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Anyone:

 

How accurate is the free thermometer that you get for registering with Mr Beer? Where should this be placed and what is it measuring temperature of - room or LBK contents? At what point in the process is it to be used?

 

The reason I'm asking is that my first batch of beer is fermenting. It has been about 16 days (brewed new year's eve). I posted in another message that I tasted it at day 14 and it was flat with a little sour apple taste. Rick suggested to leave it go another week to ferment. Therefore, I am waiting until this Thursday or Friday to bottle.

 

The LBK with the beer has been in an old Coleman cooler on an old table/stand in the corner of our dining room. Ambient room temperature stays around 70. I'm in an older home but the walls are 1" thick plaster in the dining room. I figured the cooler was keeping the temp stable and this is also a suggestion from Mr Beer in their video. However, the little thermometer strip is not reading as being at the right temp when I stick it to the side of the LBK at liquid level and put the LBK back in the cooler.

 

This little strip is just a square with a check in it that will turn green if the temp is right. My square is black indicating too low or too high temp.

 

The air inside the cooler feels a bit cooler than the room - probably due to the beer and LBK's temp stabilizing inside the cooler.

 

Should I be concerned? Can someone please explain this little strip and perhaps a better way to do this?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Michael

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As you note, the free stickon checkbox thermometer doesn't tell you much.  It needs to be placed BELOW the liquid level, so that the entire sticker is against part of the LBK that has liquid in it, then it measures that temperature.

 

It has three indicators - too cold, just right, too hot.  If you look at it closer, you will see a blue area on the left, the green checkmark and a red area on the right.

 

I highly recommend buying a real temperature sticker - Mr. Beer sells them as do aquarium stores.

 

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I actually got a temperature gauge and taped it on the side of my ferm.  Ran the cord up to the top and I can keep it cool to whatever temp I need without opening and looking at my other temp strip.  Hope this helps. 
 
 
post-64617-0-60651700-1416394003_thumb.j
post-64617-0-66554500-1416393962_thumb.j

 

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Yup. Spend the money on a real thermometer. There are also stick on thermometers for fermenters that give a better temp range and detail. Most important, keep the yeast at the cooler end of the recommended temp. They heat up when working.

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From the time you pitch the yeast till you bottle the beer.  I check my temps a few times a day.  Once you get your pattern down on what works to keep the temp up or down it will be easier to check.  Like khawk said when its fermenting it will raise the temps a few degrees more because the yeast is doing its magic and that creates heat.

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I'm not sure I get how the temperature is being controlled? Mr Beer directions say that it is room temperature between 68 - 72 degrees. Yet we are measuring the temp of the liquid?

 

How are you controlling the temperature?

 

Michael

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I'm not sure I get how the temperature is being controlled? Mr Beer directions say that it is room temperature between 68 - 72 degrees. Yet we are measuring the temp of the liquid?

 

How are you controlling the temperature?

 

Michael

 

Or you can spend a few hundred dollars on a temp controller and fermentation chamber.  

 

Actually, a cooler with the bottle method works pretty well, and you probably have those items laying around.  Too warm?  Ice in the bottle.  Too cold?  Warm water in the bottle.  Check a few times a day.  

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I'm brewing the American Light that came with the kit. Not sure what temp it is to be at now, but I assume it is a lager.

 

Where can I find out more about the temperature? Is there a guide book or chart?

 

Iceberg, what brand of gauge do you have? I looked on Amazon and could only find the kind that read weather temps - didn't look like they had the sensor connected like yours? Would a temperature gauge for meat work? I have a digital one for my grill that has an iPhone app with it.

 

Michael

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I'm brewing the American Light that came with the kit. Not sure what temp it is to be at now, but I assume it is a lager.

 

Where can I find out more about the temperature? Is there a guide book or chart?

 

Iceberg, what brand of gauge do you have? I looked on Amazon and could only find the kind that read weather temps - didn't look like they had the sensor connected like yours? Would a temperature gauge for meat work? I have a digital one for my grill that has an iPhone app with it.

