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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Kals Clone or Brewtroller!?
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:55 AM   #1
bmunos
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Default Kals Clone or Brewtroller!?

Hello Everyone,

I have finally saved enough to invest in an electric brewery. I want to do a 3 vessel HERMS system and I have narrowed my options down to either the cal clone, or a Brewtroller build. I just wanted to get some feedback on what people thought of each. Anyone have a bad experience with one or the other? Any links to a brewtroller walkthrough outside of the brewtroller site would be fantastic. I think I have an idea of how they are made but it would be nice to see one completed.

thanks,

-Ben

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Old 04-02-2013, 11:33 AM   #2
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I went the Kal direction, and it seems that the majority do - possibly because it's easier than dealing with the brewtroller software and programming, possibly because Kal's website is so clear and straightforward that people find it easier. I like my setup just fine and enjoy using it. I think you'll be hard pressed to find much input from someone who has used both system and can really give you a comparison of the two.
-Kevin

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Building a Bad News Brewery - eHERMS

2014:
5gal Scottish Wee Heavy
5gal Saison
15gal American Pale Ale
20gal Belgian Wit
10gal Oktoberfest
10gal Southern Pecan Ale

Keg 1: Apfelwein
Keg 2: Oktoberfest
Keg 3: Southern Pecan

On Deck: Winter Spice Ale
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
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Hi Ben,


I believe it comes down to what you want from your new system when's it is completed. The two you mentioned will give two completely different end states. It will be hard to find many negatives on a PID based electric system. They are tried and true and guys still are in charge of doing 90% of the work of the process. It will keep temps and move liquor/wort around and the only effort you give is some valve openings, hose changing, and button pushing.
I look at the Brewtroller system as my brew day management tool. I wanted consistency and my brew day shortened, plus I love the tech stuff.(but I am not a computer science major or a programmer) to give you an example of what the BT is capable of ill give u a typical brew day.
I load my program values in the BT the note before. It calculates strike volume,temps,ect. I start the program and it uses a volume sensor to fill the HLT to the specified volume. I then set a delay to restart the program 1.5 hours before ill get up the next morning and fill the MLT with my crushed grain.
When I wake up, I go down to the brew area to find the BT has heated the strike water, transferred over the specified amount, refilled the HLT with sparge water, and started recirculating the mash heating it thru the HERMS coil.
I stir, check the set temps and I go upstairs to have some coffee. I can monitor everything on my iPad. When it is nearly finished mashing, ill go down and set my kettle valve for sparging. I will direct the BT to start auto fly sparging. It starts transferring wort to the kettle and once it sees 1/4 gallon in the kettle it will activate the HLT pump and transfer the same amount to the MLT. It does this until the specified preboil vol is reached. I forward it to boil and I use manual boil control, meaning i set the power using percentages. The BT times and sets an alarm for each hop addition. I have set to auto recirculate the last 10 minutes to sanitize my chiller. I chill to the fermenter.
Ill go back to my first statement. What do you want from the system? If you "enjoy" the process and like to be involved, then a PID system would work great. I wanted less hands on so I felt the BY system
Was the best fit for me and it has worked out well. No matter which way you decide, be safe and stay committed as it will seem
Like a lot to take on. Good luck!

S-

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Old 04-02-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Thank you for the reply! I just purchased cals clone!

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