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Old 01-27-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
cy2989
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Default Blichmann Controller (TOP) Owners...

Hi everyone,

I recently purchased a Blichmann Temp Controller otherwise known as a Tower of Power. I didn't purchase the tower portion and built something of my own. This was built with an old music stand. It's plumbed just like the TOP but without the flow meter.




I was wondering what other TOP owners have experienced? I've learned a great deal about this product and learned to work around some of the idiosyncrasies. I'm just curious what you have learned?


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Old 01-29-2013, 12:56 AM   #2
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Any owners out there?


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Old 02-07-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
SoSublime
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How are you liking the TOP so far? What was your reason for choosing this over say the Loves?
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSublime View Post
How are you liking the TOP so far? What was your reason for choosing this over say the Loves?

I looked into building a controller using a PID, RTD, solenoid valve and a re-igniter, like the ones Blichmann uses but to be honest by the time you use the quality components that the TOP controller uses you aren't really saving much money. Then you have to find an enclosure to mount it all in.

The PID that the TOP uses is more accurate than the Love controllers or the Auber controllers that are popular. In order to achieve the +-.5F you need better than .2% F over full range of input.

So to answer your question about how I like it...like all Blichmann stuff it is good qualiity and well thought out. I did learn that when controlling gas, the PID can't really be used in a fully intelligent fashion. You can really only use the P term or on and off mode because the burner can't be controlled like an electric heating element, pulsed on and off quickly. I also learned that you will need to take some measures to insulate your MT and plumbing if you are brewing outside during the winter. Since the sensor measures the temp of the wort as it leaves the MT, If you have too much thermal loss your MT temp will be low. As much as a couple of degrees in my experience. That may not sound like a lot but the reason I purchased this device was to hold temps more accurately than that.

There is a learning curve but I believe it is the best product of its kind available today. If you have an specific questions I'd be happy to answer them for you.

Cheers
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:13 PM   #5
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I recently bought the entire setup. I have two modules and the pump stand. I also have the top tier system so it was designed to be together. I love it and have enjoyed the control it has brought to the brewing process. Not sure if you have specific questions you are looking to have answered. But for me 10 out of 10 so far.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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Very insightful information! Thank you. As far as winter brewing I'm blessed to live in the Phoenix area so that is not a huge concern. The big issue here is cooling the wort in the summer as our faucet water is about 95....I have to check but I'm pretty sure the other (yes we have 2) LBS here has the TOP on display.

Did you go with a tiered platform? I am planning on doing a Brutus style build for my brewery.

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Old 02-12-2013, 02:05 AM   #7
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Ron

I will probably get a top tier eventually but right now my MT and BK just sit on the Blichmann burners. The HLT sits on a stand so I can use gravity to sparge. It's nice and modular so at the end of the brew day I can put it all away. My fear of the top tier is that it will take too much room for me.

Cheers.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:57 PM   #8
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Looking at building my own version of the Blichmann controller but built as part of my new brewery build instead of a stand alone. What ignition module do they use. I'm pretty sure the use Fenwall based on the spec and videos. Can anyone confirm this.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillium View Post
Looking at building my own version of the Blichmann controller but built as part of my new brewery build instead of a stand alone. What ignition module do they use. I'm pretty sure the use Fenwall based on the spec and videos. Can anyone confirm this.
I was going to use this one...

http://www.pexsupply.com/Robertshaw-...ot-Relight-Kit



Not sure if it is what they use but very similar. I priced out building one of these myself and while the parts, to build something less accurate, are less expensive I didn't feel the savings was worth the effort.


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