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Brewing Topics => Reviews => Topic started by: Billy_Brewer on November 26, 2013, 06:18:54 PM

Title: Freezer failure
Post by: Billy_Brewer on November 26, 2013, 06:18:54 PM
Using a Johnson A419 controller on two separate Magic Chef chest freezers I have had both of the freezer units fail.  They were purchased used and supposedly 3 to 4 years old and working well.  Each freezer unit has functioned for about 12 to 14 months at temperature settings of 40 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.  Any clue as to this experience - bad brand, need other controls or ???  Thanks
Title: Re: Freezer failure
Post by: ihikeut on November 26, 2013, 06:58:22 PM
Just make sure your controller is not cycling the freezer on and off to quickly, it damages the electric motor.
Title: Re: Freezer failure
Post by: MaltLicker on November 26, 2013, 07:38:03 PM
+1 on that.  I happened to notice my Johnson A419 blinking "AsD" yesterday and then it cleared and freezer came on.  I'm currently lowering temps for lagering an altbier.  Thankfully(?) it's pretty dang cold here right now. 

I think the default protective delay is ten minutes?  Wonder if that could be increased?   Next time I'm down there I'll check. 
Title: Re: Freezer failure
Post by: Billy_Brewer on November 26, 2013, 08:05:48 PM
Current settings are Setpoint (SP) 47, Differential (diF) 5 degrees, Anti-Short Cycle Delay (ASd) 12 min (which the instructions say is max).  The unit operates in our garage that experiences high temperatures in the summer.  Have been concerned that may be the harmful factor.
Title: Re: Freezer failure
Post by: brewfun on November 26, 2013, 09:17:39 PM
Air heats and cools faster than water. I always found it helpful to place the temperature probe in a quart of water, inside the freezer. It extends the cycles and keeps beer stable.
Title: Re: Freezer failure
Post by: Maine Homebrewer on November 27, 2013, 04:19:35 AM
I've been using a Johnson controller and the same chest freezer for at least six years. My only issue has been condensation.
Title: Re: Freezer failure
Post by: MaltLicker on November 27, 2013, 07:46:52 AM
Air heats and cools faster than water. I always found it helpful to place the temperature probe in a quart of water, inside the freezer. It extends the cycles and keeps beer stable.


+1 to keeping the probe either wet, or cover it with some insulation tightly against the fermenter vessel wall.  I tape a FEDEX bubble package to the carboy on three sides, and slide the probe inside that pocket from the one open side. 

If you think about it, a small freezer like mine is 7.8 cubic feet, and I'm mostly concerned about the one cubic inch in the dead center of a cubic foot of beer.  The rest is air that fluctuates like Brewfun said. 
Title: Re: Freezer failure
Post by: Billy_Brewer on November 27, 2013, 01:19:47 PM
Thank you much for the helpful words of experience.