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ThermoStar Sensor and Fermonster

So with spring arriving, garage cleaned out and a nice storage rack for all my brewing equipment, it’s time to start brewing again. My first brew will be a clone of Hi-Wire Bed of Nails brown ale. I am looking to get a chest freezer so I can ferment in the garage instead of the coat closet. I plan on finding one on Facebook or Craigslist. I also plan on getting the Thermostar Dual-Temperature Controller. I would like to also get the Thermostar 12" temperature sensor so I can monitor the internal temperature of the wort but that is where my problem arrives. I use a 7 gallon fermonster for primary fermenting. My understanding is that I would need a stopper/bung with two holes, one for airlock and one for the probe, for it to work but I cannot seem to find a number 10 bung/stopper with two drilled holes. Any advice or solution for another work around? Thanks!

Buy a solid one and drill your own holes :grinning:

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Haha. That’s the conclusion I came to earlier after searching all over the internet. Only stopped I could find with two holes was a 6.5. Have you even done this?

No…but it sounds fun :grinning:

I got some Aloe Vera in a small tube… I cut a slot, big enough to put the probe in… Put it in something that won’t tip over and put that in the freez-mentor… So when doing Ales, set for 62-64… Its worked fantastic for me… I didn’t need to toy with anything extra other than the fermenter… And its not having such a temperature swing… Sneezles61

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I’ve tried drilling a rubber stopper. It doesn’t work. A regular twist bit won’t create a hole. A coring type drill bit might work with the help of some oil. Might be able to fashion one from copper tubing with a sharpened outside rim.

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I’ve drilled them. As @flars says, actual stopper hole make thing-a-ma-jiggies we used to use in the lab are like a sharpened hollow tube. One thing that does help once you get the hole made is using a bit of keg lube. Good luck!

Could you explain this a little more? I have decided I don’t really want to the probe in the wort.

Yeah, what your doing is to allow the Aloe Vera come to the ambient temperature of the freez-menter… A tube about the size of tooth paste is what I have. Kinda like leveling out the wild swings… So, using the lower temp, the fermentor should be a bit lower in temp… but then the the temperature won’t spike quite as high as lets say… its set to 68*… If it takes a bit longer to ferment and clean up Ales… But its a big deal… If your doing say, farm house, saisons, Wit’s, Heffe’s and the like, then warm temps are your friend… What I like to do… After primary fermentation is done… bring the fermenter up to room temp… Even if its only a couple of days… You want to finish up the last point(s)… If you are on top of your game…Either dry hop for a few more days OR turn the fermenter down to 30… CRASH! It takes some time to get your schedule down… but then… what do you get to try as your sample? Sneezles 61

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The universal stopper is easy to drill. It’s what I use to get a 12" probe into the wort. I have not tried to get two holes into one but it should work? I use the big mouth bubbler with a dual port lid.

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Problem I am having is that I use a fermonster for primary and that type of lid won’t work. I think I have come the conclusion of getting some bubble wrap, probably use a shipping envelope, to tape the probe to the side of the fermentor and measure the temp that way. I am curious though, wouldn’t the tube with the temperature probe just released CO2 as well so what’s the point of an airlock and that?

Tape the probe to the side and insulate it. I bet it will be dead in accurate.

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Temp probe is on the left in the picture. I drilled a hole in a universal stopper and I get a good tight fit. The tube on the right is a blowoff tube, which I usually replace with a stopper and airlock after a few days, when fermentation slows.

My though for you was to drill two holes in a single universal stopper, probably one centered for the airlock and one offset for the probe. Just drill the hole slightly small for a good tight fit. Alternately, you could probably buy an already drilled universal stopper and then drill a 2nd hole for the probe.

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We picked up a blank stopper for our Fermonster and drilled two holes so we could do transfers under CO2 pressure. No reason you couldn’t do the same. If you wanted to get fancy you could make a sealed tube and fill it with liquid to put through the stopper to put your probe into. Uploading…

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Now that sounds awesome. Any info or links on how to do that? I know a lot of people dislike secondary fermentation because the introduction of oxygen in the transfer.

I’m leaning towards that. It would be nothing different than I do now. I use a stick on thermometer and just assume the internal temp of the fermentor is just a few degrees warmer. That’s why I try to stay at the bottom of the yeast temperature range. What would you recommend insulting the probe with?

Oops! Misread your post. I’d probably use a chunk of racking cane and glue a cap on the end. Fill it with water or glycerine maybe. Definitely something that won’t corrode the probe. Now you’ve got me thinking too!

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Styrofoam, a towel, anything really. Don’t want tape residue on your fermenter? Don’t blame you. Use an ace bandage to secure your probe and insulation.

I seriously think you guys are getting too technical here. As the beer ferments, especially in the first 72 hours, the beer will be in constant motion. Therefore, the temps won’t be any different between the wall or the center. And, temps are most important during that time.

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Therefore… I ferment a bit cooler than it calls for… Exothermo-majiggy kinda thing gives off heat as the fermentation get rolling along… Plan ahead and there will be no big surprises! :sunglasses: Sneezles61

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