Category Archives: Temp Control

GE 7 Cu Ft Chest Freezer – Kegerator or Fermentation – $198 + Free Delivery

GE FCM7SHWW Deep Freeze

Home Depot has this 7 Cu Ft Deep Freeze – Model # FCM7SHWW – marked down to $198.  Part of the dealio includes free delivery.  They will also haul away an unwanted appliance if you have one.

Specifications:

  • 7.0 cu. ft. storage capacity gives you the extra freezer space your family needs
  • Adjustable temperature control helps you set the optimal environment for your frozen foods
  • Temperature dial is located on the exterior front surface for easy temperature adjustments
  • Manual defrost lets you manually defrost the freezer on your schedule
  • Upfront defrost water drain is conveniently located to easily drain water during defrosting
  • 2 lift-out, sliding bulk storage basket offers flexibility to organize and store favorite foods for quick, easy access
  • Power “On” light helps you to easily see if the freezer is working without having to open the door
  • Recessed handles provide a streamlined design offers a clean appearance

Check it out – Here

Also: Free TimeStick · Stainless Sparge Arm · Simcoe · Barrels · New Omega Strains 

Ends Today 10/31: 31% Off Tall Boy Kettles!

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RANCO ETC-111000 Digital Temperature Controller – $43.85 Shipped

RANCO ETC-111000 Digital Temperature Controller Homebrewing

via eBay.  This Ranco Digital Temperature Controller is selling for $43.85.  Note that this is an unwired, single stage controller.  Use for your kegerator or fermentation chamber/deep freeze.

I was in the process of putting this up at $49.99, which I think is a great price.  Before I completed the post, the price had dropped to $43.85.  Expedited Shipping is free.  This is a great deal.

Specifications:

  • Temperature Setpoint Range: -30° to 220°F
  • Differential range: 1° to 30°F
  • Input Voltage: 120VAC, 208, 240VAC
  • Pilot duty: 125VA at 120/208/240VAC
  • Sensor: Thermistor, 2″ long x 1/4″dia with 8′ cable (included)
  • Control Ambient Temperatures
  • Operating: -20° to 140°
  • Storage: -40° to 176°
  • Ambient humidity: 0 to 95% RH, non-condensing
  • Enclosure: NEMA 1
  • Dimensions: 6.52″ high x 2.7″ wide x 2.48″ deep
  • Agency Approvals: UL listed, file E94419, Guide XAPX, CSA certified, file LR68340, class 4813 02

RANCO ETC-111000 DIGITAL TEMPERATURE CONTROL 120 – 240V ETC-111000-000 – $43.85 + Free Shipping

Also: Free TimeStick · Stainless Sparge Arm · Simcoe · Barrels · New Omega Strains 

Ends Today 10/31: 31% Off Tall Boy Kettles!

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STC-1000 Dual Stage Temp Controller

The STC-1000 is a very popular homebrewing temperature controller.  This is a dual stage controller.  That means it has the ability to control both a heating and cooling device.  Great for a kegerator or a fermentation chamber/deep freeze.  110 volt version, reads in deg C.

Elitech 110V All-Purpose Temperature Controller + Sensor 2 Relay Output Thermostat Stc-1000 

Also: Free TimeStick · Stainless Sparge Arm · Simcoe · Barrels · New Omega Strains 

Ends Today 10/31: 31% Off Tall Boy Kettles!

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Reader Tip: 14.8 Cu Ft Maytag Freezer – $357 + Free Delivery and Haul Away + Layout Info

Thanks to Facebook Friend Zot for this tip!  Connect with HBF on Facebook - Here

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Home Depot has marked down Maytag’s Model MQC1552TEW Chest freezer down $121.70 from $479 to $357.30.  The current sale also includes free delivery and haul away of an old unit.  No coupon or promo code is needed.  The sale price and free delivery should be reflected on the product page.

This large deep freeze could make for a nice large kegerator, a fermentation chamber (you must brew a lot of beer) or possibly a kegerater/fermentation chamber combo.

Here is a detailed layout of the freezer including keg capacities.  Thank you to Thadius Miller for your great work detailing freezer capacities!

