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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Is a 3.5 degree tempurature differential to much?
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:57 AM   #1
JDFlow
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Default Is a 3.5 degree tempurature differential to much?

I just got a temperature controller for my fermentation chamber. It has a fixed 3.5 degree temperature differential. Is that too wide of a range?

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Old 05-24-2012, 04:42 AM   #2
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In most cases...no, it's not a big deal. Keep in mind that it will take a looong time for a 5 gallon batch to change internal temp in the fermenter since the controller is reading air temp not wort temp. You will find that if set at say 64 deg, your ferment temp might go as high as 68 or so for the first few days because fermenting creates heat. But after fementation slows and stops, it will drop to 64. Use a good thermometer placed in the center of the fridge and you will be able to tune in to your desired air temp. You might have to have the controller at 62 or 66 to get a constant 64, they all read a little different, and I wouldn't count on the temp you set being accurate without checking with a thermometer.

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Old 05-24-2012, 04:54 AM   #3
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Thanks. I have the temperature probe in a gallon of water. I read somewhere that was a good idea.

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Old 05-24-2012, 05:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDFlow
Thanks. I have the temperature probe in a gallon of water. I read somewhere that was a good idea.
I think you would be better off taping it to the side of the fermentor.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by pelipen View Post
I think you would be better off taping it to the side of the fermentor.
agreed.. grab some bubble wrap and fold it over a few times.. put the probe against the side of the fermentor and cover it with the bubble wrap.. tape it down.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:40 AM   #6
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oh yeah I would probably also set it toward the low end of the yeast temp range that way when it does raise the 3.5 degrees and kick on teh cooling you will be good.

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Old 05-24-2012, 05:44 AM   #7
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It's a chest freezer with refrigeration coils running through the walls which are really thin. The walls get really cold really quick. Do you think that'd tell the controller it's already cold enough in there and shut it down prematurely? That was my worry, but I definitely respect experience over my assumptions.

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Old 05-24-2012, 05:56 AM   #8
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thats why taping it to the fermentor works better.. it reads the temp of the BEER not the walls or the air.

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Old 05-24-2012, 02:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by OHIOSTEVE View Post
thats why taping it to the fermentor works better.. it reads the temp of the BEER not the walls or the air.
This
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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I just started a similar thread for a fermentation with the probe attached to the side of a carboy and the controller set for a 1F differential. The controller display shows about a 2F rise in temperature before the chest freezer is cycled. A thermocouple with data logger showed a bigger swing as indicated in the graph in the thread.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/bel...rature-330554/

Attaching the probe to the fermenter will create the biggest temperature change to the beer but the least amount of freezer/refrigerator cycling. My experience is that these swings do not effect the attenuation but I typically also raise the temperature by 5F towards the end of fermenation and most of the time transition to a heater controlling air temperature inside the freezer where the beer temperature stays very constant and the heater cycles more often. I'd recommend trying to find a way to end your fermenation at a stable temperature and sometimes a closet or basement is perfect.

It's also interesting to note that the shortest time between cycles indicates where the fermenation was most active.

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