Controller Interchangeability an Issue?

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Iowa Brewer

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Will any controller work with any electric-brewing system? I'm looking at buying HighGravity's Wort Hog BIAB with 15gal Spike Solo+ kettle & basket, which uses a BoilCoil, but thinking about ordering it without the Wort Hog EBC-130, and pairing it with a Blichmann BrewCommander, instead. Would that work?

Cheers!
 

doug293cz

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Yes, you can use the BrewCommander with the Spike Kettle. In general you can use any stand alone controller with any stand alone kettle. You just have to make sure that you get the correct receptacle on the end of the cord that connects to the heating element. Things aren't so simple if you want to change controllers on an all-in-one system with an integrated power controller.

Personally, I'd choose the EBC-130 over the BrewCommander, but its's your choice.

Brew on :mug:
 
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Iowa Brewer

Iowa Brewer

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Yes, you can use the BrewCommander with the Spike Kettle. In general you can use any stand alone controller with any stand alone kettle. You just have to make sure that you get the correct receptacle on the end of the cord that connects to the heating element. Things aren't so simple if you want to change controllers on an all-in-one system with an integrated power controller.

Personally, I'd choose the EBC-130 over the BrewCommander, but its's your choice.

Brew on :mug:
Thanks, doug293cz! That's a big help.
Say, what is your preference for the EBC-130? I know so little about the electric game.
 

doug293cz

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Thanks, doug293cz! That's a big help.
Say, what is your preference for the EBC-130? I know so little about the electric game.
Two things:
  1. In my opinion, the Auber EZBoil controllers are the best option available. The lower end models allow easy manual step mashing, and the higher end models allow automatic step mashing. They have built in mash and boil timers. They have high power heat up functions that automatically back off the power when a set temp is reached (great for boil over prevention.) They are more stable than PID's without requiring tuning. And there is more.
  2. The EBC has a contactor that provides a mechanical disconnect in series with the element & SSR. An SSR turns off almost all of the current, but does not shut off the voltage to the element. The disconnect allows the element to be shut off if the element gets stuck in "on" mode (the most common SSR failure mode.)
Brew on :mug:
 
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Iowa Brewer

Iowa Brewer

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Two things:
  1. In my opinion, the Auber EZBoil controllers are the best option available. The lower end models allow easy manual step mashing, and the higher end models allow automatic step mashing. They have built in mash and boil timers. They have high power heat up functions that automatically back off the power when a set temp is reached (great for boil over prevention.) They are more stable than PID's without requiring tuning. And there is more.
  2. The EBC has a contactor that provides a mechanical disconnect in series with the element & SSR. An SSR turns off almost all of the current, but does not shut off the voltage to the element. The disconnect allows the element to be shut off if the element gets stuck in "on" mode (the most common SSR failure mode.)
Brew on :mug:
Thanks, again. This is very helpful! I'm totally out of my "element" in this whole realm. One last question: any point in getting a Auber Cube instead of the EBC-130, other than the second pump capability, should I move in that direction in the future?
 

doug293cz

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Thanks, again. This is very helpful! I'm totally out of my "element" in this whole realm. One last question: any point in getting a Auber Cube instead of the EBC-130, other than the second pump capability, should I move in that direction in the future?
I don't have enough details about the differences between the two to make a call. Either will work.

Brew on :mug:
 

NewJersey

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Two things:
  1. In my opinion, the Auber EZBoil controllers are the best option available. The lower end models allow easy manual step mashing, and the higher end models allow automatic step mashing. They have built in mash and boil timers. They have high power heat up functions that automatically back off the power when a set temp is reached (great for boil over prevention.) They are more stable than PID's without requiring tuning. And there is more.
  2. The EBC has a contactor that provides a mechanical disconnect in series with the element & SSR. An SSR turns off almost all of the current, but does not shut off the voltage to the element. The disconnect allows the element to be shut off if the element gets stuck in "on" mode (the most common SSR failure mode.)
Brew on :mug:
All of this ^^ is totally true, BUT
Consider how many brew commanders are out there failing tho and which one you'd rather use irl. Also remember that blichmann has been around since day one in homebrewing and will likely support their product.
 

doug293cz

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All of this ^^ is totally true, BUT
Consider how many brew commanders are out there failing tho and which one you'd rather use irl. Also remember that blichmann has been around since day one in homebrewing and will likely support their product.
I'll grant you that I haven't seen reports of BrewCommanders failing, but there are lots of folks who don't like the way the step mash functionality is implemented, and are hoping for a firmware upgrade to fix it.

Brew on :mug:
 
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