Tell me about Electric!

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by J A, May 13, 2018.

  1. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the process of setting up a less hillbilly brewhouse using a couple of nice 15-gallon pots that have been welded for tri-clamp as well as bristling with weldless fittings. My goal is to use the HLT (with nice stainless HERMS coil) as a boil kettle as well, transferring from one to the other via one pump with a 2-way ball valve. I'll be transferring sparge water to an unused brew pot and gravity sparging or pumping for sparge and using a lauter grant. Either way it'll be better than the unwieldy way I've been doing things up to now. And I'll have mash capacity for a double batch so I won't have to double up the brew day to get 10-gallons
    In the process of building out, I decided to utilize the tri-clamp fitting on the MLT/BK as originally used, with a 5500w heating element. That's where the fun starts. I've been working backward and building out a relatively simple control box so that I can use to set temp in the HLT for recirc/mashing and also regulate the boil once I get the wort sparged and collected. I've had to rethink the whole thing step by step as I realized that to do C, I really had to do B and to do that, A was pretty much a necessity, etc...all the way back to the breaker box (30 amp 240v GFCI breakers are NOT cheap, it turns out). I think I finally stopped spending money, though I'm pretty sure there's at least one more electronic component that I do need.
    All that to say this: Who's running electric and how simple or elaborate is your system/controller? I could use some input and inspiration before I start finally putting things together.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I can tell you everything you need to know, Ive been working on my system for years and finally have it down, the main thing to do is not buy the cheapest part, buy the best first and never have to rebuy because it fails

    WP_20180507_14_30_35_Pro.jpg
     
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  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    top view
     

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  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Nice...
    I'm hoping to keep it as simple as possible. I think I've gotten started with some pretty good parts, though I'll have to see how the Ebay PID holds up. If it's funky, I have a SYL2362 in another control box that I could swap out.
    I'll PM you and give you more details about what I'm trying to do and how I'm trying to go about it. Thanks!
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  6. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    I'm not trying to tell you to brew my way but if you have a pump you could cut your system down to only two vessels and recirculate the entire time thus you will have the ability to eliminate sparging I just did a 5.29% German helles yesterday and my numbers hit perfectly here is a picture of my setup keep in mind I'm running a kettle rims set up but you can do the same thing with a Herms.
     

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  7. Medarius

    Medarius Active Member

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    Just curious, has anyone ever hooked up a meter to see how many KwH these systems use? I know 220 systems can be very efficient, since its basically an extra large Bunn coffee pot , i think it would be interesting to know electric bill cost per brew day, compared to gas. (I like math)
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I don't have the exact specs but I'm told its about 1/3rd the cost of propane, one big advantage is the pulse technology also where your not on all the time and you don't boil on 100% power after boiling starts so the amps drop from 23 to 18 during the boil depending on your % setting
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    if you look at the link for the easy boil it has specs and a video
     
  10. Medarius

    Medarius Active Member

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    True, but specs rarely match real world. They say my car should get 43mpg..but best i have ever gotten is 36 :D
     
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  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    In order to full volume sparge I'd have pump from the boil kettle into the mash tun and pump wort out of the mash tun and into the boil kettle. Or set up for draining into the BK from the MT and pump wort upriver into the MT.
    Your pic made me realize how I can avoid moving my outlet hose during the process, though. I have enough stuff to set up the tee and a ball valve on each vessel's inlet.
     
  12. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Here's a simple box I made a long time ago, if you use the easyboil you don't need the dial, you will need a 115v coil contact relay for protection

    WP_20140516_001.jpg
     
  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    this is how you brew with 2 vessels, course you need to use full water

     
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  14. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    I was just giving you an option by posting a pic of my system, everyone has a comfortable process, I don't sparge at all, I recirculate the entire time, just my process, hope that it helps give you ideas to pursue. Happy brewing.
     
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  15. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know if anyone has addressed this or not. But a GFI is not required by The National Electric code if the circuit is dedicated to a single purpose. I know this for a fact because a designed and built a system for a pro. I was told by many good intentioned people that it was needed. But if the system is properly grounded it’s a unnecessary precaution. The cost is crazy and is better suited to hot tubs and such, not to stainless steel, grounded brew kettles.
     
  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I went the "better safe than sorry" route. I happened on to an open box, returned, non-stock 30 amp 220 GFCI at Lowes that I got for half price. Yes, still expensive at that, but given the peace of mind it offers, I was happy to do it. It's in a dedicated sub panel/switch box in the brew area and easily accessible. I can use it as a main power switch.
     
  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Hot damn. Here I am just hoping to use Natural Gas some day.
     
  18. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    By "full volume sparge" I mean the same thing. It seems, technically, that we're lautering during the entire mash if we're recurculating and if we're starting with the full volume of liquor flowing through the mash, I think of it as a sparge as well. If you're recirc'ing with one pump and 2 vessels, how are you getting the liquor/wort from each to the other during recirc...or do you have a mash tun that will hold the full liquor volume plus the grist?
     
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  19. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Exactly...2 pumps.
     
  20. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    That looks like essentially what I'm doing but with different parts. I assume the switches are Main, Pump, Heat on/off and Heat control? Exactly what does the contact relay protect against? I found that I have a 30 amp 220v double pole switch that I can use to cut power to both legs of the heating coil as an heat on-off. And I have full, dedicated GFCI protection at the breaker box.
    The way I've got the box laid out so far, I'll tie into a leg for the pump switch/plug, use that power for the PID, take one leg direct to the element, run the other leg through the PID relay and then through the rheostat regulator and to the element, putting the double pole manual switch last in line on both legs directly before the element. I'll have to fuse the PID and the Pump but I think everything will work. I'll take a pic of everything when I get stuff installed in the box and before I wire it up.
     

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