 

Michael

My pictures were just about the example of the temp and cooler.  I was doing a lager (which ferments at a much lower temperature).  So your temp range would be different depends on what type of beer and yeast you are making.  I got a ACURITE THERMOMETER with wired Temperature Probe. model # 00891w3 . I found it at walmart for around 10 bucks I think.  Works great for the job.  If you are brewing the blue can American Light then the yeast it came with would be a basic dry ale yeast.  It will ferment at the recommended temp of 68-76.  I usually keep my temps on the lower end of the spectrum because the gauge will not be 100% exact since it is not touching the liquid itself.  So you give it a few degrees for error.

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Nearly everything Mr. Beer sells is an ale, not a lager. Lagers have yeast different than under the lid and tell you a lower temp range.

If you use an external probe, you can fold a piece of paper towel into a small square and then tape it over the end of the probe (holding the probe tip against the liquid of the LBK) which isolates probe from air temp.

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Look on You tube on how to make a fermentation chamber (all kinds of ideas) also how to make a STC-1000 temp controller. Cost to me about $75, but one of the best investments I've made.

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The American Light could be made as a lager, but it will have come with an ale yeast that will do best at temps in the instructions. You could use a lager yeast instead and use low temps and it will taste different.

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If you are doing your first brew, I would not recommend trying a lager.  Stick with Ale yeast until you can confidently control fermentation temps within 1-2 degrees the entire time at the low end of yeast range.  Without a fermentation chamber and temp controller, that can be a challenge.  

 

You can ferment MR B yeast at 68 degrees, but it will heat up 3-6 degrees during fermentation, so I usually prefer 65-66 as the target.  That will reduce fusel esters, which can give a hot alcohol flavor and give you a hangover.  Low and slow is better.  

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Hi guys, just brewing my first batch.

I have a question about the thermometer, at the beginning it has a blue strip on 72 but after one day the indication is 75 with a tendency to 79.

I read from you that during fermentation the temp goes up, I am still in the yeast temp range.

I don't have a dedicated refrigerator, but I read about the frozen bottle of water, I have just to sit the bottle next to the keg?

That's it?

 

Thank you!

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You would need to have the keg in a cooler of some type, or at least a Rubbermaid tub with lid.  1 bottle may work, or you may need more, depending on the size.  It will take a few hours for the temp to start dropping, and peak temps last for a few days.

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Thank you Rick, I'll see what I can do!

According to your experience after these first days of temperature sparks usually it gets stabilized again?

Because I was getting a perfect 72 F at the beginning and that's the room temperature where I stored the keg.

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It depends on a lot of things - the yeast used, the temp it's fermenting at, the amount of fermentables...  Rough guideline it takes 12 - 36 hours to kick in and peak lasts from 2 - 5 days.  ROUGH.

 

You will need to change the bottles at least 2x per day, so at each change you see what it's doing temp-wise and adjust as needed.

 

I don't use that method, never did.  I started in our pantry then realized that I wanted it to be cooler than 72, so I moved to basement which is 68 in summer except for two warmer months, and is low to mid 60s the rest of the year.  I discovered that for me around 64 works great.

 

Last summer I "acquired" a freezer from relatives and built a temp controller that keeps the wort at 64 degrees (17.8 C) plus or minus 0.5 C (63.14 F - 64.94 F).  I set it and forget it, then when I get to 18 days I test FG and if I hit my target I lower temp to 35 F for 3 days to cold crash.

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If you are doing your first brew, I would not recommend trying a lager.  Stick with Ale yeast until you can confidently control fermentation temps within 1-2 degrees the entire time at the low end of yeast range.  Without a fermentation chamber and temp controller, that can be a challenge.  

 

You can ferment MR B yeast at 68 degrees, but it will heat up 3-6 degrees during fermentation, so I usually prefer 65-66 as the target.  That will reduce fusel esters, which can give a hot alcohol flavor and give you a hangover.  Low and slow is better.  

