Vinotemp 101


Howler Monkey
This thread is an attempt to consolidate a bunch of Vinotemp (VT) information into one thread. It’s not completely comprehensive, but I just read through more than 10 pages of threads to see what gets asked over and over and if there were a variety of solutions. Hopefully this will be a good resource. Some is my opinion. Other things have been culled from specific posts (credited where quoted verbatim). I'd like to thank each person that posted questions or answers in the previous VT threads. BTW - I take no responsibility for attempts to modify a VT. If you do so, you do so at your own risk.

Why get a VinoTemp 28-Bottle VT?

Like a cooler, it’s a sealed environment. (minus the drain – see below). For those in areas with temp fluctuations or hot environments, it adds the benefit of cooling the unit as well. Uses a thermoelectric element, which is better for cigars than say a mini-bar fridge with a compressor, which will pull the moisture from your cigars. It’s better looking than a cooler (and only slightly more expensive), but not nearly as good looking as an Aristocrat (and much cheaper).

How much does it cost?

VT - $150-200 at Target
Beads - $30-50
Fan - $5
Shelves - $10 per shelf
Cedar trays - $10-20 per tray
Hygrometer - $20
Cigars – Up to your credit limit

Ewwww, it smells like plastic. What do I do? You can give it a washing with a mild soap or baking soda, but I let mine air out for 2 days (unplugged of course) and started putting boxes in. Within 3 days, it smelled just like a humi should.

Pix of drainage collection

Why add shelving? Looks/utility, Humidor Smell, Control moisture.
VT shelving is made to hold bottles, not cigar boxes or trays.


4”x36”x3/8” will make two shelves (on one level) Some Gorillas use 3 per level. Personally, I like the idea of more air-flow so 2 is sufficient. You will worry less about box placement as well since there are more gaps. Or if you have a router, you can do what Fortunate Son did.

I’ve also read posts that say ¼ inch is sufficient to hold boxes without bending.

Do I need additional Cedar? No, the boxes and trays you put in will be sufficient. If you are just starting a collection, your B&M will be happy to provide you 10 empty boxes to fill it up. (Just don’t ask Ron1YY – LMAO)

Remove the Vinotemp logo – 120-180 seconds of heat with a hairdryer to the front loosens the adhesive enough to pry it off carefully with your fingers. Goo Gone to remove the remaining residue.

Why use a fan? Even when turned on the fan in the VT only runs when the unit runs, in winter, it’s unlikely that you’ll have enough air circulation.

Oust or other kind of fan: Some use Hydra fans or computer fans. The majority of VT set-ups use Oust fans (although they are getting harder to find). Remove the cover for more air-flow if you use an Oust. Bobarian says: The covers unscrew, and the case splits in half. The fans will push more air this way. Use a rubber band to hold the battery in place.

I’m planning to use a 120 MM computer fan that is rated 42 CFM (Oust is 1-2 CFM). I’m adding a timer to run it at certain times of day.

I want to run a computer fan but don’t know how to power it without a computer?

BXT AC to 12V DC with 4-pin Molex Power Supply (Genuine UL Rated)

BXT-ACDC-MOLEX for 12.95 @

Note: you can buy a Molex 4-pin splitter and run two fans off one power supply if you desire two.

Active or passive humidification? 1.5-2 pounds of beads spread throughout the unit suffice. No need for an active system. However, some users swear by Cigar Oasis systems.

What RH beads are best? Personal preference. Based on what I see posted in the humi thread and bead threads, most Gorilla’s use 65% beads.

Hydra set-up by Diesel -

Temp – On or off? In a hot climate like FL, you probably want to run the VT, in milder climates the choice is yours, but you probably don’t need it unless the temp in your house is high. 66 degrees is the warmest you can make the VT run. It’s the setting most choose, but in extreme heat you may need to adjust to lower temps to make it work. The VT isn’t highly rated for making low temps for wine, but 66 degrees is fine for cigars. Note: the VT does not warm, so if you have a cold environment (say 32 degree garage), the unit will not warm your cigars to 66.

To plug the drain or not? I haven’t plugged the drain on mine, and haven’t noticed a huge loss in humidity. It’s a personal preference. If you live in a very humid area, odds are you are going to want to plug the drain and rig a system to catch the moisture from the unit. Some people recycle this into their beads, but I prefer to only add distilled water to my beads.

If you plug, use a odor free silicone or cover it with tape. Jkorp reported his plugged drain catches about 1/8” of water in a Cool Wh!p container each week in the summer.

Where is the drain? On the floor of the VT if you look in the middle about 3/4 of the way to the back.

My VT wobbles, what can I do? The feet are adjustable.

I want to put some trays for singles in my VT, where should they go? Put them in the top or bottom of the unit. Placing them in front of the built in fan is potentially dangerous to your cigars as the constant air flow could dry your sticks out.

Will a VT stop the dreaded Beetle infestation? No. I’m not getting into a freeze vs. no freeze debate, there are other threads for that. You probably reduce Beetle Risk with a VT, but you’ll find people that report Beetles at less than 70 degrees.

Can I run cables through the drain? Yes, several Gorillas have successfully done this. It&#8217;s labor intensive since the drain is &#8216;S&#8217; shaped. Also may require cutting the wires and re-attaching. Chewie says: I completely removed the drain assembly, which is very easy. Simply flip the fridge onto the front glass <lay a towel down first!> and use a wrench to remove the plastic hex nut holding the drain in place on the bottom rear. Then turn the fridge to the correct position, and use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull the drain assembly out. And just like ljh824, I used a drill bit to widen the hole a VERY slight amount. Finally, I used black caulk (looked better than the clear I originally used first) to make a very clean seal on both ends. Took about 20 minutes total.

Note: if you run wires through the drain, you probably want to build a drain catch.

Can I just put boxes on the floor of the VT? No, several gorillas have lost boxes of cigars after condensation built up and soaked the boxes. Also, the low first shelf offers a great place to keep your beads below.

How many cigars can I fit in a VT?
barbourjay says: I have a hydra unit and about a pound and a half of beads. It's also completely full with close to 20 boxes and 3 singles trays.

Personally, I can&#8217;t fit that many, but I&#8217;m due for a cigar tetris match next weekend. Hehe
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Mid 20's Gorilla
Good job. Thank you for consolidating everything. I've tried wading through all the various posts and it is a daunting task. Finally just said screw it and bought an aristocrat. I'm lazy I know :D


AWESOME! Thank you so much! RG bump coming your way!
Might want to add that the planks for the shelves should be 15 1/8".


Young Chimp
Excellent thread! When I get my Vinotemp, this thread will be my first stop for I'm sure that I would have forgotten everything that I've read here by then.:tu


Thats Officer ChestBeater
Do I need additional Cedar? No, the boxes and trays you put in will be sufficient. If you are just starting a collection, your B&M will be happy to provide you 10 empty boxes to fill it up. (Just don’t ask Ron1YY – LMAO)

For those of you who might not know what hes talking about here ya go:



Something I'd like to add that hasn't been mentioned yet - these stack very nicely.

The design of the bottom hinge is such that it fits perfectly over a top hinge's plastic cover once you remove the little foot that's screwed in there. This positions the top unit correctly and keeps it from sliding around.

Now to fill that bottom unit :ss



Evolving Lead Gorilla
Dave, that looks very impressive. Good tip, too. Did you make those nice diagonally slotted shelves yourself? That is the optimal shelf, I think.

Munkey, great post. I support the sticky motion!



Dave, that looks very impressive. Good tip, too. Did you make those nice diagonally slotted shelves yourself? That is the optimal shelf, I think.
Thanks. I like that shelf design too for the combination of strength, ventilation, and appearance.

I made them with a 3/4" plunge cutting router bit. It was a PITA and I messed up a couple boards along the way but I think it was worth the trouble.


Young Ape

I am about to pull the trigger on such a setup and finding all this info was a PITA before you pulled it together.

This will save a lot of BOTL a lot of wasted search time.