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-   -   Ranco vs. Love vs. Auber PID (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/ranco-vs-love-vs-auber-pid-219530/)

beeguy 01-21-2011 04:31 PM

Ranco vs. Love vs. Auber PID
What are people's thoughts on which to use for a HERMS build. I have a heat exchanger going through my HLT which is electrically heated and what I want controlled. I know the PIDs learn how to adjust but what about your basic RANCO (which I already have)? Do people find the PIDs much more accurate?

P-J 01-21-2011 05:31 PM

Go with a Auberins PID. You will never regret it. You will have absolute control, it's easy to setup, can be used on your boil kettle to control boil off rate & more.

Oh, and it is dead accurate.

Just my humble opinion.

3 Dog Brew 01-21-2011 06:02 PM

This is an interesting question. I have a couple of Ranco controllers I use for my fermentation chamber and keezer. I also have a couple of Auber PIDs for my heat infusion system.

With a heat exchange system, how were you planning on regulating the temperature? A couple of options I know of are to turn a recirculating pump on and off or to use a solenoid valve to divert into or away from the heat exchange coil. I'm not any more familiar with that setup though.

The reason I and many others use PIDs for heat infusion is that the PID can turn a device on "partway". So the heat coil can be on at 50% power. The learning algorithm you mentioned learns how to control the device and at what power level to arrive at without overshooting you set temperature.

Frankly, I don't know if that is necessary for a heat exchange system.

Clubbinaz 01-21-2011 06:22 PM

My Auber INS PID Controllers are only on/off. Maybe that have other models, but mine have a high and a low switch, but still only on/off as a function.

Temperature set to 150 degrees for mashing,
PID set to 150
PID LOW set to 148 "which wil turn my burner off at this temp because my system continues to heat up a couple of degrees even with the gas off"
PID High set to 155 " this does nothing on my system, but could be used to trigger heat exchanger to cool temp down".
Low Switch set to "ON" until temperature of 148 is reached.
Because of continual heating, the temperature continues to climb up to my 150 mark hopefully.

If Temp exceeds 155 degrees, then Alarm 2 or high limit is activated, which can start a chiller motor or heat exchanger of some sort to cool the unit. <~~ Not required, I don't personally use this function.

The Auber INS PID is very controllable and allows you to adjust those assumed curves such as shut off "relay, burner, heat exchanger, what ever" at 147 to assume climb to 150. If my burners failed get the temp to my 150 mark, I could adjust that curve to shut off burner at 148 degrees instead or any other .1 degree mark that I see fit. In other words, they do not only have to turn on and off at a preset mark, they can be used to design a curve to fit your system to control your temperature exactly.

Whether your system is HERMS or direct fire like mine, the controller would do the exact same routines for controlling the temperature. That control is ON/OFF. Heat on or heat off, that is the question. The only nice thing that I know about the Auber Ins PID controllers is that I have worked a little with them for my system and my burners so now I can control my HLT and MASH/Lauter Tun to 1/2 of 1 degree F.

The Auber PID is also very "Power Friendly" , it will take almost anything that you put into it. <~~ Another nice feature.

I would say PID is the way to go!

P-J 01-21-2011 06:43 PM


What you say is very true. Your "ON/OFF" control description would be required for gas fired system control. The OP posted in the "Electric Brewing" forum so I made an assumption that he was doing just that. The Auberins PID can easily control an electric system very precisely. It's easy to setup and use as well.

I do not mean to dis you as that is not my intent in any way. I'm just trying to zero on the electric brew control function.

beeguy 01-23-2011 03:14 PM

Yes, I'm using it to control a h2o heater element. How much does the auber plus ssr and temp probe add up to? Are you guys talk about your temp is that in the outflow from the heat exchanger or the HLT (which my heat ex. runs through)?

samc 01-23-2011 08:31 PM

I'd vote Auber. I just ordered one for another system and the most impressive thing is that I emailed Auber and got almost immediate answers to my questions on several occasions. I also own a Love controller for my fermentation chamber, try getting some quick intelligent responses on those devices, good luck. Never used a Ranco, but it is similar to the Johnson controller I have on my keezer, which works great but not sure I'd want to use that for brewing. The Auber is cheaper and can be repurposed in you brewery should you decide to go in another direction.

I'm big into supporting businesses that seemingly want my business.

beeguy 01-24-2011 04:51 AM

How much did the controller, ssr, temp. sensor and any other parts add up to?

samc 01-24-2011 05:53 AM


Originally Posted by beeguy (Post 2578238)
How much did the controller, ssr, temp. sensor and any other parts add up to?

Really depends on what you want. Check out the website, as you might want the lower rated SSR/Heatsink, K type instead of RTD probe, etc. What I bought might be for a larger wattage set-up. Should still be south of $100, mounted in a simple tool box or similar.

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