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Problem with MLT temp
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KB



Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia

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PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:01 pm    Post subject: Problem with MLT temp Reply with quote


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Brewing today and I quickly notice the MLT temp is higher than the HLT. This is strange as normally I have to set the HLT 1 to 2 degrees higher to achieve the desired MLT temp. This, to me, is reasonable as some heat is lost going between the HLT and the MLT.

Why today is the MLT temp 5 to 10 degrees higher than the HLT?

When I am finished brewing today I will use a VOM to check the MLT temp cable for continuity. If the cable wires are OK what else should I check?

Perhaps the MLT temp probe has gone bad?

I didn't have this problem when I brewed a few weeks ago.

Input appreciated.
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Fal



Joined: 29 Dec 2014
Posts: 67



PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure where the problem lies, but I do know it's not possible for the Mash Tun to be a higher temperature than the HLT. I'd guess you are good. I usually have a 1-2 degree lag also.
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KB



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PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got as bad as 10 degrees when I was raising the HLT to 168F to mash out.
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KB



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PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I normally turn off the control panel when I unplug or plug in a temp cable. Perhaps I didn't turn off the control panel when I last brewed. Would this damage the sensor or the PID?
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10600
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, German Pils, Belgian Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KB wrote:
I normally turn off the control panel when I unplug or plug in a temp cable. Perhaps I didn't turn off the control panel when I last brewed. Would this damage the sensor or the PID?

No.

Temp probes do not go bad either.

You likely have a poor connection somewhere adding resistance. There are various parts involved:

(1) temp probe tip
(2) temp probe cable
(3) XLR receptacle and cable inside the control panel
(4) PID

You can easily swap (1) and (2) around to see if the problem follows any single (1) or (2) item.
Use (1) and (2) from the problem probe/cable on a different (3) and (4) to test if the issue is (3) or (4).

Replacement parts for anything you need are in our shop:

(1) and (2) as well as parts: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/temperature-probes
(3) receptacle: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/plugs-connectors-receptacles/products/xlr-male-chassis-mount-connector-3-pin
(3) cable: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/wiring/products/22-gauge-4-conductor-wire-1-foot
(4) PID: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/temperature-controllers/products/syl-2352-pid-temperature-controller

Purchasing through our site helps support us and allows us to answer questions like this. Thanks for your support!

Cheers!

Kal

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KB



Joined: 06 Nov 2014
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Location: Virginia

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PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm trying to think "What was different". Well, I used the front in pump head as shown in the Electric Brewing setup instead of the normal inline head. I can't imagine the head would account for a 10 degree temp jump.

Kal, I thought about swapping temp cables, but what about tuning? I thought the temp sensors were tuned for the cables.

Also, how often should we rerun the tuning? At the beginning of every brew season?
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Temperature probe cables ant tips are tuned to the PID that uses them. You have an offset in the PID to account for this. It's usually a low number, like 1 or 2. Your offset is bigger than that. You should swap and see what the issue "follows" to troubleshoot.

You can certainly check for drifting yearly. That's more than likely enough.

More info here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-setup

Kal

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KB



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PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK. Thanks for the input. I will check things out.
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck KB!

Kal

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KB



Joined: 06 Nov 2014
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked the MLT cable continuity with a VOM. When I built the cable I soldered the wires to the pins at each end. Thinking perhaps there is a broken connection making intermittent contact. With the VOM probes in the correct slot in each cable end I jiggle/move around the cable to see if I lose continuity. Nope. I also try putting the VOM probes in non matching slots in each end. For this test I get zero continuity, as expected. I also jiggled/moved the cable to see if I unexpectedly get continuity. Nope.

Brewing on Monday, November 4. MLT PID readout seems fine until I touch the cable connection at the kettle. PID temp goes up to 500 and slowing comes back down. Turn off the control panel. Disconnect the brew kettle PID cable and use the cable for the MLT kettle and PID. Even with the different cable I get higher than expected temps. Turn off the control panel and connect the cables as normal. Takes a few minutes for the MLT PID temp to settle, but then for the rest of the brew session the temp seemed fine or at least close to fine.

Jump to Wednesday. I have some free time and decide to discover the MLT PID temp problem. I open the control panel (yes, the control panel is unplugged from the wall!). Immediately notice a smell. Not a burned smell, but not a "clean" smell too. Now, in general I don't open electric equipment and sniff, so maybe this is normal? To me, smells of a warm plastic smell. Even if true, this, at least to me is surprising, as it's been 2 days since brew day.

