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FAQ: Can I use <some other part> instead?

 
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10137
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject: FAQ: Can I use <some other part> instead? Reply with quote


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Every day I get emails that basically ask the same question:

"Can I use <some other part> instead? What would need to change on your setup?"

Most people that email are primarily concerned with saving money which is fine. They've often found a part that (at least on the surface) appears to provide the same functionality for less cost. They usually ask if it'll work and how my design needs to be changed (if at all) to integrate these different parts.

Two years of work went into designing, testing, and documenting the one setup described on this website. On any given day there are hundreds of people building their own so I simply can't help with specific redesigns or to confirm part suitablity as I just don't have the time required to do it correctly. Sorry. I'm also not overly comfortable recommending parts that I've possibly never used myself as specifications do not tell you anything about reliability, stability, or accuracy.

It's important to remember that subtle changes can have large ripple effects. Changing one part can lead to hours of redesign and thinking, provide reduced functionality, all to save what may only be $5-10 at the end of the day.

The best way to understand why I designed my brewery the way I did and used the parts I did is to read the corresponding 'Building your Brewery' articles on the main site. I provide detailed information on the design choices I made and often compare my choice to the other options available.

Remember as well that (within reason) cost was the last factor I considered. Functionality, ease of use, safety, convenience, serviceability, and durability were placed before cost. In the end only you can prioritize these factors. I can't do this for you. That said, I firmly believe that a properly designed system using quality components will far outlast one made with cheap components and ends up costing less in the long run.

Of course, feel free to design and build your system any way you like and share your ideas with others. After all, it *is* your system! I simply cannot do the design work for you.

Feel free to post on the forum as well and share your thoughts and ask questions, there are others who may be able to assist. Sharing ideas is good.

Good luck with the builds!

Kal


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Last edited by kal on Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:35 pm; edited 15 times in total
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Grandequeso



Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 36
Location: Jacksonville, Fl


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I could save money going with some cheaper PID's I purchased off of ebay. After waiting two weeks for them to come in the mail. They sent me the wrong ones than what they had listed, sent instructions in chinese, and the thermocouples wouldn't register anything unless I put a torch in front of them. Total junk. I ended up buying the Auber PIDs as suggested on this site. They showed up intwo days and work perfectly, plus they came with a well written instruction manual which included diagrams for a couple different homebrew set ups.
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busted knuckle



Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 29
Location: Denver, CO


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the saying....something like, "Buy the best and only cry once." Or, "Only the rich can afford to buy cheap things."
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10137
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup - that's a great expression. I use it in a couple of spots in my articles. I'm a firm believer in only paying for something once!

Using cheap sub-par parts is only one issue I'm trying to address here however. Assuming the part substitution they're asking about is a sound one (let's say I'm familiar with it and I know it should work), I simply don't have time to redesign or confirm for people. Lots of the emails I get are not only "will this other part work?" but also "how do I use/install/wire/configure it?". There may be all sorts of ripple effects that require careful thought and design. This all takes time, and with 100's of people building, this is not time I have considering that I've already documented a solution that I feel is 100% sound with parts that (for the most part) are readily available.

When they ask, I don't think people realize that one changed part could easily result in a few hours of work on my part. I just don't have to time to do this, especially when really the only best case result is to put $5-10 in the pockets of the person building.

So to make a long story short and be blunt about it: It's not worth me spending an hour or two of my time if the only difference is to save someone $5-10. I'd rather be working on documenting more stuff on the site! Wink

Kal

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Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0


Last edited by kal on Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:04 pm; edited 8 times in total
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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

busted knuckle wrote:
What's the saying....something like, "Buy the best and only cry once."


Nice. Not heard that one before! Sound advice!

I read on Kal's pages that the brewery would cost around $5000, but I budgeted a bit less since I already had a kettle, quite a few fittings and not building the ventilation. Once I'd committed to that, it was a pleasant relief to go shopping, buying all these cool bits without worrying too much about the price. I doubt the electric brewery can be built reliably on a shoestring, and I'm not sure that building incrementally would have been less expensive in the long run, so I just accepted that it would cost, and put that concern behind me. From that point onwards, it's all fun!

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dutch101st



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 75



PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am one of those "hybrid builders"- gas and electric, forced to do only 120v. With the help of other designs and what I have already done, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase Kal's proven parts. I did learn that already once the hard way- got an enclosure that was too small. What resulted was $65 that didnt need to be spent (hope to recoupe some on Ebay), alot of hard work in cutting the enclosure, and the need to purchase some more tools that I simply didnt need.

But now I am on the right track and wow...I sound like a Tony Robbins convert here in this post, don't I?!?! Jeez!

All kidding aside, thanks for all the hard work blazing the trail, Kal!!
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busted knuckle



Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 29
Location: Denver, CO


PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kal,

Thanks for all the work you put in. Mug
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Fejj



Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 213
Location: North Shore, MA


PostLink    Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kal,

I contacted a local Electric Supply shop that carries Green Lee Products looking for punches. They suggested

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018LC8WI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0018LC8WI&linkCode=as2&tag=theelectricbrewery-20

for the conduit punch on the BK as opposed to the 77U. Do you think they will do the same thing or is it just a bad idea?
Cheers,
Jeff
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10137
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jeff,

I'm not sure what you mean by "77U". If the size of the hole is the same and it's GreenLee (good products), I'm sure it'll work just as well.

Kal

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Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
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Fejj



Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 213
Location: North Shore, MA


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The punch you suggest is part of their 77U punch series:) I wasnt sure if the orientation of the punches teeth(for lack of a better word)would effect that finish of the hole etc. Obviously punching a bad hole in a 500$ kettle is a problem for me:)
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10137
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know either Jeff. I link to the products that work well for me. You may try other products of course. For complete details, please read the first post of this thread, carefully. (What you're asking is a bit ironic, given the purpose of this thread.) Wink

Kal

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Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
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