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-   -   So control panels are super intimidating. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/so-control-panels-super-intimidating-356945/)

BudzAndSudz 09-26-2012 03:20 PM

So control panels are super intimidating.
I'm getting a handle on all of it now, but a week ago when I started my research I had not the SLIGHTEST clue where to start.

I'm thinking I'd like to go with some sort of a kit though, with the hopes that I won't accidentally order an incompatible part and knock back the completion date by a week or short something out etc. Are there any good kits available? TheElectricBrewery.com has one, but I'm trying to not spend $1700 on this project. I'm guessing almost $1000 can be knocked off that price by purchasing the parts separately. Ebrewsupply.com has a nice looking kit, but leaves a lot of parts left to be ordered on my own. Is there a nice middle ground? Or at least a third option?

LiquidFlame 09-26-2012 03:28 PM

It really depends on what you want your setup to do. I would look at a lot of the examples on here and then draw out what you want, and then draw it again. It's time consuming, but it really helps.

BudzAndSudz 09-26-2012 03:37 PM

It's gonna be a fairly basic 3 kettle HERMS system, I'm thinking one 5.5kw element in the hlt, and propane for the boil kettle. One PID should be sufficient, I'm just feelin pretty overwhelmed even by something as easy as that. I just have literally no experience with wiring.

LiquidFlame 09-26-2012 03:43 PM

Don't know what your budget is, but if your going to make the hlt electric I would also make the bk electric. I would really check out http://theelectricbrewery.com/ Not saying that you should build that system, but going through his setup will give you some really good ideas and make you think about what you really want.

BudzAndSudz 09-26-2012 03:51 PM

Haha well obviously I've gone through that website, but like I said in my first post, I'm trying to avoid spending $1700 on the panel. I CAN afford it, but I'd sure like to avoid it.

I am feeling super tempted to make my BK electric as well. The thought of never buying propane again is just wonderful.

BudzAndSudz 09-26-2012 04:34 PM

Is there a downside to using a pull-box instead of a standard enclosure? It looks like it'll save me somewhere around $50 or so, but I want to see if there's a drawback I'm missing. The hoffman pull-box I found has punchouts as well, which would be nice instead of drilling all the holes myself for running wires etc.

brewingmeister 09-26-2012 05:23 PM

Actually to just order the parts collection from theelectricbrewery it will be cheaper than piecing it together yourself. Sorry to say but he's buying the parts in bulk and you won't have multiple shipping costs to pay for. That is of course if you are looking for a system like that.

CoalCracker 09-26-2012 06:04 PM

Might want to take a look at something like this.


dcbw 09-26-2012 07:25 PM


Originally Posted by CoalCracker (Post 4446469)
Might want to take a look at something like this.


Mine will be a 30A with element switch controlling 5500W elements in the boil and hlt. I also wanted to do it for less than 1700, and while I'm not sparing no expense I'm also not going ghetto. Expected cost will be about 700 to 800 when I'm done, parts from ebay and Auber Instruments. If you don't care about Turnlok plugs or a nice steel enclosure you could do it for 200 less than I am.

alien 09-26-2012 07:31 PM

Identify what features you really want and what your budget is. You don't need a controller at all if you are prepared to hover over a thermometer turning the element on and off. PID control did not exist for the first few thousand years of mashing :)

As dbcw says, if you go the DIY route you will find that a fancy box costs at least as much as the electronics. Or you could use an old PC case. If you know where to look you can get very serviceable enclosures for nothing as free samples from manufacturers.

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