Gro-warm Thermostat Conversion

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Hogan

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To all the brew fridge brewers.

I have recently purchased a Gro-Warm capiliary thermostat fan control model THF for my brew fridge. This model runs at -40 to + 40.c. and is plug connected direct to your fridge power outlet rather than hardwired to the fridge.

I have read previous posts about how some similar model thermostats can be reconfigured to support a heating source as opposed to a cooling unit, or (by switch) both together. I contacted Adloheat in Melbourne who manufacture this product and I was advised that this could be done.

The box for the THF (cooling unit) is the same as for the THI (warming unit).
The THF has three internal pins running at the diagonal.
Brown wire is 'active'
Red wire is 'cooling'
Third pin is vacant.

If the red 'cooling' wire is removed from its pin and placed on the vacant pin it will transform into a warming unit. It is necessary to remember two things: the cooling pin is rated at 10 amps whilst the warming pin is rated at 7.5 amps. Also the pins are fragile and if broken will likely render the unit inoperable.

I am not a a sparkie and do not recommend any reconfiguration other than by a licensed electrician. I will be having one make a switch up for me so that I can use the unit as both a heating and warming control.

The THF can be purchased from HBS for around $120. Adloheat sell them for $103 on the net. The customer assistance I got from Adloheat regarding this converstion was excellent.

Hogan.
 

timmy

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Hogan said:
I am not a a sparkie and do not recommend any reconfiguration other than by a licensed electrician.
You don't need to be a licensed sparkie to play with a plug in appliance :ph34r:

But it really does pay to know what you're doing.

I'd rather have a fridge mechanic play with it :p
 

Hogan

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timmy said:
Hogan said:
I am not a a sparkie and do not recommend any reconfiguration other than by a licensed electrician.
You don't need to be a licensed sparkie to play with a plug in appliance :ph34r:

But it really does pay to know what you're doing.

I'd rather have a fridge mechanic play with it :p
[post="71797"][/post]​
Yeah a good fridge man would be the go timmy. I have one who supplied my first fridge.

The only thing I know about currents is that they come in a box with sultanas.

Hogan.
 

Trough Lolly

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G'day Hogan,
I read your interesting thread on the Adloheat THF controller unit which they have on their website here:
http://www.adloheat.com.au/climate.htm

You mention that the unit runs at -40 to +40C...Yet their unit is quoted at 0 to 40C...Have you had yours run sub zero or was that a typo? :huh:
I don't want to get picky but I'm thinking of getting one and if I can go sub zero with this unit, that's a big plus for this unit compared to other temp controllers...

Cheers,
TL
 

warrenlw63

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TL.

I've got an Adloheat. Mine goes 0 to 40. If I want to go below zero a degree or two (lagering). I just turn the dial back past zero. Thing seems to keep dropping anyway. There's a fair margin that the dial will turn back past. I've successfully managed to run my fridge at -3c. YMMV. I think the manufacturer just cuts it at zero because they don't expect anybody to use it lower.

Warren -
 

Hogan

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TL - Mine is attached to a chest freezer and my digital fermenter temp gauge has shown it to go past -0.c although I have not had to drop it less than this for lagering. The dial on the unit shows gradients from + 40.c down to 0. then no gradients until the stop point adjacent to +20.c which would make that -20 c. If you have any concerns give Wayne a buzz at [email protected] He was very helpful to me and will answer all your Q's. BTW it's a great piece of equipment.

Hogan.
 

jmc

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I just recently made one. I got the temp controller from RS Components in Port Melbourne. Part No 250 6112 (Capillary Thermostats ) 0 to + 40C 250-6112 AUS$ 49.20 . It's simple to add to a box and an "On - Off - On" rocker switch, power outlet plug and power lead. When the rocker switch is on one side it will control heating and on the other it will control cooling.

PS , I'm not an electrician but as the wiring's so simple I had no trouble - It's currently regulating the temp of my carbonating brew.

John
 

Aaron

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jmc said:
I just recently made one. I got the temp controller from RS Components in Port Melbourne. Part No 250 6112 (Capillary Thermostats ) 0 to + 40C 250-6112 AUS$ 49.20 . It's simple to add to a box and an "On - Off - On" rocker switch, power outlet plug and power lead. When the rocker switch is on one side it will control heating and on the other it will control cooling.

