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Old 05-03-2013, 02:00 AM   #1
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Default what temp controller? froze my Keg

hello guys, so i go to pour some beer today and got nothing, i looked at the keg and disconnected the coupler and saw some ice under the coupler. i have a Haier Kegorator with a cooling fan installed and a tower cooler. i have been using the factory temp controller, but its time to upgrade to a digital unit. any ideas what temp controllers to purchase? I am ready to purchase the Johnson controls A419 but i dont know if people have had good luck with it or if people on here are using it. anybody have a unit there using and are happy with it? im set on the A419 if it will work properly for a beer kegorator. thanks guys.

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Old 05-03-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
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I use the Johnson controller, and I've been happy with it. Pretty simple to set up.


I did notice last night however that my beer was dispensing 10 degrees warmer than what I had it set for (according to my analog thermometer). I still don't know if that's due to the controller, the way I set the probe, a miscalibrated thermometer, or inefficient cooling in my coffin box/tap housing. A lot of other people seem to be happy with their Johnson controllers though. I know the Rancos are pretty popular too, as well as a couple others.

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Old 05-03-2013, 04:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by hunter_la5 View Post
I use the Johnson controller, and I've been happy with it. Pretty simple to set up.


I did notice last night however that my beer was dispensing 10 degrees warmer than what I had it set for (according to my analog thermometer). I still don't know if that's due to the controller, the way I set the probe, a miscalibrated thermometer, or inefficient cooling in my coffin box/tap housing. A lot of other people seem to be happy with their Johnson controllers though. I know the Rancos are pretty popular too, as well as a couple others.

do you have the probe submerged in liquid? im still not sure if i should do that.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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do you have the probe submerged in liquid? im still not sure if i should do that.
I have it suspended in a large mason jar of water on the floor of the kegerator.I don't know if that's the best way to do it.
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3. KingBrianI's Common Room ESB
cheezydemon3 is my spirit animal.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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I just bought (few days ago) the Johnson A419 controller and it seems to be working great. I don't have the probe in water, should I?

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Old 05-03-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
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I don't have the probe in water, should I?
I don't know, honestly. My theory was that air temperature changes a lot faster than liquid temp (or more importantly, the temperature of the beer), so having the temperature probe dangling in the air wouldn't help much when trying to cool the beer. This would also result in the compressor cycling more frequently. I figured by having the probe submerged in liquid, it would read temp changes a bit more gradually, and thus be closer to what the actual beer temp is.
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3. KingBrianI's Common Room ESB
cheezydemon3 is my spirit animal.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:29 PM   #7
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I use the jhonson A419 for my fermenting vessel. I tape the probe to the side of my carboy under a slab of styrofoam. As I really want to know the temp in there, not the temp of the air around it.

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Old 05-03-2013, 03:31 PM   #8
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I have checked with a thermometer in the carboy to make sure I was getting an accurate reading and it was pretty dang close. 1 degree to half a degree difference at most

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Old 05-03-2013, 06:11 PM   #9
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It all depends on how reliable you want it to be and if you need simultaneous cooling and heating control capability . These controller in the $50's range are not reliable in my experience and most if not all only control heating or cooling. You can use the alarm output as a second control but it doesn't work well. The good professional grade controllers will run in the $200+ range.

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Old 05-03-2013, 06:51 PM   #10
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thanks for the input everyone. well my kegorator was around 500 bucks so getting a $200 controller seems a little silly, im not in the brewing stages yet, im just trying to drink tap beer. so the A419 should suit my needs. but im still not sure if i want it in liquid temp or air temp. *EDIT* just bought the A419, 72 bucks on amazon and free 2 day shipping for me. i got the wired unit so i paid a little more.

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