convert freezer to refrigerator questions

I have an upright Gibson freezer and would like to convert it to a refrigerator. I am going to start making cheese and need a "Cheese Cave". I need to maintain a temp in low 50's to 55 and humidity of 80%. I guess i need some kind of controller for the temp? I think I can control the humidity with open containers of water. The freezer will be in the basement so it would be nice if I can have a way to read temp and humidity without going into basement. any advise appreciated.
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This guy did it to a GE chest freezer. I assume it would be very similar with a Gibson.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NdmkGIGPXU8

As far as remote monitoring, there are lots of indoor-outdoor thermometers available that will also give the humidity.
Here's just one example.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
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I just thought of something that might be an issue.
The remote sensor for the thermometer I linked to may not be able to transmit through the case of the freezer. You may need to find something with a probe. Taylor makes cooking thermometers with a probe, cable and remote receiver. (I have one for grilling) However, they don't measure humidity. You'll need a probe or probes that do both.
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On 4/11/2014 10:40 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

antenna wire thru the case
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:39:26 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ourgang.com wrote:

Well, you can buy a refrigerator thermostat. I had to replace mine and I think it was between 10 and 20 dollars.

Don't ever go into the basement. I knew someone who was overcome by the smell of cheese and missed two weeks of work before the boss sent the police to look for him. He had mold all over his face and hands, but after therapy, he was okay.

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On 4/11/2014 5:10 PM, micky wrote:

That must have been painful, being soaked in Clorox, and having his skin scraped off. That mycotherapy is really wicked. We could use it for Gitmo torture, it's that bad.
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Buckwheat:
While you CAN put a fridge thermostat into a freezer the difficulty arises in maintaining that 80% humidity level.
You see, in a regular fridge, the humidity of the air is extremely low because the air inside the fridge regularily passes over the evaporator coils, which in a healthy fridge are very very cold. So, the air passing over a -60 deg. F evaporator coil is going to leave with a humidity of 100% humidity at -60 degrees F. That humidity is much lower than 100% humidity at 34 to 38 degrees F. So, almost all of the humidity in that air forms frost on those evaporator coils, and it's that removal of humidity from the air that allows the evaporator coils to go without having to be defrosted but only once every day or there abouts.
If you're going to be putting open containers of water in your upright freezer, then your evaporator coils are going to be continually caking up with frost, and you'll be continuously refilling those open containers with water. This is problematic because the surface area of an evaporator coil caked up with frost is far smaller than the surface area of the evaporator coil fins, and the result is that the fridge will warm up for lack of sufficient heat transfer from the freezer air into the refrigerant.
I think what you should do is Google "Cheese Making" and see what other people have done to create the right conditions for the bacteria to thrive.
I see your plan of using an upright freezer to provide the right conditions for bacterial growth as fatally flawed. The very way a refrigeration cycle works causes it to remove humidity from the air, and that's the downfall.
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On Friday, April 11, 2014 5:48:08 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:

IDK on what basis you can conclude that the humidity is going to be 100% leaving the evaporator. Not that it matters that much.
That humidity is much lower

But he's not keeping it at freezer temps, he's keeping it at 50F. The evaporator coils will be constantly defrosting themselves. The coils will get cold for a short time, only long enough to drop the temp of the unit back to 50F, then turn off. They will then warm up and melt. Its going to have a very short on duty cycle compared to it's off time. The real problem I see there is that he may need some way of getting rid of the condensate, as the freezer system may not be able to handle it.

I agree that whether he can maintain 80% is a good question. The thing in his favor is that he's doing it at 50-55F, in which case, it might work, depending on where it's located. If it's in a 65F basement, it's hardly going to run at all, so it can't take out much water. If it's in a 90F garage, ie running a lot more, then it probably won't work for the reason you outline.
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one other factor is the temperature in my basement is about 60 in the summer and winter is 50 or lower.
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On 4/11/2014 12:39 PM, snipped-for-privacy@ourgang.com wrote:

Should be able to change the temp range by using a thermostat (cold control) out of a refrigerator. As to humidity, I'm not much help. I'm not sure how performance will be affected, running different temp range. Different duty cycle, for sure.
Is the unit self defrosting, or does it have tubes in the shelves?
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no it is not self defrosting
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You might have water collecting and too much humidity.
Greg
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trader_4;3221641 Wrote:

Well, imagine the air isn't moving. If you have room temperature air, and you cool that air down to -60 deg F, then at some point during the cooling process you'll go below the dew point and moisture will precipitate out of that air. From then on, as you continue cooling the air, moisture will precipitate out of the air and the air will remain at a relative humidity of 100%.

