I'm starting to design my electric system, and I think I'm going to go down the Brewtroller route, partly because I'm a software engineer and I like that it's open source and I can program it if I want, and partly because I can spend a little to get started, and upgrade it over time as I get little bits of money.
Questions: A plate chiller is really just a heat exchanger, so it seems like (using appropriate tubing connections) it could be used as a HERMS during the mash, and then as a chiller after the boil. Does anyone do this? Is there a good reason not to? Seems like I could just run the HLT water through the water side of the plate chiller to add heat as easily as I can subtract heat with cold water.
Can you use a HERMS system to do a step mash? Can you ramp up the temperature of the mash sufficiently quickly just by running it through the HERMS (or plate-warmer
Is putting together a Brewtroller system simple enough for a software guy to do it? I can populate a circuit board, but I sure can't design one.