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-   -   Chest Freezer Temp Swings (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chest-freezer-temp-swings-357836/)

sgraham602 09-30-2012 06:45 PM

Chest Freezer Temp Swings
 
I use a chest freezer attached to a Johnson Controls analog temperature controller. It works great during the summer when it is warm, but this time of year as it gets cooler there are temperature swings of 5-10 degrees in the freezer at night. I've read of a few options.

1. install a lightbulb (similar to ones used in terrariums) to keep the temperature up and rely solely on the cooler to keep the correct temperature.

2. install a small space heater using the same principle.

3. install a small spacer heater and replace current temp controller with a dual stage controller.

Wondering what everyone else out there does and what will help keep a steady fermentation temp

earwig 09-30-2012 06:49 PM

I deal with this same issue every year at this time. I just end up fermenting at around 65% because it doesn't seem to get colder than that down there and when it gets warmer I can have my thermostat turn on the freezer. Once it gets much colder I find a ceramic reptile heater works great... just mount it in the freezer and let the JC kick it on. I don't use a light bulb because I am always worried about them burning out and the wort getting too cold.

tknice 10-01-2012 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sgraham602 (Post 4457428)
I use a chest freezer attached to a Johnson Controls analog temperature controller. It works great during the summer when it is warm, but this time of year as it gets cooler there are temperature swings of 5-10 degrees in the freezer at night. I've read of a few options.

1. install a lightbulb (similar to ones used in terrariums) to keep the temperature up and rely solely on the cooler to keep the correct temperature.

2. install a small space heater using the same principle.

3. install a small spacer heater and replace current temp controller with a dual stage controller.

Wondering what everyone else out there does and what will help keep a steady fermentation temp

Hey sgraham602,

How are you reading the temperature? If you have a way to immerse a temp probe in a jar of water, I bet you'll find the average temperature does not change all that much--which is what would happen with fermenting carboy as well.

If you decide on the lightbulb idea, check our site for the fermentation chamber build (under DIY equipment) and you'll find pictures on how to enclose the bulb into a pint-sized paint can. You'll still need a way to turn the light on/off as needed though, which there are many ways to do.

-TK

Aschecte 10-01-2012 02:01 PM

First can you tell us he model if the Johnson control ? I'm assuming it a A419 control which is very common in the homebrew world. If so it is a dual stage control there is a jumper inside it you just need to move it over there are instructions to do this on Johnson control website for the a419. I use a brew strip from norhern brewer it looks like a thin may 18x36 clear sheet with electric heat strips in it kinda like what's in the rear window of a car. I think I pad like 25 dollars for it and it work excellently.

sgraham602 10-01-2012 02:52 PM

its the analog controller. I believe the A19AAT-1? Heres a link.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/j...hermostat.html


I know there is no way to override this type of controller.

sgraham602 10-01-2012 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tknice (Post 4459142)
Hey sgraham602,

How are you reading the temperature? If you have a way to immerse a temp probe in a jar of water, I bet you'll find the average temperature does not change all that much--which is what would happen with fermenting carboy as well.

If you decide on the lightbulb idea, check our site for the fermentation chamber build (under DIY equipment) and you'll find pictures on how to enclose the bulb into a pint-sized paint can. You'll still need a way to turn the light on/off as needed though, which there are many ways to do.

-TK

I have a lab thermometer in a glass of water in the chest freezer that I have been using to verify the temperature.


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