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Our brewing setup compared to others
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 4015
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Amber Ale, New Zealand IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, American Lager, Weizen, Irish Stout

Working on: Cream Ale, Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Our brewing setup compared to others Reply with quote


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I've been emailing today with someone who had questions on how my electric brewing setup compares to others. I gave my views/opinions and recommended that he post on the forum to get opinions from others as well. (Don't take my word for it)

He asked me to post our conversion here to get the ball rolling to pick up opinions from anyone who wants to be part of the discussion:

Quote:
-----Original Message-----
From: Ken
Sent: October-14-12 9:56 AM
To: kal@theelectricbrewery.com
Subject: comparing to others

Kal,

First off I want to say thank you. Reading through your website I realized you represent the true meaning of the home brewing hobby. I have been brewing for about 2 years now. I started all-grain about a year ago. I learn something with every batch. Which is one reason I enjoy home brewing. My question comes from my own research. (please understand this is NOT meant as any sort of criticism) I noticed your build was a few years ago, there have been many products come on the market since then. I do not have the skill set to build electrical equipment. So I would have to buy a completed control box. I was looking at Blichmann products (tower of power, top tier stand, boil pots and burners, theminator, and such) it seems for the cost of just your control box I could purchase an entire setup from Blichmann) I realize the main difference would be electric vs gas. I was hoping you could tell me if my thinking is wrong, or what I may be missing. I love brewing and I certainly enjoyed your demo video. You have what seems like a great setup. Thanks again for you efforts. I look forward to your response.

Ken


Quote:
-----Original Message-----
From: Kal [mailto:kal@theelectricbrewery.com]
Sent: October-14-12 10:22 AM
To: 'Ken'
Subject: RE: comparing to others

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the compliments.

Blichmann does indeed have their tower of power available now. You're looking at about $1100-1200 for a single kettle control unit (mash only). My control panel controls all 3 kettles, features alarming, a timer, and so on. So I would say that my control panel at about $2150 prebuilt or $1500 in kit form is actually less expensive and gives you many more features plus the fact that it's 100% electric. They're not really comparable products at all. It's not a fair comparison. The tower of power is a simple RIMS heater, meant for a gas setup where you boil and heat sparge water separately. 1 kettle control. My control panel is the heart of a 3-kettle setup.

Re: The top tier stand. It's meant for gravity feeding from the top kettle to the bottom (called 3-tier). I use two pumps so that all 3 kettles are at the same level (called single tier) and not 6' off the ground making them a pain to use. 3-tier is only done because it's less expensive. That is the only benefit. I chose single tier as it's considerably easier to use. Budget was not my primary concern.

With brewing setups it's important that all the equipment be carefully chosen to work together and match the brewing process you intend to use. This is what I've done. It may not be for everyone but many have followed in my footsteps and like the control and setup they've been able to put together more than anything else available on the market today (which is why they built what I designed). Don't take my word for it however - post on my forum and ask. Feel free to compare against other products like the Blichmann tower of power. I have no issues with that.

In 2008 when I wanted a full featured brewing setup I looked at all the commercial designs available and was disappointed that nothing existed that met all of my criteria that I could simply buy and be done with. That annoyed me. I wanted to spend $5-10K and be done with. I'm more interested in brewing than 'tinkering' or designing equipment. Fast forward to today and there's still nothing out there that meets my criteria ready-built including the Blichmann products (IMHO). If I had to do it all over again I'd do the exact same thing. I do still love their kettles however. Their tower of power is severely limited for what I want to do (and I'm not a fan of RIMS heating), and I don't like their therminator or any plate chillers for that matter for the difficulty in cleaning. I'm currently installing my brewery setup in our newly finished basement/brewing room and I'm re-using absolutely everything I had before because it just works right - for me.

Also take a look at my "Brew day step by step" guide. Take a look at how carefully integrated the control panel is in the process. As you step through the steps, ask yourself how you'd do these things with an all-Blichmann setup. You'll quickly find out that many of things you cannot. That may be fine for you of course. Everyone has different needs/expectations.

