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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > holding temp with temp control
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default holding temp with temp control

has anyone been able to hold temp to an exact degree with a mini fridge and a temp control ?

if so how?

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Old 10-22-2007, 08:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roofman70
has anyone been able to hold temp to an exact degree with a mini fridge and a temp control ?

if so how?

Nothing is exact. Different parts of the fridge will be at different temperatures. The built-in thermostat on refridges is pretty poor, so most homebrewers will overide it with a temperature controller purchased from a HB supply (Ranco, Johnson, etc).

Every temperature controller works on a thermostat design, which has a high point where cooling turns on and a low point where cooling turns off. These have to be separated by a degree or two, to avoid rapidly switching on and off.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:23 PM   #3
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My freezer-based kegger (Ranco controller) has ranged from 33.4F to 34.7F over the last month, according to the min/max monitor. I doubt any consumer system would do much better. By contrast, the fermentation cabinet (fridge with Ranco) is lucky to hold within a 3F range.

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Old 10-22-2007, 08:24 PM   #4
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Yes i am using a ranco with a magic chef wine chiller .

set at 68 +-1 deg and liquid temp in 5 gallon carboy reads 73 degrees

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Old 10-22-2007, 08:43 PM   #5
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The problem is you probably have your controller's sensor in the air or in some water. The beer itself is generating heat as it ferments. Your controller has no idea this is happening. You have two options;

1. Get a thermowell so you can put your sensor IN the beer.
2. Tape the sensor to the side of the fermenter (second best but better than nothing).

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Old 10-22-2007, 09:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
2. Tape the sensor to the side of the fermenter (second best but better than nothing).
That's what I do and I get a 8 to 9 degree delta when fermentation is going.

This has worked well so far, till I get a thermowell and drill another hole in the bucket lid.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:49 PM   #7
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ranco sensor is in the air. set at 68 degrees

have carboy full of water with meat thermometer through bung hole to read temp of water. reads 72 degrees

have fridge thermometer next to carboy. reads 64 degrees

have fish tank thermometer on carboy. reads 69 degrees

wich would you belive??

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Old 10-22-2007, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
The problem is you probably have your controller's sensor in the air or in some water. The beer itself is generating heat as it ferments. Your controller has no idea this is happening. You have two options;

1. Get a thermowell so you can put your sensor IN the beer.
2. Tape the sensor to the side of the fermenter (second best but better than nothing).

if the sensor is in the beer wouldnt the fridge run till beer temp comes down

if so then wouldnt the fridge temp be enough to bring beer temp down below where we want it
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:38 PM   #9
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I guess the question is, are you more concerned with the air temp inside the fridge or the temp of the beer in a particular carboy? If the beer (which matters most for fermentation control) then the sensor needs to be IN the wort.

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Old 10-22-2007, 11:48 PM   #10
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You get a more accurate temp reading if the thermometer is in the beer. That doesn't mean its the optimal control.

I think roofman is right. If you have 5gal of beer at 70df, and the temp probe is in a thermowell, and the tyhermostat is set to cool until 68df, then the controller will run the fridge full steam until the beer is down to 68df. At which point the rest of the interior of the fridge will be really cold. This could cause you to undershoot the temperature, as well as waste a lot of electricity.

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