New SS Brewtech FTSs Touch: missed opportunity!

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slidingmike

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I see that SS Brewtech has just announced their updated FTSs "Touch" fermentation temp controller. It looks like it goes a long way to address some quality and appearance issues, but I think they really missed an opportunity here. As a user, I appreciate what they've done, but it's mostly cosmetic and won't induce me to upgrade. What would have, however:

- Ability to add a fermentation temperature profile (when to ramp temperature up or down and at what rate)
- Ability to add a crash temperature profile
- Wifi connected, with a mobile app, to allow me to set profiles, monitor, and adjust as needed

Cheers,
Mike
 

matt_m

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Supposedly it has tighter temp control, but I agree on missing the boat. At least being able to do some basics like setting a ramp over a time period would have been a big step forward. All might not be lost though, maybe the hardware has capabilities that aren't yet enabled in the firmware?

Lastly, firmware updates can now be made simply by using the FTSs Touch's USB port, which we can use to unlock new functionality, continue to improve temperature delta, or adapt the system to new products. Simply put, the FTSs is designed to grow with your home brewery.
 
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Big_D

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- Ability to add a fermentation temperature profile (when to ramp temperature up or down and at what rate)
- Wifi connected, with a mobile app, to allow me to set profiles, monitor, and adjust as needed

These 2 were the first thing on my mind when I got the email from them.. only to be let down when I checked the details out on their site! 🙄

Oh.. and of course they changed the connectors on the heat pad and pump to force you to buy everything over again! 😞
 

kitr

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When my pump went out and I needed to replace it while overseas I cut the old cord and put in one of these:


This allowed me to use the old cord from the controller to the barrel jack and then "cut" any heater or pump (I got 2 sets) if need be. The screw connections make it pretty easy to swap out 12v accessories. As long as the new system is the same voltage it shouldnt be a problem.
 

matt_m

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The new plug is a standard plug (XT30) It'd be a cinch to cut off the old barrel plugs and replace them.
 

Big_D

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The new plug is a standard plug (XT30) It'd be a cinch to cut off the old barrel plugs and replace them.

Just realized those are the same connectors frequently used in rc models. Agreed, it would be a very easy mod.. wish they had the option of buying just the controller, nub and mount.

Given the price, it would have been nice to have the option of controlling more than one fermenter by daisy chaining nubs.
 

Big_D

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Just saw that they're offering these adapters.. makes me wonder if they're going to offer the controller as a stand alone at some point.

 

Brooothru

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Supposedly it has tighter temp control, but I agree on missing the boat. At least being able to do some basics like setting a ramp over a time period would have been a big step forward. All might not be lost though, maybe the hardware has capabilities that aren't yet enabled in the firmware?
That feature alone would get me to the "Yes" column of 'perchance' or don't.
 

Big_D

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Have to say.. I’m definitely not impressed!

It’s a nice unit, but at this price point, it’s an absolute fail. I’ve got more features in my $100 wifi bbq thermometer than the FTSS touch. Dont get me wrong, it’s a nice piece.. but definitely not a $300 piece! I’d say these should retail for around half that (seeing as how they include the pump and all of the accessories). Then again, its worth whatever someone’s willing to pay for it.. and I bought it (regrettably).

Hopefully there’ll be an update soon to activate some kind of hidden features!

Here it is crashing one of my last batches..


B99B64D5-943F-4552-BBE2-773DEF27559E.jpeg
 

Brooothru

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Have to say.. I’m definitely not impressed!

It’s a nice unit, but at this price point, it’s an absolute fail. I’ve got more features in my $100 wifi bbq thermometer than the FTSS touch. Dont get me wrong, it’s a nice piece.. but definitely not a $300 piece! I’d say these should retail for around half that (seeing as how they include the pump and all of the accessories). Then again, its worth whatever someone’s willing to pay for it.. and I bought it (regrettably).

Hopefully there’ll be an update soon to activate some kind of hidden features!

Here it is crashing one of my last batches..


View attachment 760344
We're all guilty of indulging ourselves with different levels of extravagance from time to time. I certainly list myself in that category. I'm a bit of a fanboi for SS BrewTech gear (though not exclusively; Spike gets some of my $$$ as well), and when I saw the new FTSS Touch I'll admit that I was tempted, though didn't pull the trigger. The original equipment on my Chronical and Unitank works fine without automating a cold crash. That large LED display is sure sexy though, and would be easy on my aging eyes

OTOH, the Anton-Paar EasyDens I treated myself to recently is everything I'd hoped for, and more! Anybody in need of a year-old Milwaukee digital refractometer? That EasyDens is the best $300ish 'investment' I've made in this hobby in a long time.

"The only difference between men and boys, is the cost of their toys."
 

Big_D

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We're all guilty of indulging ourselves with different levels of extravagance from time to time. I certainly list myself in that category. I'm a bit of a fanboi for SS BrewTech gear (though not exclusively; Spike gets some of my $$$ as well), and when I saw the new FTSS Touch I'll admit that I was tempted, though didn't pull the trigger. The original equipment on my Chronical and Unitank works fine without automating a cold crash. That large LED display is sure sexy though, and would be easy on my aging eyes

OTOH, the Anton-Paar EasyDens I treated myself to recently is everything I'd hoped for, and more! Anybody in need of a year-old Milwaukee digital refractometer? That EasyDens is the best $300ish 'investment' I've made in this hobby in a long time.

"The only difference between men and boys, is the cost of their toys."

I’ve seen a few ads for the EasyDens, looked very interesting. A couple things that came to mind that concerned me with it though was cleaning and the size of the sample it required. Are either of those an issue? How did the Milwaukee work for you? I’ve got one for measuring salinity in my reef tanks, it‘s very easy to use and works great. I found a lightly used Atago Alpha at a great price, but it was sold by the time the seller got back with me.
 

duncan.brown

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I’ve seen a few ads for the EasyDens, looked very interesting.

Off-topic, but I was wondering the same thing. Trading up from a Milwaukee MA317 to an EasyDens might be my next big purchase. How does the EasyDens handle temperature fluctuations if you're checking mash and wort that's not at room temperature?

On topic, I wasn't impressed with the FTSs touch specs either. I junked my old FTSs controllers for a system based around BrewPi Remix a while ago, as it has all the features that I need.
 

Brooothru

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After a year of using the Milwaukee digital refractometer, I never got fully enamored of it. I could take three different samples and get three different numbers all bracketing an average value +/- 0.02 SG. Close, but inconsistent. The EasyDens gives the same value to three decimal points for all samples, with temperature displayed C or F, plus selectable SG or °P. The refractometer only needs 2~3 ml sample, the EasyDens 8~10 ml, hydrometer jar 100+.

The refractometer and EasyDens both need filtered and cooled samples to be accurate, which sounds like a big deal but in reality is not much of an issue. The hydrometer needs a manual temperature reading and math adjustment for accuracy. All of them require a 'process', though none is particularly involved or difficult. That said, the EasyDens is the easiest, the quickest, and hands down the most accurate and easy to use. It's a useful tool, and I'm glad I got it.
 
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duncan.brown

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Thanks that’s consistent with my experience with my Milwaukee. I normally take samples during brew day, let them cool in closed bottles and then measure them at room temp. Even then, the Milwaukee seems to be accurate only to within +/- 0.2 Brix.

I’ll definitely put the EasyDens on my wish list.
 

Trevor Mack

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Requiring new cords for simply connectors is a play straight out of Apple's playbook. Doing it on a large enough scale makes you a successful trillion dollar company, right?
 
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