You have invested in your wine collection, and now you want to protect it, but is a wine cooler the best storage solution?
Wine prefers a space that maintains a consistently cool temperature of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of 50 to 70% RH. The storage space should be dark and free from unnecessary movement or heavy foot traffic. Let’s talk about how you can add humidity to your wine cooler.
What is the Ideal Humidity Level for Wine?
Humidity is important for wine storage because it prevents the corks from drying out. When storing wine, the bottles should be placed on their side so that the liquid inside the bottle keeps the cork wet. While the liquid inside the bottle maintains the cork’s seal, the right humidity will help the cork maintain its seal from the outside. The preferred humidity level is between 50 to 70% RH. When humidity dips below 50% RH, there is a risk of oxidization. If the humidity is above 70% RH, mold may begin to form.
How Humid are Wine Coolers?
Wine coolers cannot create humidity. A wine cooler is designed like a standard kitchen refrigerator but operates within the ideal temperature range for wine. The cooler’s compressor system does not remove as much moisture from the air as a normal refrigerator, but it also does nothing to create it. Wine refrigerators have the advantage of being a well-insulated environment, which means that if you create humidity inside the cooler, it will maintain those conditions.
How Do You Add Humidity to a Wine Cooler?
Raising humidity inside a wine cooler is easy. First, invest in a hygrometer to measure the conditions inside your wine cooler. Hygrometers are relatively cheap, and you can even use a hygrometer designed for cigar storage. Leave the hygrometer inside your wine cooler for 24 hours to take an accurate reading. If the humidity inside your wine fridge is less than 50%, you need to add humidity.
An easy method to add humidity to your wine cooler:
Supplies needed: clean and unused sponge, small tray, clean water (distilled preferred)
1. Wet the sponge and wring it out to remove excess moisture.
2. Place the sponge on the small tray and add it to the bottom of your wine cooler. The water will evaporate and create humidity.
3. Wait for 24 hours to see if humidity improves.
4. If humidity is too low, try wetting the sponge with slightly more water to see if the humidity rises.
5. Once you have reached 50 to 70 percent RH, re-wet the sponge every 3 to 4 days.
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