Brewtroller vs BCS

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JonW

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Finally after months of watching this thread, we are getting down to business. Keep it coming! I have a decision to make in the near future. Should the difference in temperature sensors be a factor?
The comment about the BCS having only 4 temps is the BCS-460 model. The BCS-462 has 8 temp probes.

You need to research your options and not rely on threads like this to dictate your decision.
 

JonW

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For you guys saying that the BCS requires a computer to run.... technically it doesn't. The computer (or iPad, iphone, etc) are just display devices - there is no logic executing on the computer. The BCS can run stand-alone and all processes can be start/stopped via switches. Most people don't use it this way because they want a full screen display to see everything happening at once.

The BCS does PWM, Hysteresis and PID temp control. It does temperature averaging across multiple sensors. Your processes run independently so like I pointed out before, I can have my kegerator, fermenter, smoker and brew rig all running at the same time. I often do double brew days and the BCS is handling different settings for batch 2 in the MLT while still finishing batch 1 in the BK. The process flexibility lets the system easily multitask whatever processes you want to do.

Many BCS users build full control panels that look similar to many of those shown for the BT systems so that they can do automatic and manual control. Myself, I just use the GUI (on a touch screen brewery interface) and yes, I pretty much run my brew day with the push of a button.

This pissing match about the two systems is stupid. Calling one system vastly superior to another is flat out wrong. Both systems are very capable and each has it's strengths and weaknesses.
 

jdub44

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I use the spark ignition pilot modules and did have some issues initially with noise affecting the BT. This was resolved by containing all of the Honeywell controller components in a separate enclosure from the BT and other components, using shielded cable for the 24v supply from the BT to the control modules with ferrite cores, routing the cables away from the rest of the cables, and upgrading my temperature sensors to the one-wire sensors with filtering circuit sold by OSCSYS.
 

unclebobby

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JonW said:
The comment about the BCS having only 4 temps is the BCS-460 model. The BCS-462 has 8 temp probes.

You need to research your options and not rely on threads like this to dictate your decision.
I completely agree, but it is nice to hear real world experiences before I invest in a product. I will always do more homework than necessary.
 

unclebobby

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jdub44 said:
I use the spark ignition pilot modules and did have some issues initially with noise affecting the BT. This was resolved by containing all of the Honeywell controller components in a separate enclosure from the BT and other components, using shielded cable for the 24v supply from the BT to the control modules with ferrite cores, routing the cables away from the rest of the cables, and upgrading my temperature sensors to the one-wire sensors with filtering circuit sold by OSCSYS.
Thank you, it is good to hear a success story. I already have my gas valves for the HLT and the MLT.
 

JonW

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Thank you, it is good to hear a success story. I already have my gas valves for the HLT and the MLT.
If your valves will support HSI's, I highly suggest you look at those instead of the spark igniters. It's a pain to isolate the spark igniters so that you don't have issues with them. I've used spark igniters for the last year, but every once in a while I'd have an issue with them zapping my controller. HSI's have no interference issues at all.
 
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HSI is nice since you are not lighting a standing pilot. Will the BCS allow you to reset the lock out for failed ignition? Most of the Honeywell smart valve can utilize HSI if the ignition box has the ablity to send the right voltage to it.
 

JonW

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Will the BCS allow you to reset the lock out for failed ignition?
I don't know. What's required to reset the lock out? If the smart valve (or controller module) puts out a signal to say it went to locked out status, then I don't see why the BCS couldn't react to that and trigger the module back to reset the lockout. I thought those smart valves had that built in to reset & retry when a failed ignition attempt occured... no?
 

MaxOut

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crazyirishman34 said:
HSI is nice since you are not lighting a standing pilot. Will the BCS allow you to reset the lock out for failed ignition? Most of the Honeywell smart valve can utilize HSI if the ignition box has the ablity to send the right voltage to it.
Honeywell SmatValves do not have an "ignition box" (ignition module) the ignition sequence is controlled by the valve with no additional control hence the name SmartValve. All the valve needs to operate is 24vac and the ignition sequence is initiated.

SmartValves are designed for many applications and have various ignition sequences and pilot assemblies. The SmartValve I use has an ignition sequence that will continue to repeat until it senses flame so lockout is impossible. Some other SmartValves have a sequence that only attempts to ignite a certain number of times before lockout. Lockout is just another form of safety and can be reset simply by removing 24vac from the valve and re applying it with a switch or relay.

The SmartValve I selected uses the IHSI pilot burner that is made up of the hot surface igniter, flame sensor and pilot.
The sequence is as follows - 24vac applied to valve, HSI is activated, pilot valve open, pilot ignites, flame sensor senses pilot and main burner valve opens. At any point the flame sensor quits sensing flame the pilot and main burner valve will close and restart the ignition sequence. I selected this valve for the simplicity, reliability and redundancy.
 

