Author Topic: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber  (Read 5187 times)

Offline FirstStateBrewer

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 213
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
    • First State Brewers
Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« on: April 27, 2012, 11:35:21 AM »
I just built a fermentation chamber for my garage.  (See My Letter to SWMBO)

I'm using a temperature controller and tried taping the probe to my carboy while covering it tightly with thick insulation. However, every time I opened the chamber door, within seconds the temperature displayed on the controller would rise several degrees. That told me my probe was measuring air temps, not wort temps.

Last night I moved the probe into a growler of water. Now, when I open the door for a few seconds, the temp does not change.

Is this the best solution or should I try to find a better way to affix it to the carboy?
Scott B

Offline hamiltont

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 972
  • Location: Somewhere in the Middle of Nebraska
    • View Profile
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 11:39:11 AM »
Better check to make sure your probe is waterproof. I don't believe mine is (Ranco). You could put it in a dry tube in a jar of water and seal it off & be safe. Duck Tape and a piece of foam insulation has always worked for me..  Cheers!!!
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline FirstStateBrewer

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 213
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
    • First State Brewers
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 11:47:09 AM »
Better check to make sure your probe is waterproof. I don't believe mine is (Ranco). You could put it in a dry tube in a jar of water and seal it off & be safe. Duck Tape and a piece of foam insulation has always worked for me..  Cheers!!!
The probe looks like a tiny square of plastic.  It came with the STC-1000 I'm using.  I'll post a pic of it later.  I assume it's waterproof.  I'll experiment again with some foam insulation and make sure it's entirely sealed by tape.  I might need to replace the cheap plastic probe with something that may be more accurate.
Scott B

Offline markaberrant

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 251
  • Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
    • View Profile
    • ALES Club
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 12:26:55 PM »
I use packing tape to affix the probe to the side of the carboy, about midway up from the top of the wort level.  Then I fold a handtowel several times, put it over the probe, and wrap some packing tape around the carboy to hold the towel firmly in place.

Been doing it this way for 3 years, never seen the temp change from opening the lid.

Offline corkybstewart

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1304
    • View Profile
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 02:44:50 PM »
If you can get a stopper with 2 holes buy or make a thermowell to go inside the fermenter.  I made mine from the diptube of a dead keg.  I cut it so that it would be long enough to get to the middle of my fermenter, then folded and soldered (silver solder)the end so it was sealed.  You'll have absolutely the best temp measurement possible.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline FirstStateBrewer

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 213
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
    • First State Brewers
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 08:01:49 PM »
If you can get a stopper with 2 holes buy or make a thermowell to go inside the fermenter.  I made mine from the diptube of a dead keg.  I cut it so that it would be long enough to get to the middle of my fermenter, then folded and soldered (silver solder)the end so it was sealed.  You'll have absolutely the best temp measurement possible.
I will try markaberrant's suggestion, first.  But, this would make for an interesting project, as well!  Thanks!
Scott B

Offline tygo

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2622
  • Sterling, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 08:21:53 PM »
I use packing tape to affix the probe to the side of the carboy, about midway up from the top of the wort level.  Then I fold a handtowel several times, put it over the probe, and wrap some packing tape around the carboy to hold the towel firmly in place.

Been doing it this way for 3 years, never seen the temp change from opening the lid.

I pretty much do the same thing although I use a piece of a packing styrofoam sheet taped to the side like a little pocket, then I slide the probe into it so it's in contact with the carboy.  Saves wrapping the whole carbooy in tape.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline markaberrant

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 251
  • Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
    • View Profile
    • ALES Club
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 09:34:04 PM »
I pretty much do the same thing although I use a piece of a packing styrofoam sheet taped to the side like a little pocket, then I slide the probe into it so it's in contact with the carboy.  Saves wrapping the whole carbooy in tape.

Ok, that would work too, but I aint using that much tape.

Offline tom

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1110
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 07:06:31 AM »
The controller will work best by measuring the fermenting wort.  A thermowell is best, but taping it to the side of the fermenter covered by insulation is a close 2nd.  Placing it in another liquid far from the fermenter is the worst choice.
I just built a fermentation chamber for my garage.  (See My Letter to SWMBO)

I'm using a temperature controller and tried taping the probe to my carboy while covering it tightly with thick insulation. However, every time I opened the chamber door, within seconds the temperature displayed on the controller would rise several degrees. That told me my probe was measuring air temps, not wort temps.

Last night I moved the probe into a growler of water. Now, when I open the door for a few seconds, the temp does not change.

Is this the best solution or should I try to find a better way to affix it to the carboy?
Brew on

Offline narcout

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 469
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2012, 01:08:15 PM »
Taping some plastic sheeting (ziptop bag, styrofoam, etc.) to the side of the fermentor and slipping the probe into it works very well.  Back in the day when I fermented in carboys, I used one of these, and it also worked very well:

http://www.amazon.com/Stopper-Thermowell/dp/B0064O937C

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8689
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2012, 07:10:15 PM »
The stopper thermowell also works great as previously suggested.



Ron Price

Offline beersk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1895
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 10:13:24 AM »
The stopper thermowell also works great as previously suggested.




But, I've heard that Johnson controller's probes are too large for the thermowell, which is unfortunate.
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Offline FirstStateBrewer

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 213
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
    • First State Brewers
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 10:45:19 AM »
The stopper thermowell also works great as previously suggested.




But, I've heard that Johnson controller's probes are too large for the thermowell, which is unfortunate.
So is the probe from my STC-1000
Scott B

Offline Delo

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2012, 11:02:40 AM »
But, I've heard that Johnson controller's probes are too large for the thermowell, which is unfortunate.
This is true. Where the probe is crimped to the wire is a little wider than the thermowell. I filed down the "fins" created by crimping with an emory board carefully enough to fit the thermowell. I should say that I have the Johnson a419 and the thermowells, bought within the past two years from two different shops, IIRC Northern Brewer and Midwest supplies.

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5700
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Where to place temperature probe in fermentation chamber
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2012, 11:03:08 AM »
The stopper thermowell also works great as previously suggested.




But, I've heard that Johnson controller's probes are too large for the thermowell, which is unfortunate.

I think my johnson would be to large for that... sorry, couldn't help myself. It doesn't help that the two biggest players are Johnson and Love.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller