Converting a Refrigerator to a Cheese Cave


Homemade Aged Cheese 

When we first got started with our Milk Sheep, we were very excited about the cheesemaking possibilities with the milk. We knew that to make aged cheeses we would need a cheese cave. A cheese cave is a space that is used to store cheeses while they age. Most cheeses need to age at 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit, and 85% humidity for anywhere from one month to many months. Cheese caves can be as big as a room, or a closet, or something smaller. The size depends on how much space you need. After some research, we realized that the easiest and most cost-effective way to get one would be to make it with a dorm-sized mini refrigerator.

Supplies for a DIY Cheese Cave

Here's what you'll need:

  • refrigerator (mini/dorm size is easiest to convert)
  • digital temperature controller thermostat that has cooling setting option (I found mine on Amazon)
  • digital thermometer/hygrometer with high/low memory
  • various shallow tubs and cloths to hold water for humidity
  • bamboo mats for the cheese to sit on

Refrigerator. We have made two different cheese caves. One from a small dorm-type refrigerator, and one from a full-sized refrigerator. We live in a very dry climate, and thus getting the humidity up where we wanted it was even more challenging than it would be in a more humid climate. It was much easier to keep the humidity at the right setting with the smaller refrigerator, and that is what I would suggest you use to get started. You can often find them for free or for very inexpensive on buy/sell/trade type of websites. If you need more space, you could use multiple small ones, or you could try to convert a larger one.

Digital Temperature Controller Thermostat. Most refrigerators won’t hold at 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They generally stay colder than that, even on their warmest setting. This device plugs into the wall, and then you plug your refrigerator into it. It has a thermostat cord that goes into the refrigerator. The device will turn the refrigerator on and off, holding it at about 50 to 55 degrees. The brand we use is Inkbird, and it is very important that you get one that has cooling. If it is just heating, then it won’t work. Ours has both the heating and cooling option.

digital temperature controller thermostat

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters