I haven't gotten too sophisicated in my brewing techniques just yet, but have been thinking about controlling my process a bit more. Fermentation temperatures being one area I'd like to have more control over. Up until now, I've just used the Fermometer adhesive tapes you stick to the side of the carboy to indicate temperatures. Not really sure how precise and accurate these are, but they've helped me produce some damn fine beer thus far. Anywho, I've heard that yeast respiration actually produces it's own heat. Adding an additional 5-10 degrees...? I'm assuming the added amount varies depending on whether it is a really high gravity liquid vs. low gravity or a very active, strong fermentation vs. slow, lethargic fermentation, etc.
So a few questions I've been pondering: do the Fermometer tapes reflect the overall temperature of the liquid (ambient temp + additional degrees added due to yeast respiration)? If the Fermometer tapes (or whatever other external thermometer you might be using) only reflects ambient temperature, then I should not be adjusting temperature control based on what the tape is reading as the internal temperature of the liquid will be higher, correct? Also, I'm just curious if anyone has ever used a really accurate thermometer to measure the internal liquid temperature during active fermentation and compared that with what the cheaper temp gauges might be reading?