Fermentation chamber

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jamatron
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Fermentation chamber

Post by jamatron » 2 years ago

For those of you that have built these i was just wondering where you are putting your temp probes, in the actual fermenter, in a jar filled with water, or are you just reading the ambient air temp inside the chamber.
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ruf1
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Re: Fermentation chamber

Post by ruf1 » 2 years ago

Hey jamma, i use a 4 ltr vinegar jug filled saniclean and water mix, a piece of white styrofoam about an inch thick then slide the temp probe between the jug and styrofoam, big rubber bands hold the styro on the jug.

Seems to work fine but others do the same with the probe up against the fermenter.

:cheers:

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jamatron
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Re: Fermentation chamber

Post by jamatron » 2 years ago

ruf1 wrote:Hey jamma, i use a 4 ltr vinegar jug filled saniclean and water mix, a piece of white styrofoam about an inch thick then slide the temp probe between the jug and styrofoam, big rubber bands hold the styro on the jug.

Seems to work fine but others do the same with the probe up against the fermenter.

:cheers:
Hey Ruf, any particular reason why you go that route as opposed to putting the probe directly into the jug?.. In my keezer i put the probe directly in a jar of water buts that's mainly due to the fact that i don't want the compressor kicking on and off all the time.
Beer won't solve your problems...but neither will milk!
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Reignman
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Re: Fermentation chamber

Post by Reignman » 2 years ago

I use a thermowell in a bung. Goes right in the beer. I jam in a blow off hose in the other hole for ales.

http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Stopper_ ... mowell.htm

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jamatron
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Re: Fermentation chamber

Post by jamatron » 2 years ago

Reignman wrote:I use a thermowell in a bung. Goes right in the beer. I jam in a blow off hose in the other hole for ales.

http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Stopper_ ... mowell.htm
Cool, will the probe from an STC-1000 fit down in there?
Beer won't solve your problems...but neither will milk!
-Flying Monkeys

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Reignman
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Re: Fermentation chamber

Post by Reignman » 2 years ago

Yup, that's what I use.

ruf1
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Re: Fermentation chamber

Post by ruf1 » 2 years ago

jamatron wrote:
ruf1 wrote:Hey jamma, i use a 4 ltr vinegar jug filled saniclean and water mix, a piece of white styrofoam about an inch thick then slide the temp probe between the jug and styrofoam, big rubber bands hold the styro on the jug.

Seems to work fine but others do the same with the probe up against the fermenter.

:cheers:
Hey Ruf, any particular reason why you go that route as opposed to putting the probe directly into the jug?.. In my keezer i put the probe directly in a jar of water buts that's mainly due to the fact that i don't want the compressor kicking on and off all the time.
I use a Johnson A419 temp controller, temp probe is not recommended to go directly in fluids, i could do as reighnman does with a thermowell though.
I have no problems with the compressor coming on too many times as i set the delay to 12 minutes, even without the delay it takes quite awhile for that gallon of water to drop in temp before the compressor comes on again by itself.

I set the temp for 48 degrees f and the next day i use a sanitized thermapen to check temps, never too much of a dif, 1 degree or bang on.
:cheers: :cheers:

BottomsUp
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Re: Fermentation chamber

Post by BottomsUp » 2 years ago

I've done a lot of thinking about where the temperature probe should go in a keezer, and have experimented with different approaches, and I believe that it's not at all efficient to place it either in the fermenter or against the sides as so many seem to do. It's best to place it in the keezer air chamber itself, about 1/3 way up from the bottom of the keezer. If you control the air, you control the temperature of the beer most efficiently.

Air temperature adjusts quite rapidly, while liquids take a much longer time. Thus if you insert the probe right in the beer (or against the sides) and the temperature of the beer drops to where the freezing unit comes on, it will continue to cool the chamber for a long time until the beer finally reaches the temperature where it will cut off. Meanwhile, the temperature in the chamber becomes quite cold as it tries hard to bring the temperature of that slowly-adjusting beer liquid down. Because the chamber is quite cold, it will continue to cool the beer even lower than the temperature you want after the cooling unit shuts off, and then it will take a long time before the cooling unit comes on again. The result? The temperature of the beer goes through a wide range of temperatures, and the chamber becomes quite cool, overcooling any other beers, etc. that you have stored there.

If you only adjust the temperature of the chamber, the swings in the beer temperature are almost negligent. It will stay at a fairly constant temperature. The cooling unit may come on more frequently (not that often, though) but it won't stay on as long. Also, the temperature in the chamber, although it does go through maybe a ten degree range, does not swing through as large a range as it would if the probe was inside the fermenter or attached against it. The result is a beer with the most minimum range of temperatures possible.

The reason to place the probe 1/3 way up from the bottom of the chamber is that the bottom of the chamber will be colder than the top. So if it was at the top, the overall temperature of your beer would end up colder than you want. If it was near the bottom, the overall beer temperature would end up warmer than you want. One-third way up seems to work for my chamber. You can always adjust the height for your own.

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bellybuster
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Re: Fermentation chamber

Post by bellybuster » 2 years ago

the above sounds logical but in actual service it just doesn't work that way. Measuring ambient as your temp source causes much cycling.
With the probe attached to the outside of your fermenter, insulated from ambient, yes the chamber will overshoot at first. It doesn't matter, the thermal mass of the fermenter will absorb this few degrees and actually only realize 10ths of a degree. Once the fermenter reaches set point there is very little cycling as it holds allot of mass and therefor keeps its temp well.
The ambient temp inside my chamber can sway many degrees without the cooling unit coming on. these temp swings in ambient seldom if ever effect the fermenter due to its mass.

The same can be said for using a small vessel of water. It will give and take energy much quicker than a large fermenter.

Look at heating a house, forced air measures air temp because that is exactly what it is heating. In floor heat measures the temp of the floor itself because that is the mass that it is heating.

ruf1
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Re: Fermentation chamber

Post by ruf1 » 2 years ago

bellybuster wrote:the above sounds logical but in actual service it just doesn't work that way. Measuring ambient as your temp source causes much cycling.
With the probe attached to the outside of your fermenter, insulated from ambient, yes the chamber will overshoot at first. It doesn't matter, the thermal mass of the fermenter will absorb this few degrees and actually only realize 10ths of a degree. Once the fermenter reaches set point there is very little cycling as it holds allot of mass and therefor keeps its temp well.
The ambient temp inside my chamber can sway many degrees without the cooling unit coming on. these temp swings in ambient seldom if ever effect the fermenter due to its mass.

The same can be said for using a small vessel of water. It will give and take energy much quicker than a large fermenter.

Look at heating a house, forced air measures air temp because that is exactly what it is heating. In floor heat measures the temp of the floor itself because that is the mass that it is heating.
+1 agreed, when i was measuring ambient temp i checked the temp of the beer compared to ambient and the beer was 6 degrees above the ambient temp, thats when i started to measure beer temp instead, i can check beer temp and probe-water temp within 1 degree of each other. :D

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