Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through April 06, 2006 * Ranco temp. control advice < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
Chest freezer, temp controller.Gary Muehe04-05-06  10:29 pm
  ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page        

Author Message
 

Rob Beck
Member
Username: Robbeck

Post Number: 240
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 66.142.52.97
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 12:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just received a Ranco temperature controller and the thermowell in the stopper so I can control fermentation temperature of the actual wort and not just the air temperature in the refrigerator.

I have a question for those of you that use this set up. What temperature differential do you use with the Ranco controller? The 1 degree setting seems great, but will it cause the compressor to cycle on too often? Or is the thermal mass of 5 gallons of liquid enough to keep this from happening?
Thanks,

Rob Beck
Kansas City
 

Ned Buntline
Member
Username: Ned_buntline

Post Number: 116
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 151.204.223.194
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 01:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One degree is fine. You are correct that the mass of the liquid slows down quick changes. One thing you might consider as an option here is a thermowell. B3 has a great one that is mounted in a stopper. The thermowell itself extends down into the wort for superior temp control. I use one in my fermentation tank, and I wouldn't do it any other way. By controlling the temp by the liquid rather than the air, you can get the wort to temp much quicker without the rebound effect you get when the freezer "over cools." Very much worth the investment.
 

Tony Hepler
New Member
Username: Radman

Post Number: 2
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 216.237.212.67
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 02:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ned, the thermowell stopper for the fermentor is a great idea. I think he said he has one....headed in the right direction.

I drilled three of the stoppers last week for the thermowell setup. B3 says they freeze their stoppers in liquid nitrogen so they can drill it. I learned by the third stopper......take your time.....and it amazed a machine shop that told me it can't be done.

I did order one today from B3 to see what the difference is between the setup. The idea is a good one.

Prost,
Tony
 

Ned Buntline
Member
Username: Ned_buntline

Post Number: 117
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 151.204.223.194
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 03:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeez, he did say he had one, didn't he?

My brain is all mush these days.
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1341
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.109.85.19
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 02:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Rob, I have the B3 stopper and thermowell and use it with a Ranco controller. I use a differential of 1 degree, no problem. But what I found is, if the wort is more than 4 or 5 degrees over the setpoint of the Ranco, the Ranco will make the freezer stay on for a long time (until the wort is at the setpoint). Then the freezer is really cold and the wort temperature will overshoot on the low side.

What I've done to prevent the overshooting is to position the Ranco sensor in the thermowell right at top of the wort level. That way it will cycle the Ranco off sooner and prevent overshooting.

I don't use it on every batch, but I do on the ones that require fine temperature control (like hefes and lagers).
 

Paul Muth
Member
Username: Pjmuth

Post Number: 235
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 68.210.66.143
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd suggest putting the temp probe in a small volume of water (I use a 4 oz shot measure) so that your thermal mass is smaller. The refer will not run for an extended period during cooldown and the probe will more accurately reflect actual temps. I use the same technique in my kegerator and it does not cycle often, even when I open the door to change kegs.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 4982
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.239.69
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 05:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I seem to recall that someone immerses their controller's probe in a quart mason jar filled with water in their fermentation refrigerator. That seems like an easy solution to me that doesn't require a modified stopper.
 

Tom Gardner
Advanced Member
Username: Tom

Post Number: 782
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 67.190.167.138
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 05:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But since fermentation causes heat, the fermentation vessel will necessarily be hotter than the mason jar of water.?
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1342
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.109.85.19
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 06:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom's right. Particularly strong ferments will have much higher temps that the Mason jar.
 

Graham Cox
Intermediate Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 466
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.248.92
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 06:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use the Ranco 2-stage digital controller with the B3 Thermowell. I don't think 1F differential is a big deal, but I usually use 2F just to give the fridge a break. For example, if I am making a Steam Beer, er, "California Common," , I'll set it to, say, 60F with a 2F differential. 58F isn't going to shut down the yeast, and 62F for a little while isn't going to affect the flavor profile. I find that in practice, the temperature stays within a degree or so of whatever I set, regardless of whether I use 1 or 2 degrees. (FWIW, I also use a heat wrap in the wintertime because my basement gets down into the 30's at night, and I use a 1F differential for that)
 

Geoff Buschur
Senior Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 1120
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 70.248.104.101
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 06:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have two Johnsons and I use them two different ways. One controls my fermenter temps and the other controls my kegerator. The Johnson on my fermenter has the probe in a SS thermwell and the unit cycles a cooling fan based on the internal temperature of the fermenting beer.

My second Johnson has the probe in a SS thermwell that I put in a 20 oz PET bottle in the kegerator. This unit controls all the power to the kegerator.

Both of my Johnsons are set with a 1F differential because the probes are "wet" all the time.

You should have a setting for "anti short cycle delay" This is what will keep your reefer from cycling too frequently. I would set the delay somewhere in the 4 to 8 minute range.
"I've been drunk for 14 years...my judgment isn't what it used to be."
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1346
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.109.85.19
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 07:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>I have two Johnsons<<

I'll bet you keep your wife satisfied.
 

Geoff Buschur
Senior Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 1123
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 66.141.185.52
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 10:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Especially when they cycle on at the same time.
"I've been drunk for 14 years...my judgment isn't what it used to be."
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 2221
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.49.148.10
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 07:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use my Johnson with the probe in the air and 1 degree differential and don't experiance excessive cycling. I usually have 2 carboys in the fridge and that's a pretty good thermal mass to keep the temp from fluctuating. I also keep frozen jugs in the fridge to use for chiling and that's a big plus for holding the temp steady.

It's a fairly new fridge and the door seals are tight so I think that helps alot with the temp fluctuation.
 

Bob Wall
New Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 8
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.99.80.253
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 07:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't understand why B3 would go to the trouble of using liquid nitrogen to freeze their stoppers...just use a boring tool:
Stopper Boring Tool
boring tool spread out

$26.99 on E-Bay

http://cgi.ebay.com/CORK-RUBBER-STOPPER-BORER-SET_W0QQitemZ7559510495QQcategoryZ26420QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 2689
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 11:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

To drill stoppers, you just need a bit of copper tubing chucked into a drill. You need to put an edge on the tube with a file while the drill is turning. To bore a hole, dip the tube in hand soap and drill the hold. You may need to "peck" the drill a few times to relubricate it with the soap.


Dan

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


 

Tony Hepler
New Member
Username: Radman

Post Number: 3
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 216.237.212.67
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 03:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No need for boring tools or special filed copper tubing. If you have access to a drill press and have a 1/4" and 3/8" metal drill bit. Just take your time and let the bits do the work. Don't deform the stopper and all is well.

The bits can be had for a couple of dollars apiece or in my case, I used my fathers bits. I must repeat, Bruin Metal Works said it can't be done. I know better and got a WOW from them cause it worked so well.

Tony

(Message edited by radman on April 05, 2006)