I've been building my brew setup since Thanksgiving, and have made some serious stride in it as you can see below (Thanks Tiber_Brew and HBT). I've actually undertaken a number of projects relating to brewing at the same time: I also have been repairing a pair of commercial grade glass front refrigerators that I picked up for free.
I'm gearing up to order a BCS-460 at the end of the month so I can have more control over the brew process, which is why my brew cart is designed as it is (that and I like using my computers over the PIDs).
Right now I'm on the fence on whether to plan on converting any or all of my system to electric. I'm leaning towards a hybrid brewery. If I do go electric though, it won't happen anytime soon. I'm thinking of going electric with my HLT but staying gas for my BK and MLT. Part of the reason for a hybrid is because I want to take advantage of the remote control functions of BCS and have the HLT start heating up my water before I get brewing, since right now it takes over an hour to heat from cold to striking temperature.
Where I am now is confusing my self; I have seen a number of people here on HBT put electronic control valves on their gas (LP or NG) setups that can be controlled by PIDs or BCS setups. What I would like to be able to do with mine, that I'm hoping someone can answer for me, is to have my BCS control the level of flame and not just whether it is on or off. This fact is part of what has been confusing me most, from what I can tell, most of the auto gas brew setups are simply doing on/off (hi/off) heat like the electric rigs. Keep in mind, the wife will shoot down an idea that involves expensive gas valves (probably can squeeze an $80 one by her, but not much more)
What I do now is leave my heat at super low when I'm at or around my desired mash temp, and when I step up, depending on my target I will vary the flame from low to high.
Personally I like my direct heat MLT with gas heat, and the idea of building and using a HERMS setup just isn't one I fancy to entertain, but at the same time I would like to also take advantage of some of the auto brew features to maintain my mash temperatures.
Anyones help would be appreciated. At some point I'll get to uploading some more pictures.
Today (still under construction):