brewpi fridge question

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N3MIS15

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I was given a fridge that I plan to use as a fermentation chamber combined with a brewpi setup. I was curious on the best method of controlling the fridge. Should I take control of the thermostat, or is plugging the fridge into my controller sufficient? I will mostly be focusing on ales, but lagering is not out of the realms of possibility.

Any help is appreciated.

Cheers,
David.
 

woodwormm

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All I know about brewpi I googled 38 seconds ago... I'd just plug the fridge into it. Its what 99 percent of us stc 1000 users do. Most don't bother playing with fridge thermostat unless it dies.
 

TheWiggman

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Pretty straightforward* answer to your question - turn your thermostat to coldest, and plug your fridge into the BrewPi.
*Ed: amateur advice. This will be the simplest method providing you know how to rig up an SSD or are prepared to get an electrician to assist. Hacking the fridge technically should also be done by an authorised person.
 

N3MIS15

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Cheers guys. this is the answer I was hoping to hear. I was reading this guide and it had me wondering if maybe simply plugging the fridge into an ssr would be sufficient.
 

MastersBrewery

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Most BrewPI users by pass the thermostat and wire directly to the compressor. Having said that if you don't know what your doing get a sparky to sort it out or do as above .
 

N3MIS15

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I can bypass thermostat, its just more work. If its worth the hassle I have no problem doing that. Just need to take a closer look at the fridge.
 

MastersBrewery

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That is the best solution, the problem going straight off the fridge power is the Pi can call for cooling and the fridge be in a timed defrost mode and therefore no cooling applied. Even in lagering mode the fridge should not require defrost.

Ed: for those using STC1000 type controlers, BrewPi with thermowell, set correctly will maintain +/- 0.1c, infact at the end of active ferment it will show an under shoot of 0.2 to 0.4c as the algorithm allows for heat generated by the active ferment. At best the wort temp when using an Stc or similar is +/- 2c.
 

N3MIS15

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Thanks for the detailed explanation MastersBrewery. I will take a look at the fridge's compressor tomorrow.
 

neo__04

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I use brewpi on a fridge for fermenting.

Best thing i ever did.

I made the brewpi controller using this guide
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f258/howto-make-brewpi-fermentation-controller-cheap-466106/

Makes it much cheaper than the normal controller.

Wire it up to have the outputs to a couple of 240v outlets and just plug the fridge in.

It works ridiculously well.

Dont over complicate it worrying about the compressor etc.

I use a thermowell through the top of a fermenter and it works a treat. Recommend it.
 

DJ_L3ThAL

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How long can the temperature probe wires be on the brew Pi setup? Would 5 - 10metres be too long? I have a PC one side of the room where my FV and fridge sits so running the probe cable along the roof and down to the thermowell would be ideal and I wouldn't have to rearrange my office/brew shed.
 

neo__04

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not sure on max length, but mine would be maybe 4m without me being at home to measuring it.
 

MastersBrewery

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DJ_L3ThAL said:
How long can the temperature probe wires be on the brew Pi setup? Would 5 - 10metres be too long? I have a PC one side of the room where my FV and fridge sits so running the probe cable along the roof and down to the thermowell would be ideal and I wouldn't have to rearrange my office/brew shed.
why can't the arduino sit on the fridge? then usb or bluetooth to RPi or linux machine
 

DJ_L3ThAL

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MastersBrewery said:
why can't the arduino sit on the fridge? then usb or bluetooth to RPi or linux machine
It could, but wouldn't there be more losses/issues with powering/data transfer through a 10metre USB cable than a longer probe sensor wire?
 

N3MIS15

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FWIW the fridge I was given had either a dodgy thermostat or defrost timer. I bypassed both and now have my first brew running in the fridge.

Heres how it went.
The first time I ran the fridge overnight with 35 litres of water and it got to about 16c. When I was given the fridge I was told it didn't get "very cold", however I figured it would work as a fermentation fridge. I decided to run a brew plugging in fridge to my brewpi setup. When I woke up this morning the brew was 26c (It should have been 20c).

After a bit of probing with the multimeter and a bit of googlefu I managed to bypass the thermostat and defrost timer and get everything running again.

All in all, I guess this post renders my initial question void. If I were to do it again, knowing what I know now. I would bypass the thermostat from the start.
 

MastersBrewery

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N3MI said:
FWIW the fridge I was given had either a dodgy thermostat or defrost timer. I bypassed both and now have my first brew running in the fridge.

Heres how it went.
The first time I ran the fridge overnight with 35 litres of water and it got to about 16c. When I was given the fridge I was told it didn't get "very cold", however I figured it would work as a fermentation fridge. I decided to run a brew plugging in fridge to my brewpi setup. When I woke up this morning the brew was 26c (It should have been 20c).

After a bit of probing with the multimeter and a bit of googlefu I managed to bypass the thermostat and defrost timer and get everything running again.

All in all, I guess this post renders my initial question void. If I were to do it again, knowing what I know now. I would bypass the thermostat from the start.
Nice work! for some bypassing won't be mandatory but knowing nothing is foolin with your settings it's the only way
 

djar007

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Thanks for the update nemi. I am setting mine up now on a pretty complicated fridge and bit hesitant to make a mistake and kill the fridge. On a side note. The brew pi is longer for sale. They have a new version coming out. I had read that they were looking at adding beer bug like feature to it.. And i just bought mine.
 

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