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-   -   Thinking of buying this temp control - opinions? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/thinking-buying-temp-control-opinions-340994/)

LarryC 07-12-2012 01:39 AM

Thinking of buying this temp control - opinions?
I'm getting ready to make a commitment to better brewing and get my fermentation temps under control. I'm hunting down a 7 cu ft chest freezer and I'm looking at setting up a dual temp control on it. Here's the one I'm looking at
Amazon Link

What do you think, are there better choices?

VanBrewski 07-12-2012 06:49 AM

I have two of these: Johnson Controls A419 and they work really well.

One runs my fridge, the other runs my heater wrap. I could use a two stage controller to do the same thing but... I don't.

BobBailey 07-12-2012 12:31 PM

I work for amazon :)

Look at the feedbacks, as you would for a seller on ebay. The buyers tell the best story about the product. I'm not familiar with the product, but the feedbacks look very positive and the price is right.


Darkness 07-12-2012 12:49 PM

I use Ranco's cause there avalible any time for me, and my friends as well. I have four at my house really work well and easy to change temps. But they are not dual controle.

barrooze 07-12-2012 01:56 PM

This controller has been on HomeBrewFinds.com for a while. Here's what one comment said:

I have this and it's great. It's not super easy to program or reprogram but for the cost and being dual-stage, it like it a lot. I have the cold running the fridge and a *paint-can heater* running the hot.
As Bob said, it's got good reviews and the price is real good for a dual-stage digital controller with display in Fahrenheit.

:off: If you want an even cheaper dual-stage controller, you could do the STC-1000 controller that many, many people have built.

Hope this helps!

LarryC 07-13-2012 01:27 AM

Thanks for all the feedback folks. I'm looking at running the freezer on one side and a Ferm-Wrap on the other. I think the unit can handle the load but is it simply reading the amps drawn by each device and comparing that to the spec of the controller or is there more to it?

Huisache 07-13-2012 01:30 AM


Originally Posted by VanBrewski
I have two of these: Johnson Controls A419 and they work really well.

One runs my fridge, the other runs my heater wrap. I could use a two stage controller to do the same thing but... I don't.

I have the Johnson as well. Instructions look like Chinese to me but it works great!

LarryC 07-13-2012 01:44 AM

After reading the info in the users manual, I'm not sure that this unit can do what I want it to. I want to have the freezer temp maintained at say 42 and have the Ferm-Wrap holding the fermenter at 67. Can somebody smarter than me read through the manual and confirm my suspicion (that it won't do that)?

9102 user manual

Edit - after looking at this control and others, I only see one temperature sensor on the devices. That would seem to point to them not being able to do a separate freezer and Ferm-Wrap temperature. Maybe that's why some people are using two single stage control?

day_trippr 07-13-2012 01:58 AM

I think the diagram on page four of the user manual clearly shows this device can't do what you want.

Then again, I don't believe any Ranco, Johnson, STC-1000 or Love controllers can do it, either. I suspect you're going to need a pair of single-stage controllers, one to hold the freezer temp, the other to manage the brew belt...


VanBrewski 07-14-2012 07:48 AM

The way I'm set up, one controller probe is in a large jar of water, the controller is set to 11C and it runs the fridge. The second controller probe is taped to the carboy, the controller is set to whatever ferment temp I want and it runs the heater wrap. If things get too hot, the heater wrap shuts off and the fridge brings the temp down. If the fermenter gets too cold, the heater wrap switches on and warms the fermenter up. I set it up this way so that I could have different fermenters in the same fridge at different temperatures and still use the fridge to store finished beer in bottles. So far I've been able to bring the fermentation temperature up as high as 21C and hold it there without any problem while maintaining temperature on the fridge. There are probably cheaper ways to do it but this works for me.

Hope this helps.

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