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paradoc

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OK... I need some collective wisdom and advice from the folks on this board.
I'm currently a 5 gallon all-grain brewer using a single pot on a portable propane turkey fryer. I want to upgrade to 10 gallon, 2 or 3 pot brewery. Initially I was looking at 1 tier systems like the Keggle Brewer, Sabco, or B3. But ideally, I would like electric, because it is cold as hell here 6 months out of the year and I'll be brewing in my garage much of the time. Not a huge fan of carbon monoxide! I've been browsing the internet, scratching my head, and trying to decide what to buy. I'm not a huge DIY guy when it comes to 220V electric, so would like to buy something that is assembled and tested rather than pulling out my soldering iron. But I don't mind putting together stuff from several sources.

Specs:
2 or 3 pot, 10 gallon batches
OK with keggles, but like most of you, like shiny stuff too!
Fully electric (ideally)
RIMS or HERMS
Some automation, but fully automatic not essential
I've got good location on a solid countertop, so don't really need a stand
$2500 or less

I'm thinking along the lines of the "Brutus 20e" build I've seen here on HBT, but not as much DIY.

Brewmation makes what looks like a pretty nice electric controller with elements for $1399. They also make a fully automatic electric brewery... but $4K is a bit over budget.

Stout Tanks and Kettles makes some really nice looking stainless pots and fermenters.

So many options... so little time!! Help!
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
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If you're going to DIY, you can do it for under $2500, but that's a tall order for a fully assembled system. You might be able to draw out what you want, and go to a local guy to get it made but it is a specialty item and buying it ready-made will cost quite a bit.

I bought my HERMS from a member here. It's got two coolers (for the MLT and HLT) and one pump and a BK. The stand is just some shelving, and it's definitely not pretty. I had to add some minor things like a counterflow chiller and a new diptube for the BK. I still need to tweak a few things. I paid $1500 for it, and picked it up myself. I thought I got a good deal, because he definitely had that much invested in it. There are probably good deals to be had, but you'll really have to look hard. With the CFC and a few other fittings, I spent another $200 or so on it and it's still not exactly how I would want it. (I would want a bigger element in the HLT for one, etc)
 
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paradoc

paradoc

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If you're going to DIY, you can do it for under $2500, but that's a tall order for a fully assembled system.
Thanks for the early input. Just to clarify... When I say I don't want minimal "DIY", I mean I don't want to learn to TIG weld, or be building electric heating elements and controllers from parts. I know just enough about electricity to be dangerous... which is why I'm looking for a controller that has been built by someone who knows what they are doing. I'm totally fine with "some assembly required" in terms of drilling holes in pots or kegs, and putting in some elbow grease to make it happen and keep myself under budget.
 

sjlammer

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or be building electric heating elements and controllers from parts. I know just enough about electricity to be dangerous... which is why I'm looking for a controller that has been built by someone who knows what they are doing.
The problem is that there is nothing available that is reasonably priced.... which is precisely why we all built them.

If you want to get in below 2500, I personally think you will need to do a little DIY on the heating elements and controllers.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news...

The good news is that there are many resources on here to help you with your build, if you decide to go that route
 
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Yep, based on my experience with my single tier 3 kettle B10'ish system, you will be spending close to 2500 to do it right with ALOT of DIY. HERMS might be cheaper than RIMS but not by much I would imagine.

If I were you, I'd get a second part time job and save the extra 2K for a Brewmation since you require electric and aren't set up for DIY.

Actually, I'm thinking of building a 1bbl single tier based system so I can brew bigger batches. It will require a redesign of the stand but the rest is about the same. Should be fun.
 

DKershner

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If I were in your shoes, I would ask someone on here to DIY it for you and pay them in cash or homebrew. It sounds like you could install a heating element, just can't do the wiring. If this is correct, I will bet someone will help you.
 
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paradoc

paradoc

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He might be the only homebrewer in Jackson WY. That's a tourist town, likely the residents are mostly seasonal workers and rich dudes/movie stars with ranches.
Well... believe it or not we've got several home brewers and a recently launched home brew club here in Jackson... and none of us are "rich dudes/movie stars."

The more I look at it, the more I like the electric conversion kit from brewmation. Gives me a lot of flexibility. For not much more than a basic stand would cost... I'll have full electric HLT and BK with capability for adding pump for HERMS or RIMS. I may have a friend weld up a simple cart to put it on so I can easily maneuver it around my brewery/garage ("brewrage"? Is that a new word?).
 
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