PS , I'm not an electrician but as the wiring's so simple I had no trouble - It's currently regulating the temp of my carbonating brew.

John
[post="82126"][/post]​
Agree with this, it is so easy to build your own and much cheaper. About the only thing you may need that you may not have tool wise is a sldering iron. Surely everyone has a friend that would have one. I got my thermostat from Tobin's. I then picked up some 240 cable and plugs, a project box and some seals and put it all together. Cost was $38 for the thermostat, $20 for the rest of the parts and 1 hour.

If you are unsure there is a diagram on ahb that will show you how to put it all together. Just search for tobin and thermostat and you should find it.
 

Hogan

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No matter whether you buy it whole or make it yourself there is nothing more pleasing than to see your brew fridge / freezer ticking away at that designated temperature degree just right for your brew, whether it's the summer or winter. Much easier than having wet towels draped over the fermenter or tossing ice cubes into a bucket. Best investment I ever made.

Hogan
 

Trough Lolly

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Hogan said:
No matter whether you buy it whole or make it yourself there is nothing more pleasing than to see your brew fridge / freezer ticking away at that designated temperature degree just right for your brew, whether it's the summer or winter. Much easier than having wet towels draped over the fermenter or tossing ice cubes into a bucket. Best investment I ever made.

Hogan
[post="82135"][/post]​
I couldn't agree with you more Hogan! Cheers to you and the the other helpful repliers... I'm tool challenged and believe it or not, lazy, especially when the local HBS has the Adloheat units in stock. I'm sick of brewing crap lagers, so I'm gonna do something about it - and since the missus didn't scream when I told her how much it costs ($110), I'll steer clear of playing with mains voltage and get one. No more fusel laiden lagers for me! :p

The only problem now is convincing the missus I need an extra fridge - to store the hops and yeast in when I turn the existing fridge into a fermentation / lagering unit! :ph34r:

TL :chug:
 

Steve

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so...the probe goes inside the fridge, the fridge is plugged into the external thermostat with dial temp setting and then that is plugged into the wall? Is it that easy? It just turns the fridge on and off as needed? I need one as I have just got a digital thermometer set up so I can do lagers through summer in the brew fridge and on the lowest fridge setting (warmest) its at 5 degrees. I need to be able to get it up to 12.

TL when you say the LHBS has the adloheat ones do you mean Cols in Kambah?
Cheers
Steve
 

normell

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Fan Control Model THF 0-40oC 10 Amp (brew/fridge use also), is used for cooling, and the
Heat Control Model THI 0-40oC, is for heating, make sure you get the right one, as a lot of HBS's only have the heating type's

Normell
 

Hogan

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Yes Steve it is that easy. The one thing you will notice when using the digital thermometer is that it will show a temp of the wort about 2.c. above what the Gro-Warm is set at. This is because the wort during ferment is creating heat and as such will give a higher reading than the ambient in the fridge.

Normell - both the THF & THI can be adapted to run as both heating and cooling units. See my first post above.

Hogan.
 

normell

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Hogan said:
Normell - both the THF & THI can be adapted to run as both heating and cooling units. See my first post above.

Hogan.
[post="82555"][/post]​
So Adloheat a using a tobins unit, or simular, as I thought.
I have a Adlo unit on my fermting fridge, and a Tobins unit controlling my chest freezer

Normell
 

Trough Lolly

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Steve said:
so...the probe goes inside the fridge, the fridge is plugged into the external thermostat with dial temp setting and then that is plugged into the wall? Is it that easy? It just turns the fridge on and off as needed? I need one as I have just got a digital thermometer set up so I can do lagers through summer in the brew fridge and on the lowest fridge setting (warmest) its at 5 degrees. I need to be able to get it up to 12.

TL when you say the LHBS has the adloheat ones do you mean Cols in Kambah?
Cheers
Steve
[post="82478"][/post]​
G'day Steve,
Yes, they are like a power board with a temp controller for the fridge! You plug the unit between the fridge and the GPO and you're in business!
Colin at BYOAH has them - I bought one off him last weekend! B)

I'm gonna gaff tape the capilliary probe to the fermenter when I do my lagers so it will keep an eye on the temp in the fermenter rather than the surrounding air in the fridge.

