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Old 11-30-2012, 02:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
That's why I use a thermowell goting into the middle of the ferementer, sealed at the opening, with a digital probe going down into it. The probe goes almost to the bottom, and has a display placed on a shelf nearby. That way I don't need to worry about ambient temps influencing the reading. I have all my fermenting caps set up that way.
Hmmmm....why do you place it at the bottom of your fermenter if heat rises? It would seem that you would want to place it near the top of the wort. Of course if the theory is that all the wort is essentially the same temperature then it doesn't really matter where you place your probe. You could even place it on the outside of the fermenter as long as you insulated it from the ambient temperature.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:50 AM   #12
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The probe stops before the bottom of the fermenting vessel. About 6-8" from the bottom in fact. So the sensor might be in the bottom 1/3 of the vessel. The way the thermowell works, it's getting the temperature from all of what it's in contact with. With the plug in the top, it stabilizes that reading for me.

Besides, as long as I'm within a degree F, I'm happy. At least I know the ambient air temp is not influencing my temperature readings.

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Old 11-30-2012, 05:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedYellow
My lagers don't like your rule of thumb. I usually see more like 3-5F with lagers. Seems to be a bit lower than my ales. YMMV.
Ill change it to a theory of thumb lol I've never done a lager in a cooler lol
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
That's why I use a thermowell going into the middle of the ferementer, sealed at the opening, with a digital probe going down into it. The probe goes almost to the bottom, and has a display placed on a shelf nearby. That way I don't need to worry about ambient temps influencing the reading. I have all my fermenting caps set up that way.
so based on your measurements - are you in the 3-5 camp or the 5-10 camp?
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:48 PM   #15
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so based on your measurements - are you in the 3-5 camp or the 5-10 camp?
Hey now, I didn't mean to imply there are 2 mutually-exclusive camps. I only meant there seems to be a lager range and an ale range. I've seen 3-5F with lagers but 5-8F with ales.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:55 PM   #16
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I use a swamp cooler (igloo cube cooler) and have done two experiments measuring the swamp cooler water and then sticking the thermometer (sanitized) down into the fermenting wort. I've done this for 2 brews both about 1.055 and measured 3 days in a row during active fermentation. So, I had 3 data points for each brew, 6 total. Every time their was no material difference between the temp of the cooler water or the center fermentation column. Conclusions: There is enough thermal mass in my cooler water to keep the ferm temps within a degree of the swamp cooler water temp. So now I am pretty comfortable taking the swamp temp and assuming my ferm temp is roughly the same.

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Old 11-30-2012, 05:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by brycelarson View Post
so based on your measurements - are you in the 3-5 camp or the 5-10 camp?
It goes up what it goes up. Normally it ferments within the range the yeast likes, so I don't worry about it. I typically aim for it to start in the low end of that range, so it won't go above the middle of the range.

Right now, I have a big barleywine fermenting in the basement. The ambient temp in there was 52 this morning (right where the vessel is sitting). Inside temp was 58F. Previously, it was about 4F above ambient. I wrapped it with some insulation (single layer) last night and added some heat for 2 hours. It lost only a single degree overnight. I've added another layer today, after giving it another 2 hour shot of warmth. It will be interesting to see how well it retains it's temperature today.

IME, a lot really depends on the wort temperature either when you pitch, or what it reaches before the yeast goes full active. Use the same yeast strain for your batches and you'll learn how it reacts under different conditions.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedYellow View Post
Hey now, I didn't mean to imply there are 2 mutually-exclusive camps. I only meant there seems to be a lager range and an ale range. I've seen 3-5F with lagers but 5-8F with ales.
No insult intended.

I'm a data guy - the more the better. I don't have a thermowell - so just looking for reports from other people to use as a base line. If I know that an active ferment will be 5+ and a moderate or slow will be closer to 3-5 - that's helpful information.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RmikeVT View Post
I use a swamp cooler (igloo cube cooler) and have done two experiments measuring the swamp cooler water and then sticking the thermometer (sanitized) down into the fermenting wort. I've done this for 2 brews both about 1.055 and measured 3 days in a row during active fermentation. So, I had 3 data points for each brew, 6 total. Every time their was no material difference between the temp of the cooler water or the center fermentation column. Conclusions: There is enough thermal mass in my cooler water to keep the ferm temps within a degree of the swamp cooler water temp. So now I am pretty comfortable taking the swamp temp and assuming my ferm temp is roughly the same.
That is why I think fermenting in a temp controlled water bath is much better. Most people do the temp controlled fridge because it is easier but water is much better insulator than air.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:18 AM   #20
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I use the fridge. I tape the probe from the temperature controller onto the bucket. In a sense, I guess I'm letting the yeast operate the fridge for a while. It would be more accurate to have the probe in the middle of the wort, but then I would have to wrap my probe.

And no one wants that.

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