How MacGyver would turn a Mini-Fridge into a Wine Refrigerator
What can you learn from the greatest problem solver in history? First of all, even the most difficult problem can be solved with a bit MacGyver ingenuity. That’s right, if MacGyver can foil world domination with a tooth pick and a rubber band, you can do just about anything.
Inspired by a syndicated MacGyver episode, this post explains how to convert your Mini-Fridge into a fully functional Wine Refrigerator. Specialty Wine Refrigerators are very expensive; they can set you back anywhere from few hundred, to a few thousand dollars. Why waste your money when you can convert your mini-fridge into a perfectly functioning make shift wine refrigerator.
Problem: Raising the Mini-Fridge temperature from 42 degrees F (too cold) to 55 degrees F (proper wine storage temp).
- At the lowest setting of my Mini-Fridge’s thermostat, the temperature was about 42 degrees F; which will ruin a bottle of wine if left for too long.
Solution: Override the Mini-Fridge’s thermostat to raise the temperature by using an appliance timer and a thermometer.
- By using an appliance timer and a thermometer, you can create your own cycle of power to the Mini-Fridge; raising the temperature to the proper level for wine storage.
Components and Information:
- 1 – Mini-Fridge (preferably used in college to store old pizza and beer)
- 1 – Heavy Duty Digital Appliance Timer ($13.98)
- 1 – Refrigerator Thermometer – Digital is best (Ours was $4.99)
Step 1: Buy Heavy Duty Digital Appliance Timer and Refrigerator Thermometer. You can buy the appliance timer at almost any hardware store with an appliance section, or online here. We bought ours at Home Depot in the lighting section. Really, any appliance timer will due as long as is has at least 12 cycles and a three prong input. Refrigerator thermometers can be found at most any grocery store, or online here. Any refrigerator thermometer will due.
Step 2: Plug Mini-Fridge power cord into your appliance timer, then plug timer into outlet. Turn the fridge to lowest power setting possible, and place thermometer in Mini-Fridge. Allow Mini-Fridge to run at lowest setting then check the temperature. If it is below 55 degrees F, move on to step 3.
Step 3: Set Appliance Timer On/Off Settings: Because each Mini-Fridge is different, getting the timing right will take a bit of trail and error. Your appliance timer will allow you to run the Mini-Fridge for a set time, then have the power off for a set time. Interchanging on and off will raise the temperature of the Mini-Fridge to the correct wine storage temp (55 degrees F). We set our timer for two hour increments (2 hours on/ 2 hours off). This raised the Mini-Fridge temperature to 56 degrees F, which is perfect for wine storage. Start with this interval, if the temperature reads too low; adjust intervals to allow longer “off” periods (maybe 1 ½ hours on/ 2 ½ hours off). If the temperature reads too high, adjust intervals to allow longer “on” periods (maybe 2 ½ hours on, 1 ½ hours off).
Once your Mini-Fridge has stabilized at the correct temperature, you have your very own Specialty Wine Refrigerator. Store your favorite wines until you are ready to enjoy them.
*If you are storing your wine for more than six months, it would be wise to invest in a humidifier for your new wine refrigerator.