Author Topic: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup  (Read 1844 times)

RPIScotty

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STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« on: October 27, 2015, 12:36:11 PM »
In an effort to brew outside of my kitchen but not actually outside, I am considering a miniature recirculating kettle/mash tun system with an element in the kettle.

I have read extensively about the benefits of PID control for these setups, especially when considering that with the large amounts of water used for 5-10 gallon batches the PID offers superior control with no overshoots.

Considering that my batch sizes range from 1-1.5 gallons, and that the total thermal mass in my brew sessions (< 2 gallons between the kettle and mash tun) is fairly small, will the STC-1000 work as a controller for this setup? Can I expect fairly accurate temps or should I just pony up and plan for a PID?

I have an STC-1000 already.

Offline Stevie

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 12:41:13 PM »
While the stc-1000 would work, I would go with the PID. It is smarter than the stc-1000. Also the stc-1000 is only capable of 10A max, if that matters.

RPIScotty

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 12:49:51 PM »
While the stc-1000 would work, I would go with the PID. It is smarter than the stc-1000. Also the stc-1000 is only capable of 10A max, if that matters.

The amperage isn't really a concern. You could always remove the internal relay and feed an SSR from the STC-1000. My real concern would be degree of accuracy, which would definitely be lower than the PID, and if I can live with that.

Not that there is anything wrong with what i'm doing now. My single kettle and mini mash tun works great on the kitchen stove.

Offline Stevie

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 12:59:12 PM »
If you are going to use an ssr, spend the extra $20-30 on a pid.

If you are continuously recirculating, the accuracy of an stc-1000 might be fine. I use one for my ferm freezer and it would overshoot by a couple of degrees since I am using a thermowell. It got much better when I put a couple of fans in the freezer, but a PID would eliminate the overshoot even further.

One other thing is the stc-1000 doesn't have a manual mode, so you might need to account for that somehow.

Offline pete b

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 02:02:26 PM »
Has anyone tried a pjk? At the correct wattage I heard it out performs even a 40 Lfi at 40% lol-wtf.
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RPIScotty

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 02:14:51 PM »
Has anyone tried a pjk? At the correct wattage I heard it out performs even a 40 Lfi at 40% lol-wtf.

?

Offline pete b

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2015, 02:19:15 PM »
Has anyone tried a pjk? At the correct wattage I heard it out performs even a 40 Lfi at 40% lol-wtf.

?

I'm teasing: I'm electronically illiterate and this is how the thread sounded to me  ;)
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RPIScotty

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2015, 02:23:04 PM »
I'm teasing: I'm electronically illiterate and this is how the thread sounded to me  ;)

Some of my conversations at work would really blow your mind then!

Offline pete b

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2015, 02:24:55 PM »
I'm teasing: I'm electronically illiterate and this is how the thread sounded to me  ;)

Some of my conversations at work would really blow your mind then!

No doubt, and mine yours. We know what we know and don't know what we don't.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2015, 03:35:28 PM »
The amperage isn't really a concern. You could always remove the internal relay and feed an SSR from the STC-1000. My real concern would be degree of accuracy, which would definitely be lower than the PID, and if I can live with that.

What kind of accuracy do you need/want? I think STC-1000s are rated ±1.0°C, which I'm fine with for anything in brewing.
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RPIScotty

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2015, 03:40:55 PM »
What kind of accuracy do you need/want? I think STC-1000s are rated ±1.0°C, which I'm fine with for anything in brewing.

I'll plead ignorance here: Since I have never owned a PID controller, I am just going off of generally accepted opinion that PIDs are more accurate and limit overshoot.

With the small thermal mass i'll have, and the absence of an HLT to add to that thermal mass, i'd say that it is probably just fine for my application.

Offline a10t2

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2015, 03:49:45 PM »
I'll plead ignorance here: Since I have never owned a PID controller, I am just going off of generally accepted opinion that PIDs are more accurate and limit overshoot.

I think you mean precision then… I'll notify RPI. ;)

In which case, wouldn't small thermal mass (relative to the heat source) increase the likelihood of an overshoot? I don't think it would be a practical concern though, provided you size the element properly. You can set the differential to whatever it takes, all the way down to ±0.1°C if needed.
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Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
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RPIScotty

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2015, 04:33:08 PM »
I'll plead ignorance here: Since I have never owned a PID controller, I am just going off of generally accepted opinion that PIDs are more accurate and limit overshoot.

I think you mean precision then… I'll notify RPI. ;)

In which case, wouldn't small thermal mass (relative to the heat source) increase the likelihood of an overshoot? I don't think it would be a practical concern though, provided you size the element properly. You can set the differential to whatever it takes, all the way down to ±0.1°C if needed.

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Offline Scbrews

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2015, 02:50:17 AM »
Last spring the rims pid on my system failed a few minutes into the (60 min) mash. I quickly wired up a spare stc1000 to the rims tube  and the thing seemed to do a comparable job at controlling the mash temp for the rest of the mash. I was pretty surprised. I wouldn't try and build a 10 gallon e-rims system with the stc1000s but I bet you could do a low powered system with them.
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Offline PutnamBrewer

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Re: STC-1000 in Small Batch E-brew Setup
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2016, 12:39:40 PM »
I've been using my "$50 Mini eHerms" Set up for the past couple of years.  Works like a champ and does exactly what I need it to do.  It has a bit of trouble keeping temp during the winter months but, I can't expect much more out of a 1000w burner -



« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 12:52:53 PM by PutnamBrewer »