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Question about air temp in fermenting fridge

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StrongBad42

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I'm brewing a hopslam clone and recently hooked up an ITC-1000 to our extra fridge. I was thinking of keeping the air temp inside the fridge to about 60 degrees. Should be ok, yeah?
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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Temp depends on what you are brewing. Either way, you want to monitor the temp of the beer and not the ambient air in the fridge. At peak fermentation the beer in a 60F chamber could be 65 or greater. You need to directly read the temp of the beer by putting the probe in a thermowell or taped to the outside of the fermenter and covered by insulation. This way, when the beer temp rises, the controller will turn on the fridge to keep the temp in the correct range. This applies whether you're fermenting a lager at 50F, a stout at 64F or a Belgian at 75F.
 

brewpool

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I just use plumber's putty to tack the probe onto the side of my bucket and insulate against ambient air temp. For a typical ale yeast I will set the temp to 65 F. It's easier to keep a more consistent beer temp this was as opposed to controlling ambient imo.
 
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I am happy to build you a thermowell that will get you in the liquid. What are you fermenting in? I bet for under $30 you can be in liquid....

Happy to help.

Cheers
Jay
 

MagicMatt

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Jay, what options do you have for a thermowell in a carboy? Is the only option to use one of those orange "universal" carboy caps with the 2 holes? Those don't seal very well which is why I have never gotten a thermowell, but I'm interested to know if there's alternative methods.
 

RM-MN

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Jay, what options do you have for a thermowell in a carboy? Is the only option to use one of those orange "universal" carboy caps with the 2 holes? Those don't seal very well which is why I have never gotten a thermowell, but I'm interested to know if there's alternative methods.
You don't need or want a seal while the beer is fermenting. That's why you use an airlock to vent the excess gas. You don't need a seal until you bottle or keg the beer and need to keep the CO2 inside the container.
 

MagicMatt

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Perhaps I was a bit ambiguous but I meant the cap does not create an airtight seal with the carboy. Yes of course you have an airlock. But what good is an airlock if the cap is loose? You don't want to have an open system that would allow any bugs to work their way in. Sure in early fermentation there is enough activity and positive pressure being generated that it should thwart anything from getting in, but I'm not letting my beer sit in the carboy for a couple of weeks without a solid seal.
 

leightonp

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I have up to 3 carboys fermenting in a deep freezer at a time so a thermowell isn't practical. I have a 1 gallon jug filled with water that I drop the probe in and set temp to the low end of the recommended temp range. Trying to regulate the ambient temp will have the freezer running non stop and in short cycles which is tough on the compressor.
 

MagicMatt

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I have up to 3 carboys fermenting in a deep freezer at a time so a thermowell isn't practical. I have a 1 gallon jug filled with water that I drop the probe in and set temp to the low end of the recommended temp range. Trying to regulate the ambient temp will have the freezer running non stop and in short cycles which is tough on the compressor.
This is what I currently do too, however it has it's flaws and is why I asked about the thermowell. Fermentation is an exothermic process, and thus the temp of your wort will be degrees higher than that of your gallon jug of water. I don't care about what temp the water is at - I want to keep the wort at a given temp.

IMO your situation doesn't make a thermowell not practical. You don't need one in each carboy, only the most recent (one with the most vigorous fermentation that would be the "hottest"). After the first several days of fermentation the temp really isn't as important.
 

PADave

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Like others have said, don't worry about what the air temp is, control the temp of your wort. Tape to the side or use a thermowell, either way works.
 
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