So long story short: Yes, you can buy a complete Blichmann setup for less than my setup. But they're not comparable in my mind. You can also make beer with a $100 setup.

Kal
www.TheElectricBrewery.com a step by step guide to building your own home brewery


Quote:
-----Original Message-----
From: Ken
Sent: October-14-12 10:31 AM
To: Kal
Subject: Re: comparing to others

Hi Kal,
Wow, thanks for the quick response. You make excellent points. I get why I am actually comparing "apples to oranges " I was going through your brew day step by step when your e-mail came through. I will still do more research. As you have said many differences. I noticed in the videos most of the alarms are off. Are they temperature alarms or level alarms? How does this compare to a SABCO system? Thanks again. I didn't want to post on the forum, because I didn't want to sound like one of those naysayers that just throw out criticisms because I can. I think from what I have seen you make and excellent product, just don't know if it is for me.

Cheers
Ken


Quote:
-----Original Message-----
From: Kal [mailto:kal@theelectricbrewery.com]
Sent: October-14-12 10:50 AM
To: 'Ken'
Subject: RE: comparing to others

Hi Ken,

Most of the alarms are temperature alarms. There are timer alarms as well. See: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-part-2?page=12

Quote:

Each of the PID controllers has two alarms built in and can raise an alarm if the temperature goes above one value or a below another. We use one alarm on/off selector switch per PID so that we can set the buzzer to sound if desired. There are many ways that alarms can be used, some temperature based, some time based. The ones we use the most are:

The hot liquor has reached strike temperature (alarm sent from the Hot Liquor Tank PID).
The mash is complete (alarm sent from the countdown timer).
The hot liquor has reached sparge temperature (alarm sent from the Hot Liquor Tank PID).
The wort is about to boil (alarm sent from the Boil Kettle PID).
The boil is complete (alarm sent from the countdown timer).

Re: Sabco. I looked that their setup as well (as well as the MoreBeer setup too). Sabco uses 15 gallon kegs which severely limits the amount of beer you can make. More than 7-8 gallons just isn't easy. Sabco is gas powered RIMS and uses quirky custom programmed "patent pending" software that you can't get your hands on. It controls the whole brewing process. You have to use their too process since it's controlled for you (which I didn't like). I also didn't like that if the controller died or had something go wrong with it and the company was no longer around, I had a $5000 paperweight.
More information on in my FAQ here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/FAQ

Quote:

Does your control panel use any special or proprietary parts?

No. We purposely use standard off the shelf parts to ensure long term serviceability.

We want our setup to last us for the rest of our life. We're more interested in the craft/art of brewing than tinkering with equipment. The intent was to spend a year or so designing something that could brew anything and then use it forever. One of our requirements was to make sure that if in one or two years (or even 10-20 years) we needed to replace a part that it be easy to do and possible. We did not want to depend on one specific company to do the work or that they still be in business. The parts (relays, PIDs, switches, etc.) used in our control panel are all extremely common parts. They've existed for dozens of years and they will continue to exist because of the tens of thousands of (non-brewery related) industrial installations around the world running today that rely on them. We're not married to one particular part or manufacturer.

Say, for example, a PID dies in 20 years. We can buy any similar PID from any manufacturer and drop it in as the functionality will be the same. There are hundreds of choices. It does not necessarily have to the same manufacturer at all. The hole sizes are all standard understood manufacturing sizes (1/16 DIN for PIDs, 23mm for switches/lights, etc.) because the industry that uses these parts demands easy and quick serviceability. Pull the old one out, put the new one in.

This long term serviceability was an issue with many of the commercial brewing setups we considered and is one of the main reasons why we decided to design our own. Some commercially available system use patent pending parts and programming to control the entire brewing process that by law nobody else is allowed to reproduce. What happens if 20 years down the road the setup fails and the manufacturer is no longer in business? The expensive system is now useless.

This website provides anyone building our brewing setup a complete list of parts, assembly instructions, and even wiring diagrams. Readers may download our book and effectively have an offline comprehensive service and maintenance manual for life. No other brewing setup comes with this level of detail.

