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Old 04-25-2012, 03:10 AM   #1
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Default First time with ebay temp contoller..

So to start, this is commentary, but I welcome comments or questions.. I have been drinking a bit this evening so I decided to post a commentary vs my normal questions.

I used my temp controller for the first time on a big beer. 1.085.. I attached the temp controller to the power cord of a wine cooler. Even with the internal temp set for 60F, the temp of the beer climbed up to 74 degrees for a few hours. If you think about it for even a second you realize that a fungus that is the size of 1/10 of a human hair managed to raise the temp of 2.5 gallons (i brew small) of wort by 14 degrees over ambient!

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Old 04-25-2012, 04:41 AM   #2
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I just put a temp controller on my chest freezer, which cools things down pretty fast when the compressor comes on. I am planning to tape the probe to the carboy so I can monitor it directly. I'm brewing tomorrow so I will give a try for the first time. Those yeasty beasties pushed my ferment temp up over 80 last time!

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Old 04-25-2012, 12:13 PM   #3
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I add a battery powered digital thermometer to my ferm fridge because the dial on my temperature controller is useless (Johnson Controller A19). With my fridge and temperature contoller, setting the temperature controller to 60 actually means the ambient temperature inside the fridge is about 68.

I have a feeling you might be experiencing the same thing. Which model temp. controller are using?

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Old 04-25-2012, 04:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pie_Man
I add a battery powered digital thermometer to my ferm fridge because the dial on my temperature controller is useless (Johnson Controller A19). With my fridge and temperature contoller, setting the temperature controller to 60 actually means the ambient temperature inside the fridge is about 68.

I have a feeling you might be experiencing the same thing. Which model temp. controller are using?
eBay el cheapo model. I checked it's accuracy vs another thermometer and it's pretty dead on. Also checked the temp on the wine fridge to make sure and again using a second thermometer it was actually slightly cooler ambient.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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That's good to hear. You're right though, it's pretty amazing how much heat the yeast and fermentation can cause. I commonly see temperature differentials of 5-10 degrees especially at high krausen.

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Old 04-25-2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pie_Man
That's good to hear. You're right though, it's pretty amazing how much heat the yeast and fermentation can cause. I commonly see temperature differentials of 5-10 degrees especially at high krausen.
This was definitely in the midst of things on a 1.084 wort.. Blow tube was full of stuff....
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
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My solution has been to monitor the fermentation using a thermowell and a second controller (I happen to have a couple).

I place the chamber temp probe in a couple cups of water to help dampen temp changes. By monitoring the fermentor thermometer and adjusting the controller accordingly I can keep the fermentation temp within a half degree of target.

Trying to run the controller based on the fermentor temp didn't work well because to drop the fermentor temp even 1 degree requires the freezer to run a long time to change the temp of that mass...you end up with an ambient temp below freezing

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Old 04-25-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer
My solution has been to monitor the fermentation using a thermowell and a second controller (I happen to have a couple).

I place the chamber temp probe in a couple cups of water to help dampen temp changes. By monitoring the fermentor thermometer and adjusting the controller accordingly I can keep the fermentation temp within a half degree of target.

Trying to run the controller based on the fermentor temp didn't work well because to drop the fermentor temp even 1 degree requires the freezer to run a long time to change the temp of that mass...you end up with an ambient temp below freezing
So I am using a wine fridge as the chamber currently. If its powered off it automatically assumes red wine when it turns back on. So it aims for 58 degrees. The probe from the eBay controller is taped to the side of my better bottle and then covered (just the probe not the whole bottle) with a bit of insulation. I'm not happy with this setup but until SWMBO gets ti red of me taking over her wine fridge and let's me build something more specialized it's what I got.
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