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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Automated Brewing Forum > Brewtroller vs BCS
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:37 PM   #31
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Finally after months of watching this thread, we are getting down to business. Keep it coming! I have a decision to make in the near future. Should the difference in temperature sensors be a factor?

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:42 PM   #32
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Sounds like the BCS Fanboys can shout the loudest. If you look at what the 2 systems can do the Brewtroller is far more capable. It can do volume sensing, PWM fly sparging, Smart Herms, it is stand alone hardware, pretty much can run your brew day with a push of a button if you are so inclined.

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:07 PM   #33
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The Brewtroller uses one wire temp sensors. That means you can just daisy chain them all together and have one connector on your panel.

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:23 PM   #34
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I have a fully automated direct fired HLT and Kettle RIMS system controlled by the BT. Anyone who has invested in either of these systems will obviously be passionate about the system they chose. I honestly don't know too much about the BCS as I made the decision to go with the BT very early in the design and didn't look back. I will share some of the reasons why I chose the BT over the BCS.

1. Volume sensing - This was very important to me. I have volume sensing set up in my HLT and Kettle. I love being able to upload my recipe directly into the BT and based on the settings I have already programed into the BT (boil off rate, vessel capacity, volume loss, grain absorbtion, etc), it automatically calculates how much volume is required for the brew session and fills the HLT to this volume and then heats to strike temp. I have my system set up so that once I start the brew session, no action is required until grain in. Volume sensing also allows to auto fly sparge where it monitors the volume added to the brew kettle from the mash and matches by transfering the same volume from the HLT to the Mash.

2. Being able to control processes locally. I love having a control panel that I can control everything from locally. The encoder can be cumbersome at times, but is nice to be able to control all processes locally. I also have switches for all my valves, pumps, and heat sources on my control panel so I can use those as well. This is extremely helpful when doing a cleaning or sanitation cycle.

3. Remote monitoring - The web interface of the BCS is very nice and was the big reason why I was considering it at first, but the BT can also support remote monitoring through live.brewtroller.com. I use this feature during every brew session so I don't have to stay in the garage the whole time. There are already user developed android apps and hopefully will be an iOS app soon too. The live.brewtroller.com is still in its infancy and will be upgraded significantly (I'm told) once BT Firmware 3.0 is released.

Some other comments I've read is that BT is not DIY friendly, which in my opinion is not true. I built my entire system myself with very little experience with electrical systems and no software programming knowledge. There are a ton of resources online particularly the BT website (www.oscsys.com), BT forums, and the blackheart brewery build threads and website. The customer service at BT has also been extremely helpful.

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:26 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyirishman34
Sounds like the BCS Fanboys can shout the loudest. If you look at what the 2 systems can do the Brewtroller is far more capable. It can do volume sensing, PWM fly sparging, Smart Herms, it is stand alone hardware, pretty much can run your brew day with a push of a button if you are so inclined.
I'm not knocking the Brewtroller. I'm just pointing out features the matter to me and how they are applied to my brewing style. I use gas so PWM has no benefit to me, volume sensing can be achieved with the BCS but I have no need for it, and I prefer a computer interface with a logical and customizable GUI. I have my system stationary and have manual switches to override all automation. Even with the Brewtroller if it malfunctions you still need manual override. Both options depend on computer logic so the fact that you need a computer to control a BCS isn't a comparable drawback. I consider it an advantage because I have multiple interfaces including remote wireless options all with intuitive customizable GUI's verses a cheesy dial and a LCD. Just saying.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #36
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Cool brewtroller setup. Were did you get the front panel?

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Old 11-30-2012, 03:38 PM   #37
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The front panel was made by Ponoko.com. I modified Blackheart Brewery's original design using adobe illustrator.

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:01 PM   #38
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The front panel was made by Ponoko.com. I modified Blackheart Brewery's original design using adobe illustrator.
That an overwhelmingly awesome control panel. I have my Brutus 10 almost completed. I'm thinking a direct fired mash tun with intermittent pilot by Honeywell. I am just a little concerned with how the igniter will affect both of these control units. I've mostly researched the brewtroller.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:27 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebobby

That an overwhelmingly awesome control panel. I have my Brutus 10 almost completed. I'm thinking a direct fired mash tun with intermittent pilot by Honeywell. I am just a little concerned with how the igniter will affect both of these control units. I've mostly researched the brewtroller.
I use the Honeywell SmartValves with the intermittent hot surface ignition that do not need an external pilot control and have no problems using the BCS. I don't think you would have any problems with either controller. I've read of people having issues with the direct spark ignition due to the stray high voltage but none with the IHSI.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:39 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxOut View Post
I use the Honeywell SmartValves with the intermittent hot surface ignition that do not need an external pilot control and have no problems using the BCS. I don't think you would have any problems with either controller. I've read of people having issues with the direct spark ignition due to the stray high voltage but none with the IHSI.
I just changed out my spark igniters for HSI's. I'm using the inexpensive Valves4Projects solenoid valves to control gas flow and the Honeywell Glowfly HSI's. The BCS has a feature to drive igniters where it will pre-fire the igniter for a specified time prior to valve opening and then hold it for a specified time after valve opening. They're working flawlessly, but because I'm not using the Honeywell valves with flame detection and all the safety interlocks, I would not suggest these for unattended brewing.
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