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Problem with temperature hold in Brew Kettle

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  • Problem with temperature hold in Brew Kettle

    I've been having an issue with my boil kettle not holding its temperature at lower levels. Brewed a sour last week and set it to hold the lacto at 98.6F. I even cut power to all but one element as a safety measure. Came in the next day to find that the element had continued firing and the batch was partially boiled off (not to mention the mess and nasty smell!) Essentially the "thermostat" function of the PID doesn't seem to be operating as it should. I've done sours before using the same procedure and never had a problem holding temperature at the recommended point for the lacto. Any idea's what's happening?

    Here's what I'm running on:
    Control panel is from Colorado Brewing Systems with a Unisonic touchscreen brain.
    I'm running 4 x 5500W elements in each vessel (HLT & BK). I've got some sparge water heating in the HLT as I type this and it is holding at the setpoint without any apparent issues. Problem just seems to be in the BK.
    I recently had an electrician in and we went through the panel and replaced several faulty relays and many terminal connectors. Also tightened down every screw and bolt we could find in the panel.

    My current thought is that the problem may be in one or more of the SSR's but that's about 95% a guess. Any thoughts/help would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    I brewed on a Colorado Brew System for a while at another brewery and I found that I had issues with the lead from the panel to the temp probe it self, usually on the probe end. It would either get a loose contact or get twisted or maybe get wet somehow and it would throw off the temp. Meaning sometimes it would read far over or far under the actual temp. If it was reading under then the elements would just keep running if it read over then they would shut off. With the panel on so you can see what temp its reading try fiddling with the lead and see if it jumps around on you. If it does then that might be the issue. And it's a cheap fix to just replace the lead. Hope this helps!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TaneumCreek View Post
      I brewed on a Colorado Brew System for a while at another brewery and I found that I had issues with the lead from the panel to the temp probe it self, usually on the probe end. It would either get a loose contact or get twisted or maybe get wet somehow and it would throw off the temp. Meaning sometimes it would read far over or far under the actual temp. If it was reading under then the elements would just keep running if it read over then they would shut off. With the panel on so you can see what temp its reading try fiddling with the lead and see if it jumps around on you. If it does then that might be the issue. And it's a cheap fix to just replace the lead. Hope this helps!
      I have indeed had some temp probe and probe lead issues in the past (to the point where I keep a bunch of spares on hand) but that doesn't seem to be the issue in this case.

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