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Old 12-07-2013, 04:30 AM   #1
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Default My Kal Clone

I just finished my Kal clone. It's an almost exact copy of Kal's build, using his layout and all. I wish my cable management skills were up to what Spike Innovations puts out, but oh well. I must say this was one of the funnest projects I have taken on in my brewing career. I'm excited that it's done but at the same time I'm sad because I enjoyed the project so much. I'm going to have one of the engineers at the office give it a once over before I plug it in just in case I wired something up incorrectly. Can't wait to give it a try. This panel is even better looking in person than in Kal's pictures. Everyone I have showed it to has been genuinely impressed (you can always tell when you are being humored and when they are really impressed).

I printed a 20 pixel by 20 pixel grid in Excel and used that to align everything.
img_0942.jpg

I center punched based on marks made on the grid and used that to cut the openings.

img_0965.jpg

Cable management isn't my strong suit

img_1380.jpg

Standard Kal layout

img_0985.jpg

I did a "back to back" build so I have two element switches instead of a single 3 way switch.

img_0989.jpg

I have a lot more pictures of the process if anyone is interested in seeing them. I also have the templates I made to place everything just so. It was a LOT of work. The price Kal/Spike Innovations charges for completed panels is a friggin bargain! Seriously, do not even think twice about buying a pre-built panel if you were thinking you could do it cheaper yourself. The tools alone will end up costing you what they charge in labor if you don't already have most of it. If I didn't work for a place that built industrial panels it would have cost me a lot more to build mine. I was able to borrow everything I didn't already have to complete this build. On the other hand it is a hell of a lot of fun to do the build yourself if you are up for it. There is a pride that comes from building it yourself, even if it was a kit. I received prompt responses back from Kal and Spike Innovations whenever I had questions during the order process and after the sale. I ended up ordering the finished power cable, temp sensors, and elements from them to speed the process along and the additional orders were easy. I highly recommend this kit if you are in the market, I don't think you can go wrong here.

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Old 12-07-2013, 08:00 PM   #2
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Nice work! I ordered almost everything for the panel on my own... oh how I wish I had just got the kit from Kal. I did get the DIY probe kit from Kal, still a lot of work to put together those probe cables though. I'm on here looking at posts like these for inspiration to finish the wiring on mine lol

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Old 12-08-2013, 12:06 AM   #3
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Congrats! It is a sense of accomplishment the first time you see power to all he lights and PIDs. I agree that it looked cool in the pics but is even cooler when it's in your house. Cheers!

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Old 12-08-2013, 02:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by andrhamm View Post
I did get the DIY probe kit from Kal, still a lot of work to put together those probe cables though.
I looked through the instructions on the probes, elements, and power cord and looked at the price difference and decided to just order them pre-made. Mike (or whoever did the work at Spike Innovations) did an extremely good job on them. The only problem I had was that the plate/cover on the element boxes was big enough to interfere with the bottom ring on my kegs, but it was an easy fix with the rotary tool.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:03 AM   #5
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Not sure how long it took you to put together but downside to ordering prebuilt is the 12 week wait time.

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Old 12-08-2013, 05:08 AM   #6
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Not sure how long it took you to put together but downside to ordering prebuilt is the 12 week wait time.
That is true, and I did have to wait that long even for the kit. That didn't bother me as I was (and still am) using my gas fired setup to brew in the meantime. I also made a new brew stand and CIP ekeggles while I was waiting. If someone was in a hurry then they could buy the parts separately and come out ahead on time, but I think the extra shipping spent on getting a few parts per vendor would add up pretty fast. It's a trade off for either way, and for me just not having to mess with all the individual parts orders was more than enough to make the kit a no brainer. YMMV

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It took me 2 weeks of working on it in my spare time to assemble the kit.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:57 AM   #7
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NICE! I'm waiting on my panel DIY kit now.... In the meantime I'm working on my kettles, pumps and wort chiller and am far as I can go until I get the HERMS coil and probes on Wednesday and Control Panel Kit. Last night I was using my pumps with a foot switch testing for leaks... Can't wait to brew the inaugural batch!

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:34 AM   #8
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I also made a new brew stand and CIP ekeggles
I'm interested in seeing your CIP set up. Mind sharing? Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:42 PM   #9
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I'm interested in seeing your CIP set up. Mind sharing? Thanks!
Sure, I'll back the truck out later after the family wakes up and take some picks. It's basically just bottom drain kits from brewhardware.com and a floor drain that allows for cip. I also have an electric duster/dryer to blow the water out, and a shop vac to suck the grain out of the MT.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:44 AM   #10
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I'm interested in seeing your CIP set up. Mind sharing? Thanks!
I forgot to do this, so I had to do it by my headlights, and my phone hated it. I think you'll get the idea though.

Each keg is upside down. The bottom has been cut out and functions as the top. The top has a 1/2" tri clover fitting from brewhardware.com to form a bottom drain for CIP. 1/2" is pretty small for a drain, so this is only good for liquid, or at best chunky liquid. Grain is scooped out or vacuumed out by the shop vac with a 55gallon bin liner in it. I wanted to go 1" but the cost was prohibitive compared to 1/2".
kegs-full.jpg

Inside view, you can see the 1/2" opening at the bottom. I have a normal pickup tube because this particular shot is of my brew kettle. After whirlpooling the center will be pilled up with trub, so the pickup tube will let me get clear wort off the side of the pile.
kegs-inside.jpg

And here is the view from underneath
kegs-bottom.jpg

Bottom drains are nice, but they require some special supports. You can't just sit them on a flat surface like you can a normal pot.
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