Looks like nobody responded to your post... Mighty clear looking ESB. Looks good.
Certainly you can get as automated as you want to. There are lots of ways to brew good beer. I have a 16 gallon Bayou Classic kettle and normally maximize my system and brew as much as possible. I can normally get around 8 gallons or so of finished beer, depending on gravity... (Normally I'm brewing beer with an OG of approximately 1.050 or so). Corny kegs only fit 5 gallons in them, but I normally bottle several bottles and put at least a couple gallons of beer in full, cleaned & sanitized gallon containers in the extra fridge in the garage. Beer always seems to go quick and this allows me to top off the keg and not have to brew quite so often.
If you want to use 3-vessel, nobody is going to make fun of you for it. Same with the automated controls. The equipment looks really nice, and no doubt can brew great beer... I'm guessing, you may be an engineer, or work for a manufacturing company or something where you work with equipment like that at work? But one can brew just as good of beer and a simpler process and less clean up with BIAB. So if you want to go automated or go simple, either way - more power to you. Beer is good!
Back in 2014 I almost went with a 10-gallon brew kettle and am SO GLAD I changed my order to the larger 16 gallon size. A slightly larger kettle could get me the 10 gallons, but...ah heck - then I'd need to get additional beer storage. The wife has been complaining about me taking over the extra garage fridge with bottles of past batches... So I'm good where we are now...
I like to brew but its lots of work and takes me most of a weekend day, so maximizing my system and brewing max amount possible works for me. It means I brew about 10 times a year or so.
Looks like you have same basic Speidel fermenter and fermentation chamber (freezer / temp controller) setup as I do. I have 2 of the Speidel fermenters that fit almost 9 gallons, plus a smaller one that holds about 3 gallons for when I'm doing testing / splitting a batch to perhaps try different finishing hops, etc. Yours might be a little more advanced than mine because of the pressure relief valve setup you have. I was interested in doing the spunding valve thing, probably keeping oxidization low when brewing NE IPA styles, but was concerned the plastic Speidel fermenter could rupture... Probably could have a low pressure setting. You must have a way to put gas pressure on that setup. Interesting...
Thanks for sharing the pictures. It would be interesting to hear what you do when kegging and bottling out of the Speidel fermenter.
If you see the response and have the time, respond and let me know. Thanks again, Scott