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Thinking about automation. Where to start...?

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I think it's time to add some automation to my brew day I still want some hands-on), but I don't have a clue where to start.  I look at pictures of other homebrewers' systems, and people just assume everyone knows how these things work.  Are there any good websites, etc... to get me pointed in the right direction to learn about things like RIMS vs HERMS, temp controllers, Love switches, PIDS, low vs high pressure propane, and so forth?

Thanks in advance.

klickitat jim:
Great thread G ! I'll be watching this. I'm enjoying the Isaac Newton method still but I am RIMS/HERMS curious


--- Quote from: klickitat jim on July 17, 2013, 08:31:58 PM ---Great thread G ! I'll be watching this. I'm enjoying the Isaac Newton method still but I am RIMS/HERMS curious

--- End quote ---

I'm some gravity/some pump.  I found a bit of info at  My big problem is figuring out what parts are needed and what they do.

klickitat jim:
Would be cool to see a forum member explain it start to finish

If you ask 10 people you will get 10 answers.  I was looking for my ultimate system last year and looked at the main commercially available systems (more beer, brew magic, blichmann) as well as some electrical systems at the NHC in Seattle.  All are very nice and each has its own uniqueness.  I also considered buying a frame and fitting it myself as I already had multiple kettles.

I ended up buying the Tower of Power system and Top Tier by Blichmann.  The reason I went with this one is that I really liked the ability to program mashes with the Tower of Power.  I do a lot of step mashes and by using the program that you can download on your computer, you can program an endless array of multiple step mashes, initiate one, walk away (figuratively) and let it do its stuff.  You can do this at the unit itself, but like the other systems you have to be ready to enter each step manually along the mash time line.  Single infusion mashes are extremely easy to do.  I have found that it holds mash temperatures extremely well.  The tower of power can also be retrofitted to many existing systems.

That is how I made my decision and I am very happy with it.  All the other systems that I looked at were really nice, but this one did it for me.


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