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mafifer

Anyone use this to check temperature?

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http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Lasergrip-Temperature-Non-contact-Thermometer/dp/B00DMI632G/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

I have one of these at home that I use for various purposes (mostly just pointing at the wife when she complains about being hot).  Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has one or a similar infra-red no-contact thermometer that they use with the LBK to check temperature?  I actually just ordered my starter kit yesterday on Amazon, and will get it tomorrow (thank you Prime :)), but I am concerned if this will work for checking the temperature.  I am sure I can if I undo the lid of course and point at the beer itself, but I was hoping to be able to use it just simply pointing at the underside of the keg (much like the temperature strip) so I don't disturb the process.  

 

Has anyone confirmed if this works?  If not I need to get something else before I start my first brew.  I am super paranoid about this because right now the weather is not consistent at all here (Chicago).  In the last 5 days the temperature has ranged from 88 down to 52 up to 73 and back down to 55 (current temp).  Until the temperature outside regulates more, I am concerned about where to store the LBK as well as being able to monitor it.  We live in a corner unit townhouse that gets full direct sunlight.  The only place in the house that stays somewhat consistent is our third bedroom in the basement  that is generally between 60-65 degrees.  Does the community here think that is my best option to place the keg?  

 

I am completely new to this and I believe I have grasped that generally the beer will ferment a few degrees warmer than the ambient temperature of the room.  If I am correct since my basement bedroom is always pretty cool, it should be ok, correct?  I will be brewing the Diablo IPA first if that matters.  

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Fluctuations could cause the yeast to go dormant for a while, then kick back up, go dormant... these swings can stress your yeast and produce off-flavours. You really need to keep the temperature as constant as possible.

 

I use a cooler to keep my LBK in, adding or taking out frozen water bottles to keep my temps consistant. I shoot for 60 degrees ambient during primary fermentation as that's when the wort will be warmest from yeast activity, and then keep it at a constant 65 degrees after the krausen falls. My wort has never gotten over 67 degrees and usually stays right at 65 the entire time.

 

If you have a cool space that stays cool, keep the keg there. If the spot fluctuates, get a cooler, leave it open when it is cool (at night, I am assuming) and then close it when it starts to get warmer.

 

My noobish 2¢, anyway...

 

 :)

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For what it's worth, I agree with slym. Keep it in a cool place, 60-65*F air temp. I'd also recommend getting a stick-on thermometer and attaching it to your keg to monitor your wort tempature. I had to get a cooler too and then I'll start brewing again Saturday as the temperature here (se MO) has also been up and down.

Tony

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another noob to chime in - but yeah, consistent temp is pretty key, from what i've read/been told.  and further to that, don't let it spike high.  High temps kill, low temps just cause dormancy.  i just noticed my Rockets Red Glare was at about 64-66 the past few days (ideal for this yeast is 70), so I moved it to a slightly warmer area of the room for a couple of days.  that is preferred to having it hit 76+ and worrying about off flavors or killing yeast (although I think it is plus 80 that is the real danger).  

 

Diablo says 68°and 76° F.  For the first 3-5 days try to stay to lower end, as the fermentation will raise the internal temp of the wort, so even though you may have it in a 68 degree room, the wort can get close to the upper limit.  After the first 5 days it will likely reduce to match the ambient temp of the room.  

 

I have a Fluke digital temp gun, i'll check it tonight vs the stuck on temp strip on the side, see if they match.  I can think of arguments for and against it working... so I guess evidence is the best test.  

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another noob to chime in - but yeah, consistent temp is pretty key, from what i've read/been told.  and further to that, don't let it spike high.  High temps kill, low temps just cause dormancy.  i just noticed my Rockets Red Glare was at about 64-66 the past few days (ideal for this yeast is 70), so I moved it to a slightly warmer area of the room for a couple of days.  that is preferred to having it hit 76+ and worrying about off flavors or killing yeast (although I think it is plus 80 that is the real danger).  

 

Diablo says 68°and 76° F.  For the first 3-5 days try to stay to lower end, as the fermentation will raise the internal temp of the wort, so even though you may have it in a 68 degree room, the wort can get close to the upper limit.  After the first 5 days it will likely reduce to match the ambient temp of the room.  

 

I have a Fluke digital temp gun, i'll check it tonight vs the stuck on temp strip on the side, see if they match.  I can think of arguments for and against it working... so I guess evidence is the best test.  

