Tempo Disc Bluetooth Temperature Sensor

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mdeaves

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Has anyone had any luck with one of these to monitor fermentation temperatures?


I was intrigued by the Tilt or iSpindel, but then I realized I don't really care that much about SG during fermentation. The airlock bubbles are a great indicator that something is happening, and I can easily take a hydrometer sample after the bubbling stops to see where I'm at. What I really care about is monitoring the temperature of my wort.

I currently have my fermenter in a water bath, and I swap ice bottles multiple times during the day to keep it cool. There is a thermometer in the bath but in order to read it I need to go to my basement. 9 times out of 10 it's fine when I check, but this gadget could eliminate all of that walking up and down. Also, because I'm measuring the temperature of the water, there's a chance my wort is quite a bit warmer than I think it is. I know I could get a thermowell, but with this gadget I wouldn't need to!

It's IP67 waterproof, which is supposed to be good to 1m for up to 30mins, which makes me a bit nervous. But then my fermenter is only 50cm deep, so maybe it'll last a couple weeks at the smaller depth?

The battery isn't changeable or rechargeable either which sucks, but it's supposed to last for a year continuous if you turn the logging frequency way down. I figure that'll get me at least a couple years total since I only have something in the fermenter about 50% of the time.

The price is much less than a tilt at about $65 CAD including shipping.

Thoughts?
 

IslandLizard

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The battery isn't changeable or rechargeable either which sucks, but it's supposed to last for a year continuous if you turn the logging frequency way down. I figure that'll get me at least a couple years total since I only have something in the fermenter about 50% of the time.

The price is much less than a tilt at about $65 CAD including shipping.
So with that information, set at the lowest transmission rate this gadget will run you around $32 CAD a year? That's still a hefty price, isn't it, just to log the temp in your fermenter? You still need to swap ice bottles from time to time.

BlueMaestro - Tempo Disc said:
Hardware Features:
Polycarbonate enclosure with soft touch TPE on/off button and LED indicator
Looks like it features an on/off button. Would that mean it may last much longer if you turn it off between uses?

It's IP67 waterproof, which is supposed to be good to 1m for up to 30mins, which makes me a bit nervous.
It should: "to 1m for up to 30 mins"
What makes you think it can stay submerged for 1-3 weeks at a time?
And that's probably a spec for water, not in wort or beer.

I think there are better, much more suitable alternatives, even if this works at all.
 
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mdeaves

mdeaves

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What would be a cheaper, more robust alternative for tracking fermentation temperature without having to actually look at a thermometer in or near the carboy (i.e. either over wifi or bluetooth)?
 

IslandLizard

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What would be a cheaper, more robust alternative for tracking fermentation temperature without having to actually look at a thermometer in or near the carboy (i.e. either over wifi or bluetooth)?
I'd leave that for others to make more informed suggestions about.
I don't have much hands-on experience with, or need for, ferm temp monitoring from a distance. Although I could, read on.

But at times, I use a setup similar to yours.
I generally use a (dedicated) upright freezer as a temp controlled fermentation chamber. But for "overflow," or as an alternative, I also use a large Igloo beverage cooler, placed in my lower level bathroom, as a temp controlled water jacket, in which I can place 2 Ale Pails or carboys.

The cooler is filled with cold water, about half way up, just below the level where the fermenters would start to float. I dope that water jacket with a few frozen water bottles, once a day usually. That whole rig is covered with a thick sleeping bag for extra insulation, the temp is coolish in that bathroom already. It's the large heat sink volume I rely on to keep the temps as even as possible. I check it once or twice a day, works like a charm. I can also plug in an aquarium heater if I want to up the temp a bit. I use an STC-1000 for temp readout and control the aquarium heater if needed.

After all, the Tilt, although an expensive gadget, is especially made for this application. Although not completely without its issues (krausen influencing the reading), it should earn its investment back after a few years of excellent service, and tells you much more than just the temperature, it measures and transmits the gravity of your beer! Now that (!) can make the price of admission much more appealing for those who want, or need to know without taking hydrometer samples.
 

Climb

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That’s a very interesting product. I thought that your could use the Bluetooth token protocol to transmit temperature. Token packets are smaller than regular Bluetooth packets, thus tokens should be lower power.
I notice that the temperature sensory has an accuracy spec of 0.7F, yet this product mentions a typical accuracy of 0.5F. I assume that is over a narrower temperature range that isn’t specified. They must be doing their own product testing and possibly averaging multiple temperature readings to increase accuracy.
Another Bluetooth option for this application is the BrewVision product from Blickmann Engineering. It’s current retail price is $40.
 
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mdeaves

mdeaves

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So I ended up ordering one of these Tempo Discs. It arrived yesterday and I have played around with it a bit. So far I am very impressed!

I placed in it my 3 gallon Fermonster which is only about 45 cm deep, but it held out the water for many hours, even though it's technically only rated to IP67, which is 15cm to 1m immersion for 30 mins. I will try it with some wort next week and post back how it does.

The app is super easy to use, and allows you to set a temperature logging frequency. I'm assuming that a lower frequency (like once every 10 mins), will help to extend the battery life (since the battery is not changeable). A cool feature I like on the app is that it actually tells you how much battery is left in your device.

I tested the unit's temperature accuracy against my Thermoworks Needle thermometer.


The readings were within 0.2C of each other from about 15 C to 30C. The Thermoworks needle has a stated accuracy of 0.5 C, so I'm calling that good.

The only issue with the Tempo Disc is that the wireless range is not spectacular. I keep my fermenter in a water bath in our basement bathroom, and I can get a temperature reading in my bedroom or kitchen, which are directly above the basement bathroom, but I can't get a reading in the living room. Not a big deal IMHO.

All in all, I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in a relatively cheap method of wirelessly logging fermentation temperature.
 

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