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Old 12-07-2011, 03:17 PM   #1
adkins220
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Mar 2011
Hamlin, WV
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Ok guys, I have improved my brewing skills greatly thanks to you guys sharing your knowledge on here for new brewers. In an effort to brew better beer, i stepped it up to all grain, full boils, and temp control. I was feeling pretty good about everythign i had done but then i started questioning myself... So here is my question.

I have a "fermentation Chamber" (old fridge) sitting in an uninsulated outbuilding in WV (in december). In the fridge i have a heater connected to an
A419 temp control contraption (fridge is unplugged) and i have the temp sensor submerged in a jar full of water. I remotely monitor the fridge ambient temps from inside of my house with a wireless outdoor temp controller. The ambient temps range quite a bit but the water temp of the fridge stays within 5 degrees of 68.

My thought process was i would have a more accurate reading of liquid with it submerged, but now i am questioning if it would be better to have the ambient team dictate the heater allowing for a more stable temp in the environment.

Confused......Please let me know your thoughts.



 
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
TyTanium
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Can you set your tolerance to be +/- 2 degress instead of +/-5?

I suppose changing to ambient would accomplish something similar, but you're after a stable liquid temp, so I vote keep your probe submerged and set a lower tolerance.



 
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:48 PM   #3
adkins220
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Mar 2011
Hamlin, WV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyTanium View Post
Can you set your tolerance to be +/- 2 degress instead of +/-5?

I suppose changing to ambient would accomplish something similar, but you're after a stable liquid temp, so I vote keep your probe submerged and set a lower tolerance.
Yes, i believe i can set the Diff setting to 2 instead of the default 5. I was wondering what the best setting would be for this, but just left the defaults. I will change to 5.

Also, there is a "short cycle delay" that is set to default 12 minutes. It think this is teh earliest time the device (heater at this point) will kick back in. do you think this would be sufficient?

Thanks for the quick reply

 
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:07 PM   #4
Cromwell
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Look at it this way: if the ambient temperature is higher than your target, you're heating your beer. If the ambient temperature is lower, you're cooling your beer.
Since the jar of water has significant thermal mass, you won't detect that the ambient air is cooling your beer until it has sufficiently cooled the thermal mass of your jar of water. Essentially, you're substantially damping (no pun intended) the sensitivity of your temp sensor.
Since you're mostly heating, the delay cycle should be sufficient to protect you from over-cycling. I'd leave the tolerance at +/- 5, but take the sensor out of the water and just test ambients.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:26 PM   #5
william_shakes_beer
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Are you planning to submerge the sensor in the beer or in a container of water next to the beer? If in water, you have not accounted for the warming effect of the yeast.

 
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:22 PM   #6
daksin
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I would consider taping the sensor to the side of your fermentor and insulating it with a bit of soft foam. That might be a better read, that way you can set the temp of your beer, and not the temp of the fridge.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:17 PM   #7
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The short cycle delay is to save refrigeration compressors, generally you want this no shorter than 3 minutes so that pressure can equalize in the compressor before it kicks on again.

If you are only heating, there is no need for this, set it to zero.

Also, if the fridge is in good shape you can probably heat with just a 100 watt bulb or a ceramic heater from a reptile store. I use FermWrap that I bought from - The Bean Farm by the foot to heat my carboys.

With an inline voltmeter and dimmer switch I set it to 30 volts and it stays at 68 degrees without having to cycle it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:20 PM   #8
adkins220
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Mar 2011
Hamlin, WV
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Great!

Thank you guys so much for taking the time to respond. I am going to brew my next batch Sunday and switch up my configuration.

Thanks again!



 
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