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Old 06-18-2009, 12:21 AM   #1
Don
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I built a electric RIMS using a water heater element (similar to one I've seen on this site).
I used it on my last batch with a Ranco controller and wasn't happy with the way it tried to keep the temp.
The temperature would swing several degrees on both side of my set point.
set point 152 output 147 to 156.
I installed the probe in the top (output) side of the RIMS with a compression fitting, probe inserted inside the pipe right by the output port, to measure the temperature before it went in to the mash.

Is this the best place to measure the temperature and is there a better control to use (without breaking the bank)?

Thanks
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:55 AM   #2

Problem with a Ranco is that it is strictly an on-off control. What is the dead band or hysteresis? Is it adjustable? Deadband might be 3-4 degrees. You really need a PID control with a pulsed output. Look at the Love or Auber Instruments controllers...
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:24 AM   #3
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+1 Poobah is absolutely correct. You need a PID controller. There are a number of manufacturers that make a product that won't break the bank.
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:51 AM   #4
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Whats your differential set at? If its a 4 degree differential it would fluctuate 4 degrees

 
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:40 AM   #5
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It's set at 1 degs.

Thanks I've been doing some reading and it looks like a PID will solve my problem.
I just have to figure out which one is the easiest one to operate
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:57 PM   #6
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When I used a LOVE control in similar set-up to what you describe I generally got no more than 1 or 2 degrees of fluctuation in temp with it set to a 1 degree band.

Is the HEX swinging 4 degrees or is the mash swinging 4 degrees? How fast are you flowing the wort through the HEX?

I found that I get better accuracy if I dough in and slowly open the valve controlling the recirc to wide open. If I tried to throttle it down to a flow like I would use during a sparge, I got wild temp swings like you describe.

In this pic you can see I have the love is reading 99 degrees. I have it set to 100. The 2nd thermometer is reading 99.2 at the bottom of my mash.



This system worked very well for me.

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Old 06-20-2009, 12:12 AM   #7
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The flow may of had something to do with it.
When I built the system I tried it with water only and full flow, set the controller at 130 and it raised it to 130 and pretty much held it there, then raised it to 140, then 154 and it held the temperature within a couple of degrees during the process.
When I went to use it on brew day I think I slowed the flow way down and that may have given me my swing.

I will go back and play with it some more to see if I can get it right this time.

Thanks

Don
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