Maytag MQC1552TEW 14.8 Cu Ft Deep Freeze – $357.30 + Free Delivery & Haul Away

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

Also: Free TimeStick · Stainless Sparge Arm · Simcoe · Barrels · New Omega Strains 

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Temperature Probe Placement – To Immerse or Not To Immerse?

cln_1ziptiedcan

After my last test on the effects of a recirculating fan on kegerator temperatures (See: Kegerator Beer Line Temperatures & Reducing Foam with a Recirculating Fan), I decided to test the effects of kegerator temperature probe placement.  I went with three configurations: Immersed vs Ambient Non-Immersed vs… Zip Tied to a Beer Can.  Those tests yielded some interesting findings.

Test 1 Zip Tied to a Beer Can:

cln_img_5553For this test, the probe was zip-tied to a 14.9 Ounce Can of Beamish Irish Stout.  This is the technique I’ve used for years.  At the time, I wanted something with some mass to help regulate temperature and I didn’t want to have to mess with submerging the probe and the required container of liquid.  For this test, the can was placed close to the wall of my keezer on the compressor hump.  The second probe was immersed in 500 mL of water in a Lab Container.  See the picture in test 2 for more info on placement.

cln_ziptiedI also placed a ChefAlarm Thermometer & Timer in my keezer – Hands on Review – as another point of reference, giving me an ambient temperature reading.  The ChefAlarm has some great features, including high and low temperature logging.  Those highs and lows are what I used as a reference.

cln_1ziptiedcanHere are the temperature results for test 1 – zip tied to a can.  The top shows the temperature probe zip tied to a beer can.  The bottom, for comparison, shows an immersed temperature probe.  This method produces and nice clean and reliable reading.

Definitions:

  • High Temp: High temperature in deg F as measured by the primary/controlling probe.
  • Low Temp: Low temperature in deg F as measured by the primary/controlling probe.
  • Variance High to Low:  The variance in deg F between general high and low readings from the primary probe.
  • Cycle Length: Overall length of one typical cooling cycle, measured from high point to high point.
  • ChefAlarm High: Ambient temperature high in deg F as recorded by my ChefAlarm
  • ChefAlarm Low: Ambient temperature low in deg F as recorded by my ChefAlarm
  • ChefAlarm Variance: Variance in deg F between high and low ChefAlarm readings
  • Estimated Freezer Cycle Time: Estimated time that the freezer is running as measured from one high to the following low.
  • Estimated Freezer Time: Hours Per Day:  Estimation of how long my freezer would run in 24 hours based on frequency of cycles and freezer cycle time.

Results Test 1:

  • High Temp: 40.03
  • Low Temp: 37.64
  • Variance High to Low: 2.39
  • Cycle Length: 1 Hour 2 Minutes
  • ChefAlarm High: 42
  • ChefAlarm Low: 34
  • ChefAlarm Variance: 8 degrees
  • Estimated Freezer Cycle Time: 12 Minutes
  • Estimated Freezer Time: Hours Per Day: 4.6

Test 2 Submerged Probe:

cln_img_5520Setup: I placed the probe immersed in about 500 mL of water one of my Bel-Art Scienceware 500 mL Polypropylene Lab Containers.  I covered the top with aluminum foil.  I have used these containers since 2011 for a bunch of things including yeast rehydration water (see tips page, tip #1), sample storage and more.  That container was placed in about the same spot as the can used it test 1.  Also Pictured: Eva Dry E-500Hands on Review – to handle kegerator condensation.

cln_2submergedHere are the temperature results for test 2 – immersed.  The top shows the immersed temperature probe.  The bottom, for comparison, shows the probe zip tied to a beer can.  Notice the stuttered temperature changes toward the bottom of this cycle.  It doesn’t happen every cycle, but periodically, it also comes close to flat lining.  That period of flat lining can last up to 18 minutes.  The mass of the water makes temperature readings inefficient.  That’s what we want to some degree.  We want some sort of a buffer to give a good representation of temperature without quick swings.  However the stuttering temperature changes along with flat lining, make me think that this method has it’s drawbacks.

