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Old 06-19-2013, 11:43 PM   #21
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^^^ The Johnson would be much easier as all you have to do is plug it up, set it and forget it.


However, IMO, the STC is a much more flexible controller and it is much cheaper than the Johnson. It is a two stage controller so one stage can do cooling (your freezer) and the other heating (a brew belt or two). It is also much cheaper and when you figure in the rest of the parts to make a full fledge controller (outlet, wiring, etc.) you'll still be in at half the cost of the Johnson.

I plan on adding the STC to my chest freezer so I can do lagers and ales at the same time. My Johnson controller will be retired to a future second freezer that will become a dedicated keezer.

Don't let the wiring intimidate you. Check out this topic on how to build a STC controller (I thought it was a sticky....it needs to be to be honest)

LINK



After you make a parts list, I think you will find it easier than you think. Good luck!

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Old 06-20-2013, 01:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yesfan View Post
^^^ The Johnson would be much easier as all you have to do is plug it up, set it and forget it.


However, IMO, the STC is a much more flexible controller and it is much cheaper than the Johnson. It is a two stage controller so one stage can do cooling (your freezer) and the other heating (a brew belt or two). It is also much cheaper and when you figure in the rest of the parts to make a full fledge controller (outlet, wiring, etc.) you'll still be in at half the cost of the Johnson.

I plan on adding the STC to my chest freezer so I can do lagers and ales at the same time. My Johnson controller will be retired to a future second freezer that will become a dedicated keezer.

Don't let the wiring intimidate you. Check out this topic on how to build a STC controller (I thought it was a sticky....it needs to be to be honest)

LINK



After you make a parts list, I think you will find it easier than you think. Good luck!
Thanks Yesfan,

I have to admit, I am a bit intimidated with the whole wiring thing as I looked at a couple threads and I was completely confused...they were talking about adding fuses here and there, amps and some pretty technical stuff. Now, don't get me wrong...I can handle a simple, ground here, hot wire there, etc. set up. I was just thinking that since I know that I am not going to use the heating part, if the added cost of the Johnson is worth it.

I am definitely going to check this link out and reevaluate, as half the price is mighty tempting.

Thanks again!

Cheers
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:39 PM   #23
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Take a look at-

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay...-parts-261506/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/stc-...-build-330427/


It's basic wiring. Think of the STC-1000 as a switch since that's what it basically is. It turns the "hot" (black) wires to the outlet off and on as needed. Just be sure to break the "bridge" on the hot side of the outlet so that it can activate the outlets separately (one for cool, the other for heat).
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:43 PM   #24
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I've got two chest freezers, one for fermentation and the other is a keezer. Both are controlled by Johnson A419's. I bought my first freezer off of craigslist and my second from Costco. When buying, beware of the interior space of the freezer. Not all 7.x cu. ft. freezers are the same. I have a black Frigidaire(craigslist) that is 7.2 cu. ft., but the hump is fairly large and the lower footprint will only hold 3 corny's or one carboy at a time. My Costco Haier 7.2 cu. ft. has a smaller hump and will hold four corny's or two carboys(a 6.5 and a 5) at a time. I use this for fermentation so I can have two brews going at once. I'll eventually throw the Frigidaire back on craigslist and replace it with another Haier from Costco. In hindsight, I should have just gotten two from Costco in the first place since they're only $50 more than what I paid for the craigslist freezer. The Haier is built much better than the Frigidaire as well. The Frigidaire has a very flimsy shell and the lid is light so there isn't much weight to create a good seal. The Haier is quite solid.

I've learned that when it comes to homebrewing equipment, do yourself a favor and buy a little bigger, a little better, spend a little more and give yourself room to grow so you don't end up with buyer's remorse or having to do the same thing twice.

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Old 06-20-2013, 04:15 PM   #25
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However, IMO, the STC is a much more flexible controller and it is much cheaper than the Johnson. It is a two stage controller so one stage can do cooling (your freezer) and the other heating (a brew belt or two). It is also much cheaper and when you figure in the rest of the parts to make a full fledge controller (outlet, wiring, etc.) you'll still be in at half the cost of the Johnson.
Either I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, or you're misunderstanding what an STC-1000 can actually do. Yes it has circuits for running both heating and cooling, but there is only one temperature probe. You can't keep kegs at 32* on one side and a brew belt at 64* in the same freezer.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:52 PM   #26
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Either I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, or you're misunderstanding what an STC-1000 can actually do. Yes it has circuits for running both heating and cooling, but there is only one temperature probe. You can't keep kegs at 32* on one side and a brew belt at 64* in the same freezer.
Correct you are. It's a dual temp controller in that it will either cool (by powering up the freezer) or heat (by powering up whatever heat source you placed inside the freezer) automatically to maintain the temp you set +\- whatever tolerance is set. You cannot run two different controlled temps at the same time with one STC-1000.

Some of the other controllers you apparently have to manually switch between modes.

I really like all three of my STC-1000s.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:26 PM   #27
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Either I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, or you're misunderstanding what an STC-1000 can actually do. Yes it has circuits for running both heating and cooling, but there is only one temperature probe. You can't keep kegs at 32* on one side and a brew belt at 64* in the same freezer.

Yep, that's on me. I didn't even consider that a single probe was used, so you and Floyd are right. Sorry about that.


So could you just add a second probe to run the second outlet for heating an ale or would you have to add a second controller to do that? I had the impression the STC could let you run a brew belt in the 60s for an ale if you were lagering another batch at colder temps.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:38 PM   #28
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There is no connection for a second temp probe in the STC-1000. The STC-1000 is designed to maintain one temperature by controlling a cooling device, refrigerator or freezer, and a heating device, brew-belt or light bulb or whatever your heat source is. This device is not a BCS-460 or BCS-462 which can control the temperature in more than one location using multiple probes and controller multiple devices. Check out Huaco's "3 Temp Fermentation Controller One Chamber" thread for how to do what you want to do.

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Old 06-20-2013, 09:53 PM   #29
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My first fermenter chamber was a 7 CF chest freezer with an STC-1000. Worked great. It's now been re-assigned (pic below) to be the keezer in my game room and I use a fridge for fermenting plus an upright freezer for cold crashing/lagering (@ 35*F). All of my units are controlled with STC-1000s.

Wow, that's nice!
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:51 AM   #30
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Wow, that's nice!
Thanks.
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