Thank you for purchasing our new 2-stage FTSs heating and cooling kit, this guide is designed to help you understand the best practices for dialing in your new system. For most users, your 2-stage FTSs controller is plug-and-play, which means all you need to adjust is the SET TEMP.
However, for some users that may be experiencing cycling as a result of large liquid volumes, low ambient temps, or chill source water temps, we can offer a few variables to consider which will optimize your results. Your FTSs comes from the factory with a 1.5 degree hysteresis between each cycle. Meaning that there is a full 3 degree of drift, and no time delay between heating and cooling cycles. We found that for most users this offset will be more than sufficient to avoid cycling the unit back and forth between heat and cooling stages. Yet, if you are experiencing overshoot on the upper or lower bands, your two stages will ultimately fight each other and your beer may suffer.
To diagnose whether or not your unit is cycling, closely monitor the liquid temperature display on your controller. If you ascertain that the controller is moving from one cycle to the next with a relatively small break in between; your unit is cycling.
Furthermore, liquid volume is a key factor, since in virtually every size Chronical we offer, the heat and cooling cycles will take a specific amount of time to reach the unit's thermowell and register at the controller level. These variables can even be exacerbated when users ferment 5 gallons in a 14 gallon Chronical, or 10 gallons in a Half barrel unit.
The beauty of our design is the fundamental thermal convection properties introduced by heating the bottom of the vessel and cooling from the top. So you can ultimately take comfort in knowing that the temperature within your Chronical will stabilize relatively quickly. In our rigorous testing we were never able to measure persistent hot or cold spots a result of our design.
Examining your controller, the two advanced functions that will greatly assist in streamlining your results for your individual needs is the Hysteresis (Code d) and Time Delay (Code PT).
As explained above, hysteresis is essentially the controller's resolution, or the amount of temperature the beer can travel above or below the set temp before the opposite cycle activates. The controller's hysteresis setting registers in degrees Fahrenheit, and in turn a higher hysteresis factor will insert a larger window between cycles. Conversely, a lower hysteresis setting will result in a tighter window between cycles
Furthermore, the time delay setting introduces a minimum factor of time between one cycle's end and another beginning. A larger time delay can often benefit larger vessels (Half Barrel and 1 Barrel users) because it gives the entire liquid volume a chance to stabilize before the opposite cycle begins. The controller's time delay setting is measured in minutes, the factory default setting is 0. If a longer length of time between cycles is desired begin by making changes in 1-2 minute increments.
To access the advanced menu, begin by pressing and holding the SET key for greater that 3 seconds. Then use the up and down arrows to cycle through the controller codes until you reach code "d" or "PT". Once the desired code is reached, press SET again and then use the up or down arrows to adjust the hysteresis or time delay factor.
We suggest that you only adjust one variable at a time, and measure your results against the factory defaults before making any additional changes. If may take some time to fully adapt the controller to your individual system, however, once you have made the necessary adjustments, you should not have to make any additional changes in the future.