Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Epic Beer Fridge Goodness/ Chigo Wine Cellar Review

This is a not a beer review but a story of marital problems with a real happy ending. On April 14, 2010, the Misses declared that all beer must be removed from the second fridge. If this ultimatum was not followed, there would be dire consequences. I never said the marital problems were very serious. Perfect, where can I cellar my beers. The fridge was a little too cold (3-5C) and my basement is prone to temperature increases. What about a wine cellar? This is where the review begins. The best website for beer cellaring is The Brew Basement. It does not get many updates, but the basic information is good. Lovegoodbeer also has a small helpful section.

Costco.ca is a great place to pick up a wine cellar. They often go on sale and delivery is free. A Chigo 96 bottle wine cellar was ordered to ensure marital bliss. I picked it up for $750. It arrived in a few weeks and the delivery guys are only told to deliver it to the front door. After some nice talk, they allowed me to remove the fridge from its bullet-proof cardboard box and helped me put it in my office. "We are not responsible for any damages past this point.", they said. Fair enough, no damage occurred.

Now comes the hard part. Beer is meant to be stored upright, wine is meant to be stored lying down. This means the shelves are very tight. No problem, all the sliding shelves are adjustable. I set the lowest height for standard 350ml, second shelf 650ml bombers and third shelf for big magnums. Pick the tallest bottle from each category as a marker to determine shelf height. I learned, the hard way, that not all 350ml bottles are the same height. The little metal tabs on the shelves had to be pried apart to make them fit into other mounting points. Not a big deal, a flat screwdriver and some muscle power fixed that. This left two narrow shelves; one for aging wine and the other for aging good chocolate. This was the Misses' idea. A good idea would be to find some sort of a thin grating to line the shelves. Sometimes the bottles fall over because they do not sit properly on the wooden slats.

About the fridge. It looks great, but the dual zone temperature control is crap. The temperature on the readout is not what is actually occurring within the fridge. Pick up a cheap digital thermometer from Ebay to confirm actual temperature. With a temperature settings at their lowest, the range is between 12C at bottom and 17C at the top. This is perfect for aging beer, wine and chocolate. The unit is quiet and looks very nice. You might also want to leave a spot for a few beer glasses. The glass door does not in any UV light.

Now for the beer porn.

3 comments:

Addy said...

do you shop at Point Grey beer and wine? on broadway

Dan said...

Awesome solution left4. I'm mulling over the same problem. I have secured a homebrew area in the new house, but it will be on the warm side and completely unsuitable for storage. I was going to buy a chiller and crank it to 8degrees or so, but I might look into your idea too.

Oh, and unless you've already had it, I'd drink that double double now. Any more mellowing out and it'll taste like not very much at all. I found it a bit tame and unassertive fresh. But you never know...

Flavius said...

Dan. I plan to hit the Double Double soon. I have a buddy in Sask that confirms that it does not age well, but at 10% its a big challenge