Temperature.

I’m nearing the two year anniversary of building my Kegerator. I’ve modified components, dialed in pressures, and stabilized temperatures during this time. Occasionally, during the hot summer months the temperature would rise and take a long time to come down if I opened the door or was swapping kegs or cleaning lines. I also had one close calls where the door did not have a perfect seal or the fridge was going through a defrost cycle and the temperature rose. Because of that, I’ve tried to keep the temperature as close to the low 30’s as possible. Unfortunately this lowers the amount of CO2 the beer and also masks flavor. Slowly over the past few months I’ve been raising the set point of my Johnson Controls temperature controller and right now I’m hovering around 40*. Keeping it between 38* and 40* is a safe point where there should be no spoilage, but the carbonation and flavor is not diminished. Allowing the beer to sit for a bit to warm up gets it right to a sweet spot, at least for the IPA’s I normally keep on tap.

To monitor this a little closer I’ve placed a Pinoccio scout in the kegerator to report the temperature. I have to play with the placement of the scout for the sake of accuracy. Right now it’s resting on the plastic handle of my CO2 bottle, which is nearly in the middle of the refrigerator. The Pinoccio usually reads a few degrees higher than the Johnson Controls Controller. The scout talks via a mesh network to another scout that is connected to a USB port for constant power. That second scout has a WiFi board on it and talks to the internet. The temperature reading is displayed on the header of this website in real time. (Temp was displayed on my old Wordpress site) The only hurdle I have to pass is implementing a sleep setting when Pinoccio includes that function in their API. The scout in the kegerator is running on battery and only lasts for 3 days. Setting it to sleep and wake up every so often will greatly extend the battery life.