Weekend DIY Homebrew Project: Dual Stage Temperature Controller STC-1000
This weekend it is time for you to take control of your fermentation temperature with a DIY dual stage temperature controller. The inexpensive, tried and true, STC-1000 temperature controller is the key to managing your fermentation within half a degree of accuracy. Regulation of your fermentation temperature can have a significant impact on the homebrew you produce.
One of the things I love most about home brewing is the extremely intelligent and talented people that have figured out very simple ways to manage seemingly complex processes. For under $50 in supplies you can turn an old fridge, mini-fridge, or chest freezer into an extremely accurate fermentation chamber. I’ve had mine rigged up for more than six months and it has worked perfectly!
A quick shopping trip on Amazon or eBay, plus your garage or local hardware store, can yield all the items you need.
- STC-1000 Temperature Controller with Probe (about $20; this only reads Celsius but I have a great Fahrenheit conversion chart below)
- Electrical Outlet (about $1, any residential grade receptacle from Wal-mart or Home Depot will do)
- Power Cable (an old computer plug or grounded extension cord will work too)
- Junction/Project Box (something from a home improvement store or electronics store will do, make sure you have at least 3 inches depth to clear the wires coming out of the back of the controller)
- Extra Wires (cannabalize an old power or electrical cable, or buy something like this)
- Wire Nuts (just some small and medium size ones, you can get them almost anywhere)
A few common tools are all you need to get this done. Some will make the project go faster.
- Screwdriver (a standard size phillips and perhaps a #0 for screwing in the wires to the controller)
- Needle Nose Pliers (any old pair will do)
- Wire Stripper (you could always carefully use a pocket knife too)
- Coping Saw (you could also probably use a small hack saw or reciprocating saw)
- File (not necessary but you can smooth out rough cuts for a nicer finish)
- Drill and small drill bits (to allow power cord and probe to exit the box)