So, like many others here, I've decided to begin taking the plunge into Electric brewing for many of the same reasons as others on here (indoor, no more LP, repeat-ability, having a permanent setup I won't have to break down after every brew day, etc.) After spending quite a bit of time researching both threads here on HBT & Kal's site/forums I'm thinking about doing a traditional 3 vessel system, single tier HERMS. There is a ton of info out there, but I feel as if I'm getting lost trying to utilize different aspects of different builds.
So far I've accumulated a couple items to begin the build out but of course have lots of questions and feel like I need to continue to research before going much further. Currently, I have a stainless steel table which I will be using for my "sculpture", a 15 gallon megapot (I intend to use this as my BK), a 10 Gallon beverage cooler (with SS braid, but plan to upgrade to a false bottom of some sort), and a recently acquired keg which I have cut the top off of and plan to use as a HLT.
A few of my buddies are licensed electricians, so I know they will be able to help me with a 240V GFCI install. I also have plenty of power with a 200AMP service and a small house that isn't utilizing much of it currently. I'd like to have the ability to brew 10G batches of lower gravity ales but most of brews will consist of 5 gallons of final product to the keg. I don't want full automation, but would like to be able to set temps and walk away, as well as not having to completely babysit the rig while mashing/boiling.
Could I reuse my existing IC as a HERMS coil, or is it worthwhile to make the one time investment in a SS coil for ease of cleaning? I'd like to CIP as much as possible & not have to break down the system after every brew.
Sorry for the length, but I started this thread to begin documenting my ideas and eventually the build process, with hopes some of you veteran e-brewers will chime in as well as create a thread worthy of helping out others in a similar scenario.
EDIT: I guess I should also mention my budget is not limitless like some builds around here, but I typically like to spend the $$ to do things right the first time around.