Ok, thanks.  I will be super curious to hear how your testing with your temp gun goes.  If it seems pretty accurate compared to the strip then I am all set, otherwise I guess I need to get me a strip.  

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Why is this a recommended purchase with that thermometer?

 

71KQEIAGKxL._SX466_.jpg

 

Anyways, once you're set up with something that doesn't require daily (or twice daily) ice packs/bags, you won't actually look at your been until its next phase in the evolution.

Without my calendar(thx Rick), I would have no idea what was doing what because I don't look at them until it's time to transfer/CC/dryhop/bottle.

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I use my IR temp gun all the time.  I shoot it on the LBK several places below the wort line and they always within a degree of each other.

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The only place in the house that stays somewhat consistent is our third bedroom in the basement  that is generally between 60-65 degrees.  Does the community here think that is my best option to place the keg?  

 

The 3rd bedroom should be PERFECT, although 60, after peak fermentation, is a tad low.  Perhaps off the floor, which would be a bit warmer.  

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The 3rd bedroom should be PERFECT, although 60, after peak fermentation, is a tad low.  Perhaps off the floor, which would be a bit warmer.  

Ok thanks Rick, that makes me feel better.  I think I will start it on the floor till the 5th day and then put it up on a table we keep in the corner.  We always leave the blinds closed in the room since it's mainly storage at this time.  The floor is carpeted though, not sure if that would make a difference at all leaving it on the floor?  

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Ok thanks Rick, that makes me feel better.  I think I will start it on the floor till the 5th day and then put it up on a table we keep in the corner.  We always leave the blinds closed in the room since it's mainly storage at this time.  The floor is carpeted though, not sure if that would make a difference at all leaving it on the floor?  

Yup.  Carpet will help insulate against the direct cold plate of concrete/tile/wood.

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I use one to check my temp & it works great. I check it in several places below the wort line & the temp readings are always withing one degree.

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the fluke is reading 70.5 to 71.  The therm strip says 72.  The strip goes in 2 degree increments, so take that for what its worth. 

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Is that a 1gallon carboy?

Yes, it's the little big mouth bubbler 1 gallon booster pack for northern brewers 1 gallon kits. I like to test small batches before I do large batches.

how much did that set you back?

About $170 for fridge and stc 1000 parts. Small price to pay for never having to worry about temps.

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An STC 1000, plus a paint can heater, can be made for under $50.

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Even cheaper if you don't use the unnecessary paint can heater. In a fridge this size even on the "7" setting and about a gallon or more of thermal loading the .1-.2c drop is negligible at best. Mine ranges from 63.68-64.04F. It will not hold 17.6C for more than a couple of minutes, if that, before stabilizing. Hardly a reason to worry about yeast stress. You can buy a temperature controller but they are about 2x the price.

 

Here are some videos that may interest you if you plan on building one.

 

STC-1000 Build

 

STC-1000 Programming

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Ya but I had to wait 3 weeks cause shipping from China sucks lol.

Correction: due to the .5c differential it gets closer to 64.94f

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Just so everyone reading this thread is clear, what we're talking about are temperature controllers - ones you can put together versus ones you can buy ready to go.  An STC-1000, plus a workbox, some led lights, an outlet or two, can be put together for around $35.  A prebuilt controller, such as a Johnson controller, costs closer to $70.

 

If you build a controller, there are units that display only centigrade, while others display C and F.  There are units that only control the freezer / refrigerator (Johnson controller), while others allow you to also hook up a heat source (such as a make your own paint can heater costing $10 or less), such as an STC-1000.  There are also STC-1000 versions, some where a person has played with the code and gotten it to be able to set profiles and such, so it automatically makes changes.  One was called Black Box, but they appear to have sold all their product.  

 

Like anything else, WHO you buy it from impacts things like shipping, some Amazon sellers ship from China as noted above.  

 

STC-1000's on Amazon - I got mine from Lerway, fulfilled by Amazon - note there are multiple listings sometimes from them.  

 

Black workbox - I got mine from Radio Shack

 

Johnson temperature controller 

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I saw there are also nice videos online showing you have to construct/wire them

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Johnson controller can control a heat source as well.  The limitation is that it can only control 1 heat/cool source at a time.  Good or bad in some opinions... but it does eliminate the cycle of constantly cooling and heating to maintain a temperature (this means it saves you on energy costs).

