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Old 01-13-2008, 02:11 PM   #1
SixFoFalcon
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Default Johnson Controls A419 Settings

I've been using the Johnson Controls A419 Electronic Temperature Control for my chest freezer kegerator. The settings I've been using are as follows:

SP
(Set Point) = 40°F (although I upped it a bit when I had a stout in there)
dIF (Differential) = 2°F
ASd (Anti-Short Cycle Delay) = 3 minutes
OFS (Offset) = N/A (not using offset)

I also have the temperature probe submerged in a jar of water on the floor of the freezer. There is about 8 oz. of water in there to buffer against temporary temperature swings. I bypassed the stock freezer thermostat by wiring the leads together.

I'm curious about what settings others are using on their A419 (or any other electronic temp control for that matter.) Do share!

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Old 01-13-2008, 02:26 PM   #2
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About the same, except I have mt ASd set to 12 minutes. Short cycles kill freezers. That feature is why I spent the extra $5 on the Johnson instead of the Renco.

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Old 01-13-2008, 02:46 PM   #3
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I am no refrigeration guru but 2° seems to close.

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Old 01-13-2008, 03:11 PM   #4
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I would tend to agree with the 2° being a bit close for an upright fridge/freezer, but a chest freezer (especially with the added thermal mass of the kegs) is fairly stable. Even opening the lid periodically doesn't affect the temperature too much. With an upright, you will lose cold air more readily through the gaskets, and opening the door has a big impact as a significant portion of the cold air inside gets replaced with warm air from outside very rapidly. I don't want to wait until things warm up too much before the compressor kicks on. 2° seems to give a nice easy duty cycle while keeping things right at the desired temperature. Maybe 3° or 4° would be acceptable and might benefit the life of the compressor, but beyond that you are really starting to skew the range a bit to the extremes.

I may bump up the short cycle delay just for extra insurance. As it sits now, the compressor never seems to cycle more than once an hour under normal conditions, but it seems that setting the delay to the max setting can only help and will never hurt things.

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Old 01-14-2008, 08:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SixFoFalcon
I bypassed the stock freezer thermostat by wiring the leads together.
Why is that necessary? The stock thermostat should never be a factor @ beer temps.
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:50 PM   #6
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Put the probe in a white labs vile filled with water and opening the door will not cause a cycle for no reason.

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Old 01-14-2008, 10:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450
Why is that necessary?
Because I'm anal retentive.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SixFoFalcon
I may bump up the short cycle delay just for extra insurance. As it sits now, the compressor never seems to cycle more than once an hour under normal conditions, but it seems that setting the delay to the max setting can only help and will never hurt things.
Thats why I have mine set. 12 minutes @ 43f (or whatever) is nothing to the beer, but its nice insurance that my freezer isn't toggling on and off every 10 seconds for some stupid reason.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:16 AM   #9
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Just got one of these. Couple of questions.

I love the idea of sticking the probe in a glass of water. I agree that this should help keep a stable reading regardless of lifting the lid. I want to do this but I am afraid to put the probe in water. Do you guys put it in a plastic bag, or do you just put it right in there?

I want to ferment a pale ale at around 68. Any suggestions on what to put for setpoint, differential and ASD?

Thanks, so glad that I can finally control fermentation temps. OH will be 96 degree this weekend.

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Old 07-24-2010, 03:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregblatz View Post
Just got one of these. Couple of questions.

I love the idea of sticking the probe in a glass of water. I agree that this should help keep a stable reading regardless of lifting the lid. I want to do this but I am afraid to put the probe in water. Do you guys put it in a plastic bag, or do you just put it right in there?

I want to ferment a pale ale at around 68. Any suggestions on what to put for setpoint, differential and ASD?

Thanks, so glad that I can finally control fermentation temps. OH will be 96 degree this weekend.
1. No need to submerge the probe in a container of water. Doing so will delay the controller response and widen the temperature swings. It would be better to select a higher differential setting if you want wider swings.

2. I don't know if the probe is waterproof or not, but's it's designed for us in HVAC systems. There's nothing in the users manual about this one way or the other.

3. I use a 5 degree F differential setting and the max 12 min ASD setting with good results for my serving freezer and my fermentation chambers.

4. The set point when fermenting depends on what stage the fermentation is in. The fermenting yeast will generate a lot of heat initially, so it's best to set the controller considerably lower than your desired fermentation temp for the first few days. I usually set mine 10 degrees low and gradually raise the temp as the initial vigorous fermentation slows. I've found it's best to this right from the start as once the ferment gets going, it's difficult to cool it down fast enough.

5. IMO, it's best to monitor the fermenter temps with a separate thermometer. I use an ordinary, cheap indoor/outdoor type digital thermometer. I attach the thermometer probe to the side of the fermenter and cover it with some insulation I use the bubble foil stuff, but just about anything will work for this. A piece of foam rubber would work as well. Let the thermometer govern and adjust the controller set point accordingly. Mount the controller probe so that it is in the air and not touching the walls of the freezer or any cooling coils. I use a fan to keep the air circulating in my freezer for more uniform temps. A computer type muffin fan works well for this.

If you like the probe in the water bottle idea, I suggest you give it a try and make up your own mind. I tried it and it did not work well at all for me. Whichever way you do it, I would still recommend mointoring the fermenter with a separate thermometer of some kind. IMO, it does not work well to use the controller for both controlling the compressor and to monitor the fermenter temps. It's two different functions requiring two separate temperature sensors. Fortunately, it's very easy to test the various configurations. The fan was a huge improvement though and a necessity for a freezer IMO.
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