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Old 01-12-2012, 09:30 PM   #1
AbeLincoln
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Default Fermentation temperature clarification

Does "fermentation temperature" refer to the temperature inside or outside of the fermentation vessel?

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Old 01-12-2012, 09:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by AbeLincoln View Post
Does "fermentation temperature" refer to the temperature inside or outside of the fermentation vessel?
Inside.

If measuring outside, try to get as accurate of a reading as you can. For my cheapo ebay digital temperature controller, I use bubble wrap around the temperature probe which I tape to the outside of the plastic fermentation bucket. I also try to stay near the bottom of the fermentation range. For example, I set my fermentation temperature to 64-65 when using s-04 yeast.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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inside the vessel...

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Old 01-13-2012, 02:19 AM   #4
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>.< Thanks

Is there an easy/cheap modification I can do to my brewing bucket to keep an eye on wort temperature?

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Old 01-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #5
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>.< Thanks

Is there an easy/cheap modification I can do to my brewing bucket to keep an eye on wort temperature?
Throw one of these on the side of your bucket,

http://www.amazon.com/Fermometer-Adh.../dp/B004B4TS1S


it will get you close enough to the inside temp. Most home brew shops sell them.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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If you have spare stainless steel dip tube or small diameter tubing you can make a thermowell (or buy one) then drop your favorite temp probe in there to monitor what is going on. I just made mine x 2 one for a mash thermometer and one for fermenter.

Clem

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Old 01-13-2012, 12:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Clementine View Post
If you have spare stainless steel dip tube or small diameter tubing you can make a thermowell (or buy one) then drop your favorite temp probe in there to monitor what is going on. I just made mine x 2 one for a mash thermometer and one for fermenter.

Clem
I have also found that taping a probe to the side of the fermenter and then insulating with with bubble wrap is almost if accurate (if not just as accurate). Can't blame somebody for geeking out though!
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:44 PM   #8
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I've been using a stick-on liquid crystal thermometer, but I think I'm ready to begin probing the core temperature of my fermenting wort in order to achieve greater control over fermentation.

Here's my concern:

The specific heat of the high density polyethylene bucket fermenter is somewhere between 1.8 - 2.7 J/g.K (joules per grams Kelvin)* whereas the specific heat of the air in my fermenting room at 20 degrees Celsius is 1.005 J/g.K ** If the wort has a gravity of 1.05, its specific heat would be just above 4 J/g.K throughout the possible range of fermentation temperatures for my yeast (Safbrew T-58). ***

What this means is that while using the stick-on thermometer, I'm getting some measurement of the average kinetic energy between the air and bucket (which have greater thermal transfer potentials than wort [ie. lower specific heat]), and the fermenting wort.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clementine View Post
If you have spare stainless steel dip tube or small diameter tubing you can make a thermowell (or buy one) then drop your favorite temp probe in there to monitor what is going on. I just made mine x 2 one for a mash thermometer and one for fermenter.

Clem
I like Clem's idea because it involves measuring the average kinetic energy between two substances and not three (provided one uses a steel temperature probe). Further, steel has a relatively low specific gravity (.5 J/g.K)**** and thus a better thermal transfer potential than both plastic and air. It should essentially suck the heat right out of the surrounding wort and give one a reading with a much more negligible deviation.

The thermowell has two apparent benefits then:
  1. Greater accuracy in temperature measurement
  2. Ability to measure core temperature of wort

I suppose I could drill another hole in my lid, stick a rubber lid grommet into it, then find or make a stainless steel thermowell of the appropriate diameter and length and be all set.

Any thoughts?

Thanks guys

* Material Properties of HDPE, Commodity Polymers | Polymers Data Sheets

**Air Properties

***Sugar - Specific Heat Capacity (SG to brix calculation necessary to use calculator)

****Metals - Specific Heats
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