My experience with the Auber Brew Buddy 50-amp kit

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May 1, 2023
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Note: hope this sort of post is okay. I'm new here and couldn't find any rules about appropriate topics.

After deciding on a full HERMS upgrade, I bought the Auber Instruments Brew Buddy II for HERMS Control Panel Kit (240V 50A 12000W) about a month ago. I quickly realized I needed to either smarten-up or find help but didn't find a lot of on-line resources. Auber themselves only provide a wiring diagram and a fast-motion video of one of their pros putting together the 30-amp version. (Took me a bit to realize that little nugget). So I thought I'd share my experience here and open myself up for anyone else who might have some questions about this specific DIY kit.


Assembling the kit is not too difficult with the right tools. Take your time, think everything through twice and be prepared to read up a bit on how electricity actually works. The sweet spot of this kit is someone who doesn't want to spend the extra $500 to have a pre-built kit, but who has a decent experience with electrical work. However, I feel that that person probably knows enough to design their own control panel, sourcing only the parts and features they actually need. The quality of components is great, but my particular kit shipped with a few extra parts it shouldn't have and was missing the engraved panel tag for the wort pump on/off.

Reason I bought the kit

I wanted 50 amps. I'd recently installed a 50 amp car charger in my garage and decided that I could imagine all sorts of scenarios in my HERMS build where I'd want to fire both burners at once. I read a lot on-line and knew I could build my own panel much more cheaply. I don't need a lot of bells and whistles. My experience with electrical work went no further than prior installs of a houshold light fixtures and ceiling fans. So I read and found many online guides for 30 amp builds. I thought I was smart enough to adapt what I'd seen there to 50 amps but, in the end, I just didn't have the confidence I'd done it right. Was I using the right contactors? Why were they putting a fuze in front of some components and not others? Water and electricity can be problematic and I just ended up wanting the security of a design someone else had worked through. Even though it had alarms and buzzers I'll never use.

Actual assembly

I had a lot of anxiety during assembly as I'd never done any electronics work remotely this complicated. Without step-by-step instructions, I decided to watch the example video over and over again at 25% speed. That was actually rather effective, though the video was for the Brew Buddy I 30 amp version. But it gave me an order to go in and I was able to follow the wiring diagrams well enough.

There were a couple of odd short-hands in the wiring diagrams that I was able to figure out by thinking it through long enough and a couple of other non-obvious things, (like how the switch components stack), but I got through it by going slowly.

I had a lot of anxiety around wire lengths. I had no idea how much spare they gave. As it turns out, for the big, fat, low-gague wires (6 and 10 AWG) they gave plenty. I came close to using up all of the white and black 22 AWG wires but I could've cheaply bought more of that. Still, making those first cuts, without really knowing how much slack you should give sucked a bit.

I can't stress how much using the right tool helps. I started the job with cheap wire strippers and crimpers. I ended it with semi-auto strippers and ratcheting crimpers. So much less stress. I also bought myself a new soldering iron and a clip/clamp kit, although I only had to solder 4 things. I ended up with so many bad crimps from my non-ratcheting crimpers that I ended up using all of the provided 22-guage fork crimps and more. Fortunately, my new crimpers came with some and I got through it.
Tip: I created a Google docs spreadsheet of every single wire connection and marked as I went whether I had connected it. It's easy to forget what you've done when you have 110 wires to connect. This also made it easy for me to go back and test continuity of everything at the end with my multimeter. I had a very good idea that everything would work and it did on the first try.


It's not obvious, but the pre-cut-out enclosure box is not pre-drilled for the screw-holes you'll need for all of the sockets (power and XLR). I did a pretty poor job of drilling these holes and ended up with a fairly amateurish looking bottom side of my control box.

Also on the gotcha side (for me, at least) was not understanding some of the power socket options. I had bought a lot of stuff prior to receiving the kit and I ended up with the wrong plug adapter for my pumps. Read specs carefully and understand all the different NEMA variations.

Finished product

It looks beautiful and I'm very proud of myself for getting through it. I'm one brew in with it and everything I care about works. I don't know if the alarms and buzzers work because I don't / won't use them.

Closing thoughts

This product isn't for everyone. I feel that most people who have the going-in knowledge to build this without stress are the same people who can design a control panel that only does what they want it to and can save some good cash. But the product is undeniably good (so far) and I now know enough about electronics that I could probably design the right control panel for me if I needed to.

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