 

Amen to that.  When I started out I simply kept my LBK in a room temp of about 72.  One batch shot up to 80 during the peak fermentation, and the fusel taste was so bad it was the only batch of 75 now that I couldn't stand to drink, even after 6 months of conditioning.  It was like it had nail polish remover added to it.  I quickly ran out and bought a few $15 coolers from Wal-mart and keep the wort between 62 and 66 with an ice bottle for the first 3 to 5 days.  After that, I seldom need any temp adjustment unless the room temp gets too high or too low.  I actually prefer the wort temp to be closer to 70 after the initial burst of yeast action since it seems to provide a more complete and thorough fermentation.  I admire the folks who either build or purchase more elaborate fermentation chambers, but if you're poor and lazy, those 48 quart coolers are wonderful.  

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Thank you Joe, I'll definitely buy one.

This is a pic from my thermometer, it is kind of confusing, is it 72 or 75 or something in between?

 

Could you give me your opinion?

 

Mr.Beer thermometer

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Thank you Josh, I am still in the yeast range for my recipe, do you think I have to cooling down?

It's the Abbey dubbed recipe

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Yeah, I'd bring it down to somewhere around 65-68 to prevent any off-flavors from the yeast.

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Josh do you think the Keg will fit in this cooler?

I can't find the dimensions of the Keg...

http://www.coleman.com/Product/3000000152?gdftrk=gdfV26891_a_7c681_a_7c1608_a_7c3000000152&gclid=COGfytftosMCFfIF7AodVhEAdA#.VL5wPVriz8E

 

Thank you!

Take the measurements on the LBK and find one that will give you enough room to add frozen bottles to the inside corners of the cooler (without touching the keg).  you need to see what will work for you in terms of how many frozen water bottles to effectively cool the air inside the cooler. which will cool your LBK.  I use a 1L bottle along with a 16oz bottle.  It all depends on your desired temp you are trying to reach.  Remember when you fill your bottles of water to leave 2-3 inches of space on top because the the water will expand when it freezes and you don't want them to break or start leaking out when it starts to thaw.

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Thank you Iceberg, the bottles don't have to touch the keg to avoid sudden drops of temperature right?

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Josh do you think the Keg will fit in this cooler?

I can't find the dimensions of the Keg...

http://www.coleman.com/Product/3000000152?gdftrk=gdfV26891_a_7c681_a_7c1608_a_7c3000000152&gclid=COGfytftosMCFfIF7AodVhEAdA#.VL5wPVriz8E

 

Thank you!

Do not seek the cooler. I repeat, "Do not seek the cooler". $45 is crazy. Walmart sells a 48 quart Igloo Sea Breeze cooler for $15 to $17 depending on time of year. I fit my LBK in it, plus a gallon of wine or cider at the same time, plus frozen water bottles, even enough to cold crash right there in the cooler. And it's plenty well insulated. Don't spend $45 on a cooler. Spend that on ingredients.

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You can search here or google:

 

STC-1000 temperature controller

 

Paint can heater

 

With the two of those you can keep the wort warm if that is the issue.  Otherwise, frozen water bottles or use the STC-1000 to control a fridge or freezer - preferably one you get for free that someone is throwing away.  Built my kegerator (not including taps and tanks) for about $40 that way which also doubles as a fermentation chamber when I need cool.  Otherwise, it is the paint can heater and LBK under a garbage can wrapped with a blanket.  Yup, high tech I be.

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Ok guys, I am going to Walmart right now....

I managed to get the temperature down, this is the last reading, as usual the thermometer is kind of in the "middle", I think it's around 69ish?

What do you think?

 

IMG 0969

 

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I wouldn't spend a ton on money on a cooler either as 45 bucks is allot.. I got mine for 28 bucks at walmart. To me thats a good price for a great investment. 68 degrees is perfect for what you are brewing.  Yah.. dont have the bottles touch.  It will cool just fine on the sides.  I changed mine out twice a day.  Sometime in the morning and before I went to bed.