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 the cycle of constantly cooling and heating to maintain a temperature (this means it saves you on energy costs).

 

If your STC  is doing that, then you got your variance set to "tight"

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Ab-so-fricking-lutely...a great buy and I use it for many a thing. That price is right.  Just a heads up with the maker of that item...they make a fantastic scale for weighing packages, HOPS, LMEs and other such brewing ingredients...Grams, pounds, ounces...all of them.

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Hello All,

 

So it's been 24 since I started my brew.  The temp in the LBK is only about 65.5.  It is the Diablo IPA which should be 68-76.  The basement room it's in is about 64 degrees.  I am concerned that it is not going to ferment because of the temperature not reaching it's optimal range.  Should I move it to a warmer room at least until the Krauzen period is over?  My kitchen is about 70 degrees currently. 

 

HELP!

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Hello All,

 

So it's been 24 since I started my brew.  The temp in the LBK is only about 65.5.  It is the Diablo IPA which should be 68-76.  The basement room it's in is about 64 degrees.  I am concerned that it is not going to ferment because of the temperature not reaching it's optimal range.  Should I move it to a warmer room at least until the Krauzen period is over?  My kitchen is about 70 degrees currently. 

 

HELP!

That temp is fine.

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(Sorry, Josh & Josh) - 70F and up is really too warm, you will likely get off-flavours at those temps. Keep it where it is, it will be fine.

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Perfect. Leave it there.

 

 

That temp is fine.

 

 

(Sorry, Josh & Josh) - 70F and up is really too warm, you will likely get off-flavours at those temps. Keep it where it is, it will be fine.

Ok thanks all.  I am just super paranoid, and don't want to ruin my first brew.  I assume the temp will continue raising on it's own the next few days?  The weather here in Chicago will be around 80 for the next 4 days but the room its in never goes above 65 so I should not have to worry about it getting too hot down there. 

 

Thanks again!

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I also see one can get seed starter heating mats (approx. 20x9 inches and 20 W) and thermostat controls (one controlled output, one probe )  for $51.30 for both with free shipping.

Anyone used these? I think this is a good deal if you only want to heat (or cool) - no work involved.

 

I see from comments on the items some people use them for brewing.

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That looks good too, but by time you have bought the line cord too it is same price. :-/

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 Rick stated:

"There are also STC-1000 versions, some where a person has played with the code and gotten it to be able to set profiles and such, so it automatically makes changes.  One was called Black Box, but they appear to have sold all their product".

 

I could come up with some version of this as an ad on with a PIC or ATMEL micro controller. Finally picked up some fittings for a LBK PC cooler Chiller I am hoping for a 10^ range with PC power supplied control. Trying to keep cost down for folks on a budget like me. If the tests are not favorable I will be steering towards tried and proven methods. with PC software instead of the Legacy controls I am using now. They work great but not available to the public.

 

The IR thermometer gun is a great deal and quick tester for the money now, I picked up one yesterday @ Harbor Freight for $25.00 w cupon. We used these in factories when the costs were close to $300.00.

 

Just dont shoot your wife or dog in the eye with it. (LOL)

 

The PIC/ATMEL controller averages about $6 to $10 per chip. Assembly language and breadboard required for testing. Final printed boards with the chips mounted could run up to around $30.00 ready for service.

 

I used the ice bottle and Omaha Steak Cooler on my last 2 batches and found it cumbersome as my schedule keeps me away for some time. Had some bad temp swings.

something to chew on.

 

M

 

Cheers

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The IR thermometer gun is a great deal and quick tester for the money now, I picked up one yesterday @ Harbor Freight for $25.00 w cupon. We used these in factories when the costs were close to $300.00.

 

Just dont shoot your wife or dog in the eye with it. (LOL)

 

 

 

I had my two year old son chasing the red dot around like a cat after checking my beer last week.  Father of the year, here I come! :)

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Update I ordered a stc-1000 controller since they have a bit of favorable modulation and a heating output contact as well. ( an input for wort temp would be grand that infers with Ambient fridge temp).

 

Once the controller arrives I can get a better idea of how much modulation in the PID loop we have to work with.

 

My idea would work off of a mini/full size fridge or wine cooler fridge.

 

M

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