Proper Wine Cooler Use

Because I didn’t want to keep my mixed developer, stop bath, and fixer in the ‘fridge in the house, I’ve been keeping it in an ice chest in the garage. I emptied a couple trays of ice cubes into a large Ziplock every morning and put it in the chest with the liquids.

By the next morning the chemical temperatures were right around 77 f, which worked out well because I typically develop film in the morning and if the chemicals rise to 78 f that is the correct temperature for the developer (the stop and fix can be a couple degrees cooler).

It bothered me that the unmixed chemicals and film were stored in the refrigerator. It just didn’t seem to be the right place for them. My wife Lisa didn’t seem a bit concerned about it, though. 

On Friday afternoon my son Aaron phoned to tell me about an appliance sale near one of his friend’s business. He said there were small refrigerators and wine coolers there for $40-50. I asked him if they all supposedly worked. He said they seemed to be new; out-of-box, small dings or scratches in the bodies, etc. It was a big sale on all kinds of appliances over the weekend starting that day.

The sale was still being set up at the time. He drove to my house and we went to the sale in his pickup truck. 

We looked at the small refrigerators, which didn’t seem to have enough room for both my chemicals and a small pile of film, and the freezer compartment would be a waste of space for my intended use.

We then looked at the wine coolers (refrigerators). There were seven of the model I bought for $40. This one was the best looking one, which doesn’t matter much for a garage appliance. It is designed to hold 18 bottles of wine. The wire rack/shelves are removable. There are two compartments that have their own temperature control & cooling unit.

I set the top, larger compartment for 58 f and put the liquid chemicals in it, along with 4 bottles of wine. 58 f will go up to 78 f easily enough when I get ready to develop film.

The bottom compartment is set for 46 f to keep the film cool. I put a couple bottles of beer in the rear of that compartment, though I’m not sure if that is quite cool enough.

After opening the door, the temperatures quickly rise a few degrees, then the cooler takes a few minutes to return to the pre-set temperatures, so the cooler probably isn’t using a lot of electricity.

I set the cooler up in the garage, next to the washing machine. When Lisa walked out to the garage to look at it, she liked the way it looked so much that she urged me to find a place for it in the office. I hadn’t considered putting it in the house, but it seemed like a good idea to me, since it won’t get as dusty as in the garage (we are constantly battling dust because we live in the desert). I found a place for it next to the credenza. It seems to be the right place.