No, the cold control in a fridge works just like the thermostat in an oven. It doesn't shut the compressor down when the set temperature is reached because then, the fridge will be spending all of it's time ABOVE that set temperature. When you set an oven to 350 deg. F, the oven bake and/or broil elements don't shut off at 350 deg. F. Typically with the old oil filled capillaries, the oven bake and broil elements will shut off at 362 deg F and go back on again at about 338 deg F so that you have a 25 degree hysterisis that gives you an AVERAGE temperature of 350 deg. F.
A fridge's cold control will do the same thing, but I'm just not sure of the temperature range. But, suffice it to say that there's a hysterisis built into cold controls to control the temperature so that the AVERAGE temperature over time is the set temperature.
The OP said it's NOT a self defrosting freezer. So, with open containers of water in that freezer, his evaporator coils are going to get caked up with frost and he's going to be spending several hours every 2nd or 3rd day defrosting the evaporator. It's going to be just like the old manual defrost fridges, only with the frost accumulating on the evaporator very much faster, which is why I'm saying the use of a freezer to provide a cool humid environment won't work. A freezer will only provide a cool dry environment.
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On Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:46:34 AM UTC-4, nestork wrote:

But the air *is* moving across the evaporator.
If you have room temperature air,

Sure if it's air that's just sitting around and it has time to reach a steady state. But this air is moving past the chilled coils. If you applied your reasoning to a home central AC system, then the air that's leaving the unit at about 55F should be 100% humidity. Do the math. If that air was indeed 100% humidity, even when it warmed up inside the house, the humidity would still be way too high to be comfortable. It's not going to go from 100% to 40% or 50%, ie a comfortable range, by just warming up 15F.

No what?
It doesn't shut the compressor down when the set temperature is

Which is irrelevant. If I set my fridge and freezer at say 37F/0F, it stays pretty damn close to those numbers, when the door is left closed. So what if it goes up or down 2 or 3 degrees? It doesn't change the fact that to maintain 55F inside, a fridge isn't going to run much at all, unless it's in a garage or someplace where it's 90F. Put it in a house where it's 70F or a basement where it's 65F and it's not going to run enough to keep the coils frozen. It will run for a few minutes, shut off, and any ice on the coils is going to have a long time to melt at 55F.

And the range is pretty tight too. A fridge set at 37F, with the door closed, isn't going from 45 to 29F. To maintain 55F, it's going to run for a few minutes and shut off.

Where did he say that?
So, with open

But it's *not* a freezer, because he's running it to maintain 50 - 55F. Good grief.
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Antenna wire? Not on the remote units for the indoor outdoor thermometers I've used.
This guy added an antenna to his...
http://www.instructables.com/id/Increasing-the-Range-of-a-Wireless-BBQ-Thermometer/
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The OP said it's NOT a self defrosting freezer. trader_4;3221902 Wrote:

Top right corner of every post in a thread will have a Post Number.
Read post #8 on page 1 of this thread.
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On Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:58:47 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:

OK, I see where he said it's not self-defrosting. Of course it doesn't matter, because at 50 - 55F, it is going to be self-defrosting whether designed that way or not.
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trader_4;3222027 Wrote:

Well, I doubt if any refrigerator cold control will allow a temperature as high as 50 deg. F., but regardless of what temperature the cold control is set at, the compressor is still going to operate the same way.
That is, whenever the compressor starts running, the evaporation of the refrigerant in the evaporator coils is still going to cause the temperature of the evaporator coils to drop down to -60 deg. F (say). The temperature of the evaporator coils is unaffected by the set temperature of the cold control. Raising the temperature of the cold control only means that the compressor runs less often. But, when it runs, it runs the same way it would if the cold control was set to a much lower temperature. So, I'm thinking the evaporator coils are still going to get caked up with frost.
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On 4/13/2014 1:22 PM, nestork wrote:

And during off cycles, the 50 degree air in the box will thaw the evaporator.
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On Sunday, April 13, 2014 1:22:53 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:

He doesn't have to use a refrigerator cold control. Isn't that why he's here asking what to use to convert a freezzer into a 50 -55F environment?
but regardless of what temperature the cold

Maybe they would eventually, if it ran long enough. How long do you think the compressor needs to run to maintain 50F inside a closed freezer that's in a basement? About 5 mins an hour would probably do it. Whatever it is, there is going to be a lot of time for any ice that's formed to melt when the compressor is off, which it will be for long periods. It's 50F, not 0F.
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