Stevorino

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So this is what I'm gathering from this thread so far:

Both systems are great.

Both have the capability to run more processes than you will ever need.

BCS is faster & easier to get from unboxing to brewing. This advantage scales largely depending on your coding knowledge.

BT has volume sensing, which could be a decision maker for some.

BCS has full mobile support, BT currently has android support and is anticipating iOS support soon.
 

hypergolic

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Is there some information on the Android interface for BT? I tried googling and they only thing I found was a short youtube video that didn't show much.
 

HumanGarbage

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So this is what I'm gathering from this thread so far:

Both systems are great.

Both have the capability to run more processes than you will ever need.

BCS is faster & easier to get from unboxing to brewing. This advantage scales largely depending on your coding knowledge.

BT has volume sensing, which could be a decision maker for some.

BCS has full mobile support, BT currently has android support and is anticipating iOS support soon.
Yup that is pretty much it in a nutshell. However BT does now have iOS support (iPad + iPhone at least).

I went BT. The volume sensing is what did it for me. The open source nature appealed as well. That said, you can't go wrong with either.
 

chadillac7819

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Here are some thoughts from me on my blog. I have owned and used both systems now.
Mpez, great insight on the two systems on your blog. I was debating for some time and was searching for this kind of real-world review. I finally settled on the BCS 462 since it could do ferm AND brew duty on one machine AND had remote access, not just monitoring. Those features seemed much more usable than volume measurement and reading about your experiences has helped to remove any buyer’s remorse. :D

BTW - Have you considered reprogramming your DX1 as a permanent fermentation controller? I think that their Fermtroller firmware will load onto it so it won’t be a waste of money. Just a thought.
 

psbuckland

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I know this thread was a flame war for a while...but I am glad to see it back on track. We seem to have an emotional tie to each of our systems and I can appreciate that.

It is interesting in the varied experiences between users of the DX1. I had the exact opposite experience. My setup was not challenging, a few small issues were resolved quickly, and I got what I wanted.

My main goal was to shorten my brew day, have manual/auto control to move liquor/wort, and have temperature control. I viewed the DX1 as more of a brew day manager...stepping though each phase either manually or automatically. My goals were met as I can set the DX1 to delay start before I even get out of bed. It fills the HLT to the calculated level, heats it to strike temp and fills the MLT(from the bottom), auto refills the HLT, and starts mashing using the HERMS coil. Thats when I show up and stir and have a cup of coffee while mashing. I am almost halfway done with brewing and just showed up.
I wasn't able to find a BCS system successfully operating this way, although it may exist. Good luck to all on their venture!
 

MaxOut

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psbuckland said:
I know this thread was a flame war for a while...but I am glad to see it back on track. We seem to have an emotional tie to each of our systems and I can appreciate that.

It is interesting in the varied experiences between users of the DX1. I had the exact opposite experience. My setup was not challenging, a few small issues were resolved quickly, and I got what I wanted.

My main goal was to shorten my brew day, have manual/auto control to move liquor/wort, and have temperature control. I viewed the DX1 as more of a brew day manager...stepping though each phase either manually or automatically. My goals were met as I can set the DX1 to delay start before I even get out of bed. It fills the HLT to the calculated level, heats it to strike temp and fills the MLT(from the bottom), auto refills the HLT, and starts mashing using the HERMS coil. Thats when I show up and stir and have a cup of coffee while mashing. I am almost halfway done with brewing and just showed up.
I wasn't able to find a BCS system successfully operating this way, although it may exist. Good luck to all on their venture!
Agreed the BCS and the BT both have their strengths. Both systems require a certain amount of effort and electrical knowledge to get desired results. I have two BCS's and getting a BT to play with. I'm not interested in volume sensing but more interested in learning something new like when I started brewing. Ultimately one of the the things that keeps me interested in brewing is the DIY aspect of building my brewery.

I can only comment on what I've read about the BT but have real world experience with the BCS. The BCS is capable of achieving what you have with the BT but instead of setting your volume requirement in the programming you would set it mechanically by moving a sensor to the desired level on your sight glass. If I had a need for volume sensing I like this method because no sensors touch the wort. Another more intrusive option is an adjustable float. I use a tankless hot water heater and have no need to pre- heat water for mash or HERMS as it is available on demand. One thing I decide when automating was to keep "ME" in the process. I think of the automation as a assistant that keeps temps and watches timers letting me know with different buzzers to intervene and switch a hose, add hops or stir the mash. Sure I could hard pipe the plumbing, add a bunch of actuated ball valves, put in a motorized grain mill with grain shoot, etc. but I like being involved.

In the end the BCS has allot to offer and I have not even scratched the surface, and I'm sure the BT does as well. I made the decision on the BCS based mainly on the simple operation, basic set up and intuitive web interface. I all ready use a computer for my brew day with Beer smith and the web interface seemed like a good fit with my brewery design.
 
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