At one point we considered using a flat panel ruggedized PC with I/O capture cards using specialized control software that we programmed ourselves. We had the same concerns: What if the software isn't kept up to date and in 20 years doesn't work on whatever version of Microsoft Windows or other operating system people are running then? Even if software backups are kept, what if hardware dies? Drivers for newer hardware may not work with an older operating system. What if the specialized hardware is no longer available? Think of the computer you were running 20 years ago. Had we designed a brewing setup back then with I/O capture cards it would have been done with ISA or VLB technology cards and/or serial/parallel port technology. None of these exist on computers today so the system would likely have to be redesigned using new hardware.

Give this a read too: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25382

>> I didn't want to post on the forum, because I didn't want to sound like one of those naysayers that just throw out criticisms because I can.

But they're not criticisms. You have valid questions and having others explain the differences can be very useful. If you don't want to post that's fine of course. Spend some more time reading about my setup and see if it meets your expectations. There are differences between all setups. In order to understand what might work best for you need to spend some time understanding the brewing process so that you can see limitations on setups. Just like cars: A $15K Honda Civic can take you from A to B just as well as a $100K Porsche. Someone who's never seen a car before wouldn't understand why one is 6 times the price.

Many people are put off by the initial price (sticker shock) on the cost to build some of the items I list but then as they do more research they realize that for the same price as (say) a Sabco setup you can basically have a setup that is 10 times more flexible, not limiting, and serviceable over the long run.

Kal
www.TheElectricBrewery.com a step by step guide to building your own home brewery


Quote:
-----Original Message-----
From: Ken
Sent: October-14-12 10:56 AM
To: Kal
Subject: Re: comparing to others

Kal,
Thanks again, of course you have now made me rethink my whole idea. Can you send these e-mail to the forum? Or is there a way that I could?
Ken


Anyone else have any thoughts/opinions? What made you build the setup I document here? What made you choose something different?

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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riverbrew



Joined: 14 Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Location: junction city, oregon


PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: signed up now I here Reply with quote

Thank Kal for moving this to the forum. Just want to say. I am ready to move to a more sophisticated system. From what I have seen this electric brewing is starting to sound better all the time. I wonder if I can handle all the electrical for a DIY. I want to do that, but worried about getting in over my head. I did buy Kal's book. I'm starting to think that I could do this. Any words of wisdom, cautions, DON"T DO THATS?
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kellzey



Joined: 04 Aug 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Orlando, FL


PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DO IT! It's a rewarding experience. It's not that challenging. Time, patience, and good tools make all the difference. I spent 6 months building mine in my spare time.
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riverbrew



Joined: 14 Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Location: junction city, oregon


PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kellzey, did you buy the kit or just buy parts as needed?
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kellzey



Joined: 04 Aug 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Orlando, FL


PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought that parts on my own. That was part of the fun! Smile

But Kal's kit is even better.

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rcrabb22



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 291
Location: Illinois


PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought the Kal/Spike Innovation DIY Control Panel kit and was so glad I did. The only extra items I had to buy was paint primer, paint and some silicon sealant. I did buy some extra of the yellow crimp connectors as I has some screw ups and a wiring path redesign midstream so I had used up what I was provided.

I also own a BCS-460 logic controller that I had intended to use as the brains of my control panel but after using it to control an electric HERMS mash system I decided to go a different direction. The reasons?

1) The temperature probe readings (it supports 4) would fluctuate +/- 3F even after trying to adjust the frequency at which the probes were read. I tried replacing these probes with after market probes from a different supplier and they were worse. It was disconcerting to see my temp readings for my mash tun bounce from 151 to 153 and then down to 150 then back up to 152 in the space of 10 seconds. Not the precision I was looking for in an electric system.

2) The web interface was pretty cool but the laptop I was using was a vintage model and didn't have the CPU horse power to support switching between pages to control the BCS in a timely manner. It would sometimes take upwards of 6 or 7 seconds to switch to a different page. I felt I needed to upgrade to a more recent vintage laptop and I decided my money could be best spent elsewhere.

