DIY Controller Kit

I am filling my cart with help from @SDeurope. I was wondering about the DIY controller kit. Is that all that I need to run the rig perfectly or do you recommend me an additional controller? I have been looking at Swede's distillery controls which I think looks very nice and into Rainier's system as well.

I have also been thinking about the electrical heaters. I understand that most distillers uses Camco heaters, but that heater is made for USA and Canada. I think we have some European rules about electrical stuffs to consider. So if any of you European distillers want to share some ideas about what I should buy I would be grateful.


  • The DIY kits were designed with the handyman in mind.

    I don't know that i would recommend them in a commercial environment. It's not that there is anything wrong with them but when you have insurance companies and inspectors involved then everything needs to be upgraded.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • If you're heading electrical, I would go either the auber controller for the simple reason that you can control multiple elements in parallel.

  • Thanks! @Punkin: I have enough knowledge to put the DIY together. I am a handywoman you know ;) But for the heaters and all other electricity I have to find a craftsman.

    @Unsensibel: I read the thread about the auber controller and understand that it got fine reviews. Much cheaper than Swede's controllers as well.

  • What are the EX regulations for commercial use in your area?

    As a minimum I would expect that you would need to put the controller in a suitably rated enclosure.

  • @Unsensibel said: If you're heading electrical, I would go either the auber controller for the simple reason that you can control multiple elements in parallel.

    In most cases it's enough to control just one element and have the others on simple on/off switches. No need to over-complicate things if a very simple solution can do.

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  • @moonshine true, however when we're talking about ULWD elements, I'd much rather run 5 @ 20% than one at full power. Should reduce the chance of burning by a chunk. Also, the natural convection should be bigger in the boiler resulting in shorter time to boil.

    @MotherOfDragon DIY will be always cheaper. Just make sure when going that route that you won't run into local ordinances

  • You can do a lot with switches. Either by putting a switch on an element that will only be used on startup. Or by wiring some on swiches that put them into a network, series / parallel which changes the current drawn by them.

    Showing my age, but remember decade resistance boxes? You can configure a set of elements to give specific set power levels.

    You may not actually need full control over all the elements.

  • Thanks guys! I have to look into the Europen regulations. I knew we have a CE mark but ATEX is all new to me. Even the representative from the fire department wasn't sure about the rules.

    @Myles: I remember those boxes well. I am a teacher in science and mathematics, but I admit that electronics is not my favorite subject. I'll hand it over to someone else I think.

    I'm going for the 500 liter boiler with 5 heaters. I have no experience of running a boiler yet, but it seems to me that it may be a good idea to have control of all of them. I wonder if it exist some software for this?

    Here is a site for ATEX boxes and controls.

  • @Mother: ATEX is not required in all EU countries. For example a distiller in Austria does not need that certification.

    StillDragon Europe - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Europe & the surrounding area

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