Quantcast

So im new to all of this.....

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

JohnayyBoyy

New Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Back in February I decided to pre-order the Pico Z, and along with doing so I had to get all the necessary equipment to properly Ferment and Dispense the magnificent beers that the machine would be able to make. After looking at many Chest Freezers and Kegerators the wife and I got to talking about how much space everything would take up and how little room we have.

Well, Hopped onto the Good Ol Craigslist and found this little Setup. Its a Maytag Dual Cool Side-By-Side, Has a Fermentation Chamber on the Right , And a Kegerator on the Left. Temperatures held Wonderfully the first couple of months, but now the Fermentation Chamber is getting 7°F colder than needed.

{And reverting back to my Original Statement, I am new to all of this, so please be gentle}

So my question is WHY!?

Has anyone seen something similar to this setup?
Do I have some settings on the inkbird that arnt correct?
IMG_2911.jpg
 

Attachments

Shackleford_rusty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
76
Reaction score
61
First off, nice build!
To the question, where are your temp probes? Are they hanging in the air, tied to a beer can, on the fermenter?
Also my inkbird usually runs a few degrees colder on the display but my trusty mercury therm had it on point. (Probe is zip tied to a beer can)
I had always chalked it up to the cooling coils releasing more cold when after the compressor turned off, much in the way a heating element does with heat.
Also im a novice as well not an expert.
 
OP
JohnayyBoyy

JohnayyBoyy

New Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
First off, nice build!
To the question, where are your temp probes? Are they hanging in the air, tied to a beer can, on the fermenter?
Also my inkbird usually runs a few degrees colder on the display but my trusty mercury therm had it on point. (Probe is zip tied to a beer can)
I had always chalked it up to the cooling coils releasing more cold when after the compressor turned off, much in the way a heating element does with heat.
Also im a novice as well not an expert.
The Probes are Central but hanging in the Air on Both Sides. And ill definitely pick up some Thermometers that i can stick in there to get accurate readings. but yeah, as of this morning the Fermenting side (most important) is reading almost 8° colder. But we will go from there, and see what its actually reading.
 

mongoose33

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
8,009
Reaction score
7,527
Location
Platteville, WI
You want the probe on the fermentation chamber side to be reading the temps of the fermenting beer, not the air. As @Shackleford_rusty notes, there often is a sort of inertia effect in that the cooling coils continue to deliver coldness after the compressor shuts down.

You really want to measure the temp of the fermenting wort and control ferm chamber temps through that. Yeast is exothermic, meaning it produces heat while working. It can raise the temp of the wort 5-10 degrees above ambient temps (meaning what your dangling probe in the refrigerator is reading).

Two ways to measure temp with your setup. One is to get a lid/stopper with a thermowell that extends down into the wort and put your temp probe down that. The other is to place the temp probe on the side of the fermenter, add some insulation over the probe so it picks up the temp of the fermenter, not the ambient conditions, and tie it there with a bungee cord, string, whatever.

What kind of insulation? Styrofoam, closed cell foam, some even use folded-over towels. Below are two pics showing the foam I use (with a little channel carved out to accommodate the temp probe, and showing it on the fermenter. I use bungee cords.

probefoam.jpg
fermchamber2a.jpg
 

bairsbrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
54
Reaction score
16
Location
Tacoma
That is one sweet ass build! I also agree with somehow having the probe either on the fermenter or in it via a thermocouple well. I have a chest freezer and use a stainless steel brew bucket. I started with no thermo well then quickly realized it was needed as the temps did not remain stable. After the well, well it does remain stable. Always have a backup mercury probe for everything. Just in case.

Cheers!
 
OP
JohnayyBoyy

JohnayyBoyy

New Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
You want the probe on the fermentation chamber side to be reading the temps of the fermenting beer, not the air. As @Shackleford_rusty notes, there often is a sort of inertia effect in that the cooling coils continue to deliver coldness after the compressor shuts down.

You really want to measure the temp of the fermenting wort and control ferm chamber temps through that. Yeast is exothermic, meaning it produces heat while working. It can raise the temp of the wort 5-10 degrees above ambient temps (meaning what your dangling probe in the refrigerator is reading).

Two ways to measure temp with your setup. One is to get a lid/stopper with a thermowell that extends down into the wort and put your temp probe down that. The other is to place the temp probe on the side of the fermenter, add some insulation over the probe so it picks up the temp of the fermenter, not the ambient conditions, and tie it there with a bungee cord, string, whatever.

What kind of insulation? Styrofoam, closed cell foam, some even use folded-over towels. Below are two pics showing the foam I use (with a little channel carved out to accommodate the temp probe, and showing it on the fermenter. I use bungee cords.

View attachment 599012 View attachment 599013
Thanks for the reply man, both probes are wrapped in Foam , but going over the placement of them , they were not placed in the correct spots. This was all just general questions as to why the INKBirds are reading low.

This setup has two fans in a push pull configuration. From the refrigerator the fan on the upper side is Pushing air back into the freezer , and the lower fan is sucking cool air in ,thus circulating air until the refrigerator reaches its temp .

With the probe being low on the refrigerator side , cold air keeps seeping in causing the refrigerator to just fill up with cold air on the bottom half and not allowing circulation.

Tomorrow I will pick up some Thermometers, and test temps on both upper and lower sections of the freezer and refrigerator. Moving the probes after the initial test to the positions I think will make it work. In order to make this unusual and uncommon setup work , is circulation. which just wasn’t happening.
 
Top