As I’ve wrote about so many times before, regulating temperature during fermentation is one of the best ways that you can drastically improve the quality of your home brew. Keeping the fermentation temperature within optimal ranges ensures that the yeast can fully attenuate and reduces the risk of producing off flavours.
A great way to do this is by creating a fermentation chamber using a small chest freezer connected to an STC-1000 temperature controller with a small heater inside the freezer. This combination is deal because you can set the the temperature range that you require and just forget about it. The STC-1000 module regulates both cold and hot appliances within 1 degree. When the temperature gets too low, the heater kicks in; if it gets too warm, the freezer turns on. It’s that simple.
The STC-1000 is simply a small computerized temperature regulator, and you’ll have to wire it all yourself. There are many sites and videos out there that explain how to do this, so I won’t get into that in this article. (They already do a great job as it is.) I used this video myself. The STC-1000 comes with the temperature controller, a temperature probe and two mounting clips.
What You Need
A list of the things that you’ll need to complete this project are:
- 1 chest freezer that can fit at least 1 carboy or fermentation bucket;
- 1 standard 120V receptacle with cover;
- 7 x 14/2 wire that are about 15 cm (6 inches) long, preferably in black, red and white (the red can be subbed with black but it’s more clear to have red);
- 1 computer power supply cable;
- 1 plastic project box that is about 6 inches wide x 6 inches tall x 4 inches deep. You can buy these at your hardware store;
- Several large wire connectors (about 3 or 4);
- Some black electrical tape;
- 1 very small heat source. You can use an incandescent light bulb for the heat, but make sure you put an empty tin can to cover the light to avoid skunking your beer.
The tools you’ll need:
- A drill;
- A copping saw to cut out the rectangle holes out of the box;
- Screw drivers and mounting screws to mount on the wall;
- A glue gun to glue the power cable securely into the hole in the project box.