Keezer Temp Controller Using the STC-1000

We recently added a keezer to our arsenal and the person we purchased it from was controlling temps by adjusting the internal thermostat.  We wanted a bit more control over the temps for storing and serving our beers so I built a temp controller to add to the keezer.  A match made in beer heaven.

If you’ve done a bit of looking around at temp controllers you’ve likely seen the STC-1000 mentioned, it’s the go to device for those that don’t mind a bit of DIY.  If you have at least some mechanical/electrical abilities this is very easy to build and total cost is only around $40.00.  The project can be completed in about an hour once you gather everything up.  You ready?  Let’s do this.

STC-1000 Temp Controller Completed

STC-1000 Temp Controller Completed

KEEZER TEMP CONTROLLER BUILD INSTRUCTIONS

Parts List:

  • STC-1000 temp controller  Make sure to get the one rated for 110v and NOT 220v or 12v DC!  (At the time of this post you can get one for $17.92 via Amazon.com, shipped free with a Prime Membership)
  • STC-1000 Temp Controller with FAHRENHEIT display Just added to Amazon, no more messing around converting from Celsius! UPDATE PLEASE READ!  This is not the same as the °C version of the STC-1ooo.  The °F version and only control heating or cooling, it cannot be setup to control two outlets at the same time for simultaneous heating/cooling.
  • Duplex Receptacle Outlet
  • Duplex Receptacle Trim Plate
  • Project Enclosure (I used the 8x6x3 from Radio Shack)
  • Power Cord (I used a 15′ cord and cut pieces from it to use for the internal wiring. You can also use an old computer power cord.)
  • Wire nuts
  • Spade wire connectors (optional)

Tool list:

  • Pencil
  • Ruler or other straight edge
  • Wire cutter / stripper
  • Fleshlight (Just checking to see if you’re reading all of this.)
  • Dremel or other cutting tool
  • Flat and Phillips screwdrivers
  • Electrical tape
  • Drill and bits

Instructions:

  1. Lay out all your parts and make sure you’ve got everything there.
  2. Mark the outline of the STC-1000 and the wall receptacle on the lid of the project enclosure and cut them out.  REMEMBER, you want the inner dimensions of the STC-1000 cut into your enclosure!
  3. Mark and drill holes on the front and back bottom sides (does that make sense?) for the power cord and temp probe to come out of the box, you want these on opposite ends of the enclosure.
  4. Break the hot side jumper tab off of the wall receptacle, this allows you to control each outlet independently.  This is much easier to do before mounting and wiring… trust me.
  5. Mount the STC-1000 and the receptacle in your enclosure.  Attach trim plate over receptacle.
  6. Cut and strip the ends of your power cord.
  7. Run power cord and temp probe into the holes you drilled in the enclosure.
  8. Using the wiring diagram below, wire everything up.
    • On the STC-1000, terminals 1, 5 & 7 are connected via wire nut to the black wire on your power cord.
    • Terminal 2 will connect to ‘cold side in’ on the receptacle.
    • Terminals 3 & 4 will be for the included temperature probe
    • Terminal 6 goes to one hot side connection on the receptacle for your heating control.  Make a note of which outlet you wire for heating and cooling.
    • Terminal 8 goes to the other hot side connection on the receptacle for your cooling control
    • Connect the other cold side connection on the receptacle to the white wire on the power cord.
    • Connect the green wire on the power cord to the ground on the power receptacle.
  9. Wrap electrical tape around the power cord and temp probe to use as a stopper inside the enclosure.  This will prevent the cords from being pulled and damaging your wiring.
  10. Making sure all connections are secure and you have no crossed wires, gently lay the lid with the controller and outlet back on the enclosure.  Plug in the enclosure to verify it powers up.  If you have an outlet tester or multimeter you can set the programming and test each outlet as well.
  11. Place the lid back on the enclosure and secure it with the 4 screws.
  12. You. Are. Done.
STC-1000 Temp Controller Wiring Diagram

STC-1000 Temp Controller Wiring Diagram

Temp Controller Wiring

Temp Controller Wiring

Break off the tab connection these terminals.

Break off the tab connecting these terminals.

So there you have it.  You’ve just built a temp controller you can use on your keezer to keep your brews right where you want them or in a fermentation chamber for lagering.  Add a heat wrap and kick it up for those Saisons and Belgians.  Oh yeah, the STC-1000 only reads in Celsius and since I’m an AMERICAN I don’t know how to read that crap.  I solved the problem of reading in this Commie temperature scale by printing out a Commie-to-‘Merica conversion chart and attaching it to the controller box with gravity.  I’ve included the chart below if you’d like to use it, it prints nicely on business card sheets.  You’re welcome.

Celsius to Fahrenheit Conversion Chart

Celsius to Fahrenheit Conversion Chart

We be Keggin’

Another brewhouse upgrade!  We added a Keezer setup to our gear and we’ll be kegging our first batch this weekend, our Oktoberfest Ale.  We’re also going to brew a Pumpkin Pie Ale that should be ready just in time for the crisp Fall weather.  Just a single tap for now so we’ll either need to add some taps or slow down our brewing.

I also got the parts to build a temperature controller.  I picked up an STC-1000 off Amazon for $17.96, it seems to be the most popular controller, as well as a project box and wiring to get this thing together.  I’ll share some pics when it’s done… provided I don’t electrocute myself.

Oh yeah, we also bottled our Mostly Mosaic, a Mosaic pale ale.  Samples out of the carboy tasted great, hopefully this one develops well.

Da Keezer

Da Keezer

Oktoberfest brewday. So it’s ready… in OCTOBER.

No Pumpkin Beer Before Its Time

No Pumpkin Beer Before Its Time

WARNING! WARNING! ONCOMING RANT!

My local bottle shops already have their Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers in.  Some got them before the end of July.  JULY!

I am highly opposed to this.  I believe the technical term is “seasonal creep”.  It started with Christmas, then the other holidays followed suit.  Last year I literally saw Walmart moving out barbecues and lawnmowers and replacing them with Christmas decorations.  And now it’s happening with beer.  Is nothing sacred?

Seriously though, this competition to be the first one to market with stuff needs to stop.  One of my local growler shops mentioned they had to order Oktoberfest kegs much earlier to make sure they got them, now they’re taking up cooler space and not moving.  What’s the point in that?  It really detracts from the meaning of whatever holiday/season you’re celebrating.  Personally, I refuse to purchase or hang any Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving and I like to enjoy my seasonal beers in season.  Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons for beers, but I look forward to the Spring and Summer releases as well.  I want to drink an Oktoberfest or a Pumpkin Ale when the air is a little crisp and the leaves are starting to fall, not when I’m sweating my ass off from mowing my grass that seems to grow 3′ overnight.  It’s just plain wrong.

So what can I do?  I’m speaking with my wallet and not buying any fall beer now.  If I miss out on some HTF seasonals then so be it.  I know it’s a small thing and I’m in the minority by not doing this, but I’m standing up for what I believe in.  One of my so-called friends (it was Brian) ordered a Pumking on draft Saturday night.  Traitor.

Annnnnd…. I brewed an Oktoberfest on Saturday so it’s ready for October.  In a couple weeks we’ll brew a pumpkin ale and have some with our Thanksgiving dinner, just like God intended

Sometimes you just have to stand up for what you believe in.