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Posted: 9/9/2013 10:06:10 AM EST
Just got a new fridge, so the old one is getting turned into a fermentation chamber.
I've read a lot about different temperature controls- I need something I can set to XX temperature while fermenting. So many options I don't know where to start looking. I want a decent control but don't want to spend a boat load of money.
Do anyone have a set up that you use for fermentation then when done crank it down and use as a kegorator? Can this be done?
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 10:11:06 AM EST
Some guys were using the STC-1000 on amazon but IDK how well it works.
I'm a refrigeration guy, so my goto is a Johnson Controls A19ABC-24C or a White/Rodgers 1609-101.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 10:31:57 AM EST
I would vote for Johnson Controls A19 (Digital) it can be set to chill or heat.
They also have a dual control(Both heat and cold) but for the price I think it limits its usefullness.

Fro heating I have a 60watt incandescent light bulb in a reflector on the floor of the fermenting chamber.
This way it can accommodate either heating of cooling, but requires 2 controls.

Link Posted: 9/9/2013 10:40:09 AM EST
I use the Lux WIN100 from Amazon. Costs $36 and works very well.

It requires a small amount of work, because the probe only hangs about 2" off the back. I got an old lamp cord and soldered it inline so my probe is now ~6' long.

I have tested it with my Thermapen and it does in fact hold temperature accurately.

There are two things it CAN'T do, however:
- Both heat and cool. You should rarely need this, never if you pay close attention to your beer.
- Go < 45F. So lagering real cold is out.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 10:46:40 AM EST
The A19ABC-24C is SPDT so you can run 120v primary through the common and switch one rise to compressor and fall to your heat source. Cheap relays can do a lot for you too.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 11:15:25 AM EST
Pretty sure I'll never need heat. I'm in Alabama, and always have trouble keeping the temp low enough (swamp cooler method). Fridge is indoors, so even in winter, air temp will be in the mid 60s at the lowest.

Looks like all these controls won't go below 40-45 F. So, it's not possible to have one control for both fermentation and kegorator?
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 11:43:40 AM EST
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Originally Posted By marktaylor99:
Pretty sure I'll never need heat. I'm in Alabama, and always have trouble keeping the temp low enough (swamp cooler method). Fridge is indoors, so even in winter, air temp will be in the mid 60s at the lowest.

Looks like all these controls won't go below 40-45 F. So, it's not possible to have one control for both fermentation and kegorator?
View Quote


The Johnson Controls A19 series and A419(digital) will go to -30F.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 4:33:22 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Jimk60:
I would vote for Johnson Controls A19 (Digital) it can be set to chill or heat.
They also have a dual control(Both heat and cold) but for the price I think it limits its usefullness.

Fro heating I have a 60watt incandescent light bulb in a reflector on the floor of the fermenting chamber.
This way it can accommodate either heating of cooling, but requires 2 controls.

View Quote


+1 on the JC unit.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 3:31:26 AM EST
Thanks guys. I actually was able to cut off the freezer part, and put the refrigerator side on the warmest setting, and it's holding pretty good at about 60-62 degrees F. I figure the beer will be 4-5 degrees warmer, so that puts it in the optimal temperature range.
I want to get some pumpkin ale in there asap so I may go without the temp control this time, while I do a little more research and watch some youtube videos.
I owe all of you a cold one!
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 9:42:11 AM EST
Well, I was wrong. The thing was actually 'off', but still held a 60 degree temp for a solid day! But then started warming up.
So I ordered the Johnson Controls digital off Amazon, $75. Will be here tomorrow, and gonna test it out this weekend with some pumpkin ale.
Thanks again, fellas.
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 11:04:10 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By marktaylor99:
Well, I was wrong. The thing was actually 'off', but still held a 60 degree temp for a solid day! But then started warming up.
So I ordered the Johnson Controls digital off Amazon, $75. Will be here tomorrow, and gonna test it out this weekend with some pumpkin ale.
Thanks again, fellas.
View Quote


Tape the probe to the bucket/carboy with some insulation to air on it. Don't use ambient temp.

Also check to see if there is a 15-20 minute delay so you don't wear your pump out.
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 11:24:42 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By skin290:


Tape the probe to the bucket/carboy with some insulation to air on it. Don't use ambient temp.

Also check to see if there is a 15-20 minute delay so you don't wear your pump out.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By skin290:
Originally Posted By marktaylor99:
Well, I was wrong. The thing was actually 'off', but still held a 60 degree temp for a solid day! But then started warming up.
So I ordered the Johnson Controls digital off Amazon, $75. Will be here tomorrow, and gonna test it out this weekend with some pumpkin ale.
Thanks again, fellas.


Tape the probe to the bucket/carboy with some insulation to air on it. Don't use ambient temp.

Also check to see if there is a 15-20 minute delay so you don't wear your pump out.


