I hate it when people steal my ideas before I think of them. This is definitely something I would have come up with given more time, ingenuity, and a Cool Bot. Anyone who’s been to our place lately has seen herbs hanging from the wall, bowls of garden produce ‘aging’ by the window, mason jars of sprouts on the counter and countless fermentation projects forever changing the delicate bouquet of the house beyond even what the dogs have managed to do.
What’s really missing is a Cheese Cave. We’ve clearly needed a Cheese Cave to let our beer, kimchi, cheese and veggies ferment and age more slowly but I haven’t seen any ideas as practical as the one in this video, where they’ve converted a walk-in closet to a walk-in cooler. I have a small, retired office fridge in the garage that we’re planning to gut to make into a lagering cabinet, but the size will probably limit us to racking a standard 5 gallon carboy. The benefit of my smaller project is that I can power it with a spare set of solar panels that we already have.
The ‘Cool Bot’ shown in the video is from Store it Cold. The web site has some great tips for building your own walk-in cooler and says that this setup using a newer Energy Star compliant, window type AC will get much better energy performance than an old-school walk-in cooler. Of course for anyone adding this to your house that is not replacing a walk-in, plan to have your electric bill increase. We used a new window AC several years ago and it definitely increased our bill. If you’ve already done a project like this, please post and let us know what the energy consumption looks like in the real world. As a bonus, this project looks like even a small closet conversion would be enough to offer space to your neighbors for some short term home brew lagering or fresh egg storage. Remember that part of the SustainHillbillity credo is involving your neighbors.