I got excited when I came across this gadget SCT-1000 after I got into brewing. I wanted to be able to ferment beer and bulk age beer and wine at precisely controlled temperatures.

Here's the unit, it was about 25 dollars shipped:

You essentially set a temperature, and program a differential(1 or 2 degrees) and it will cycle on/off your heat and cooling sources as needed.

The only drawback is that it only reads in Celsius...but I work in temperatures in Celsius every day so conversion is no big deal to me.

I am putting it in a 9 by 4 by 3 project box from Radio shack. I think it was 7 dollars.

It doesn't come wired and I ain't no electrician, but I found this wiring diagram from someone who did a similar build:

The cooling source will be a freezer...because its big enough to hold 4 carboys, but could just as easily be a refrigerator. The heat source will be a heating pad(17 bucks from Walgreens) , but could be a small ceramic heater or even a 100 watt bulb.
Freezer is a 20 dollar craigslist score:

Project box cutout my cutouts are messy but they will be hidden by electrical outlet covers:

I think it will also be useful for dry aging and curing meat as well as smoking meat anything where you are trying to maintain a constant temperature.

To use it as a smoker I wouldn't use the cooling stage, I will just bypass the temperature controller on a hop plate(making it always on) and hook it up, set the temperature to whatever smoking temperature I want and put the hop plate filled with wood chips in in my grill. Set it and walk away...I think the hot plate would ignite the chips, but if not I could light them with a torch and they should smolder. Add chips as needed.

I hope to finish it up and test it out tonight. \:\)

Edited by BamaProud (04/05/13 05:56 PM)
Save the Little ones for the Little Ones.
Wine-Down Brewing and Winemaking