I check the screws on the MLT PID. They are all loose. Wires are not falling out or any such thing, but the screws are not tight. I guess the heating and cooling happening within the control panel, over time, has caused the loose screws? I proceed to check and just about all screws inside the control panel are loose. Since I built/assembled the control panel I know all screws were tight when I built it.

My questions: Are loose screws within the control panel, over time, a normal occurrence? If so, how often should we check the screws inside the control panel?
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kal
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Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, German Pils, Belgian Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KB wrote:
MLT PID readout seems fine until I touch the cable connection at the kettle.

You most likely have a bad connection there.

Quote:
I check the screws on the MLT PID. They are all loose. Wires are not falling out or any such thing, but the screws are not tight. I guess the heating and cooling happening within the control panel, over time, has caused the loose screws?

That would normally only happen at connection points that experience high current, not on the PID screw/spade connections and definitely not a the screw/spades for the temp probes as there's close to zero current there.

Quote:
My questions: Are loose screws within the control panel, over time, a normal occurrence? If so, how often should we check the screws inside the control panel?

We include a note in all of our pre-assembled panels that high voltage/current connection points should be checked after the unit arrives to ensure that nothing has loosened in shipping. Otherwise you should not have to ever check again, as long as proper spades/screws are used everywhere.

Kal

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KB



Joined: 06 Nov 2014
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="kal"]
KB wrote:
We include a note in all of our pre-assembled panels that high voltage/current connection points should be checked after the unit arrives to ensure that nothing has loosened in shipping. Otherwise you should not have to ever check again, as long as proper spades/screws are used everywhere.Kal


I built my electric control panel from the Electric Brewery kit of parts. When I originally built the control panel all screws were tight. Now they are not. Baffling.
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kal
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Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Screws like the PID screws cannot come loose by themselves over time. Otherwise everyone using PIDs or any device with a similarly attached screw (used by billions of devices around the world) would have this same issue. I'm afraid I don't understand how this could happen. There is information missing here.

Kal

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701pilot



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PostLink    Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had the same problem. It gets rather warm inside the panel. On a brew day in the summer it has been as high as 150f in the panel. So now every year I tighten every screw in the panel. After several years I don't find as many loose. I replaced a PID about a year ago and sure enough, this year on that PID they were all a little loose when I checked.
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KB



Joined: 06 Nov 2014
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

701pilot wrote:
I have had the same problem. It gets rather warm inside the panel. On a brew day in the summer it has been as high as 150f in the panel. So now every year I tighten every screw in the panel. After several years I don't find as many loose. I replaced a PID about a year ago and sure enough, this year on that PID they were all a little loose when I checked.


Thanks for the input. Glad to know I haven't totally "lost it" (at least not yet).
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KB



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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Checking the cables I noticed, at the kettle end, they can become loose. Press the center and twist to either tighten or loosen. The MLT cable was loose. Also, some of the outer braiding was pushing into the connection. I wonder if the outer braiding was providing connectivity, even minimal, causing the problems? Or, combination of the loose end and the outer braiding shorting/causing connectivity. I'll know for sure when I brew on the 24th of 26th of December.
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kal
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Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use a multimeter. Check for continuity. No need to wait for the next brew day. Test things before you need to use them so that you can fix issues before you have to rely on them.

Kal

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KB



Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia

Working on: Next brew


PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Use a multimeter. Check for continuity. No need to wait for the next brew day. Test things before you need to use them so that you can fix issues before you have to rely on them.

Kal


I checked continuity with a VOM more than once. Things were fine each time. However, this wasn't the same as being plugged into the sensor, moving the cable, etc (even though I tried moving the cable a bit while checking with a VOM in an attempt to introduce shorts, etc).
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10600
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, German Pils, Belgian Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have issues with dropping connectivity when the cable is moved, you have a poor or failed solder joint. I would re-solder the cables.
If you can't get them to work reliably, we do sell pre-assembled cables (just the cables): https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/temperature-probes

Kal

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Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
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KB



Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia

Working on: Next brew


PostLink    Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cables on the sensor end were soldered by the recommended (in the Electric Brewery manual) manufacturer. I do realize you have parts, not asking for them.
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