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Old 10-30-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
blackcows
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Default Using the Ranco for Fermentation Control?

After brewing for many years I have finally gathered up enough equipment to control my fermentation temps. I have purchased a Ranco 111000 and have it wired up and working with my 7 cu ft chest freezer. I have done a bit of research here using the search button but still have a few questions about my set up. Any help would be appreciated.

1. I understand the settings, they seem very stratight forward, but wondering what temp people set the differintial. I was thinking 1 but was wondering if this would cause the freezer to constantly cycle.

2. There is a heat and cool setting, is the difference between the two settings that one doesn't allow the temperature to go below and one doesn't allow it to go above? Is it that simple?

3. Is it ok to close the probe cable in the door?

4. I have read about many solutions for heat and think I am going to go the simple route and just use a bulb. Any reason I shouldn't do this? Any opinions on specific wattage or bulb types?

Thanks in advance

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Old 10-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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1. I use a diff. of 2 degrees - seems to work well with my setup. Best advice is for you to test it and see how quickly your chamber changes temperature.

2. Yes, it is that simple.

3. I wouldn't, simply because that is going to let air in/out. Build a collar for your freezer, then drill holes in the collar to allow you to have entry/exits points. Then, you can feed wire in and out and fill the holes with some type of insulation.

4. A bulb is fine if you can block the light from your beer. Some use a paint can or tin foil around the bulb. Me? I opted for reptile heat cable. 23 feet of cable that delivers 50W. Works great.

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Old 10-30-2012, 05:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, been reading that some use a hairdryer for heat....might give that a try.

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Old 10-30-2012, 06:12 PM   #4
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I have an AquaLogic TD115DN 2 stage controller on my swamp cooler. I use a differential of 1. These instructions might help. I was having trouble until I read that stage 2 must be in C2 mode to work properly.

http://www.aqualogicinc.com/products...ler-Manual.pdf

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Old 10-31-2012, 04:44 AM   #5
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The ETC 111000 is a single stage controller, so you'll have to deal with different hookups when you need to control the fridge versus controlling a heat source within.

A toggle switch with appropriate wiring would let you switch the loads, but you'd still have to switch the controller from cooling to heating mode and vice versa every time you toggle the switch.

Kind of a pita, imo. I'd have gone with a dual-stage myself...

Cheers!

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Old 11-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #6
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I have a dual stage as well. However, I could have gotten away with a single stage with my setup. During the winter months, only the heating is really needed. During summer, only cooling. There are a couple of months in Spring and Fall that it gets iffy, but I could have still gotten away with a single stage.

That said, I sprung for the dual stage because I am lazy and don't want to have to fuss with changing settings and plugs as often.

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Old 11-01-2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcows View Post

3. Is it ok to close the probe cable in the door?
This is what I do with no problems....door seal conforms right around to it. The loss of seal is miniscule.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:23 AM   #8
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I use a Fermwrap taped to the side for heat, no light for me. A problem to keep an eye on is with the actual temp of your fermenting beer vs the ambient temp. As you probably know, there can be a pretty big swing in temps. I've hade some fusel outcomes with fermenting to warm. I picked up a thermowell cap to control the actual temp inside the Carboy. I'm very pleased with the set up though, and you will be too.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:08 PM   #9
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I use a Fermwrap taped to the side for heat, no light for me. A problem to keep an eye on is with the actual temp of your fermenting beer vs the ambient temp. As you probably know, there can be a pretty big swing in temps. I've hade some fusel outcomes with fermenting to warm. I picked up a thermowell cap to control the actual temp inside the Carboy. I'm very pleased with the set up though, and you will be too.
Taping the Ranco probe to the side of fermenter with a piece of insulating foam/bubblewrap/styrofoam over it eliminates the difference between ambient and fermenter temp.

With this setup, the Ranco directly controls the temp of the fermenter.

A suggestion for those not interested in buying/dealing with a thermowell.
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill

Taping the Ranco probe to the side of fermenter with a piece of insulating foam/bubblewrap/styrofoam over it eliminates the difference between ambient and fermenter temp.

With this setup, the Ranco directly controls the temp of the fermenter.

A suggestion for those not interested in buying/dealing with a thermowell.
I have done this, and I do agree with you.
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