I finally pulled the trigger on assembling the proofing container as I've wanted to have a more static environment to grow cultures and develop non-refridgerated dough made with cultures. With daily 30 to 40 degree temperature swings I have lost dough. My wife has a problem with me using the home thermostat to regulate dough temps for some reason
I used TXCraig1's cooler + ice and that will work for summer. Overnight tests show that I can hold a desired temp with just a little organization inside the cooler. I wanted something that I can use in fall/winter too - as similar temp fluctuations are common. Member Anverc had espoused the value and simplicity of the STC-1000 controller. It's taken me a while to figure out how I was going to assemble this and what components to select/gather.
Using the most basic configuration: one outlet receptacle used to connect a heat source. The second outlet receptacle will be used for cooling**.
The controller turns it on/off when the temp goes above/below the selected temp +/- 1 degree.
In the end, my cost was $40.00 as I had most of this already in the garage. It would have been $65.00 if I I had to buy all of the parts. Here's a breakdown:
$15.00 1 x 20 Qt. Cooler
$16.00 1 x STC-1000 Controller w/ Term Probe (including shipping from Amazon)
$18.00 1 x Terrarium Heater for 10/20 Qt. terrarium
$ 4.00 1 x Plate Glass (needed to under-mount terrarium heater to glass)
$ 6.00 1 x Electrical Box
$ 1.50 1 x Electrical Outlet
$ 2.00 3 x Bulk electrical wire
$ 2.00 1 x Three Prong Electrical Cord
$ .50 4 x Wirenuts
Tools: Drill, Small Saw or Dremel Tool w/ small saw attachment, Screwdriver, Electrical Tape
Time: Less than 30 minutes.
The STC-1000 manual is poorly written/translated and is not easy to read. The diagram makes it simple enough to configure the wires and operation instructions are virtually everywhere if you search STC-1000 in your browser.
As I mentioned, holding the temp overnight was achieved with consistent results using ice. the footnote ** above regarding the cooling outlet is still something I am thinking through. It may be an actuator to open the lid if the temp goes too high. Perhaps a small fan - like a 120 mm computer cooling fan - I've used them in enclosed furniture for electronics to move/cool air. Suggestions of what others use to lower temperature would be appreciated. It may not be necessary but I'd be interested learning what others are using for cooling/venting.
Now the ol' heating pad "snuggie" can be retired to it's original intended use. Now off to Kinko's to laminate the Sourdough Predictive Matrix & my Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion table...