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Dual Stage Digital Temperature Controller – DIY Build

I am upgrading my fermentation chamber to a new chest freezer and wanted to save a little bit of money on a new digital temperature controller.  I started out by checking prices at More Beer and just anywhere on the net that sold Ranco , Johnson or other controller options.  I learned that the approximate minimum I could expect to pay was $100 and didn’t want to pay that much.

So, I turned to Home Brew Talk and a home brew buddy of mine, Big P Brewing for some suggestions.  It was recommend to me that I should look into the DIY build with the ever famous STC-1000 digital temp controller from Hong Kong and follow one of the many builds from Home Brew Talk.  Here is a link to just one of the many – DIY Temp Control.

I am by no means qualified to be doing really any kind of electrical work, so I relied on some other more mechanically talented friends to help out.  Therefore, my post is not to actually demonstrate or provide a wiring diagram of the build.  Rather, my intent is to share that someone with no skill in electrical wiring can save some cash and have a little fun building their home brew equipment.

List of what I used:

  • STC-1000 digital controller ($23.50 including shipping – Ebay)
  • Project enclosure (7x5x3″) ($6.99 – Radio Shack)
  • 14 gauge power cable (Free – old computer power cable from work)
  • 14 gauge wires for connections (Free – taken from a portion of the power cable)
  • 20 amp duplex outlet ($4.99 – Home Depot)
  • Plastic outlet cover ($0.25 – Home Depot)

Total Cost: $35.73

A look at the guts of the build. I did not solder any of the connections.

The temperature controller will come with two orange clips to secure it inside the project box. The temperature probe can also be seen exiting the box.

The 14 gauge power cable exits through the bottom of the project box with a rubber grommet installed to help secure it.

I decided to have the temperature probe exit from the top right side of the project box. I installed another rubber grommet for this as well.

This is my finished product.

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