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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Temp Controller: Dual vs Single stage?
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default Temp Controller: Dual vs Single stage?

Planning out my fermentation chamber build, and have a question about whether to get a dual or single stage temp controller. I live in Ohio so I will definitely need both heating and cooling. What I'm trying to decide is whether to get a dual stage controller like the Ranco, or I've seen some people just use a single stage controller to control the cooling and have a lightbulb constantly on in the chamber when it's colder outside. Then I assume the lightbulb will always be raising the temp of the chamber and the freezer will just have to cycle on every so often to keep it in check. This route would obviously be cheaper, but I was wondering what the main downsides would be?

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
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I have the dual stage ranco controller. I use a small heating fan on the heating side and the freezer on the cooling side. I love it, it works great. The temps aren't too extreme where I live but my house is old and has zero insulation so my garage gets like 40 in the winter and 100+ in the summer.

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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I'd go dual stage if it fits in the budget. It is more convenient and energy efficient in the longrun. It is also more flexible and allows for more powerful heating sources to cover a wider range of temps.

I haven't tried it personally, but I think it might be pushing it to "ramp up" temps with a lightbulb if you want to start at 62 and finish at 72.

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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I have the dual stage ranco and love it. Very precise control

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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I don't think a dual stage temp controller has to be more expensive. Search on ebay for "STC-1000". It's a dual stage temp controller that you should be able to pick up for under $25. I have three of them.

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:46 PM   #6
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I use this dual-stage from control products. Wiring was tough (not much room in there) but it worked the first time. Programming is easy, but you've got to drag out the manual to figure it out. So far it functions perfectly, but I'd prefer something a bit simpler to use. I'm afraid I'm going to have to refer to the manual every time I want to change the temp.

I used a small $15 ceramic heater off Amazon for the hot side. Don't need that much down here in the sweltering south, but if its in my garage and it does occasionally get below 65 here. That's when we dig the jackets out of storage.

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Old 12-10-2012, 11:50 PM   #7
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I have the dwyer instruments one. Its great as far as keeping everything at what temperture I want. But the directions that came with it totally sucked ballz. Took forever to figure out.

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