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View Poll Results: Where do you attach your ranco temperature probe in your fermentation chamber?
Attach the probe to the active fermenter 15 51.72%
Leave the probe loose to set ambient air in the chamber 14 48.28%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-15-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
planenut
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Where do you put your temperature probe from your Ranco, Johnson or Love controller?

If the chamber is set at 68, the active fermenter will be higher from the heat it generates.

If I tape it to the active fermenter, all the others will be off and I don't know how well it will handle any temp swings. The fridge may get way cold before the 5 gallons of wort drop a few degrees.

 
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:03 PM   #2
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I never attach the probe to the carboy. The thermal mass of 5-6 gallons during fermentation would take forever to drop a few degrees and the air temp by then could be below freezing specially if doing a lager. I just set the temp to 61 or there abouts and let her go.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:36 PM   #3
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I've only had it set up and working for one batch. Like you, I set it for 62 and let it go. The Kolsch got up to around 66 or 67 at the hottest in the first 48 hours but then settled down to 62 for the balance of fermentation.

 
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:39 PM   #4
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I use both. I keep the probe out of the thermowell initially to bring the bulk of the wort close to my desired fermentation temp. Usually this is in range before the ferment goes exothermic anyway. Then I put the probe in the thermowell and control the fermentation temps.

If you are not monitoring the actual fermentation temp, you don't have the kind of control I am looking for. Fermentation can produce anywhere between 4-10 degrees above ambient and I find it is difficult to predict because I use so many different yeasts.

 
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
I use both. I keep the probe out of the thermowell initially to bring the bulk of the wort close to my desired fermentation temp. Usually this is in range before the ferment goes exothermic anyway. Then I put the probe in the thermowell and control the fermentation temps.

If you are not monitoring the actual fermentation temp, you don't have the kind of control I am looking for. Fermentation can produce anywhere between 4-10 degrees above ambient and I find it is difficult to predict because I use so many different yeasts.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:20 PM   #6
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I place it underneath the dome of the carboy(I use BB.) So it's mostly attached, although a thermowell should be the method I use.

I'm thinking it's not giving as true of a reading, so I'm going to lower the SP to a few degrees lower than desired and bump it back up once active fermentation is over.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:23 PM   #7
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I monitor the fermentor. I wouldn't worry about overchilling another fermentor in the chamber (say a week ahead of the hot one). This assumes however that there is an internal fan to move the air around, which helps to dissipate the heat from the very active fermentor. If there is no fan, than one might have some troubles as the active fermentor will get warmer. If one has no fan, than chamber temp might be a better way to go. Having a fan is best though as it will help to minimize hot spots in the chamber.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:42 PM   #8
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I find that my freezer will drop the wort temp from 70 to 61 in an hour. I always attach the probe the the active fermenter. I also tend to take the other fermenter out, I brew once a week or less so the fermenter in the freezer has gone through it's most active fermentation anyway, I just set it in the brew-room where it sits at ~65

Attaching the probe allows me a lot more control of the fermentation temp, the other beers are through most of their fermentation so I don't worry about them.

On the rare, rare occasion I am doing two brews at once I have just left the probe hang in the air, the upper part of the freezer, set it at 61
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:29 PM   #9
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I use a thermowell and measure the actual liquid temperature. Taping a sensor to the fermenter, under a small piece of foam insulation is a decent alternative. I found that I achieved a much more stable temp and it didn't overshoot like I'd thought it might.

 
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:13 AM   #10
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I think it really depends on the design of the chamber, and how many different fermenters you have. My goal is to have a set max temp (i.e. 67F). I'm fine if something drops 1-2 degrees, but it should never be above my max temp.

One of my chambers is a small fridge. In the Winter I need heat, so I use a heating pad taped to the side of the carboy and probe is as well. In the summer I need to chill, so I have the probe measuring the ambient temp (i.e. 61F).

In my big chamber, I can hold 5-6 carboys and don't really have a choice but to measure ambient. Someday I'd like to build a chamber with individual heat zones with hot / cold air vents that could be automatically controlled. Someday.

 
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