Inkbird Heating Differential Question

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by toffle, May 18, 2020.

  1. toffle

    toffle New Member

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    My fermentation setup is in a cellar where temperatures are cool year round, so I require a heating pad to maintain my optimal fermentation temperature. I just picked up an Inkbird TC-308, and wonder what are the ideal settings for heating my fermenter.

    How close do folks set their Heating Differential to their target temperature?

    I've got my HD set at .5°C, but wonder if I should set it even closer to my target. It takes quite awhile for 20 or so L of beer to drop .5°C below my temperature setting, and an additional time for the heating pad to bring it back up to temp, meaning it's probably spending a lot more time under my target than at it. Is there any harm in setting my HD at the same temp as the target temp?

    Thanks, and cheers!

    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I have mine at .5c either way I think closest is .3 c temp difference.

    So the .5 below kicks in .5c below the fermentation temp and kicks out at the ferm temp. The opposite for the cooling side it kicks in .5 above and clocks out at the set temp.

    I suppose the closer you temp swing margin the more your heat source or chill source is going to cycle.

    I use a freezer as my ferm chamber I find this is great for hold temperature hot and cold pretty good and it insulates the fermentor from the outside ambient temperature swings pretty good. This is what I'd do if I were you is try and ferment in a chamber of some sorts to drum and keep ferm temp more even.
     
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  3. toffle

    toffle New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.
    This was my first consideration, though it is not such a crucial issue when cycling heat sources as opposed to cooling devices. (Inkbird has this covered via its "compressor delay" function anyway.) Inkbird will cycle your devices more often the closer you set the HD to your target temperature, but it should then take less time and energy to return to the target temperature. You are correct that .3c is the smallest HD setting. I've set my system to that value for now.

    Thanks again, and happy brewing!

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
     
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  4. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I use a fridge and an inkbird for fermenting, have it set at 0.5C either way, and have the probe in the wort/beer. A half degree either side of target ferm temp is perfectly fine.
     
  5. toffle

    toffle New Member

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    Thanks,
    I'm fairly new to this, but I've been having good results so far, and am doing my best to improve my brews. (I really should venture over to the introductions forum and say hi!) My biggest struggle so far is keeping consistent temperatures, so I'm looking forward to seeing if the Inkbird brings any noticeable improvement to my beer.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
     
  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I think as long as your temp is stable which it will be you'll be fine.
    Yeast don't like big temp swings your mitigating that using inkbird.
    Don't stress ;)
     
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  7. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    How are you "insulating" the carboy?

    I handle my fermentation the same way in the winter toffel and keep the carboy in a styrofoam container to keep things steady. In the summer, I will put the carboy in a pool of water, drape a towel over it and put a fan to it to cool things down. Tempature control is gonna be one of the better steps you can take to good brewing after good sanitation practices. There is a whole lot of material on the internet on how to achieve control on almost any budget. Me? I'm a cheap bastard so a heat mat and my Inkbird were the first steps that I took towards making my yeasts happy!

    Welcome to the Forum!
     
  8. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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  9. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    And even here!

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/forum/threads/temperture-deltas.12046/#post-89452
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/forum/threads/now-that-i-have-temp-control.10596/
     
  10. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I think it's the correlation vs causation problem. As new homebrewers struggling to get control of your process you hear everyone talk about ferm temp control being the most important thing to solve. You start looking and in the meantime keep working on your process. About the time you're starting to feel in control of your process you're implementing temp control and you associate that as the deciding factor.

    Not to say temp control isn't important. For some yeasts (like Saaz lager strains) it's really important, for others, not so much as long as you've got reasonable temp control.

    The one I've not seen a lot on that I'm interested in is how pitching temp works in this equation. Another thing newer brewers do (I certainly did) is say that near enough is good enough and end up pitching yeast into warmer wort than they would ever do once they've got more control.
     
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  11. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Ouch! That's my John Palmer favorite quote! "it's a robust system"!

    speaking of Brulosopy...

    http://brulosophy.com/2014/12/15/the-temp-at-which-we-pitch-exbeeriment-results/
     
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  12. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    There you go. Like so many things, probably not that important on it's own, but if it's part of a rolling series of misses and near misses you'll be able to convince yourself it was the one true problem.
     
  13. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    All of the little things add up. For me controlling fermentation temperature, and getting my water quality dealt with at approximately the same time translated into a quantum leap of beer quality.
     
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  14. toffle

    toffle New Member

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    Thanks all, for the replies. So far the Inkbird seems to be doing the trick. My temps have been fairly consistent, which is the whole purpose of adding the controller in the first place.

    I'm really enjoying the process (and product) of brewing my own beer. My eighth brew is a few days from bottling, and my next recipe is in the queue.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
     
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  15. Hamner Brewhouse

    Hamner Brewhouse Active Member

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    I'm probably the oddball, but I have my variance set at 2 F. I have so far only needed to worry about heating to keep the brews fermenting from going too cold. Mostly I am not convinced that a 2 degree swing will have a negative impact. I also think that keeping the unit from cycling more often may prevent premature failure.
     
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