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Old 01-31-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
r8odecay
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Default Thermo probe inside dip tube?

I'm trying to put together an electric keggle and planning on what parts I have yet to buy... I have one question. Has anyone seen/done running a stainless T outlet off their bulkhead fitting and the attaching a thermocouple or thermometer on the straight, and then run the valve off of the 90? Much like Bobby's sight glass/thermometer combo T, but a valve instead of the glass... The thermo probe would end up inside the dip tube... is this a stupid idea? Bad thermo readings?

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Old 02-01-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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2 downsides I think.

1. Not much convection inside the dip tube.
2. Large thermal mass of the stainless fitting you are attaching the probe to, most of which is outside the keg.

So I would think the thermal probe would lag on the heat up, and undershoot the temperature in the rest of the keg. The only time it would read accurately would be while draining when the contents of the keg are moving past the probe.

I haven't tried it out though so I am not absolutely sure of that.

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Old 02-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #3
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I do this with a thermometer. I like it a lot and it works great. I only have one on my boil kettle but I'd like to add one to my MLT and HLT too.

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Old 02-01-2013, 04:40 PM   #4
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Do you know for sure that you are getting accurate readings? I can see the attraction of not drilling another hole for the temperature probe but other people have tried this idea and given it the thumbs down.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/thre...74/index3.html

I would think it's a particularly bad idea on a MLT. If there is any undershoot you could end up overheating the mash. Even if you are recirculating it will not give you the best information, because the mash will be hotter at the top.

Just my $0.02 and I haven't tried it.

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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OK alien, I tend to agree with your logic, ... so if I were to drill another spot for a probe, where is the ideal location? I mostly see them installed near the bottom, is this ideal? For now I am planning electric single vessel, BIAB, recirculating, PID controlled.

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Old 02-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #6
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Having the probe in the drain might be OK while you are recirculating.

My preference would be to have the probe in the hottest part of the mash, so yes at the bottom near the element and out of the way of the bag is where I would put it.

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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A thermometer works great but you need to be running wort through the piping for it to work. I have one on my boil kettle. I recirc through my chiller and this gives me a good temp for this. I'd like to put one on my HLT and MLT because I could see the temp before anything goes through my RIMS tube.

You need to put the probe after the heat. That is the key. Think of how the wort flows.

If you're recirculating with an element in the kettle I think a probe at the outlet would work great. Flow will elminate hot spots and the recirculating wort would be the temp you want. The probe right next to the element wouldn't necessarily give you an idea of the wort's temp. The probe would match the wort temp immediately around the element then cooler wort would mix at the outlet.

In either case, the temp of the mash will be pretty consistent once the recirc runs for a minute. You're not going to lose a significant amount of heat from the top of the kettle to the bottom. I think either way would be fine.

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Old 02-03-2013, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsme6582 View Post
You need to put the probe after the heat. That is the key. Think of how the wort flows.
Yes I completely agree with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsme6582 View Post
The probe right next to the element wouldn't necessarily give you an idea of the wort's temp. The probe would match the wort temp immediately around the element then cooler wort would mix at the outlet.
Fair point. Probably either location would work most of the time. But in my limited experience BIAB with recirculation doesn't really work. The recirculated wort tends to channel through the side of the bag and doesn't mix well, so there are hot spots and cold spots in the mash. Under these circumstances, I would rather control the temperature of the hottest part of the wort than assume good mixing.

YMMV, my set up was very half arsed.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:30 PM   #9
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Probe in the outlet would ensure temp was read where the wort is mixed. The element isn't going to flash boil wort flowing around it. It will be a little hot around the element but it shouldn't be enough for adverse effects. I do get what you're saying though but even with channeling I bet the temp is still consistent enough.

Think about this...
Mash in and mix out doughballs. Temp settles evenly to +/- 2 degrees of target. Recirc adjusts temp of flowing sweet wort. Any low flow spots would not drop in temp because there is hot wort surrounding it. After your wort recircs a few times, the temp should be very consistent. The starches will convert because temp is the key, not flow.

Channeling, within reason, would have a greater effect on running off and sparging than on temp pockets in the mash.

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Old 02-03-2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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I'm sure you can do better than I did! Amazingly enough I still drank the beer

I see that Kal's electric brewery uses temperature probes in the drain tee so there must be some merit in it.

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