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Old 07-01-2008, 12:34 PM   #11
Bobby_M
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Whatever cooling method you use, as long as you're conscious of the wort temp you'll be ok.

I have the temp controller's probe rubberbanded to the barleywine better bottle with the temp set to 67F. In order to get the fermenting wort to that set temp, the ambient of the fridge stays a consistent 10F lower for at least the entire second day of active ferementation.

I got this upright freezer for $20 on Craigslist 2 years ago.


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Old 07-01-2008, 12:50 PM   #12
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Bobby's results are not some freak event. Any brewer should count on actively fermenting wort coming in at 5-10F over ambient. That is a wide range when it comes to fermentation, and it depends on a whole boatload of factors (e.g., yeast, fermentability of wort, what else is in the fermenting fridge, air currents, and even the ambient temperature).

I don't know if fermentation temperature control is the most important part of brewing, but it certainly is no less important than any other part of the process.


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Old 07-01-2008, 03:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
...I have the temp controller's probe rubberbanded to the barleywine better bottle with the temp set to 67F. In order to get the fermenting wort to that set temp, the ambient of the fridge stays a consistent 10F lower for at least the entire second day of active ferementation.
When you use the liquid temp to control the temp controller, doesn't that cause the actual liquid temp to fluctuate more? For example, if you set the temp controller to 67F and the liquid rises to or above that, the fridge kicks on and stays on until the liquid drops to 66F (using a 1F differential here), but the fridge had been running for quite awhile to cause that liquid temp change and is now very cold, so now the liquid overshoots and continues dropping for a few more degrees. Then as the liquid warms back up it gets to 67F again and the fridge kicks on, but it will take awhile to get it cold enough to drop the liquid temp, so the liquid overshoots in the warmer direction this time.
I'm not sure how big a fluctuation this is, but it seems that using the ambient air temp with a 1F differential would keep a more consistent temp. I haven't tested this yet as I just got mine set up not long ago.
Also, if you use the liquid temp of one of the beers, the other beers are being temp controlled by how active the one being monitored is.

I'm guessing all the above doesn't matter as long as I keep it cool enough for all the beers.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron ken View Post
When you use the liquid temp to control the temp controller, doesn't that cause the actual liquid temp to fluctuate more? For example, if you set the temp controller to 67F and the liquid rises to or above that, the fridge kicks on and stays on until the liquid drops to 66F (using a 1F differential here), but the fridge had been running for quite awhile to cause that liquid temp change and is now very cold, so now the liquid overshoots and continues dropping for a few more degrees. Then as the liquid warms back up it gets to 67F again and the fridge kicks on, but it will take awhile to get it cold enough to drop the liquid temp, so the liquid overshoots in the warmer direction this time.
I'm not sure how big a fluctuation this is, but it seems that using the ambient air temp with a 1F differential would keep a more consistent temp. I haven't tested this yet as I just got mine set up not long ago.
Also, if you use the liquid temp of one of the beers, the other beers are being temp controlled by how active the one being monitored is.

I'm guessing all the above doesn't matter as long as I keep it cool enough for all the beers.
Actually, my point is exactly the opposite. If you put your probe in the open cabinet of the fridge you have to make some assumptions about what the fermenting wort will run at. If you guess 10F and you're right, no problem.

I like attaching the probe to the exterior of the carboy. It's more temp stable than the open air and represents the wort temp more closely. You would get those wild fluctuations you talk about if you had the probe in a thermowell deep in the core of the wort.
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