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.