Author Topic: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?  (Read 1960 times)

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2014, 03:56:48 PM »
I got my ranco controllers from PexSupply.
 http://www.supplyhouse.com/Ranco-ETC-Controls-1614000


Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2014, 03:58:34 PM »
You would still have to wire them. I have both single stage and double stage. I think that single stage is just fine unless you cool and heat in the same day.

Good luck.


Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2014, 03:59:38 PM »
Fermentation temp control is awesome!

It's gonna be a big change from a tub of water and ice packs!

Well it might not be cheaper, but it sure is easier;)

No kidding !  I used a water tub with frozen water bottles for years. Actually it works pretty well if you have time to swap out the bottles when needed. That's a tough thing sometimes though.
Jon H.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2014, 09:24:45 PM »
I have several Rancos, only one of which is 2-stage.  Since the ambient temp in my basement where I have my fridge ferment chamber doesn't swing much, I generally use a single stage for fermentation, along with a thermowell, to run the fridge in summer, and to power a Fermwrap heater taped to the back of the fridge in winter.  And the fridge door normally stays part way open at times during the ferments in winter.  Sometimes the temp in the basement is just right so that I can ferment in a spare basement bedroom!

Anyway, I have lost 2 or 3 Rancos, normally during thunder storms so be absolutely sure to use a good surge protector since in my experience the Rancos are pretty sensitive to power fluctuation.

Also, I highly recommend that you reset the Ranco's temperature so that it is not powering your equipment before powering it off and/or disconnecting it.  Another good reason to use a surge protector with an on/off switch, as secondary insurance whenever you have to turn off, or especially if you have to unplug your unit.

If you don't do this, it is possible that the unit will go into error mode from which it either won't recover, or will recover partially and be temperamental from that time on.

I don't set my kegerator chest freezer to on/full, so that in the event my temp controller failed on it, it would take longer to freeze all the beer inside, maybe giving me a bit more time to notice the failed unit before all freezes hard.  I like to use electronics, but I also check my temp controllers regularly (when getting my first pour of the day or if in the basement once per day) to ensure they are operating as set and desired.

Also, if using a thermowell, be aware that with the new ones I've found on the market, they recommend that you actually sand or slightly shave the Ranco's probe, otherwise it won't fit into the thermowell.  Guess that's why I always use my older model thermowell.  Go figure!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 09:43:15 PM by brewsumore »

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2014, 08:29:27 AM »
I dont use a well, I tape a chunk of foam to the side of the fermenter and tuck the thermo in there.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2014, 02:03:55 PM »
I dont use a well, I tape a chunk of foam to the side of the fermenter and tuck the thermo in there.

IMHO, that works well for carboys, and I've done it many times when using them, with doubled bubble wrap taped over the probe, but I ferment in thick-walled plastic buckets, so use a thermowell.

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2014, 07:42:47 AM »
Denny, you pulled the trigger congrats!  Good on you.

I like the dual stage Ranco for my chest freezer with a small "personal" heater on the second plug.  Can brew lagers year round with this set up.

Dave
Dave Zach

Offline denny

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2014, 07:51:10 AM »
Denny, you pulled the trigger congrats!  Good on you.

I like the dual stage Ranco for my chest freezer with a small "personal" heater on the second plug.  Can brew lagers year round with this set up.

Dave

Year round lagers are what I'm really looking forward to, Dave.  Ranco should be here Tues., freezer on Wed.  The Rye IPA I'm brewing today should be the last one fermented in a bucket of water.
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Offline brewsumore

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2014, 12:54:29 PM »
Hey Denny,

I'm curious how many 5-gal carboys it would hold, or what the actual dimensions of width x length x depth are.  If you are checking that, please let me know.  I know, most people would rather know how many ball lock kegs it would hold, but my interest would be to use it to cold stabilize carboys full of wine.

Maybe you got rid of all your carboys!  I'm not smart enough to do that.

thanks, Steve

Offline denny

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2014, 09:22:36 AM »
Hey Denny,

I'm curious how many 5-gal carboys it would hold, or what the actual dimensions of width x length x depth are.  If you are checking that, please let me know.  I know, most people would rather know how many ball lock kegs it would hold, but my interest would be to use it to cold stabilize carboys full of wine.

Maybe you got rid of all your carboys!  I'm not smart enough to do that.

thanks, Steve

Steve, I can tell you that it fits two buckets and 5 kegs with room to spare.  I'll check the inside dimensions and let ya know.  Here's what it looks like....



Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2014, 10:50:22 AM »
Hey Denny,

I'm curious how many 5-gal carboys it would hold, or what the actual dimensions of width x length x depth are.  If you are checking that, please let me know.  I know, most people would rather know how many ball lock kegs it would hold, but my interest would be to use it to cold stabilize carboys full of wine.

Maybe you got rid of all your carboys!  I'm not smart enough to do that.

thanks, Steve

Steve, I can tell you that it fits two buckets and 5 kegs with room to spare.  I'll check the inside dimensions and let ya know.  Here's what it looks like....



Thanks for posting the shot.  Plenty of room inside.  I'm still debating about "going big" above and beyond another 7.2 cf freezer.  I might go with that smaller size since I also have a couple spare upright refrigerators I can use, and empty out my existing 7.2 cf chest freezer kegerator temporarily if needed.  I can't seem to own enough fridges and freezers.  The great thing is that you can unplug them when not needed for an extended period of time. 

Hope you have a great weekend.  I am all set up to serve two cornies for a big party out here at my mother's property in Montana this afternoon.  One of galaxy simcoe pale ale, the other of Czech pilsner.  Putting to good use the batch sparge technique I've used ever since I learned it from your website and helpful phone call or two with you back in 2005, not to mention the hundreds (more like thousands) of great threads from the dozens of amazing brewers out here in cyberspace!  One of these days I'm going to have to make it out to GABF to start meeting them!

Is that your Rye IPA running thru the blowoff tube?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 10:52:54 AM by brewsumore »

Offline denny

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2014, 11:00:57 AM »
That's Herman Holtrop's fantastic Rochefort recipe.  WY1762 fermenting like crazy at 64F.  The bucket to its left is Rye IPA being dry hopped.  I've also found this freezer to have another benefit...the Rye IPA had fermented to FG in 6 days, but the 1450 is so low flocculation that it usually takes another 2 weeks to drop.  I turned the freezer down to 40 overnight (before the fermenting beer went in) and the Rye IPA was crystal clear.  That means my normal 3 week fermentation for it went to about one week.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2014, 11:06:27 AM »
Sweet!  I had forgotten you were making Herman's Rochefort.  I brewed that only once but it was one of my all-time favorite dark strongs. 

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2014, 11:33:38 AM »
That's Herman Holtrop's fantastic Rochefort recipe. 

That's my favorite BDSA recipe, maybe my favorite Belgian recipe period. Man is that good ! 
Jon H.