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For those of you that have gone before us and built your Electric Brewery, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently next time? An extra temperature sensor or pump connection in the control panel? A larger brew kettle than the HLT or Mash Tun? It would be great to get the NZ experience.

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I went down the path of a hermes coil in my HLT initially,  way to much thermal mass having to heat the HLT and the mash, just completed a mini rims tube for the mash and much happier with that. can have water heating to mash out temp in the HLT and be holding the constant mash temp through the rims tube. 

plan plan plan, dont buy a few bits then a few more as the scope changes as you come across better ideas, so get everything in one hit then get on with the build. I kept coming up with new ideas and buying parts adhoc, now have a box of parts that I will never use, k type thermocouples, chinese lights and fittings for the controller etc etc money wasted in hind sight. just as well the wife doesn't come into the shed to often. 

really pay attention to how to keep the wet stuff and the electrons away from each other and making sure things are earthed... no near misses or anything but i have a deep aversion to electrocution and have tried a few attempts at element enclosures using readily available NZ materials only to find that they don't quite seal and then they wind up in the same box of spare parts and the money I though I was saving is wasted as I have to get the good quality triclover element enclosures anyway

I have learnt so much along the way, 

hole saws do a shit job of pretty much everything.. dont be tempted to use them unless you want more stuff in your box of spare parts

Hi Peter, are you saying you wouldn't buy lights and switches from China? I plan yo get my temp probes from the US but planned to get lights and switches from aliexpress.

Good tip about the planning.

Not really, its just I seem to have bought alot more than I really needed to get to the finished product, I had one faulty relay but chinese stuff is the way to go, just work out your design before you start buying

ALAS thats why I went the HEX route I saw the writing on the wall straight away, I had a plan and stuck to it....

Step bits also suck, you get the hole to about 8mm and realise each step is taking exponentially longer and 20/32mm is not going to happen. Chassis punch all the way and just any old HSS drill bit fire the pilot. Definitely do need water to keep it cool too.

I agree with planning ahead. The wiring isn't too hard to get in place provided you test it as you go. Having to pull it apart to make changes is a real pain.

I didn't put anything in to wire in pumps, just left space but adding in the extra holes in the panel is not going to be easy because the metal shards are going to go in all the wrong places unless I disassemble which isn't easy.

Bay engineering have chassis punches at pretty much half price at present

http://www.bayengineerssupplies.co.nz/products/engineering-consumab...

I got the 32 and the 25mm from these guys

I went with Saeco Wilson http://www.wilsonbros.co.nz/products/fabrication-tools/

Did you use the 25mm punch for your 15mm ball valves etc? I found the 20mm hole a little small so had to file each one out a bit. Was worried the 25mm hole would be too big.

your supplier is cheaper, the pots I have already had fittings for ball valves, mine punches were for making element enclosures, got to to a weldless bulk head for an element on one pot yet 

Will they punch through a ss keg?

rated to 1.5mm on s

As to electrical enclosures I must admit to kiwi solution and used glad sandwitch boxes from suppermarket, glands from electrical outlet. The lids clip on and have a great seal easy access no little scews, and only a couple of dollars. They do a nice little round one for my element covers. Max

Wow i just started planning a electric brewery and this thread is very helpful for me. Thank you for this guys!

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