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In the end I got it for 15 bucks on Craiglist :)

The only thing is that now the temperature is going at 64 and I am scared that can go even below in the night, I took out the cold bottle.

Is it going to stabilize? I should add a warm bottle or I am going to go up and down?Not very wise I imagine....

By the way, have any of you installed a thermometer probe inside the Keg so the readings are easier to do?

 

Thanks guys!

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You have to find the right combo of frozen water bottles that works for you.  If its too cold than use a smaller water bottle.. or just fill the bottle half way full of water.  Once it get finding the correct bottles to the correct temp you want then just remember those setting..right now its just trial and error..  64 is fine also.. the temp will go back up on its own. I wouldnt add a warm bottle to it.

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Thank you Iceberg, I'll wait and see what happens!

Spatu, what is the temp of the room you have your cooler in? Is it controlled by a heater or A/C or just like a basement or such? Each situation is unique but it's really pretty easy to adjust the temp inside the cooler using the bottles. What conditions are you dealing with?

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Hi Joe,

 

The room is 67-68, I pitched the yeast at 65 and it went up to nearly 75.

Since it's my first batch I didn't know about the spark of temperature due to yeast activity (learning day by day).

At the beginning I was using a couple of ice bottles on the side of the Keg and I managed to have it around 67-68.

Today I got the cooler and I stored the keg when it was on 68, believing to "control" the temperature I left a frozen bottle in it and the temperature dropped to 63/62.....

I removed the bottle and left the keg in the cooler.

 

I am brewing the Abbey Dubbel, this is the 4th day, I am still in the yeast range, I hope that staying in the cooler will help the keg to keep this temperature...

Honestly, even if I don't have space at home, I am seriously think about a "Kegerator" next time, I want to "set and forget" ahah...

 

I hope that my friend yeast will not go to sleep due to this drop!

 

I really appreciate all the helps and tips, you're a great community :)

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The yeast won't go to sleep at 62. They'll keep working. Most people will agree that a more mellow pace in the low to mid 60's gets better results than a more aggressive pace in the upper 60's to 70's. You do want to try to keep the temp pretty consistent. Not good to have big spikes up and down, with spikes up being the worst. Some folks stay with the low 60's the entire time. I happen to like raising it up to at or about 70 after the first week to make the yeast a little more active after their food supply thins out, so they can more thoroughly complete their job. But that's a personal choice. You'll find what works best for you over time. You'll get comfortable with this temperature thing very quickly. You'll learn exactly how much ice (or heat) you need and just when you need to rotate it.

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By the way, have any of you installed a thermometer probe inside the Keg so the readings are easier to do?

 

 

 

A few have, but there is no need.  Any temperature probe can be attached, like the stick on thermometer, to the outside of the LBK, covered by a layer of wadded paper towel, bubble wrap, or a small rag to insulate the probe from the air temperature.  

 

I have an STC-1000, which you build into a box with outlets and plug a freezer/frig into it, a heating device (paint can with light bulb), and have the probe.  I tape the probe to the outside with a folded cloth on top of it between probe and tape, and within a few seconds it's reading the temp, currently 17.9 C (basically 64 F).  If it rises to 18.3 C, it turns on the freezer (which is set to full cold).  When it reaches 17.8 C, it turns off.  If it drops to 17.3 C, it turns on the paint can.  The heating component is needed when either the temp in the room that the freezer/frig is in is cold or when the wort starts out too cool.  Most of the time it never runs.

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+1 that's exactly what I do except my temps are slightly higher. 18.5c (65.3) with a variance(+ or -) of .5c. Also living in the south I only actually have my heater in the chamber Jan., Feb., and Mar. The removal of the heater gives me room for another LBK  post-59190-0-79306400-1422021461.gif

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Thank you guys!

I know that "building" a kegerator is easy but I have an idea for the folks at Mr.Beer: why don't sell a micro fridge designed for one/two LBK that can maintain the right temperature?

I think it could be a wonderful product, around 200$/250 $ I would buy it immediately and I think that a lot of people will do the same.

