Finally a real cellar and it's green.

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Kenny H
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#1 Post by Kenny H » February 12th, 2016, 10:23 am

I've the fortunate opportunity to build from scratch, so the design of this space was something I spent some time pondering. It is nothing compared to the great majority of cellars around here, but the engineering involved and fact that I was able to make it completely passive is rewarding. I also did all of the design work, from mechanical work, to materials, to designing the rack (very simple rack).

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First off, this is in a basement. The exterior concrete walls are on the back and right sides. While the basement walls were all done in closed cell spray-foam, I chose to do NO insulation on these two walls. This provides cooling and humidity. To accommodate this I selected green board (moisture resistant gypsum board typical in bathrooms) for these walls, and continued throughout. The left wall and door wall are interior to conditioned spaces. I placed open cell spray foam in all stud cavities. The door is an exterior Therma-Tru door, simply re-tasked for the interior job. Now how else to keep it cool in the warmer season? Well, the entire house is radiant floor heat running on two geothermal heat pumps. We ran a bypass line for the loop in the floor of this room, meaning it doesn't receive heated water, it receives the 40-50*F water that returns from the well loops. The floor is engineered walnut, but glued directly to the concrete for more efficient conductivity. Oh, that light strip, LED of course! Later we will be popping some bottles as we celebrate taking them out of the boxes they have been in for two years.
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#2 Post by mattcitrang » February 12th, 2016, 10:30 am

Congratulations. Very nice. Enjoy. What is your estimated bottle capacity?

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#3 Post by Alan Eden » February 12th, 2016, 10:30 am

Nice

You plan on double stacking on those shelves ? what bottle capacity do you think
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#4 Post by Ken Strauss » February 12th, 2016, 10:31 am

Looks really nice!
How many bottles does it hold?
Have fun filling the shelves.
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#5 Post by Joe B » February 12th, 2016, 10:35 am

Looks great. Still working on mine.
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#6 Post by Todd F r e n c h » February 12th, 2016, 10:39 am

Wow, Kenny, great work!!! Aren't you so excited to have a basement, unlike out here??
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#7 Post by AlexO » February 12th, 2016, 10:44 am

Looks like if there are slots for about 450 bottles if single stacked and single deep. If you can go double deep or stack bottles within those racks, the volume goes way up!

Great work!
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#8 Post by ky1em!ttskus » February 12th, 2016, 10:50 am

That's it! I'm digging a basement under my SoCal house. ;)

Looks awesome.

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#9 Post by Warren Taranow » February 12th, 2016, 10:58 am

My mind said "Mmm, passive cellar" in Homer Simpson's voice
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#10 Post by Dennis Kanagie » February 12th, 2016, 11:03 am

Freakin' awesome! The cooling system in the floor is genius. Although that would technically not be passive, it's very efficient use of your existing system. [cheers.gif]
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#11 Post by Larry P » February 12th, 2016, 11:17 am

Looks excellent Kenny!
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#12 Post by Jorge Henriquez » February 12th, 2016, 11:24 am

Dennis Kanagie wrote:Freakin' awesome! The cooling system in the floor is genius. Although that would technically not be passive, it's very efficient use of your existing system. [cheers.gif]
My only thought is, wouldn't the temps towards the top of the room remain warmer than desired?
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#13 Post by Chuck Miller » February 12th, 2016, 11:45 am

Jorge Henriquez wrote:
Dennis Kanagie wrote:Freakin' awesome! The cooling system in the floor is genius. Although that would technically not be passive, it's very efficient use of your existing system. [cheers.gif]
My only thought is, wouldn't the temps towards the top of the room remain warmer than desired?
You could always add a small fan to circulate the air, if needed.
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#14 Post by Anton D » February 12th, 2016, 12:22 pm

That is fantastic!

Kudos to you!

[cheers.gif]
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#15 Post by Craig G » February 12th, 2016, 12:42 pm

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think you lost a zero when computing how much space you need.

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#16 Post by S.Homewood » February 12th, 2016, 12:43 pm

Awesome.

What are the dimensions of the room?
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#17 Post by M. Sai » February 12th, 2016, 12:52 pm

[standing golf clap]

Great job - nothing beats putting on a tool belt and doing it yourself. What wood species did you use for the racks? Looks like standard one-by stock that I use all the time for projects.
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#18 Post by Brian Tuite » February 12th, 2016, 1:09 pm

So jealous!
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#19 Post by Kenny H » February 12th, 2016, 1:23 pm

Ha, thanks guys. The stigma of basements (regarding property value) is undeserved when done well, they can be very useful.

Straight capacity is 480 bottles, but as said, could easily stack to double that.

I forgot to mention the ceiling is also spray foamed with open cell. What I have basically created is a cooler box so I don't see any temp gradient issues. This time of year the floor loops are shut off, and it is 56* in there.

Dennis you got me. It's passive right now (the loop is completely throttled), with the potential to be non-passive in the summer. We will see if it is needed.