3) PIDs included with the BCS-460 did not have a "learn" mode so I attempted to make parameter changes based on suggestions from their forum. It didn't go so well. I really didn't want to take the time to study in detail how each parameter changed PID behavior. I did a cursory crash course in PID logic but it just wasn't enough for my pea-brain to figure out. Cross

I do miss being able to program a sequence of tasks with mouse click being the trigger to move from 1 task to the next. I also has created an elapsed timer to show the running time of a brew day from start to finish. Handy tool to measure impact for trying different things to reduce brew day efforts.

All in all I am happy with my decision to build and use the brewery pretty much as Kal designed it.


Last edited by rcrabb22 on Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:03 pm; edited 3 times in total
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kellzey



Joined: 04 Aug 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Orlando, FL


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To summarize pretty much the best benefit... it's flexibility.

You can scale up or down. (30A or 50A)
You aren't stuck with any particular process or brewing method
You can reliably and predictably replicate a recipe and get the same efficiency and end-result.
You can attain HIGH efficiencies
You can use kettles, converted kegs, or whatever vessel you want.
You can opt to leave out certain features of the panel, and still function and produce great results (i.e., leave out the meters), etc.

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Castermmt



Joined: 03 Jan 2011
Posts: 741
Location: Lowell, In

Drinking: Steelhead Porter, Alt-Toids, Hefty-Weizen, Terry's Kolsch, African Amber, Pumpkin Ale, Double Dog Ale

Working on: Janet's Brown Ale, Terry's Kolsch, Pilsner


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the others, the build was one of the most rewarding parts for me. Every time some other brewer see's my system all they can say is; "Wow" over and over again "wow" ,while I explain the setup to them. At the local brew club meetings they say things like "That's Gary, the guy with the kick ass brewery".

Building this system using what I call "shelf items" that can be had anytime and almost anywhere as Kal points out, makes getting spares if needed a no brainer.

I tell people who look at the investment I made in my system that; being all stainless and easy to both use and replace parts if needed make it a "Family heirloom" that can be passed on for generations. You should never need to upgrade again.

As Kal has said before, he wanted a safe and repeatable system that once setup, can control the process, so he could concentrate on making great beers. (or words to that effect)Laughing

Good luck with your research and I hope whatever you decide its what meets your needs.

My two cents, Castermmt Mug

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huaco



Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1266
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DO IT!
Buy the Kit and challenge yourself to learn something new! This is what I did. When I started this project, the most I had ever done with electricity was changing a light bulb! Kal has done SUCH A GOOD JOB of laying it all out, step-by-step and wire-by-wire... Take your time and check, check, and recheck your wiring and you should be good!
It is INCREDIBLY rewarding to brew on this controlled brewery that you built yourself! It is also VERY hard for people to believe I built the entire thing! Had even my own brother tell me that if he hadn't seen all my progress updates on Facebook, he would find it hard to believe.
Also, with such a FINE level of control in this system, it is VERY easy to be consistent in your brews from batch to batch. My first all-gain brew to do by myself (outside of a home brewers club big-brew event) was on my new brewery. That beer turned out to be an Award-Winning beer!
Trust all the guys here on the forum about this... It is well worth it!
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huaco



Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1266
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing that says a lot to me about Kal's character is that he deliberately decided against manufacturing and selling a proprietary system. He had enough foresight and courtesy for his customers to make the entire system "off-the-shelf". That should help you in your decision as well.
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skelley



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 207
Location: brookfield, wisconsin


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the others. I have no electrical background and bought the kit and built it myself (of course with help from everyone on the forum, Kal and Co.). The personal satisfaction with building it in addition to the knowledge gained in doing so were invaluable. In addition the system works great and the beers have been unbelievable to this point. Go for it, you won't regret it.
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sincere01



Joined: 16 Jun 2012
Posts: 162
Location: Gresham OR


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently on my fourth all-grain system build. Went from Three-tier gas to a better three-tier gas. then on to an even better two-tier gas system and now to an electric brewery.

