Setting up a Brew Fridge

A brew fridge is the ideal setup for small batch temperature control. You can either use a under counter fridge for single batches or an upright fridge for multiple batches or large fermenters.

The ATC 800 or STC1000 temperature controllers are the heart of the system. They work by reading the temperature of the wort or must using the supplied probe then turning on the fridge or a heat source as required. The fridge is plugged into the cooling side and the heat source into the heating side. The probe is then usually affixed to the outside of the fermenter and insulated with bubble wrap so it takes an accurate reading.

The desired temperature is set on the controller and then the perfect temperature is then maintained.

This may look like a complicated setup but it’s pretty easy. The most difficult bit is setting up the controller as they don’t come pre wired. We followed a setup on a home brewing forum which is simple and gives a professional result.

To reproduce this setup you will need the following but you can use this a base and change the enclosure to suit.

Enclosure - Gewiss GW 44208
Wall Socket x 2
25mm single Patress Back Box x 2
13A plug
IP68 cable gland x2
3 core 13A mains cable 2m
15A 12 way terminal block
ATC 800

Fridge

Heater pad or brew belt

Additional Tools

Dremel with cutting disc
Drill
Screwdriver
Steel Rule
Wire cutters/strippers
Sharpie
Masking Tape

First mark out with masking tape and cut the holes in the front of the enclosure for the controller and 2 socket fronts. Don’t worry if it’s a bit rough as the units will hide it but make sure its straight and not too big.

Fit the controller and boxes to the enclosure front and secure with fixings/back boxes.

Then the wiring of the ATC. The instructions that come with the unit are very vague but it pretty simple.

First connect the earth from each socket to the incoming earth on the mains.

 

Then the Neutral. Connect the neutral from each socket to the neutral in the mains cable and PIN 8 on the ATC using some terminal block.

 

Connect the live from the cooling socket to Pin 1 and the live from the heating socket to Pin 3. Connect the mains live to Pin 2 and Pin 4 and also  Pin 7 using some terminal block.

The probe connects to PINS 5 & 6.

Drill two holes in the back casing and feed with mains and probe out using the glands to tidy up. Wire up the outer plug and everything is then ready to connect up.

Plug your fridge into the cooling socket and your heat pad into the heating socket and you're good to go.

DISCLAIMER WARNING: THIS POST IS FOR GUIDANCE ONLY. ELECTRICITY IS DANGEROUS. PLEASE ENSURE YOU GET AN ELECTRICAL PROFESSIONAL TO CHECK YOUR WORK BEFORE YOU PLUG IN OR GET ELECTRICIAN TO CARRY OUT THE WORK.