I just installed this one on my 10 gallon igloo and I am not super impressed with it.
Fisrt impression... it was quite a bit smaller than I liked
First the calibration was kind of a hassle. I purchased a glass thermometer to assist with the calibration (as recommended by the website). The coolview does not read above 200degs F. So I had some difficulty getting a pot of water to stay exactly at any given temperature for long on my range top. The it would be easier if the scale went to boiling temp (212) because that would be alot easier to maintain. Also the coolview did not respond as quickly as my glass tube thermometer so it was difficult to hone in on a set temperature as the two thermomerters were responding differently.
It came with some directions and "recomended" locations depending on cooler size. I drilled the 5/16 hole in the recomended location and installed after calibrating the dial. On my 10 gallon cooler it recommended 10" from the outside bottom. I looked at that location and thought to myself, that should be in the grain bed (usually). I drilled and installed which was pretty simple. Be carefull to drill exactly perpendicular to the cooler because if you dont the thermometer would be angled and so would the seeling gasket which could lead to leaking.
My first brew with the coolview installed i mashed a 14lb grain bill and I was dissapointed to see that the thermometer was slightly above the grain bed. As the grain bed compacted over the hour long mash this dimension increased. So as it turns out the location was quite a bit higher than it should have been. The hottest part of the mash is right in the slightly compacted grain bed where all the conversion is happening. My coolview readings were 5-10degress colder than deeper down in the grain bed, which made it basically useless. I ended up using my long glass thermometer to figure out what depth the most consistant temperature where at. I wish I had done this previously.
My advise is to determine the best spot based on your observations then install accordingly. Unless your doing consistantly big grain bills than maybe the 10" up from bottom is alright. But i figured 14lb is about average for most brews.
The coolview is an indicato but after my first experience I can't whole heartedly trust it and now I'm stuck with an extra hole in my cool should I decided to move it.
If I were going to do it again I might just look for a digital with a probe and stick it through the top. Because it seems that a stationary thermometer would have to be placed so perfectly to give you the most accurate reading. Mashing temps are tight and any little difference could make a big one in the final product. I think the thermometer is nice but I'm not sure its worth drilling more into the mash tun
Right on, thanks butta. I see a few guys have just installed a regular stopper in their cooler, then placed a thermo through the stopper, and it seems to work really well. I think I'll go that route instead.