 

However, thanks for all the info, I am going to check the temp, if something is odd I will post a photo of the temp strip :)

Ciao!

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Mmmm it's a pity, I think the Kegerator is really the missing piece to make the process flawless for a newbie like me.

However, I'll definitely put together one for my next batch.

Here's the latest temp, I left the Keg in the cooler without ice bottles and I think that's the perfect temp right?

 

IMG 0971

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Mmmm it's a pity, I think the Kegerator is really the missing piece to make the process flawless for a newbie like me.

However, I'll definitely put together one for my next batch.

Here's the latest temp, I left the Keg in the cooler without ice bottles and I think that's the perfect temp right?

 

Yep, looks like the 62 to 63 range to me.  That's a good place to be.

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If you are doing your first brew, I would not recommend trying a lager.  Stick with Ale yeast until you can confidently control fermentation temps within 1-2 degrees the entire time at the low end of yeast range.  Without a fermentation chamber and temp controller, that can be a challenge.  

 

You can ferment MR B yeast at 68 degrees, but it will heat up 3-6 degrees during fermentation, so I usually prefer 65-66 as the target.  That will reduce fusel esters, which can give a hot alcohol flavor and give you a hangover.  Low and slow is better.  

 

khawk -

 

Just to clarify, is that 68 degrees for the chamber (cooler) or for the readings on the thermometer on the LBK, the fermenting temp in the LBK? 

 

Michael

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The temperature of the air, whether in a room or inside a cooler, is totally irrelevant.  You are trying to regulate the temperature of the wort inside the LBK.  That's what the stick-on thermometer measures.  Explained here: http://community.mrbeer.com/topic/32786-mr-beer-thermometer/?p=401881

 

When fermentation is very active, and the wort temperature climbs, you need more cooling in the cooler (or room) to get the temp down to 68 (or less is fine).  When the peak fermentation ends (anywhere from a few days in to a week), the wort temperature will fall and you need to cut back cooling or you can cool it too low.

 

That's why the ideal (but not inexpensive) way to keep the right temp is to build a fermentation frig/freezer with a temp controller.  Cost is a frig or freezer (Craigslist is a good source) and building/buying a temp controller ($30 - $60).  Acquiring an extra frig/freezer from a friend or relative for free makes this a great solution.  Or "absconding" with your in-law's freezer.   ;)

 

A much cheaper way to keep the right temp is to put the LBK in a room that is always around mid 60s, so the wort never climbs higher than 70 or maybe 72.  

 

When you don't have a room that meets that temp requirement, and you don't want to spend the money on an automated solution, then the solution is a cooler with either frozen water bottles or hot water bottles, and you have to check roughly 2x per day and adjust.  This is the biggest PIA method, but it works for many once they figure out the balance.

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Hi guys, another temp question.

I did a stupid mistake, I forgot an ice bottle in the cooler for a night and the temp dropped to 55.

I added now a bottle filled with hot water, if I manage to bring the temp back in the range the yeast will wake up?

Or I killed it?

 

Thank you!

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Hi guys, another temp question.

I did a stupid mistake, I forgot an ice bottle in the cooler for a night and the temp dropped to 55.

I added now a bottle filled with hot water, if I manage to bring the temp back in the range the yeast will wake up?

Or I killed it?

 

Thank you!

They should wake up.

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It's dead Jim...

 

Bottle it when it's ready and send it to me, I can revive the yeast.  

 

RickBeer

123 I Will Wake Up Your Yeast Lane

Ann Arbor, MI  48105

 

New address for Yeast Wakeups Only.

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Ok Rick, I just shipped it to you, enjoy!

 

Hmm, I shipped some to that address and it came back "Return to Sender." 

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Hmm, I shipped some to that address and it came back "Return to Sender." 

 

Well that's because this address was not yet established.  I have two - 123 I Will Drink Your Beer Lane and 123 I Will Wake Up Your Yeast Lane.  

