Dual stage means that the Itc-308 can control both a heating and cooling device. Alternatively, it can control a heating or a cooling device. This controller displays in Fahrenheit and Centigrade. Maximum output is 1000 watt at 110 volts. Dual Display shows both measured and set temperature.
I’ve been using this controller for fermentation for a few months now. Here’s a hands on look…
A look at the boxThe controller body. The control has two readouts. The top is labeled PV. That stands for “Process Value” and displays the current temperature. The second reading is SV or Set Value. It displays the set temperature. There are two lights below those readouts indicating whether the controller is calling for cooling or heating. The unit has three buttons – SET, up and down. To get into settings hold the SET button down for 3 seconds. A short press of SET cycles through available settings while the up and down buttons change values. Available settings include… TS (Temperature Set Value), HD (Heating Differential), CD (Cooling Differential), AH (Alarm High Limit), AL (Alarm Low Limit), PT (Compressor Delay), CA (Temperature Calibration) and CF (Temperature Unit C or F)
A look at the power and temperature cablesA look at the 5′ temperature cableThe manufacturer says that the temperature probe is waterproof and submersible. I’ve found that to be true. Here is the probe submerged in a Klean Kanteen Insulated Growler. I left it submerged for a couple weeks and it continued to work as expected.Here’s a look at the plug in cable. It has two outlets, one labeled cooling and one labeled heating. Plug your cooling device (typically a refrigerator or freezer) into the cooling device and your heating device into the heating outlet. You can also leave either unplugged if you’re only interested in heating or cooling. By using both a heating and cooling device you can really dial in fermentation temperature. Or, if you’re running a kegerator, you’re probably only interested in cooling. The Itc-308 and similar controllers are sometimes called overriding temperature controllers. The thermostat in this unit essentially takes over control from your heating or cooling device by cycling on and off the power as needed.
In this picture, I’m using a Lasko MyHeat 100 to keep my fermentation temp up. Note: Always read and follow manufacturer’s directions. If you’re looking for something for the heat side of the equation, check out something like a Homebrew Fermentation Heater
Back of the unit. Displays some specifications and additional information. Plug and Play (referring to the fact that this is pre-wired and ready to be used). Input Power: 100 ~240VAC, 50Hz/60Hz,, Output Power: 100 ~240VAC, 50Hz/60Hz,, Max Current: 10A, Temperature Setting Range: -50 to 99 deg C/-58 to 210 deg F., Max Wattage: 1000W(120V)/2000W(220V). Also notice there is a mounting hole.The mounting hole in use. A screw is not included.I tested accuracy using an ice water bath. Here is the probe submerged in an ice water bath housed in a Spiegelau Stout Glass.
The ice water reads 32.5 deg F. That’s within .5 deg F and relatively impressive. For a point of reference, that beats the stated accuracy tolerance for both the CDN-DTQ450X (+ or – 2 deg F) and the Thermapen Mk4 (+ or – .7 deg F). The ITC-308 can also be calibrated if necessary.
One of the first things I used this for was maintaining temperature while carbonating with my Spunding Valve. See: Build a Spunding ValveFermenting Great Fermentations’ “Piney the Welder“Fermenting Great Fermentations’ Dark Side Robust Porter
The Itc-308 by Inkbird is a great temperature controller. It is accurate, easy to use, feature and reliable. Because of it’s features and general price, I called this a game changer when it first came out. After using it for a good bit, I will stand by that. As far as comparing general price and features to other controllers, as of this writing, I don’t know of anything that’s close to the Inkbird Itc-308. See: Ranco Two Stage Wired Controller
If you’re looking for a fermentation or or kegerator temperature controller, the Itc-308 is a great choice.
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