I got through a few batches of beer with two fully-functioning Tower of Power controllers. You don’t need two, but it is nice to set the temp on the HLT and walk away. For legal reasons, I would not suggest actually walking away but you get the idea.
The system really is awesome and I enjoy brewing with it. The flowmeter is great and so are the simple controls. After a few batches to get a feel for how it worked, it was easy to set the temp to maintain the target, and it worked especially well this past weekend when the temperature in the garage was near freezing.
As far as the overall system goes, I still would like to tweak the Autosparge to recirculate the wort and sparge water via an adjustable length tube. In other words, get these liquids into the mash tun without splashing and introducing oxygen at the surface. Probably a nit-picky detail, but what do you think?
But recently an issue surfaced with the HLT controller: When I would touch the connector for the temperature sensor where it plugged into the back of the unit, the temperature readout would fluctuate wildly — by tens and hundred degrees. When it would stabilize, it was unclear if the reading was correct and I found that, in fact, it wasn’t.
As a troubleshooting measure, I plugged that temperature sensor into my mash controller where it’s reading was rock-solid and accurate. Applying pressure to the connector when plugged in to the mash controller resulted in no change whatsoever on the readout.
So the HLT controller has once again traveled back to Indiana for refurbishing. It wasn’t so bad without it this past weekend but I did forget to watch the HLT when it was heating up for the mash out and overshot by a lot. That would not have happened with the controller.
Sounds like I should get it back next week. Perfect time to start working on National Homebrew Competition recipes.