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Old 08-18-2013, 01:38 AM   #1
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Default STC 1000 Calibration Question

Hey Guys,

I've recently purchased a STC 1000 and wired it up based on several folk's recommendations on this forum (thanks! couldn't have done it without y'all).

Having said that, I'm wondering about something with it. I am planning to use it in conjunction with my Holiday 7 cubic foot deep freezer. It seems to be working as designed but I'm wondering a bit about calibration. I set the desired temp to 20 Celsius and inserted the probe into a water bottle half filled with vodka. My difference temp is set to 1 degree Celsius and my compressor delay is set to two minutes. When it kicked on, the compressor turned on as it should and the temp readout chilled down to 20 Celsius and then promptly turned off. Eureka! I wired it properly!

But, the temp kept falling. 19, 18, 17, 16, and now it seems relatively stable around 15 Celsius. What the heck? Is this just due to the great cooling/insulating ability of the freezer? I verified that the freezer outlet was indeed off and the heating outlet was on (I used a nightlight). If I'm going to use this set up as a fermenter to maintain consistent fermentation temps, should I wire up some sort of heating element as well to not let the temp continue to drop that much? I'm leaning towards the paint can/light bulb idea at the moment...

Thoughts? Did I do something wrong? The controller/outlet I made seems to be working as designed - I just don't know what to do when the freezer kicks off as it should and temps continue to fall...

As always - thanks in advance. Can't wait to post my step by step DIY on the controller box (I know there are tons, but one more won't hurt!)

Thanks,
tim

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Old 08-18-2013, 01:48 AM   #2
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Do you have a carboy in there? You could tape the probe to the outside and cover with a little bit of bubble wrap. I think the larger volume of liquid would hold a more steady temp.

And you're d@mn right one more DIY thread won't hurt. DIY threads are always awesome.

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Old 08-18-2013, 01:49 AM   #3
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That's how chest freezers are. Especially the first time cooling down your liquid the probe is in. It might fluctuate less now that the liquid is in the temp range.

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Old 08-18-2013, 01:56 AM   #4
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No carboy in there, but I'll gladly fill one with water and let it settle down in there and see how it does. I also cut a piece of 1" EPS foam to fit the bottom of the freezer as I didn't want to be setting carboys directly on the bottom of the freezer, exposing them to the super-cold metal floor, possibly creating a cold spot in the beer when I do get some ready to go in there....

I'm excited to write the DIY - I finally remembered to stop and take pics throughout the process, hopefully this upcoming week I'll have time to get it done...

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Old 08-18-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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Well, I checked it again last night before going to bed, and sure enough, without putting a carboy in there it was right around 20.2 Celsius. I checked it again this morning and it was 18.5, so I'm guessing the freezer had just cycled again. Wonderful! I think it's working....

Now it's time to brew the beer!

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Old 08-18-2013, 04:54 PM   #6
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Also remember when you get a few full kegs/carboys in there you will have a larger thermal mass. Which will help maintain a constant temp.

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Old 08-18-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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Mine flucuated in temp much more when empty, now with 3 kegs and a full fermenter it is much more steady.

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Old 08-19-2013, 12:50 AM   #8
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Sounds great, and thanks for confirming guys. Many have mentioned insulating the probe and taping it to the side of a fermenter while in there. How do you guys 'insulate' the probe after taping it to the primary/secondary?

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Old 08-19-2013, 01:54 AM   #9
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I had a little bit of bubble wrap that I used. I wrapped an elastic hair band thing (stolen from my wife, oops) around the carboy then put a wad of bubble wrap under it with the probe between the wrap and the carboy.

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Old 08-19-2013, 01:54 AM   #10
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...I've used a small foam block too in the same manner.

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