Full disclosure: This thread is mostly intended to show off our new brewing rig that's taken many months and dollars to complete. Feel free to lavish me with praise and envy.
We brewed our first beer on this setup on Saturday (06/23/2012).
Much of the build design and component selection came from http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/
(which is an excellent resource for electric brewing, fyi). We took a different path with respect to controlling the system. We've opted for a largely manual software based control for the time being, with an eye on further automation down the line.
While we still have a number of manual values and switches, the heating and flow rate out of the pumps is being handled by LabView which is connected to an Arduino Mega which in turn is connected to a number of solid state relays which control the heating elements and openness of the values on the out-side of the pumps.
Here are the pictures of our inaugural brewing session:
Our first brewing session went fairly smoothly. We had a few minor issues come up (mostly pump priming and flow related) but we worked through them pretty quickly. The only serious issue we had was during the mash. I failed to account of the deadspace volume under the false bottom in the mash tun which lead to us having way too little strike water. We added more but I dont believe it was enough. As a result, our wort ended up around a 1040 gravity when it should have been about 1058. I found this to be a pretty big bummer, but it should be correctable for the next brew.