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Ink Bird Controllers

Discussion in 'Electronics, Hardware & Software' started by BKBrews, 29/8/16.

 

  1. TwoCrows

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    Posted 7/9/16
    Quote : The Inkbird controller is the thermostat.

    My inkbird is the power control or switch only....


    You are correct, the compressor is running , but the duration controls to ultimate temperature outcome.
    I have no need for fans or heaters to achieve a 0.5 overall temp discrepancy.
    The fridge may run longer to cool and then ramp back up , works well.
    Imagine a graph long cool short heat , then long cool short heat.
     
  2. BKBrews

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    Posted 7/9/16
    That was my understanding of how it works as well.....
     
  3. Camo6

    Relax? Don't worry?? It's not just an internet for

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    Posted 7/9/16
    But you still want the fridge or freezer's thermostat on the coldest setting so it doesn't overule the controller's operation.
     
  4. Killer Brew

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    Posted 7/9/16
    Good to hear. I now have the same one on its way to me also.
     
  5. TwoCrows

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    Posted 7/9/16
    It doesn't need to be at the coldest setting, the inkbird is only a switch and not the thermostat, it just may need more time to cool and not overshoot the desired temp.
     
  6. TwoCrows

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    Posted 7/9/16
    My inkbird switches on at 19.5 degrees and cools for about 7 minutes and then switches off at 19 degrees . Ramps up to 19.5 degress in 30 minutes and then switches the power on.
     
  7. BKBrews

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    Posted 7/9/16
    If the Inkbird was the actual thermostat the fridge wouldn't turn on and off. A fridge that only utilises the internal thermostat doesn't ever turn off - it just gets the fridge to the input setting and holds it there.

    The inkbird just controls whether the fridge is on or off depending on the input temperature. If the temp reaches the highest allowed (e.g. 20 degrees), the fridge will kick back on and start cooling (at the FRIDGES thermostat setting). If the temp reaches the lowest allowed (e.g. 18 degrees), the fridge then turns off as to not go below this setting. It will naturally rise back up to 20 degrees while off before starting the process again.
     
  8. Camo6

    Relax? Don't worry?? It's not just an internet for

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    Posted 7/9/16
    If you've got a fridge set to four degrees and your controller set to one degree then your fridge thermostat won't allow the compressor to reach the lower temp.
     
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  9. Killer Brew

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    Posted 7/9/16
    Set your fridge thermostat as low as it goes. This will be the minimum temp that you will be able to achieve regardless of what your controller setting is.
     
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  10. BKBrews

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    Posted 7/9/16
    I guess that's why you need to play with it and work out what's best for your setup.

    If you're exclusively fermenting ales that need to be 18 - 20 degrees then there's no need to have your fridge thermostat at the coolest setting. Having it at the lowest setting might actually be more beneficial, as it drops between the variances slower than having it set really cold. If you're lagering/cold crashing then yes, you'd want to set your fridge thermostat at the coolest setting to ensure you can reach the desired temp.
     
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  11. Batz

    Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav

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    Posted 7/9/16
    The Inkbird measures the temperature inside your fridge, if it's to warm it switches the fridge on until the temperature is cold enough then it switches the fridge off. I'm not sure what you think a thermostat does that is different to this.
     
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  12. BKBrews

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    Posted 7/9/16
    Yeah, you're right. I'm mainly just bringing up the fridge thermostat settings because obviously the lower you have these, the harder your fridge is going to work to get there as quick as possible. Or am I incorrect in believing that's how it works?
     
  13. Camo6

    Relax? Don't worry?? It's not just an internet for

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    Posted 7/9/16
    The fridge thermostat will turn the compressor off at the set temperature. Turning it up or down won't change the rate at which the compressor works, it will just change the temp the compressor shuts off at.
    Turn the fridge thermostat to it's coldest setting and let your controller make all the decisions. Simple.
     
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  14. BKBrews

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    Posted 7/9/16
    Glad we got that out of the way..... Thanks (everyone).
     
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  15. SBOB

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    Posted 7/9/16
    its not a dimmer switch
    Its just an on/off switch... so you want to set it to the coldest possible so the external controller (Inkbird) is the new on/off switch as its smarter and tighter temperature control than your fridge thermostat
     
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  16. Mattrox

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    Posted 7/9/16
    It takes the same power to cool from temp x to temp y.


    If temp y is way lower than ambient, sustaining that temp works the fridge more.