The wood is poplar. It is very economical and renewable. But if stained well and lacquered well, it actually looks pretty darn nice. We will also be using the space as a root cellar and for storing canned goods, along with running fermentations.
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#20 Post by M. Sai » February 12th, 2016, 1:35 pm

Kenny H wrote: The wood is poplar. It is very economical and renewable. But if stained well and lacquered well, it actually looks pretty darn nice.
Yup - I've built a kitchen island, custom cabinets and custom wainscoting out of the stuff. I'll actually be stopping by the lumber yard on the way home today to pick-up some poplar stock to finish our new fireplace mantel and accompanying custom bookshelves over the long weekend.

You've given me a good idea of what I'll do once we get past the fix-up-and-flip stage of home ownership.
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#21 Post by jhemming » February 12th, 2016, 1:55 pm

That looks great, well done. I

am contemplating a similar set up in my basement along with a total reno. Live in the NE, so thinking I could probably get away with passive but if I'm going to go through the whole process mine as well set up to be cooled
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#22 Post by Kirk.Grant » February 12th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Looks great...what is the capacity?
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#23 Post by Amir Gehl » February 12th, 2016, 4:20 pm

Nice one!!!

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#24 Post by Dennis Kanagie » February 12th, 2016, 6:23 pm

Kirk.Grant wrote:Looks great...what is the capacity?
He answered as part of a post a few above you:
Kenny H wrote: Straight capacity is 480 bottles, but as said, could easily stack to double that.
Nice, huh?
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#25 Post by Mark C » February 12th, 2016, 6:43 pm

Kenny, that is a thing of great beauty made all the more so by the labor of your own hands.

(having made a *much* less ambitious under-the-stairs ~300 btl actively-cooled cellar myself…)
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#26 Post by Alan Rath » February 12th, 2016, 7:34 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:So jealous!
Pfft. If you weren't so busy landscaping your yard, building decks and BGE sheds, and essentially terraforming everything within 200 yards of your house, you could dig a little hole in the ground and have a wine cellar yourself neener
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#27 Post by Kenny H » February 12th, 2016, 9:10 pm

Craig G wrote:I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think you lost a zero when computing how much space you need.

:-)
As usual, spot on buzzkill from Gleason. [cheers.gif] Already stacking bottles to zone varietals and geography. hitsfan
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#28 Post by JohnCummings » February 12th, 2016, 9:40 pm

Wow - amazing work - well done!!
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#29 Post by PaulMills » February 13th, 2016, 4:08 am

That is nice. Are you going to stock glasses/decanters on the shelves at the end and use it for an working are or put OWCs there?

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#30 Post by Kenny H » February 13th, 2016, 12:46 pm

PaulMills wrote:That is nice. Are you going to stock glasses/decanters on the shelves at the end and use it for an working are or put OWCs there?
Nah. That is for canned goods and food preservation experiments, etc. The top is a solid shelf all the way around for that stuff. Good idea to store a decanter in there.

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#31 Post by mattcitrang » February 13th, 2016, 12:59 pm

WOW! That looks great.

Please promise you'll post a picture in 3 years. I would love to see it then.

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#32 Post by Dave McCloskey » February 13th, 2016, 1:07 pm

Love that floor. Well done. Did you create spaces for large format wines and magnums?

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#33 Post by William Gladstone » February 13th, 2016, 1:13 pm

That is really lovely,!
And you must feel a special feeling having done this yourself.
You should be quite proud!

I did not see any mention of a cooling system and may have missed it as I tend to skim read.
However, if your mention of green meant it is "au natural" I think that is super.

I travel France a great deal visiting Chateaux and such and so many use the hundreds of years old caves and I believe nature does a fine job.
Champagne houses with amazing cellar and Domaine's in Burgundy have hundreds of year old storage and o not add cooling systems
and crack open old bottles and they are excellent.

Enjoy!

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#34 Post by Kenny H » February 13th, 2016, 1:19 pm

Dave McCloskey wrote:Love that floor. Well done. Did you create spaces for large format wines and magnums?
Yes they are on the ends so only room for 24 mags. Although could bookend them up top.

The cooling system is the ground, and in the summer perhaps also some water from the ground that circulates in the floor.
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#35 Post by Chuck Miller » February 13th, 2016, 1:36 pm

I'm guessing you are not in earthquake country, but you may want to think about this little trick if you are going two bottles high in each layer: For slope-shouldered bottles, put the bottom layer in neck first (punt facing you). Then put the second layer in with the neck out, nestled between the necks of the bottom layer. This is much more secure than the 'glass on glass' technique you are using on the right side, second layer.
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#36 Post by Joe B » February 13th, 2016, 2:54 pm

I think i see a pair of Bedrock with white capsules.
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#37 Post by robkim » February 13th, 2016, 3:22 pm

Joe B wrote:I think i see a pair of Bedrock with white capsules.
Notice the same thing, a couple of Oakvilles maybe?

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#38 Post by Sanjay Nandurkar » February 13th, 2016, 4:13 pm

Very nice. Admire your enthusiasm.

480 is a start but sure that 960 mark will be attained soon! And then time to start on the second project.

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