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Old 06-18-2011, 08:54 PM   #1
ErkenneDichSelbst
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Default The difference between wort and ambient temps

I'll be brewing my first batch tomorrow since having a dedicated fridge for fermentation. I have a Johnson analog temp controller and will be using WLP007. Any suggestions on what temp to set the controller to maintain 67 degrees or so? I've read there can be a 10 degree difference and I've read that it can be 5-6 and I've also read that it can be less. I'm sure this has been discussed before and I searched 'temp controller' and the first 15 threads or so didn't seem to address it. Any help is appreciated, thanks.

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Old 06-18-2011, 09:04 PM   #2
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It's very dependent on the material, size and shape of the fermenter as well as the volume of liquid, stage of fermentation, level of activity, ambient temp range, size of chamber used for fermentation.

Having said that, I find the temp of the wort is about 5F higher for lower ambiet temps (55-62ish) and about 7 for higher temps. I use plastic buckets mainly for primary fermentation in an upright freezer with temp controller. This is for ales. Lagers are not my forte, so I cannot speak for them.

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Old 06-18-2011, 09:35 PM   #3
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Tape the probe to the side of the fermentor, and cover it with some sort of insulating material. This will give you a pretty accurate wort temperature.

The problem with using ambient temperature is that, depending on the level of activity of the yeast, it could be anywhere from ambient, to more than 10° over ambient. Obviously, this makes it absolutely impossible to dial in a precise differential, because there isn't one.

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Old 06-18-2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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Ah man... Well i've spent the last couple days playing around with my johnson control and my chest freezer and heres what i was able to accomplish

emjay is right..tape a probe to the side of your fermenter with some insulation covering it. I use a different thermometer than my johnson controllers because I can adjust the controller depending on the temperature of the fermementer.

Ive got my SP at 67, my SF 0 , OFs to 0, ASd to 8 and dIF is set to 4.

My chest freezers ambient temp would vary from 61 to 67... cutting in at 67 and cooling for a few minutes before cutting out and hitting a low of 61 degrees F.

With those settings my ferm temp from the insulated probe was pretty stable at 64 degrees..

Also remember you might want your SP a little lower for the first few days of fermentation because your wort could warm up a bit due to the activity.

Not sure if this will help but i hope it does, good luck

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Old 06-18-2011, 11:00 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. I'll try taping the probe directly to the plastic fermenter and insulating it. In doing this should I set the temp to 67 if that's what I'm shooting for or should I try lower 63-64?

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Old 06-18-2011, 11:07 PM   #6
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When I brew, my wort is usually about 5-6 degrees above the ambient temperature at first. I would set your temp control to about 63 and so should be right in the middle of the ideal temp. range. After the vigorous part of fermentation, I would raise the temp to about 67 or 68 since the wort won't be producing so much heat of its own. Maybe raise the temp a couple degrees each day after the initial fermentation is complete?

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Old 06-18-2011, 11:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErkenneDichSelbst
Thanks for the responses. I'll try taping the probe directly to the plastic fermenter and insulating it. In doing this should I set the temp to 67 if that's what I'm shooting for or should I try lower 63-64?
If you tape the probe and insulate it decently, set it to exactly what you're shooting for.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:17 PM   #8
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I wouldn't use the controllers probe taped to the fermenter for this reason.. It takes a large body of liquid (your wort) a long time to change a degree in temp whether cooling or warming. If your fermenter eventually warms enough to trigger the freezer to cut in, its going to be on for a long time before the fermenter cools and your controller cuts out again. your freezer could get 30-40 degrees in that time or lower! Just my 2 cents..

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Old 06-18-2011, 11:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thehopguy
I wouldn't use the controllers probe taped to the fermenter for this reason.. It takes a large body of liquid (your wort) a long time to change a degree in temp whether cooling or warming. If your fermenter eventually warms enough to trigger the freezer to cut in, its going to be on for a long time before the fermenter cools and your controller cuts out again. your freezer could get 30-40 degrees in that time or lower! Just my 2 cents..
Freezer temp doesn't matter, the wort temp does...
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:43 PM   #10
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Do y'all usually let it ferment at room temp for 24 hours until visible signs of fermentation appear or as soon as I put the blow off on should I put it in the fridge and attach the probe?

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