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.
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.
On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:39:26 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
On 4/11/2014 12:39 PM, email@example.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
Is the unit self defrosting, or does it have
tubes in the shelves?
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.
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.
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.
Antenna wire? Not on the remote units for the indoor outdoor thermometers
This guy added an antenna to his...
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
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.
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
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.