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Old 05-27-2007, 06:16 PM   #1
BlindLemonLars
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Default Controller with Sanyo 491x?

Here's a question for those of you that have converted the Sanyo 4911 and 4912: are you using an external temperature controller?

I thought the external controllers were really for those using freezers as kegerators, and that they wouldn't be necessary with a fridge. After all, our kitchen refrigerators seem to have no trouble maintaining a stable, beer appropriate temperature. However, the temp in my 4911 seems to swing quite a bit, and I can't get it dialed in. With the very same setting, it goes as high as 41° and as low as 30°. If I tweak it high enough to stay above freezing, the upper extreme is unacceptably warm.

Then, I figured that a good thermal load ought to help stabilize things, so I put in six 1 gallon bottles of spring water. Checked the temp last night and it was 40°. This morning I woke up to find it at 30°, and my bottles partially frozen!

I'm just trying to get all this stuff sorted out before I actually put kegs in there. While I do like my beer on the cold side (even English ales,) obviously I don't want my precious brew to freeze. It seems like the lines themselves would be particularly vulnerable. I'd rather not pop for a controller, but I will if I have to.

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Old 05-27-2007, 06:18 PM   #2
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Sounds like a perfect situation for a temperature controller to me.

I recommend the Ranco ETC series.

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Old 05-27-2007, 06:49 PM   #3
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I have a Ranco on mine... here is how I did it: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=19596

I've made one modification since this thread though. I moved the temperature probe to the bottom of the fridge.

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Old 05-27-2007, 07:43 PM   #4
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I have no trouble keeping between 32-35 degrees in my 4912. Maybe SANYO narrowed the spec. for temp fluctuation in the 4912...

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Old 05-27-2007, 08:01 PM   #5
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I don't know if it's truly necessary, but I use one on mine. I can adjust the temp for different styles of beer easily with it.

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Old 05-28-2007, 12:30 AM   #6
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Thanks everybody. John & Buford, I particularly appreciate your kegerator photo guides, they are a wealth of information and ideas. I'm thinking I'll go with the gas cylinder shelf, as well as the dry erase board.

I'll probably give it go without a controller, making sure I err on the high side, temperature-wise. I'm also going to put my dairy thermometer in a glass of water, which should give me a more meaningful measurement. That hadn't occurred to me, until I read the part about installing the temp probe in "blue ice" liquid.

I'm looking forward to kegging my next batch. I just finished bottling up my Newcastle brew...what a pain! It looks beautiful though, in all it's amber glory. (The 12oz Red Hook bottles are for the inevitable premature sampling...I won't have to sacrifice a pint or liter bottle!)

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Old 06-04-2007, 02:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindLemonLars
I'll probably give it go without a controller, making sure I err on the high side, temperature-wise.
Uhhh...never mind. I opened up the Sanyo yesterday, and found my water bottles frozen, and a shattered bottle of Tejava. What fun, cleaning up frozen iced tea mixed with glass shards. Thankfully I didn't have any beer in there. I've ordered a Ranco.

I've found that if I put my 5lb tank inside on the back ledge of fridge, supported by a bungy cord and small wooden shelf, I have room for two kegs without having to gut the inner door. I prefer this, as I like the idea of storing a few cans and bottles in the door, plus the light switch still works. Will I run into any problems with the Co2 tank pressed against the chill plate in the back? I suppose I could make an insulating sleeve.

The plastic top has been trimmed and the 8" wood square fitted. I've got my ventmatic faucets, a drip tray, and all tubing and fittings. A tower and rails are on the way. I'm closing in on this thing!
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:23 PM   #8
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The CO2 bottle is held with a bungie-no shelf. I have kept the door insides except for the lower clear plastic bins, and have just enough room to close the door. Lotsa room for glasses.

I have a fridge thermometer hanging from an upper rack on the door and the AIR temp swings more than I want but I don't think the actual fluid temp (beer) is swinging quite as much as the ambient air temp.

I've considered using an electronic therm. control, but haven't yet- I'm waiting to see how it is in full summer, and I'm not sure if I am keeping it in garage (nearer pool) or living room. Probably garage in summer and living room in winter.

But back to the air temp changes, I'm wondering if keeping the probe exposed to the internal air and not in a ice pack or water glass would provide a more stable temp overall. I also wonder if the variation of the Sanyo thermostat is so the compressor doesn't overwork and freeze-up. I would like a bit more stable temps, but am not sold on the necessity of it in my specific use, yet.

My only issue is the first one is warmer than I want-since I am not attempting to the cool the tower/faucet. After the first, they are excellent in temp and pour. Using the pre-cooled glasses sorta alleviates enough issue to not have messed with it yet... What ain't broke....

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Old 06-04-2007, 07:26 PM   #9
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I only turned mine on once so far. I put it on level 3 (right in the middle) and it cooled a glass of water to 40 F after leaving in for 3 hours. I assumed this is as cold as it would get.
I'm sure I'll find out after I put 2 kegs in it.

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