any particular bottle very easy. It will, however, seriously reduce your total storage capacity (as you've noted with the cardboard dividers).

 

The only other issue that I would point out is that with any similar solution you'll likely want to leave some space at the front or back of the cooler (don't cut the tubes to the exact depth of the cooler) to allow for air circulation. Without proper circulation, temps in the cooler can diverge significantly from top to bottom.

 

Eric


Edited by EMichels (log)
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It'll cut back on capacity, but I see that slider rails are available as an accessory. Can you also install additional shelves?

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Try getting some of the stuff people use to keep rugs in place.  You can lay it on the shelf bottom surface, then drape some on top of bottles which are supporting other bottles. The same stuff is also sold as a shelf liner for glassware. It's a foam (maybe?) mesh found at hardware stores that's flexible like fabric and thin. I use it all sorts of places where I do not want things to move around. (like under a cutting board, inside my toolbox, inside my box small cookie cutters, etc.)  The rug version is available in larger sizes, but costs more per square foot. Occasionally, this stuff shows up at the dollar store.

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12 hours ago, EMichels said:

The only other issue that I would point out is that with any similar solution you'll likely want to leave some space at the front or back of the cooler (don't cut the tubes to the exact depth of the cooler) to allow for air circulation. Without proper circulation, temps in the cooler can diverge significantly from top to bottom.

 

Good advice.  This is another thing I need to sort out, but preferably when I've got the stability issue resolved - there's only so many times I can bring myself to empty and restock the cave.

 

12 hours ago, Alex said:

It'll cut back on capacity, but I see that slider rails are available as an accessory. Can you also install additional shelves?

 

I've looked at that, but I'd like to keep as much capacity as possible and they are quite expensive.  In hindsight, I probably should have bought a larger cellar...

 

10 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

Try getting some of the stuff people use to keep rugs in place.  You can lay it on the shelf bottom surface, then drape some on top of bottles which are supporting other bottles. The same stuff is also sold as a shelf liner for glassware. It's a foam (maybe?) mesh found at hardware stores that's flexible like fabric and thin. I use it all sorts of places where I do not want things to move around. (like under a cutting board, inside my toolbox, inside my box small cookie cutters, etc.)  The rug version is available in larger sizes, but costs more per square foot. Occasionally, this stuff shows up at the dollar store.

 

I like this idea.  Do you know if it's inert?  If it's fabric-based, it may suffer the same problems as cardboard.  Something like this would be a good solution, especially as many of my bottles are unusual shapes and size (Alsace, magnum, jeroboam, etc.) and don't always fit comfortably in traditional racks.

 

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16 hours ago, jmacnaughtan said:

Climadiff 120 bottle electric wine cellar, in my living room.  This works great.  However, the cave has only two shelves plus the base, and to reach that capacity I need to stack the bottles - and this is where the problem arises.  Every time I open the door, I live in fear of an avalanche.

 

I think it is an electronic refrigerator, not an electric one. There is no moving parts except cooling fans.

You can tilt the refrigerator backwards a few degrees so nothing falls out.

Or if you are not a believer of storing wines horizontally, lay the refrigerator horizontally and store the wines vertically.

 

dcarch

 

 

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13 hours ago, jmacnaughtan said:

I like this idea.  Do you know if it's inert?  If it's fabric-based, it may suffer the same problems as cardboard.  Something like this would be a good solution, especially as many of my bottles are unusual shapes and size (Alsace, magnum, jeroboam, etc.) and don't always fit comfortably in traditional racks.

 

 

We buy this stuff at our grocery store in 12" x 60" rolls. (Look in the cleaning supplies section.) As Lisa said, it's useful for keeping cutting boards and bowls from slipping. It's not fabric-based (it's some sort of synthetic, soft, rubber-like material). It handles moisture pretty well, but it's not entirely impervious to mildew. (What is? This is better than cardboard by miles, though.)

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It's really dry in AZ and I have only used the stuff outside of the fridge, but it seems pretty inert. Yeah, it's some kind of foam or rubber or something. On the plus side, I have had some under a rug for about 7 years now and it has not broken down. I have run small amounts of it through the clothes washer, too. You could do that a couple of times a year with bleach to sanitize.

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20 hours ago, dcarch said:

 

I think it is an electronic refrigerator, not an electric one. There is no moving parts except cooling fans.

You can tilt the refrigerator backwards a few degrees so nothing falls out.

Or if you are not a believer of storing wines horizontally, lay the refrigerator horizontally and store the wines vertically.

 

 

I'm unsure of your point concerning electric and electronic.  Never mind.

Tilting it backwards would, unfortunately, choke off the air circulation at the back of the cellar.  

And I dislike storing wines vertically.  I also think having a wine cellar laying on its side would be cumbersome and look awful.

 

10 hours ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

We buy this stuff at our grocery store in 12" x 60" rolls. (Look in the cleaning supplies section.) As Lisa said, it's useful for keeping cutting boards and bowls from slipping. It's not fabric-based (it's some sort of synthetic, soft, rubber-like material). It handles moisture pretty well, but it's not entirely impervious to mildew. (What is? This is better than cardboard by miles, though.)

 

4 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

It's really dry in AZ and I have only used the stuff outside of the fridge, but it seems pretty inert. Yeah, it's some kind of foam or rubber or something. On the plus side, I have had some under a rug for about 7 years now and it has not broken down. I have run small amounts of it through the clothes washer, too. You could do that a couple of times a year with bleach to sanitize.

 

That's good to hear - I've got a friend who has recently redone their floor with fairly heavy duty lining, so I may be able to get some for free.  Have you noticed that it has any particular odour?

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5 hours ago, jmacnaughtan said:

I'm unsure of your point concerning electric and electronic.  Never mind.

It's a little complicated, but I will explain. An electric mechanical compression motor is designed to operate vertically. It may have valves, interior refrigerant drain paths and thrust motor bearings which  should be operated only in their designed position. An electronic one, OTOH, has no moving parts. It uses a noiseless Peltier junction thermal electronic device to "pump" BTUs.

 

5 hours ago, jmacnaughtan said:

Tilting it backwards would, unfortunately, choke off the air circulation at the back of the cellar.  

 

All you need is to tile it about  two or three degrees to counteract gravity. It will not have any impact on anything. You refrigerator may have adjustable leveling legs to do that.

You can also get silicone bake sheets to separate the bottles. Will look much better than cardboard. They don't rot and dishwasher safe.

If you are in Paris, do take a look at earthquake risks in your zone and make appropriate preparations. 

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)

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20 hours ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

We buy this stuff at our grocery store in 12" x 60" rolls. (Look in the cleaning supplies section.) As Lisa said, it's useful for keeping cutting boards and bowls from slipping. It's not fabric-based (it's some sort of synthetic, soft, rubber-like material). It handles moisture pretty well, but it's not entirely impervious to mildew. (What is? This is better than cardboard by miles, though.)

There are actually a couple of different versions. We like the thicker one especially for cutting boards, because even if your board is slightly warped or cupped, you still get good contact. It's a thicker version of the non–heavy duty version. A little bit of cushioning wouldn't be a bad thing for bottles, either.

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I have not noticed a smell, but, I do not think it's used with permanent flooring. It's sold to go underneath rugs, in particular, rugs which sit on top of hard, slippery flooring and would move around otherwise. It's not designed as padding so much as it's a non-skid device. (although it does provide a little padding) It's just a couple millimeters thick, with some variation between manufacturers.

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Boating supply stores have many non-slip solutions.

 

dcarch

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