Somewhere else in the forum someone mentioned something about being at a big-brew event and seeing guys fighting with their systems and getting mad and looking like they're not even having fun and enjoying the hobby. I'm not sure I ever got to that point but in each system build even as things progressed and got better I would still end up fighting with one thing or another. And I was struggling with consistency, one batch I'd hit temps perfect and get 78% efficiency and the next I'd be down to 68%. Not that I care that much as grain is super cheap and I pretty much never brew the same thing twice, but I do plan for a beer to come out a certain way and when it doesn't it's sort of disappointing.

I got tired of fighting and I decided to build a copy of the electric brewery and am super stoked I did. The build was fun, frustrating at times, but I just did my first batch and it went flawlessly. I was actually expecting some sort of problem but everything worked out with no problems.

I love the look of Mike's work and it would be pretty cool to have the CP arrive ready to go. But personally I would suggest ordering the kit. It's so much fun to build, the steps are all there, and if you run into anything down the road you'll have the experience of putting it together to fall back on in troubleshooting what is going on.

I sourced all the parts myself, if I could go back I would by the kit from Kal and Mike.

You can make really good beer with $100 in equipment (I have friends that do, and their beer is really good.) But there are some things that are limited with that type of equipment, it just depends on what you're looking for.

In short:

If you want an advanced system, solid consistency, ease of use, long term investment, easy serviceability and a total wow factor, you can't beat the electric brewery.
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huaco



Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1266
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sincere01 wrote:
In short:

If you want an advanced system, solid consistency, ease of use, long term investment, easy serviceability and a total wow factor, you can't beat the electric brewery.


That is an AWESOME plug line! It wraps up so many great things about these breweries in ONE sentence!
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perogi



Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 697
Location: NH

Drinking: Perogi's Pale Ale, Edwort's Apfelwein, Black Pumpkin (Shipyard Pumpkin and Guinness Layered)

Working on: Rebuilding my brewery during a major renovation


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sincere01 wrote:

If you want an advanced system, solid consistency, ease of use, long term investment, easy serviceability and a total wow factor, you can't beat the electric brewery.


+1!

Really cannot express my take on the electric brewery better than that.
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foomench



Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 467
Location: Longmont, CO


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, if you want to try to compare The Electric Brewery to something else that isn't an apples-to-oranges comparison, try this:
http://www.hammacher.com/Product/12157
I wouldn't say it is a perfect comparison, but maybe Granny Smith vs. Rome.

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huaco



Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1266
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HOLY SMOKES! Is this thing just turn-key?

I appreciate the level of Hands-On I have in my brewery. Some guys rib me for "turning it on and coming back 5 hours later with wort in the fermenter"... Those guys haven't taken the time to ask me questions either...

The Irony of this is that on my screen at least, they advertise a Mr. Beer Kit on the bottom "May we suggest" area! LOL.
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foomench



Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 467
Location: Longmont, CO


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to pitch the hops in Very Happy
Quote:
During the boil, the system reminds users to pitch hops according to the recipe entered.

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Ben58



Joined: 14 Aug 2011
Posts: 334
Location: Hamilton, Ontario


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

foomench wrote:
BTW, if you want to try to compare The Electric Brewery to something else that isn't an apples-to-oranges comparison, try this:
http://www.hammacher.com/Product/12157
I wouldn't say it is a perfect comparison, but maybe Granny Smith vs. Rome.


Shocked Are they nuts? Re-jig what we built and for a little bit more money and automated...no thanks!
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wubears71



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 267
Location: Webster Groves, MO

Drinking: Keg 1- Hefenweizen, Keg 2- Vanilla Scotch Porter, Keg 3-Munich Helles

Working on: Stinky IPA


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't get the Tri-clover setup on the Blichmann Fermenator for $45k. That is BS!!!!
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randbrewer1010



Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Posts: 109



PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben58 wrote:
foomench wrote:
BTW, if you want to try to compare The Electric Brewery to something else that isn't an apples-to-oranges comparison, try this:
http://www.hammacher.com/Product/12157
I wouldn't say it is a perfect comparison, but maybe Granny Smith vs. Rome.


