Inkbird’s ITC-308 Digital Dual Stage Temperature Controller is a dual stage, pre-wired Digital Temperature Controller
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The ITC-308 comes in the original version as well as an updated Wi-Fi enabled model. This review covers both editions of this controller.
Why a Temp Controller?
Temperature controllers, sometimes referred to as over-riding thermostats, can control devices like refrigerators, freezers and fermentation heating devices to provide a consistent temperature for your kegerator, fermentation chamber or brew system. They do this by monitoring the temperature and cycling on and off the device in question. Generally, you will set the device to full cooling or heating power and the temperature controller takes over from there.
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- Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller
- Inkbird WiFi ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller
- Different listings for the ITC-308 may be available – search Amazon for “Inkbird Digital Temperature Controller” – to see what variations may be available
Dual vs Single Stage
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. Dual Display shows both measured and set temperature.
Hands on Review Inkbird’s ITC-308 Temp Controller
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.
The ITC-308 has the following parameters – expand the section below to see the list. This list shows the menu abbreviation followed by the full setting name followed by a definition of what that setting means or does as best as I understand. Note that available options may change over time if Inkbird chooses to update software on this controller. Additional settings may be available for the Wi-Fi version.
Parameters and Descriptions 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 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.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 Inkbird introduced an updated version of the ITC-308 with WifFi functionality in the first quarter of 2019. This addendum is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert. Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer. After using the Tilt Bluetooth Hydrometer on many fermentation batches, being able to have continuously updated gravity readings has opened up new possibilities for me during fermentation. While monitoring the trends in gravity over time, I can see when fermentation rate is starting to slow, and I can step in and bump up the temperature to keep things moving along. This is what I do on all my fermentations now. Start at a temperature on the low end of the yeast’s temperature range, and then just keep tabs on the gravity drop rate. Tilt Data Plot (click to enlarge) – shows temp adjustment points – Hands on Review Tilt Bluetooth Hydrometer However, I developed a new type of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I’d now be sitting at work checking the progress of fermentation and then be thrown into a panic because I could see the gravity starting to slow down and I was helpless at work, not able to bump up the temperature. I’ve even called home when I was out of town and talked my 12-year old son through the process of how to increase the set point temperature. So when I saw Inkbird had a Wi-Fi controller, I was excited. App Screenshot – heating active modeApp screenshot – settingsHeating and Cooling OutletsTemp Probe The controller works exactly like the regular ITC-308 controller with easy temperature set point adjustment, a hardwired temperature probe included, and a receptacle that has both a Cooling and Heating plug. With the Wi-Fi feature, a one-time setup process done via a downloaded App on your phone gives you the ability to check the temperature reading and adjust the set point temperature up or down remotely via your smartphone. So now, whenever I check the gravity from my Tilt reporting, if I see I need to adjust the temperature, I just switch over to the Inkbird app and adjust it. Totally simple, and no more FOMO. The ITC-308 by Inkbird is a great temperature controller. It is accurate, easy to use, has great features and is reliable. Because of it’s features and general price, I called this a game changer when it first came out. After using it for years, 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. After years of using the original ITC-308 temperature controller, I can heartily recommend it to you to aid with fermentation and kegerator temperature control. I think the ITC-308 is an outstanding choice. Special Thanks to Inkbird for providing the WiFi unit used for evaluation in this review. Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application. Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application. Always read and follow manufacturer directions. review:itc308 tag:tpr rs:6
Addendum – Hands on Review Inkbird ITC-308 WiFi
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App Screenshot – heating active modeApp screenshot – settingsHeating and Cooling OutletsTemp Probe
Special Thanks to Inkbird for providing the WiFi unit used for evaluation in this review.