Results Test 2:

  • High Temp: 40.19
  • Low Temp: 36.76
  • Variance High to Low: 3.46
  • Cycle Length: 1 Hour 59 Minutes
  • ChefAlarm High: 43
  • ChefAlarm Low: 30
  • ChefAlarm Variance: 13 degrees
  • Estimated Freezer Cycle Time: 25 Minutes
  • Estimated Freezer Time: Hours Per Day: 5

Test 3 Ambient Non-Submerged Probe:

cln_3ambientwithandwithoutfan

Here are the temperature results for test 3 – ambient, non-submerged.  The top of this graph shows the ambient probe, the bottom, for comparison, shows a probe zip tied to a beer can.  The left most portion of the graph is part of a previous test, disregard that.  The middle portion shows the ambient non-submersed probe with a recirculating fan.  By the way… all previous tests were completed with a fan.  The right portion shows the same test, without the fan.  I’m not reporting those results here.  That test was much as you would expect it to be.  Similar to the fan test, with larger swings and slower cycles.  Thoughts… I was actually impressed with the consistency of the ambient air results.  When I first looked at the graph, I noticed the semi-wild start of the test and I thought… here we go… this one is going to be all over the place.  However, when it settled in, it was very reliable.  It also has good accuracy.  The difference between the zip tied readings and the ambient readings are small.  The downside of this method is how often the freezer kicks on.  This method had the shortest cycle length, by far, at just 27 minutes.  It also had the highest estimated freezer utilization at 5.3 hours per day.

Results Test 3:

  • High Temp: 40.01
  • Low Temp: 36.39
  • Variance High to Low: 3.62
  • Cycle Length: 27 Minutes
  • ChefAlarm High: 39
  • ChefAlarm Low: 35
  • ChefAlarm Variance: 4 degrees
  • Estimated Freezer Cycle Time: 6 Minutes
  • Estimated Freezer Time: Hours Per Day: 5.3

Overall Results:

Here side by side comparisons of key metrics…

img_comparisons1

The submerged test produced the longest cycle length, by far.  Nearly twice as long as the zip tie test and four times the length of the ambient test.  It had middle of the road temp variances (compared to zip tied) but it’s ChefAlarm (ambient air) test showed a whopping 13 degrees difference.  Those swings are the result of how much time the freezer has to stay on to overcome the mass of the water used in the immersed test.  That mass also causes inconsistent temperature readings and periods of flat lining.

The ambient test produced good accuracy (second best variance and best ChefAlarm ambient air varience) but the short cycle length of 27 minutes means your freezer is kicking on a lot.  That shows up in the estimated freezer hours per day… 5.3 hours, the highest of any method.

I think the zip-tied can approach provides a good middle of the road solution.  It provides the best accuracy, based on it’s 2.39 degree temp variance, has a middle of the road overall cycle length, middle of the road freezer run time and uses the least amount of energy with an estimated 4.6 hours of freezer run time per day.  The can also offers the benefit of not having to mess with containers of water or other liquids.  It’s also easy to move and reposition when cleaning or reconfiguring your kegerator.

Related:

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

Also: Free TimeStick · Stainless Sparge Arm · Simcoe · Barrels · New Omega Strains 

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Some Additional Notes: These tests are with my equipment.  Your results will vary based on a lot of factors including freezer/refrigerator, temp controller, amount of liquid used, probe placement, etc.  In spite of those variances, I think these tests give you a good general idea about probe placement.  I used a BrewBit Model T, sourced via Kickstarter, to log temperature.  Look for a review of the BrewBit Model T here, if and (hopefully) when it becomes readily available to purchase.

Reader Tip: 7.2 Cu Ft Kenmore Chest Freezer – $170.99 + Detailed Layout Info

Thanks to HBF Reader Eric for this tip!

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Kmart Kenmore’s Model 18702 7.2 Cu Ft Deep Freeze marked down $110 to $179.99.  Use promo code KMART10PSAVINGS and the price drops to $170.99.  Pickup at your local store is free.

Extensive details on this deep freeze are available here.  Thanks to thadius for this great resource!

Kenmore 7.2 cu. ft. Chest Freezer – White - $170.99 + Free In Store Pickup

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Kenmore 7 Cu Ft Deep Freeze – $189.99, Save $100

img_searsfreezer

Kenmore’s 7 Cubic Ft Chest Freezer Model 12702 sells for $289.99.  It’s marked down $90 to $199.99.  Use promo/coupon code 10OFF75 and another $10 comes off.  That makes the total price $189.99.  In store pickup is free.  Check it out – Here

Need a Keg?

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

Also: Free TimeStick · Stainless Sparge Arm · Simcoe · Barrels · New Omega Strains 

Ends Today 10/31: 31% Off Tall Boy Kettles!

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