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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: jimrod on October 04, 2011, 03:33:29 PM

Title: temp control
Post by: jimrod on October 04, 2011, 03:33:29 PM
Which controller is the best for fermenting ..Johnson Controls A419ABC-1C Electronic Thermostat... OR...RANCO ETC-111000 Digital Temperature Control...?
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: theDarkSide on October 04, 2011, 03:38:16 PM
Don't know if it's the best but I love the Dual-stage Ranco.  Set the temp and forget it.
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: dak0415 on October 04, 2011, 03:56:51 PM
If you just need cooling, then the Johnson is fine.  If you need to switch from cooling to heating (and back) the Ranco is much easier to switch, you have to take the cover off the Johnson and change a jumper. If you need cooling, then heating, in the same 48 hr period then the Ranco ETC-211000 series (2 stage) is the way to go.  I actually have all 3, but I use the Johnson in my lagering freezer.  They each have their place.  The Rancos do not have a short cycle delay.  And then there are the Love controllers....
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: jimrod on October 04, 2011, 04:03:59 PM
I'm using this controller to convert a spare kegerator to a lagering fridge......

I'm not sure if I would ever use the 2 stage......Or maybe I do need it and I just don't know it now......

I only want to control the temp for fermentation of lagers....

Best advise ?
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: davidgzach on October 04, 2011, 04:22:35 PM
I have 2 Johnson A419's.  One for my beer cooler as the thermostat died and one for my lagering fridge.  Both have performed above my expectations.

Dave
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: bluesman on October 04, 2011, 04:28:53 PM
I also use both and have very good results from both. I think you'll find the same.
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: Slowbrew on October 04, 2011, 06:19:37 PM
I have the Ranco on my keg fridge.  I've never had any problems with it. 

That said, I have read that it can develop single-bit errors that make it seem busted.  You basically have to set your temp a couple of degrees higher/lower than where the error occurs.  I haven't run into it but a lot of others have.

Paul
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: dak0415 on October 04, 2011, 06:50:39 PM
I'm using this controller to convert a spare kegerator to a lagering fridge......

I'm not sure if I would ever use the 2 stage......Or maybe I do need it and I just don't know it now......

I only want to control the temp for fermentation of lagers....

Best advise ?
All my freezers are in the garage, so I need heat in the winter and cool in the summer, both in the spring.  If it's inside, then you just need cool.  Ranco's are cheaper.
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: JKL on October 04, 2011, 08:07:00 PM
Yep, If your outside do yourself a favor and spend the extra bucks on a 2-stage.  I recently bought a 2nd single stage controller from this place (http://www.pexsupply.com/Ranco-ETC-Controls-1614000) and I wish I would have taken my own advice.  Now, I'm going to have to buy a 2-stage, or wait until Spring to brew, or convince my wife to bring my freezementer inside for a few weeks.  I guarantee the last one is not an option.
-J.K.L.
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: jimrod on October 05, 2011, 08:35:37 AM
This is a fridge not a freezer and it is indoors so I probably won't need a heater.
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: Gribble on October 08, 2011, 12:37:44 AM
I prefer the ranco's to the johnson simply because of the probe.  The ranco probe is a lot more forgiving.  If you pinch it you dont have to worry about it springing a leak (analog controllers like the johnson use a closed system so when the temp changes the pressure inside changes and kicks off and on the unit) and kissing it goodbye.
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: skyler on October 10, 2011, 03:50:23 PM
I live in the San Francisco bay area, a quarter mile from the ocean, so it is basically never too cold for brewing for me - though I may have to ferment in the house instead of the garage if I want to brew a Belgian or use a finicky yeast. I suspect if all you are doing is lagering that you may not need any temperature control on your fridge. Just setting it to "coldest" would probably be fine for lagering in a refrigerator.
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: a10t2 on October 10, 2011, 03:56:43 PM
If it's inside, then you just need cool.

I am immensely jealous of people who can say this. There are parts of my house that I struggle to keep above freezing.
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: jimrod on October 12, 2011, 07:31:26 AM
Those analog thermostats that are on refrigerators or kegerators can swing 4 degrees in each direction. I'm going to use a digital Ranco to get the temp more exact, 1-2 degrees in each direction.

Would you set the differential to 1 or 2 degrees keeping in mind that a 2 degree swing would save the refrigerator a lot of wear and tear?
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: JKL on October 12, 2011, 12:43:48 PM
Would you set the differential to 1 or 2 degrees keeping in mind that a 2 degree swing would save the refrigerator a lot of wear and tear?

Using a thermowell can help cut down on wear and tear. I have one of these. http://www.brewershardware.com/Straight-Wall-Thermowells/
-J.K.L. 
Title: Re: temp control
Post by: James Lorden on October 12, 2011, 02:30:02 PM
Those analog thermostats hat are on refrigerators or kegerators can swing 4 degrees in each direction. I'm going to use a digital Ranco to get the temp more exact, 1-2 degrees in each direction.

Would you set the differential to 1 or 2 degrees keeping in mind that a 2 degree swing would save the refrigerator a lot of wear and tear?

My Ranco seems to work like this - if I set it to 65, it turns the fridge on when the temp gets to 66 so my real temp is on the cusp of 65 and 66.

If I want 65 I set my thermometer to 64 with a 2 degree differential.  Therefor when the beer gets to 66 the cooler brings it down to 64 but 90% of the fermentation is spent in the middle at 65, right where I want it.

I'm not sure if all temp controllers work this way because I've only ever used Ranco's