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Tempurature control for ferm chamber

So what’s everyone’s preferred method for their temperature probe for their fermentation chamber? taped to the carboy? Directly in the beer? Just dangling in there? Others?

Any issues to consider with any of the above methods?

I’m hoping to be getting a chest freezer in the next couple of weeks and want to know what methods work for people.

I tape to carboy/ale pail with a piece of 1" thick styrofoam insulating the probe.

Though I have controlled ambient temp (as opposed to beer temp) if I have to ferment in more than one fermenter.

Do you usually turn it down a few degrees if you do this to compensate?

I wrap the probe against the fermenter with an ace bandage. This provides insulation and doesn’t leave tape residue.

Cut a piece of pipe insulation in half longitudinally. Tape it to your bucket or carboy. I have a second indoor/outdoor el cheapo digital thermometer that I attach to the second fermenter. That way, the temp is controlled by one beer and I at least know the temp on the other beer. I typically put the temp control probe on the bigger beer, since I expect that fermentation to be more vigorous.

So far, it’s worked like a dream.

My probe just dangles in the middle of my chamber. I typically offset by 3*F to compensate for the heat generated by fermentation. I’m sure the insulate and tape to side of carboy gives you a more accurate read of wort temps; but I have had no problems with my approach.

I put my probe in a skinny bottle filled with water. That keeps the compressor from cycling on/off too much.

So it sounds like there are two methods here, some people are controlling ambient temps without worrying about actual beer temps and others who control based on the beers temp. Has anyone who controls ambient temps only notice bigger swings in beer temps or do they stay pretty steady?

I control ambient temps and keep an eye on the beer temps and have seen no temperature swings of the beer.

I chill the fermentation chamber in the high 50s for a 1.060 beer and then increase temp as the fermentation slows down. Same thing for 1.090 beers only run ambient in lower 50s.

I control ambient temperature. No big temperature swings observed in the beer temp, though I do compensate and adjust my target temp according to where the beer is in it’s fermentation cycle. So I’ll start at ambient = beer target, then drop the ambient a few degrees after a day or two, then raise it again as the activity slows down.

Ranco temp controller probe goes down the dry shaft of a thermowell but is regulating for the temp of the fermenting beer into which the thermowell is submerged. Taping doubled bubblewrap over the probe against the side of a carboy works pretty darn well, but I personally don’t trust that method for the thick, not very conductive walls of a plastic bucket. And I nearly always ferment in buckets. I fill my fermenters to the same level, ferment two at the same time in my ferment fridge, so only need one bucket fitted with the temp controller/thermowell.

Thermo well for heated ales in garage in the winter; bubble wrap around thermistor taped (or held by bungee cord) to fermenter in lager chest. Set at 50 typically, but sometimes in the winter I have to put a light bulb in there with its own thermostat to keep it up close to 50 for lagers.


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