Shocked Are they nuts? Re-jig what we built and for a little bit more money and automated...no thanks!
I could automate my brewery for less money than that, counting my labor! (Granted not everyone could, but jeeeez!). I think full Sabco systems are like 8K or less (https://brewmagic.com/brew-magic-v350ms-system). Seriously, it doesn't even look as nice as the Sabco system. I feel badly for anyone that paid for that system.

How hard is it to set up a fermentation system if you have that much scratch burning a hole in your pocket? Also who in the heck can ferment right next to their boil kettle? This whole system gave me a case of "Someone is wrong on the Internet".

Anyhow, more to this threads point I will just tell a story. I am a few beers in, so who knows what will come out here:

I have been a home brewer for many years. I like to think I started on a typical path. My wife bought me an extract kit from my LHBS. It was a stout and it came out pretty decent. I was just dabbling with beer at the time. I kept brewing, but never really got the results I wanted. I kept learning more and learned about fermentation. This whole idea that I could create beer fascinated me and the whole process was incredibly rewarding to me. So I accumulated equipment. A chiller here, a 12G boil kettle there. An outside burner a bit later. A mash tun in a cooler. I started controlling my fermentation (by only brewing in cooler weather). I started learning my my system a bit and found I could make excellent, if tricky to reproduce, beer. It was a lot of work, but it was fun and the end result made it worth the effort. But, like any hobby I knew there would be hobbyists who carried it to a nearly professional, or perhaps even beyond professional, level. I am a software developer, information security hacker and general geek and have seen enough, "Why would someone even do that projects?" to KNOW that I could find something special in the home brewing community.

So off and on for a year I would research brewing systems, listened to podcasts from top tier home brewers (Jamil+Tasty), etc. I accumulated a decent library of home brewing books (mosher, palmer, zanisheff, etc. etc.). I would fall asleep thinking about beer and brewing some nights. I felt I had the philosophy of this craft down. I started thinking, "How hard can it be to brew in an air conditioned room with control over my brewing environment?". And then I found the electric brewery site. I was amazed, I knew pretty quickly this is what my brewery would be like. I have one other hobby where I learned in a similar fashion that you get what you pay for, and quality equipment is like your right hand when you are in deep.

You can buy inexpensive stuff and by knowing your craft and spending the time you can make that gear do whatever you want (I can write software on a netbook, I can do award winning photography on our Canon powershot, etc. etc.). So if you have the means and know you will really enjoy it and you have thought it through, all that is left is the "how" of improving your brewery equipment to something you can dial in effortlessly compared to most home brewing systems and make it sing. At this point I was no longer thinking in terms of small improvements to the system, but how I could do this without killing myself on research and get what I wanted.

On one end you have a fully, or nearly fully automated system like a Sabco, and on the other end you have a system like many home brewers use where you are tediously dialing in strike water and mash temperatures to make the wort/beer do what you want. And then I found the electric brewery, and felt it was the perfect balance between automation and leaving the home brewery in control. Not only that, but Kal went the extra mile and essentially open sourced his process and poured his guts out. He found partners that would build gear to his specs. I knew right away with my busy life/schedule that I would never have time to build the system myself. I love building stuff, but I had enough projects going in my garage.

So I ponied up the cash for the control panel and the other components offered on this site. When it arrived I think I was honestly more excited than when I got a car I had wanted for a long time. It felt like a super car of home brewing. I set it up, and shored up the final weak points of my home brewery with a fermentation chamber and a kegging system. In just one brew day I had the system doing what I wanted without a lot of effort. (My first batched turned out awesome, BTW). Knowing that me and this system have years of fun and beer down the road makes me incredibly pleased. I feel like, until you have been there and done that a lot of this story won't make sense, but for most of the members of this forum that are happily brewing on their electric brewery systems there is, basically, no turning back.

So there you go. I typed a lot of words. I am going to bed now Smile
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