I'm moving forward with my plan to build an duel element, 120V, PID controlled, Boil Kettle/HERMS. I will start off by giving thanks to russki and jrb03 for documenting their builds. They are both the inspiration for my project, as well as sources I will be using to design and build my control panel. And of course PJ, who's knowledge helped them with their build and will therefore be making it into my build.
While they are the inspiration, my project will be taking a different path. This will not be BIAB. I will be doing 5 gallon batches and possibly the occasional 10 gallons if feasible, although more time consuming. I will be attaching two 2000W elements (separate outlets) via triclamps to a bottom drained keggle, which will also have a side drain that can be used for whirl pooling/stratification prevention. I be turning my current, 10g SS boil kettle into a MLT and using my 3/8 immersion chiller as a HEX during the mash. While the sparge water is heated in the BK, the wort will be pumped through the HEX and back into the MLT. When mashing is complete, the first wort runnings will be collected in a bucket until all the sparge water is drained from the BK.
I LOVE the table top panels that russki and jrb03 built, but I think I'm going to use a larger project box. Right now I'm torn between the auber single controller box or the double controller box, which would leave room for expansion (possibly put the HEX and another element in a small cooler, or switching to RIMS, or adding a dedicated HLT).
Probes: I am planning on using the cheaper PT100 probe over the recommended Liquid tight RTD sensor. I will be putting the PT100 into a brewhardware thermowell, mounted on a sight glass. During HERMS mode, I will remove the probe from the thermowell and use it to measure the wort exiting the coil. Does this seem like a good idea?
Outlets/Pumps: I plan to have an outlet that for the pump and another outlet for auxiliary/pump2. jrb03 has two pumps on his build and they are both coming of the same power source. Would it be better to split the two pumps between the two power sources or does that just add more wiring hassle for minimal gain?
Contactors/Switches: I read that these diagrams were built with these switches in mind. I read that these switches need the contactors because they can't handle the amps. I have read that a few people have had issues with contactors. And I don't think I ever read why these switches were preferred, but I assumed it's because they are dual switch/LED and with the small real estate on the face of the panel that is quite useful. Or maybe they just like the way they look... Honestly, I like the way they look too. But if real estate isn't an issue because I'm using a larger box and people are having problems with contactors, would anyone recommend I just find a toggle switch and light that can handle 20 amps?
OK... I think that's a good introduction and I don't think I have embarrassed myself with question that could be answered with minimal research (yet).