Author Topic: Temperature range, will it improve as fridge gets full? Should I add mass?  (Read 652 times)

Offline AJ Peacock

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OK,

Setting up a mini fridge (3 cu ft) with the Johnson Controls analog controller.

I monitored it for a few hours and empty it cycles between 54F and 61F about every 2 hours.

Questions:
1) Is this spread (7F)   typical?
2) Is 7F OK for aging cheese?
3) Will it improve if I add some mass (gallon jugs of water) as compared to an empty fridge?
4) Do you guys add mass to the inside of your fridge?
5) Anything else to be done to minimize the high-low spread?

Thanks,
AJ


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Offline Tomer1

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Quote
3) Will it improve if I add some mass (gallon jugs of water) as compared to an empty fridge?
Yes.   

Also check if you can change the cycle time (delay) of the controller.
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Offline Boofer

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AJ, I think I'd reset the control a little lower...perhaps for a spread between 48-55F. Is it digital or analog? If digital, can't you select the spread? I have an analog Johnson controller and it is not possible to set the spread, but it still maintains a fairly consistent temperature. My newer Ranco digital controller lets me set the spread down to 1 degree. Set it to 51F and if it climbs to 52F, the controller kicks on.

I've never used something like jugs of water to help maintain a constant temp in my caves, but it sounds like a reasonable idea. My effort was confined to filling the available space with wheels of cheese. ;)

Don't know if that helps.

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Offline Pete S

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AJ,  I have an analog Johnson controller and it is not possible to set the spread, but it still maintains a fairly consistent temperature. My newer Ranco digital controller lets me set the spread down to 1 degree. Set it to 51F and if it climbs to 52F, the controller kicks on.



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  If you set the spread that close don't you get a short cycle time that is hard on your cave cooler?   Pete
 
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Offline AJ Peacock

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Thanks guys,

It's the analog controller, so I don't think I can adjust the spread.  I can adjust the temps up/down though.

I'll probably put 4-5 gallons of water in the fridge and see if that makes the cycle longer at all. 

I'll also review the paperwork from the controller to see if any adjustments can be made.

Just getting all my ducks in a row.  The only thing in the cave right now is a small store bought Camembert.

Ordered a sturdy press (shipped today) soon I'll be ready to really make a mess.

AJ


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Offline Pete S

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OK,

Setting up a mini fridge (3 cu ft) with the Johnson Controls analog controller.

I monitored it for a few hours and empty it cycles between 54F and 61F about every 2 hours.

Questions:
1) Is this spread (7F)   typical?
2) Is 7F OK for aging cheese?
3) Will it improve if I add some mass (gallon jugs of water) as compared to an empty fridge?
4) Do you guys add mass to the inside of your fridge?
5) Anything else to be done to minimize the high-low spread?

Thanks,
AJ

  I got to thinking  (dangerous) .  You are measuring the air temp. If you put a quart of water in to sub. for a 2# weal of cheese and monitor the temp of the water I think that you will find that it varies only a couple of degrees.
                                                                                                                                           Pete
THE MORE I LEARN----THE MORE THERE IS TO LEARN---PETE

Offline AJ Peacock

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  I got to thinking  (dangerous) .  You are measuring the air temp. If you put a quart of water in to sub. for a 2# weal of cheese and monitor the temp of the water I think that you will find that it varies only a couple of degrees.
                                                                                                                                           Pete

I thought that too, but then I thought about it more and decided that if I was measuring the inside temp of a bottle of water, the air temperature would have to fluctuate more, because by the time the water warmed up, the air temp would be MUCH warmer.  Then the fridge would run until the water was cool and the air would be MUCH cooler.  So smaller cheeses (and the surface of all the cheeses) would experience a much greater fluctuation.  Also, the cooler temp would cause condensation/dripping within the fridge.  Since the fridge is actually cooling the air, it makes sense that I should measure the air.

AJ

Offline Pete S

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  you would not put the probe of the controller in the water, leave it in the air . put the probe of the thermometer that you use to monitor the temp of your cave in the water. the controller would keep the temp of the air as it does now but the temp of the water (or cheese) would not very that much. even the surface of the cheese would not very that much.  Pete
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Offline AJ Peacock

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  you would not put the probe of the controller in the water, leave it in the air . put the probe of the thermometer that you use to monitor the temp of your cave in the water. the controller would keep the temp of the air as it does now but the temp of the water (or cheese) would not very that much. even the surface of the cheese would not very that much.  Pete

Makes sense, thanks.

AJ

Offline AJ Peacock

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So I dropped the thermostat to 50F and added 2 Gallon jugs of water.

Ran a couple day test to see if this impacted the range, which was 7F in an empty fridge.

The Range dropped to 4F and is now holding at 50F-54F

I believe this is pretty close to what I'll need later.

AJ


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Temperature range, will it improve as fridge gets full? Should I add mass?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 06:48:29 PM »
If you set the spread that close don't you get a short cycle time that is hard on your cave cooler?   Pete
Possibly, but maybe I'm just lucky...my caves keep a pretty constant temp and the compressors don't seem to work that hard. Possibly decent insulation and/or the presence of the cheese mass inside each cave.

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