Author Topic: Thermowells and temp probes  (Read 1925 times)

Offline Joe Sr.

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Thermowells and temp probes
« on: January 26, 2016, 09:45:48 AM »
Is a thermowell necessary?  I'm looking to control temp a bit more accurately, and am not certain I can put the temp probe directly into liquid.

Right now I have a saison with 3724 ripping along at 85F.  I have the fermenter in a tub of water and am heating the water with an aquarium heater.  I'm not sold on the precision of the dial on the heater for setting temp.  I'd prefer to plug the heater into a temp controller.

Basically, I'm just trying to figure out if I can drop the temp sensor from a Ranco (or other controller) directly into the water, or if I need to protect it in a thermowell of some sort.
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Offline denny

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 09:51:54 AM »
Well, from Mr. Cheap'n'Easy....for me a thermowell is not necessary.  I use an Auber TD100 temp controller.  I put the sensor underneath an old sponge that I duct tape to the side of my bucket, so that the probe is sandwiched between the sponge and the side of the bucket.  The temp controller shows the same temp as the the fermometer strip on the bucket and the beer turns oput well, so I have to assume it's working
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 09:56:10 AM »
Yeah.  I thought about just taping it to the side of the tub.

It doesn't seem like a good plan to submerge the sensor itself.
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Offline denny

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 09:58:51 AM »
Yeah.  I thought about just taping it to the side of the tub.

It doesn't seem like a good plan to submerge the sensor itself.

Nope, I wouldn't do that.  Especially since I get accurate reading without it.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 10:24:02 AM »
I do the same thing as Denny, but with a homemade STC-1000 controller. I tape a chuck of Styrofoam over the sensor, and I've never seen it more than 1o off from the temp strip on the carboy. I figure that's well within a good tolerance for both the sensor and the strip.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2016, 11:21:38 AM »
I put the sensor underneath an old sponge that I duct tape to the side of my bucket, so that the probe is sandwiched between the sponge and the side of the bucket.

Yep! That's what I do. Took a chunk of foam, cut a groove big enough to fit the probe, and taped it to my conical. I just insert the probe when its time to ferment. I used the aluminum tape and the foam stays put, even when cleaning.
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Offline riceral

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2016, 11:48:32 AM »
I put the sensor underneath an old sponge that I duct tape to the side of my bucket, so that the probe is sandwiched between the sponge and the side of the bucket.

Yep! That's what I do. Took a chunk of foam, cut a groove big enough to fit the probe, and taped it to my conical. I just insert the probe when its time to ferment. I used the aluminum tape and the foam stays put, even when cleaning.

I do mostly the same thing except I attach the foam to the fermenter with bungee cords. Easy to put on and take off when needed.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 11:56:19 AM »
I put the sensor underneath an old sponge that I duct tape to the side of my bucket, so that the probe is sandwiched between the sponge and the side of the bucket.

Yep! That's what I do. Took a chunk of foam, cut a groove big enough to fit the probe, and taped it to my conical. I just insert the probe when its time to ferment. I used the aluminum tape and the foam stays put, even when cleaning.
+1, exactly the same set up with an STC-1000, works great. I don't use tape though, I just use a bungee cord wrapped around bucket to hold the foam block in place

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RPIScotty

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Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2016, 12:24:49 PM »
I stick a special cap on my 1 gallon jugs to fit an airlock and my old dial thermometer.

EDIT: I'm using an ice bath not a ferm chamber.

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« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 12:32:20 PM by RPIScotty »

Offline norcaljp

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2016, 12:29:52 PM »
I use styrofoam as well, but I take a drill bit and use it to dig a small groove into one side of the styrofoam. I make the hole wide enough to fit my thermometer but just shallow enough that the thermometer stil physically touches my ferementer. That way I can get a better seal where the wiring comes through.
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Offline cempt1

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2016, 12:31:33 PM »
I have been taping the probe to the side of the fermenter then a folded towel over that.  I like the bungy cord/Styrofoam idea!  That would work great for the electric fermentation wraps as well.

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Offline alestateyall

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Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2016, 01:31:59 PM »
I attach the temp prove to the side of my fermenter with an elastic base ball belt (see link below). I fold up a wash cloth to insulate the probe from ambient.

If you pick an unpopular color the tee ball belts are cheap. They are adjustable. I have been using one for several years.

Champro Elastic Baseball Belt with 1.5-Inch Synthetic Tab (Black, 28-52-Inch) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000C1GU7/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_4F9Pwb5H1YZPP

Edit: changed link to baseball belt not tee ball.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 01:34:04 PM by alestateyall »

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2016, 08:15:36 AM »
I carved a replica of St. Peter's Basilica out of styrofoam and wrap the colonnades around the fermentation vessel. I carved a small space in the front of the basilica for the probe so it looks like the probe is conducting mass over the beer.

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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2016, 09:08:46 AM »
Looks like I'm the only loser using a thermowell then.... :(

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2016, 11:08:22 AM »
I carved a replica of St. Peter's Basilica out of styrofoam and wrap the colonnades around the fermentation vessel. I carved a small space in the front of the basilica for the probe so it looks like the probe is conducting mass over the beer.

Raise your game people.
Now that's funny.
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