The 50A 2 element control panel will provide power to two elements, one for the HLT and one for the Boil. The 50A 4 element control panel will provide power to two elements simultaneously, with the option to power one element in the HLT and one element in the Boil, or two elements in either the HLT or the Boil. The 4 element panel is typically used in a 1bbl to 1.5bbl application.
BCS, short for Brewery Control System, is a browser controlled brewing setup. It allows for programming of routines and custom processes. It can be controlled via any browser, on tablet, smart phone, or computer. Alternatively, you can control your brewing process using a PID setup, which will have physical PIDs on your control panel. These PIDs will allow you to set temperatures, and will control your elements to keep the measured temperature as close as possible to the desired temperature. The main advantage to using BCS is the ability to monitor and control the brew process from anywhere you have access to the network the BCS controller is set up on, usually a home network. The creation of user defined brew processes is also a major advantage of BCS. BCS will also more easily scale to larger setups, allowing you to grow without necessarily needing a new brewery controller. PID earns points for simplicity and ease of use. It is a good option for those who don’t want to deal with the technical side of things, or want a more hands on, physical approach. It allows you to glance at your control panel to view temperatures, and adjust them on the fly with no other hardware necessary. PID is also a cheaper option.
A RIMS setup has a heating element in a tube through which the wort is continually pumped, while HERMS uses a pump to circulate the wort in a coil through the HLT kettle to regulate its temperature. This means that the wort will not make direct contact with a heating element in a HERMS setup, so it is less susceptible to scorching or unwanted caramelization.
Functionally there is no difference. Some claim that the ripple elements heat faster, due to a higher surface area contacting the liquid, but the benefit will be fairly small. The straight element will be easier to clean, when compared to the ripple.
Higher wattage elements allow you to heat a larger volume of water, faster, but will require more amperage in your control panel to push out those higher wattages. This is especially true when you want to power multiple elements at once.
Yes, a BCS 482 controller generally supports four probes for the brew process, and an additional four probes to monitor fermentation temperatures. Because our default design is to include XLR ports for the four temperature sensors, we use have used ethernet expansion port that will connect to a dedicated expansion panel that will allow you to plug in the fermentation sensors in past builds.
Our LEDs and switches have the benefit of being used in our own builds, so we have extensively tested them. In addition, we have a 90 day warranty on our LEDs and switches, in case of manufacturing errors. The prompt turn around and arrival in your hands within 2-4 days is also a critical difference.
The Heat sink for SSR is our smallest heat sink, which you mount the SSR directly to, and then mount to DIN rail. The Small and Large Heat sinks are mounted to the enclosure itself. Small Heat sinks are normally used for our 300mm by 300mm enclosures, and our Large Heat sinks are normally used for our 400mm by 400mm and 600mm by 500mm enclosures. They are differentiated by their ability to disperse heat. The Heat sink for SSR is too small to be of use for anything other than a single SSR. The Small and Large Heat sinks, because they are mounted to the enclosure, will disperse heat much more effectively. They differ in the size, with the Small Heat sink generally being big enough to disperse the heat from one SSR mounted on it, and the Large Heat sink being big enough to disperse the heat from two to four SSRs mounted on it. Generally speaking, the more elements you are controlling, the larger heat sink you want.
The DIY kit is a basic kit that allows you to customize your build. It is designed for those who want to be more freeform, but want the reliability of our parts in a kit that gives them the backbone and essentials of what you will need for your control panel. Our Complete kits are for those who want to build their enclosures in the same mold as us here at Electric Brewing Supply. With these kits, along with our Complete Wiring Guide, you will have the same hardware we use when we create our complete assembled control panels. The Complete kits even come with the enclosure.
We don’t sell kettles, and aren’t likely to ever directly sell kettles. We have worked with many companies in the brewing world, and we can recommend excellent businesses to buy quality kettles from if you would like guidance.