    If you set the fridge thermostat too high you won't be able to cold crash to 2 degrees.

    Set the fridge thermostat lowest and let the controller do the work.
     
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  17. TwoCrows

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    Posted 7/9/16
    Post #50 works well for me.

    Post # 2 is using or wanting to use a freezer to ferment and allowing it to cool to -10 wont help his wort temps to well.

    If cold crashing and or lagering , then the thermostat at its lowest setting. I normally use a different fridge as I put a new brew in the fermenting fridge.
     
  18. peteru

    Here, taste this!

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    Posted 7/9/16
    I'm not sure whether a few of the posters in this thread actually know how a thermostat works, but it is basically an on/off switch. Most domestic fridge / freezer thermostats are pretty dumb and inaccurate. The Inkbird temperature controller with it's cooling socket is a much more accurate and smarter version of that. It performs exactly the same job as a thermostat, but it's a better one. If you adjust your fridge/freezer such that it's thermostat turns the compressor off while the Inkbird controller want it on, you have just introduced an unnecessary complication into your system. Once you task the Inkbird with controlling the temperature, you don't want the fridge/freezer thermostat to do anything except keep the compressor on. You could simply disconnect the thermostat and just wire the compressor to always on. Turning the thermostat to the coldest setting is a simpler option that will mostly achieve a similar result.

    The fridge/freezer thermostat will usually measure the ambient temperature of the appliance. Most commonly there will be a capillary probe mounted somewhere on the back wall or under one of the shelves. Again, you can do better with the Inkbird controller because you have more control over where you position the probe. Positioning the probe against the object you want to cool makes more sense than measuring the temperature of the back wall.

    Another factor to consider is the cooling capacity of the appliance. A fridge may have the capacity to remove enough energy to cool 25 litres of beer by 5C per hour, whereas a freezer could drop that temperature by 15C. Unless you are cold crashing, you probably want a gentler rate of change, which means multiple steps to drop the temperature. This is where the ITC-310T has an advantage over the 308. This is also where the probe positioning makes the difference.

    If the probe is inside the fermenter, your compressor will keep cooling non-stop (i.e. at the fastest drop temperature rate it can achieve) until it gets to the target temperature. The difference between the fridge temperature and the beer temperature will be as big as possible until the beer reaches the target temperature. Then the cooling will stop. It is possible that due to the remaining temperature differential, the beer temperature will continue dropping and you will get overshoot.

    If the probe is on the outside of the fermenter and the ambient temperature contributes partially to the readings, you are effectively measuring the "average" of the beer and fridge temperature. This means that as you start approaching the target temperature the difference between the beer temperature and fridge temperature will start getting smaller and smaller until they are the same. However, on the way there, you will reach points where the the "average" temperature is at your target and the compressor will turn off. This will result in a gentler rate of change, which is desirable as far as fermentation goes.

    If you had a more sophisticated controller then taking a reading in the thermowell may well be more appropriate. If you could have multiple inputs you would also want a reading of the fridge temperature. A more sophisticated controller could allow you to control the rate of change and take into account the lag. The Inkbird controllers are not that - they are essentially just better thermostats and so you need to take the temperature at the right spot.
     
  19. moonhead

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    Posted 15/9/16
    Finally got my ITC-308 up and running this week. Have to say, super easy and straight forward, would recommend. Compared to how much time and effort it would have taken to get an STC1000 up and running, i'll gladly pay the extra $30 (not even considering how much all the additional parts needed to build a full STC1000 controller would cost).

    Haven't had it switching the cooling yet, it's been too cold! But for heating it, well, works. (it's a pretty simple device, not sure what else to expect!)

    I'm using a heat pad for heating, so it's a very gentle/slow heat, for that reason I'm finding almost no overshoot with the heating. Currently got the heating delta set at 0.5 degrees, will need to keep an eye on this over the warmer months I think, see how much my fridge overshoots in the cooling. NFI what to set the cooling to yet... will need to see how well the temperature holds I think.

    Glory shot, mounts nicely to a wall -

    IMG_20160912_193153 (Large).jpg
     
  20. sp0rk

    Mayor of Pooptown

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    Posted 15/9/16
    Uhhh, that's not what's going to happen at all...
    I ferment in a stand up freezer and have it set to the lowest setting (on the freezer)
    My temp controller (which has now been replaced by an ITC-310T) turns the freezer off before it reaches -10
    Probably have a good read of the explanation a few posts up from yours, it explains the facts well
     

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