Author Topic: Johnson Controller and my fridge  (Read 679 times)

Offline jaftak22

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Johnson Controller and my fridge
« on: February 17, 2015, 11:49:49 PM »
So I got my temp controller in the mail on Saturday. Going to hook it all up and do a test run with just water for like 3-4 days. So if the question I want to ask is what is a good temp to keep it at? I know that this will ultimately boil down to the yeast and the fermentation. So if the fridge is set to 61  the internal temp should be around 65 right? From what I read the internal temp for an ale with a SG of about 1.056 would be about 4-5 degrees higher than the ambient temp.

Offline TMX

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2015, 11:58:27 PM »
Can you get the temp probe secured to the outside of your fermenter?  That would be the best way then set it for the temp you want to ferment the beer at. Make sure to but some sort of insulation on the outside of the probe and un insulated against the fermenter
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Offline duboman

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 01:50:23 AM »
I cut a piece of the 2" pink insulation board and gouged a slot for the probe and bungee around my bucket, works extremely well. Set the temp where you want it to be.
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Offline bengelbrau

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 02:19:47 AM »

I use a doubled hot pad held on with a piece of twine. Works well, and is washable.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 02:29:59 AM »
I cut a piece of the 2" pink insulation board and gouged a slot for the probe and bungee around my bucket, works extremely well. Set the temp where you want it to be.

Same here.
Jon H.

Offline jaftak22

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 03:02:24 AM »
I like the idea using the bungy cord. I wonder if a piece of a swimming noodle would work. Just gotta get it all rigged up now.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 03:03:14 AM »
I use a folded wash cloth to insulate the probe. I bungie (actually I use an elastic baseball belt) to secure to the fermenter.

I have measured the temp in the fermenter and found it to match the set point. The probe temp (temp reported on the Johnson Controls face plate) will vary. The beer is a big thermal mass and won't vary nearly as much.

One word of caution. I use my ferm chamber to cool from about 85F to pitch temp. The temp probe will get to pitch temp many hours before the wort. It's best to wait over night to pitch. Although I have pitched after 6-8 hours of cooling. I measured the wort temp first just to be sure.

Offline TMX

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 05:22:56 AM »
Almost anything will work as long as you isolate the probe from the ambient temp in the fridge. I use a variety of things, depends on what I have handy.
"The ART of brewing Beer, is the ACT of brewing Beer"
https://txbrewing.wordpress.com

Ferm 1: Irish Red Ale
Ferm 2:

On Deck: American Wheat

Keg 1: Un-Common
Keg 2: Switchback Stout

Total Gallons brewed (2015) - 10

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2015, 01:47:19 PM »
bunge and bubble wrap for  me. also use thermowell.
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Offline jaftak22

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2015, 05:26:39 PM »
How well would you say that the thermowell works? I had looked at those as well but after buying a mill and temp controller this week so my wife might throat punch me for spending more money. Do any of you guys use the temp wraps?

Offline dbarber

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2015, 05:29:26 PM »
I often use the thermwraps and a thermowell in the winter time.  They work well IMO.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2015, 05:35:14 PM »
I've got my English Barleywine in a bucket now, wrapped with a fermwrap, Johnson temp probe duct taped to the fermenter, insulated with a wash cloth. Then the whole bucket is wrapped in a couple bath towels to help me keep it at a steady 70 upstairs while the house thermo is set in the low 60s. The ferm wrap has also helped me to run 3724 at 90df in the basement last summer
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 09:22:48 PM by 69franx »
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Offline The Naked Brewer

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2015, 06:58:06 PM »
I use a fermwrap in conjunction with a Johnson Controller with great success during the winter months.  I use a piece of insulation over the temp probe and use electrical tape to keep it on the side of the bucket in between the ends of the fermwrap.  Even with temps into the low 40s in the brewshed, the fermenter stays at any temp. I set it at.  I also throw a t-shirt over the whole thing to create a bit more efficiency in keeping the heat in.

Offline duboman

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Re: Johnson Controller and my fridge
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2015, 09:52:02 PM »
I simply use a coffee can with a 90 watt bulb to provide heat with the probe set as I mentioned in my previous post.

I've used this set up to maintain any temp higher than ambient and up to 90oF with great success and accuracy.

As for a thermo well vs my set up, I have both and I've not experienced any difference using one or the other, they both maintain temps to +/- 1-2 degrees
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