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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Good score and upgrade, now I have some questions
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:19 PM   #1
cfrazier77
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Default Good score and upgrade, now I have some questions

I had some good luck in upgrading my brewery. First, I bought a guy's brewing stuff since he had not brewed since 2001. I paid $150 and got a keggle, counterflow chiller, jet burner, CO2 regulator, temp controller, 10+ gallon Igloo drink cooler, round, that is set up for a MLT, 2 carboys, and other odds and ends. The keggle had a bulkhead welded in. I added a sight glass, pickup tube, and a thermometer.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1307305045
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1307305190

Question, how do you clean the sight glass after brewing? Also, from the pictures is there anything else I need to do or have set up wrong?

Second, I wanted to better control my fermenting temps and found an old fridge for $20.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1307305614
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1307306508
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1307307035
The questions I have on this is how to control it. The lowest that the fridge part gets is 40. I was going to use a temp controller to control the temp just by controlling the power. Then I thought that I could block off the factory air duct from the freeze to the fridge and install a new on with a muffin fan controlled by the temp controller. I thought that this would be better on the compressor. Would this work? Would it be better than just plugging the whole thing into the temp controller.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

img_7060.jpg   img_7061.jpg   img_7053.jpg   img_7054.jpg   img_7056.jpg  

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Old 06-05-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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Nice Score!

The box with the dials in the back of the fridge contains the thermostats for the fridge and freezer. You should be able to get the plastic cover off to gain access to the tstats. Once you have access to the fridge tstat you may be able to find the coarse temperature adjustment screw which will allow adjustment far beyond the currently selectable range. Which direction to turn the screw to set the fridge lower depends on the particular design of the tstat, but if you can make it work you can save money on an external controller and leave the freezer alone. This is a photo of the tstat from my fridge with the coarse set screw visible:



One last thing, don't mess with the tstat while the fridge is plugged in!

Good luck!

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Old 06-05-2011, 10:36 PM   #3
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Nice find. I clean the site glass by using a garden hose and just spraying it out after use. Doesn't have to be sanitized or anything since it'll have boiling liquid in it. I use a temperature controller on my fridge. Worth the money in my opinion.

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Old 06-06-2011, 02:00 AM   #4
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My point is that even with an external controller he wont be able to get it any colder than it is without either adjusting the internal thermostat or completely bypassing it.

The general principle with refrigeration units is that an external controller can get you warmer than the internal thermostat set point but not colder. Again, to go colder you need to adjust or bypass the internal thermostat.

Good luck!

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Old 06-06-2011, 04:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AssistantBrewer View Post
My point is that even with an external controller he wont be able to get it any colder than it is without either adjusting the internal thermostat or completely bypassing it.

The general principle with refrigeration units is that an external controller can get you warmer than the internal thermostat set point but not colder. Again, to go colder you need to adjust or bypass the internal thermostat.

Good luck!

AssistantBrewer
You shouldn't ever have to get colder than refrigerator temps for fermenting, so by just turning the t-stat as cold as it goes and using an external temp controller you can get your fermenting temp dialed in nicely.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:55 AM   #6
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Congrats on a nice score!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfrazier77 View Post
Question, how do you clean the sight glass after brewing?
What Hammy said. I might consider taking it off and giving it a thorough cleaning with a brush once every year or two, but a quick rinse is really all that's needed after each brew.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfrazier77 View Post
I was going to use a temp controller to control the temp just by controlling the power. Then I thought that I could block off the factory air duct from the freeze to the fridge and install a new on with a muffin fan controlled by the temp controller. I thought that this would be better on the compressor. Would this work? Would it be better than just plugging the whole thing into the temp controller.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
I would just control the power to the fridge with the temp controller. For what you're describing doing you'd also have to bypass the fridge t-stat to keep it from running constantly, and it wouldn't be any easier on the compressor. You could also try adjusting the existing t-stat as previously mentioned, but I personally like better hysteresis control than the 6-10F found in most fridge t-stats.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:27 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help, I will use a temp controller.

Thanks!

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Old 06-06-2011, 10:39 PM   #8
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sweet find man...growing green with angry envy

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