Even with all the documentation I was kind of scared, so I used his approach and documentation to build a fermentation temp control box. Finished the box portion this past weekend, and everything worked on first startup. For me this was proof-of-concept and gave me the cofidence to move on to starting the control box for a full up electric brew system.
I agree with everything you said CRBrewHound, my goal is just to let the not so experienced builder know that there are many ways to build a system that will give you all of the benifits of going all electric. You don't have to shoot for the moon
. If you have the money and the time by all means go for it. Like you say, Kal's system will be brewing long after most of us are dead.
But, if like me, you don't have a lot of money and even less time and you are intrigued by going all electric, try not to be intimidated. There are lots of other resources out there that range from Kal's ideal system to the hoakiest crap you've ever seen. I'd like to think mine falls somewhere in the middle. The trade-off is that I will be modifying my system regularly until I'm happy with it. But, in the mean time, I'll be brewing beer...gallons and gallons of tasty beer! MWAAHAAHAAHA!
You are correct sir, that is is true to a 'T', I guess I should mention that I am an engineer (not electrical, hense my fear). However, having the curse of an engineers mind, I like to tinker. Part of the reason that I am going with Kals is that i have a functional brewery arlready. So I will be taking my time and building this over the next year or two. I am taking mine further then his even. I will be incorporating a larger power supply to the system, so that I can do a second mash while boiling. Incorporating 2 pH DIN's (probably on the cheaper side for aquarium use), and hopefully if I can find the stuff cheap enough control for a built in in-line oxygen system. Plus the eventual add on of a full control valve box for control of electircal valves on all outlets. Plus I am going to wire in an iPad since the brewery software I use runs on my iPhone currently. Even going to mount indoor/outdoor speakers so that i can watch movies on the brewery
There will also be other small modifications. My control box will be mounted to the stand itself so that it will be portable with the system (stand is going to be close to the Brutus 10, but enclosed with stainless so that I can store stuff in it. and is going to have a stainless basin under the boil kettle and the output valves to catch boil overs and drips.
But back to the point. I think there is room for all and as you pointed out. You can start somewhere in the beginning and move too the fully automated. Might be nice if you have it. To put up some diagraming of your system LabMechanic, so that people who want to gain the benefits of all electric, can do so and have something else to follow other then Kal's Caddy build. There are many benefits to electric, main one being able to brew indoors. Which for a lazy fat bastard like me is the ticket.