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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through October 26, 2006 * Covering a probe < Previous Next >

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tranquil_liza
Intermediate Member
Username: Tranquil_liza

Post Number: 356
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.42.201.229
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 07:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

currently, the probe from my johnson controller comes thru the side of my freezer and is exposed to the open freezer (cooler) air. i don't serve beer thru the door of this cooler. i open the door each time i want a beer resulting in the compressor running frequently.

another recent thread about thermowells got me thinking. if i had this probe submerged in water, the compressor would not turn on every time i opened the door. any ideas on how to waterproof this johnson probe would be appreciated.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3544
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 07:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I doubt that a probe on a Johnson controller needs water proofing. At one time I kept mine in a jar of water and I can't recall any problems.

Dan

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Steve Funk
Member
Username: Tundra45

Post Number: 225
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 209.216.191.24
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 08:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've experienced some corrosion on the probe when left in a jar of water for months on end in my fermenting frig. Nothing devistating, but definately some noticable pitting. Now I use a thermowell. To make a cheap thermowell, use a short piece of copper or stainless steel tubing that can accomodate the probe and seal one end by pinching it and then soldering it with lead-free solder. Viola!
 

Brad Petit
Member
Username: Voodoobrew

Post Number: 148
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.22.8.86
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 08:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Someone once suggested coating the probe in the kind of plastic found on the handles of pliers etc. Should make it pretty waterproof.
 

Bob Wall
Intermediate Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 375
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 139.76.128.71
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 08:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A thermo-well in a mason jar is a safe bet, but I like Brad's idea too. You can get that stuff at Home Despot or Lowe's.
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Drew Pattison
Member
Username: Droopy

Post Number: 154
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 143.115.159.53
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 08:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

waterproofing your johnson probe....I won't do it.

For my electric HLT I created a thermowell by taking a length of copper tubing, fluxed the inside of one end, crimped it together with pliers, dropped a few pieces of solder into the tube and heated it with a torch. It got a good seal and has been waterproof so far (about 4 batches)
 

tranquil_liza
Intermediate Member
Username: Tranquil_liza

Post Number: 357
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.42.201.229
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 08:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

dan and steve's ideas are definitely the simplest. i had a thought after i posted this thread. like every one else, i have a vacu-seal machine and a box filled with vacu-seal material. i think i'm gonna make me a little sleeve out of vacu-seal bag material.

trivial question???...soda pop in a plastic bottle never tastes as cold as soda pop in a can. is that my imagination? do you think the bag material from the vacu-seal will alter the temp??
 

Don Lund
Junior Member
Username: Donlund

Post Number: 79
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 64.12.116.8
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 12:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The probe doesn't have to be in water, all you need to do is insulate it a bit to slow down the heat transfer from the probe. You could wrap some cloth around it, for instance, and secure the cloth with little rubber bands or some string.
 

John Bueltel
Junior Member
Username: Hb92

Post Number: 43
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 12.215.64.43
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 01:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The probe I have on my Ranco will fit right inside a plastic racking cain. I cut off about a foot, heated it with a torch about 2 inches from one end, when it started to melt I twisted and pulled the tube to seal it with a point on that end. The probe slides right down into it. Place it in a jar a water and there you are.

I am not sure if your probe is the same size but the do make different size tubes.
 

Ted Grudzinski
Member
Username: Tgrudzin

Post Number: 135
Registered: 08-2003
Posted From: 69.217.141.232
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 02:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The probe is doing what it is supposed to do. When you open the door, you are exchanging that much air and the temperature is really changing that much so that the controller wants to activate to bring the temperature back to your set points. It is making this action based on the set points you have asked of it. To slow the constant cycles, create larger set points. To keep the beer at a closer, colder temperature, run the beer thought the door. If you sets the probe in water or a therm-o-well, you kind of fooling yourself as to what the real temperature of the inside of the refrig is.
 

Bob Wall
Intermediate Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 377
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 139.76.128.71
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 02:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Again I get to share how spoiled I am. I had a neighbor who's hobby was to cut up Porsche mufflers and reconfigure the baffles to get a better sound then weld them back together.

Porsche mufflers are all stainless, and he was real good at stainless welding as a result of his hobby, so I gave him some old corny keg dip-tubes and he welded the ends shut and polished them up real nice and sanitary.

I use them in my fermenter to get the temp of the center mass of my fermenting beer.
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

dhacker
Intermediate Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 490
Registered: 11-2002
Posted From: 72.155.211.213
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 03:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd be inclined just to put the probe lower in the freezer where the air is less disturbed by currents of opening the lid.

Adjust the set point accordingly to compensate for the naturally cooler temps when you go low!
 

tranquil_liza
Intermediate Member
Username: Tranquil_liza

Post Number: 358
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.42.201.229
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 11:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

thanks for all the ideas.

i don't have any set points on this controller. it's the cheap johnson with the little black dial. i'm not sure set points are my answer here because during the course of pouring a couple of beers with the door open i'll probably hit the lower set point anyhow. i realize that by putting the probe in water i will not know the actual temp of the cooler....but i will know the actual temp of the beer. that should be ok, too.....maybe even better. i'm gonna make the vacu-seal sleeve first and see if it works. when the water in the jar needs to be cooled the compressor will probably run for a longer time, but i just have to try and stop it from turning on and off so much.
 

Connie
Advanced Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 849
Registered: 10-2000
Posted From: 24.98.76.59
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 02:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

TL, I think I would try to fix a gate across the lower portion of the cooled area. Obviously the higher the gate the more cold air would be trapped inside the freezer. Move the probe down to that area~ might work. I don't think the sleeves will do any good because there isn't any insulation around the probe. Good luck.