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I started a batch yesterday morning with brewferm Diabolo HME (3.3lb) and DME (1.5lb).  I rehydrated the yeast as per instructions.  All was fine and it foamed like crazy but didn't overflow.  Temp in LBK before I went to bed last night was hovering between 76/79 and I wasn't too concerned.  When I woke up this morning, it was burning up and temp. on LBK was 90.  I packed my cooler with cooler packs and plugged in the cooler element.  Two hours later it is back to 79.  Is my batch ruined? 

Thanks,

 

Ed

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Yeast is happy (for the most part) @ 60-76f, I ferment at 65f.  Don't know if it's ruined, but you'll probably get some off flavors.  If you do they might condition out over time.

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Right.  And remember that while you packed the LBK in ice, you're cooling the liquid inside.  Those ice packs have an effective on the temp strip also, so you probably didn't get to 79 that quickly, it takes much longer for the temp to drop.

 

In the future, target 68 or even a bit lower.

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What is the standard time frame for receiving the adhesive thermometer? I registered about a month ago but have yet to receive it.

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Contact customerservice@mrbeer.com.  

 

FYI, it's not a thermometer.  It has three boxes - too cold, just right, and too hot.  We recommend you buy real thermometer strips, which Mr. Beer sells for $1.95 (a great price), that show the actual temperature.  

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RickBeer, on 23 Feb 2015 - 09:26 AM, said:

Contact customerservice@mrbeer.com.  

 

 too cold, just right, and too hot.  

 Guess we're Goldilocks to their 3 bears.  :D

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Yeah, good point Rick and Da Yooper, I should have included the adhesive thermometer in my last order instead of waiting for the Goldilocks gage

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Brewing my second batch as we speak. A Mexican Aztec, straight and started fermenting about 1200 on Sunday. I put the LBK in a dark corner of my finished basement, which I keep around 68F and the free stick on thermometer I received from Mr. Beer is reading "To Cold." It's placed on the side about the halfway point from the bottom of the LBK to the fill line so I know it's reading the temps of the liquid. Anyway there is a nice layer of foam on the top with lots of bubbles and the liquid is nice and opaque in color. I'm sure the fermentation process is moving along nicely and the little yeasties are happily munching away on their food source so I'll just leave well enough alone. After reading through this thread I'll be purchasing a better stick on thermometer for my next batch. 

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What is the standard time frame for receiving the adhesive thermometer? I registered about a month ago but have yet to receive it.

 

Approximately 1.5 years or however long it takes the boat to get here from Australia.

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Yeast is happy (for the most part) @ 60-76f, I ferment at 65f.  Don't know if it's ruined, but you'll probably get some off flavors.  If you do they might condition out over time.

Jim: That new batch that I made on Saturday (Distracted Ale), seemed to reach high klausen over the last couple of days. The LBK temp was right around 68f for that time. Now it is dropping as of today's temp, right around 66f for now - foam has subsided.

 

You said that you ferment around 65f. Should I take any action with this or just let it go & do its work? LBK is in a cooler. I could put some hot water bottles in to bring the ambient temp up and try to affect the wort temp, or just see if it levels off and then let it go.

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I think I got mine and stuck it on my saltwater aquarium.

 

I have 4 fermenters, what's 1 stick-on going to do for me?

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I found aquarium store stick ons do not go low enough.  Maybe your store hosts Antarctic lizards.

But the  lizard tank digital one is nice $10). I have that with its cable fed through cooler drain hole.

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Jim: That new batch that I made on Saturday ( Distracted Ale), seemed to reach high klausen over the last couple of days. The LBK temp was right around 68f for that time. Now it is dropping as of today's temp, right around 66f for now - foam has subsided.

 

You said that you ferment around 65f. Should I take any action with this or just let it go & do its work? LBK is in a cooler. I could put some hot water bottles in to bring the ambient temp up and try to affect the wort temp, or just see if it levels off and then let it go.

LOL

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MY first brew went into a clothes hamper covered by beach towels in our boiler room and i checked it just kept in range with some fluctuations, a beautiful diablo ipa!

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