Oh, you bloody beauty....crisp, fusel free Czech pils and Oktoberfests for Xmas! :beer:

TL
 

warrenlw63

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Trough Lolly said:
Steve said:
so...the probe goes inside the fridge, the fridge is plugged into the external thermostat with dial temp setting and then that is plugged into the wall? Is it that easy? It just turns the fridge on and off as needed? I need one as I have just got a digital thermometer set up so I can do lagers through summer in the brew fridge and on the lowest fridge setting (warmest) its at 5 degrees. I need to be able to get it up to 12.

TL when you say the LHBS has the adloheat ones do you mean Cols in Kambah?
Cheers
Steve
[post="82478"][/post]​
G'day Steve,
Yes, they are like a power board with a temp controller for the fridge! You plug the unit between the fridge and the GPO and you're in business!
Colin at BYOAH has them - I bought one off him last weekend! B)

I'm gonna gaff tape the capilliary probe to the fermenter when I do my lagers so it will keep an eye on the temp in the fermenter rather than the surrounding air in the fridge.

Oh, you bloody beauty....crisp, fusel free Czech pils and Oktoberfests for Xmas! :beer:

TL
[post="85349"][/post]​

TL When you're lagering I've found it easier to put the capilliary into a bottle of water to keep the temps accurate. Works quite well.

Warren -
 

Steve

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Cheers TL
I went in to Cols on the weekend. There were two, one was the heating one and the other the cooling one. Which did you buy? I told him that my fridge temp is sitting between 6-9 degrees. He suggested chucking a brew in and seeing what it does. Hes a good bloke I was willing to spend the $100 odd dollars there and then. I took his advice and with the pilsener in the fridge its now sitting at 10 degrees, but does fluctuate a bit (everytime I get a beer). I will see how this first pilsener goes and decide if I need to get one. Cheers for replying.
Steve
 

Trough Lolly

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warrenlw63 said:
TL When you're lagering I've found it easier to put the capilliary into a bottle of water to keep the temps accurate. Works quite well.

Warren -
[post="85353"][/post]​
Thanks for that Warren - I was thinking about doing that but I didn't want to frag the probe by immersing it in water - I wasn't sure if the probe would like to get wet. I'll get a 600ml PET bottle, chuck some water in and sit it in the fridge alongside the fermenter. The only drawback I see with that setup is that the bottle of water may not pick up the heat generated by the wort in the early / vigorous stages of primary fermentation - which is why I plumped for gaff taping the probe to the side of the fermenter...I guess I'll just have to do several lagers and see which method works best!! B)

Cheers,
TL
 

Trough Lolly

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Steve said:
Cheers TL
I went in to Cols on the weekend. There were two, one was the heating one and the other the cooling one. Which did you buy? I told him that my fridge temp is sitting between 6-9 degrees. He suggested chucking a brew in and seeing what it does. Hes a good bloke I was willing to spend the $100 odd dollars there and then. I took his advice and with the pilsener in the fridge its now sitting at 10 degrees, but does fluctuate a bit (everytime I get a beer). I will see how this first pilsener goes and decide if I need to get one. Cheers for replying.
Steve
[post="85354"][/post]​
G'day Steve,
I bought the THF model - didn't know that Col had two types - I just wanted one to control the fridge temp. I assume that I dial the fridge up to max cooling and let the temp controller do the work so I don't have the fridge and temp controller thermostats having an argument as to who's in charge!
My problem is that the fridge gets too damn cold - I screwed the fridge dial down to 1 and it stays at around 3C which is great for lagering but crap for fermenting in. The beauty of this unit is that I can simply unplug the fridge from the controller when I toss a keg in to drink since this fridge has to double as a fermenting fridge and kegorator...

On a related topic, I prefer my stouts and ambers a bit warmer than 3C so I'll use the temp controller to keep the fridge at about 10C when I serve those beauties up and see how it goes...

Cheers,
TL
 
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