My New Cheese Cave

The cheese drought has broken, and I am back in business!  I have a new cheese cave.

I mentioned this in my last podcast or two, but finally I saved up enough money to replace my ailing cheese fridge with a brand new small bar fridge with external thermostat.

To recap, this is the old cheese fridge.

It was just a wine fridge that worked using a thermoelectric system, which performs best in homes that are not kept much warmer than 24°C (75°F).  Unfortunately, my home get well about that, that the temperature of this unit would drift at least 10°C above what I had it set at.  This was not satisfactory for cheese making, and some cheeses even started to weep oil.

So I had to place the two cheeses I made in early December into the normal kitchen fridge, until I saved up for a replacement.

Thankfully, that day was today.  Last week I purchased a small bar fridge for a couple of hundred dollars, and found a suitable external thermostat for A$21.

New cheese cave aka bar fridge

The fridge has three racks inside and room for about 30 wheels of cheese.  More than enough, I think.

external thermostat for cheese cave

The thermostat is very basic.  Plug it into a power socket, then plug in the fridge.  Set it to cool by holding in the centre button for 4 seconds, then set your desired temperature with the SET button.  Pretty simple, although I have noticed that it sits about 1°C below its setting.

This shot shows the probe, which is the grey cable with a white probe on the end to the left.  I placed my normal hygrometer next to it to check if it was reading true.  This the display was still cooling down at the time.  I have just dangled the sensor probe through the fridge seal and tied gently to the middle rack.  Nothing too technical like drilling holes through the side of the fridge.  I wanted to keep it simple.

This method does not seem to be affecting the temperature, as it is sitting at a comfortable 13°C now, and has been for the last hour with the fridge turned off.

new cheese cave

Once the temperature had stabilised, I placed the two cheeses, a Romano Pepato and a Cotswold, that I had stored in the kitchen fridge.

Speaking of temperature, the weather cooled down sufficiently (24°C) on Sunday for me to make two wheels of cheese.

It was glorious.  I felt so, so, so refreshed.  It had been over six weeks since I made cheese, and it was starting to get withdrawal symptoms. 😉 More about the cheese I made in the next post, but suffice it to say, it was great fun running my fingers through curds and whey once again!

Have any of you recently set up a new cheese cave?  What did you use to control the temperature?


  1. says

    Have had a dedicated cheese fridge for a while but it has been a challenge keeping the temperature correct using the built-in thermostat. Thanks, Gavin, for the link to the 240v controller with probe – did not know about them so one has now been ordered.

  2. says

    Hi Gavin, I am new to cheesemaking and was just about to buy a wine fridge for my cheese cave. do you belive this is a better option?
    How would this go through winter? would it get too cold?
    Do you still have to ad a bowl of water in the bottom to add extra humidity still?
    Thanks for your help and advice.

  3. says

    Hi Gavin.
    I have an older ordinary fridge, as my husband has fitted an additional thermostat in. The temperature varies between 11.4 and 12.6 C, I have attached a thermometer which also hygrometer in the inside of the door so I can always check both.
    I think it fit fine for me. When it's winter, we have an unheated room upstairs where I can put my stilton and brie. It has also been ok with about 10C …
    Congrats with youre new cave.
    Hugs here from Denmark, Aase

  4. says

    I feel you enthusiasm and thanks for the info on the external thermostat. I just have one question in regards to liquid and tablet rennet, is one better or easier to use than the other?

  5. Adam says

    What you also have there Gavin, when you have no cheese on, the go is a temperature controlled fermenter for your homebrew. Controlling the fermentation temp makes a big difference to the quality of the brew.

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