Putting the probe in a mason jar with some water will do the same thing. You can keep your differential at around 2-3 degrees and it will react like your product temp(in this case your beer.) This will also keep your compressor from short cycling.
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 1:13:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By proto_moose:


Putting the probe in a mason jar with some water will do the same thing. You can keep your differential at around 2-3 degrees and it will react like your product temp(in this case your beer.) This will also keep your compressor from short cycling.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By proto_moose:
Originally Posted By skin290:
Originally Posted By marktaylor99:
Well, I was wrong. The thing was actually 'off', but still held a 60 degree temp for a solid day! But then started warming up.
So I ordered the Johnson Controls digital off Amazon, $75. Will be here tomorrow, and gonna test it out this weekend with some pumpkin ale.
Thanks again, fellas.


Tape the probe to the bucket/carboy with some insulation to air on it. Don't use ambient temp.

Also check to see if there is a 15-20 minute delay so you don't wear your pump out.


Putting the probe in a mason jar with some water will do the same thing. You can keep your differential at around 2-3 degrees and it will react like your product temp(in this case your beer.) This will also keep your compressor from short cycling.


No, the heat of fermentation adds about a 3F delta between the edge of the fermenter and the center (or so I've always heard -- haven't measured it).

I tape a wadded up t-shirt to the fermenter and then slip the probe in tight against the bucket. No short cycling problems with a 1F differential, either.
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 2:42:10 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:


No, the heat of fermentation adds about a 3F delta between the edge of the fermenter and the center (or so I've always heard -- haven't measured it).

I tape a wadded up t-shirt to the fermenter and then slip the probe in tight against the bucket. No short cycling problems with a 1F differential, either.
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View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:
Originally Posted By proto_moose:
Originally Posted By skin290:
Originally Posted By marktaylor99:
Well, I was wrong. The thing was actually 'off', but still held a 60 degree temp for a solid day! But then started warming up.
So I ordered the Johnson Controls digital off Amazon, $75. Will be here tomorrow, and gonna test it out this weekend with some pumpkin ale.
Thanks again, fellas.


Tape the probe to the bucket/carboy with some insulation to air on it. Don't use ambient temp.

Also check to see if there is a 15-20 minute delay so you don't wear your pump out.


Putting the probe in a mason jar with some water will do the same thing. You can keep your differential at around 2-3 degrees and it will react like your product temp(in this case your beer.) This will also keep your compressor from short cycling.


No, the heat of fermentation adds about a 3F delta between the edge of the fermenter and the center (or so I've always heard -- haven't measured it).

I tape a wadded up t-shirt to the fermenter and then slip the probe in tight against the bucket. No short cycling problems with a 1F differential, either.


Hadn't thought of that. Could you just keep the chamber 2-3 degrees below your target fermentation temp?
Link Posted: 9/12/2013 1:55:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2013 1:55:39 AM EST by Sniper_Wolfe]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By proto_moose:


Hadn't thought of that. Could you just keep the chamber 2-3 degrees below your target fermentation temp?
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By proto_moose:
Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:
Originally Posted By proto_moose:
Originally Posted By skin290:
Originally Posted By marktaylor99:
Well, I was wrong. The thing was actually 'off', but still held a 60 degree temp for a solid day! But then started warming up.
So I ordered the Johnson Controls digital off Amazon, $75. Will be here tomorrow, and gonna test it out this weekend with some pumpkin ale.
Thanks again, fellas.


Tape the probe to the bucket/carboy with some insulation to air on it. Don't use ambient temp.

Also check to see if there is a 15-20 minute delay so you don't wear your pump out.


Putting the probe in a mason jar with some water will do the same thing. You can keep your differential at around 2-3 degrees and it will react like your product temp(in this case your beer.) This will also keep your compressor from short cycling.


No, the heat of fermentation adds about a 3F delta between the edge of the fermenter and the center (or so I've always heard -- haven't measured it).

I tape a wadded up t-shirt to the fermenter and then slip the probe in tight against the bucket. No short cycling problems with a 1F differential, either.


Hadn't thought of that. Could you just keep the chamber 2-3 degrees below your target fermentation temp?


Yup, that's what I do.

ETA: But only during active fermentation, not during say lagering.
Link Posted: 9/12/2013 4:21:10 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By proto_moose:


Hadn't thought of that. Could you just keep the chamber 2-3 degrees below your target fermentation temp?
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By proto_moose:
Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:
Originally Posted By proto_moose:
Originally Posted By skin290:
Originally Posted By marktaylor99:
Well, I was wrong. The thing was actually 'off', but still held a 60 degree temp for a solid day! But then started warming up.
So I ordered the Johnson Controls digital off Amazon, $75. Will be here tomorrow, and gonna test it out this weekend with some pumpkin ale.
Thanks again, fellas.


Tape the probe to the bucket/carboy with some insulation to air on it. Don't use ambient temp.

Also check to see if there is a 15-20 minute delay so you don't wear your pump out.


Putting the probe in a mason jar with some water will do the same thing. You can keep your differential at around 2-3 degrees and it will react like your product temp(in this case your beer.) This will also keep your compressor from short cycling.


No, the heat of fermentation adds about a 3F delta between the edge of the fermenter and the center (or so I've always heard -- haven't measured it).

I tape a wadded up t-shirt to the fermenter and then slip the probe in tight against the bucket. No short cycling problems with a 1F differential, either.


Hadn't thought of that. Could you just keep the chamber 2-3 degrees below your target fermentation temp?


Sometimes its even more...why not have the correct temp? It just takes duct tape.
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