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Old 02-13-2013, 05:38 PM   #1
captain_brew
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Default 1-2 bbl E-Herms Build suggestions

Hello Everyone.

My partner and I are opening up a Brewpub in a small city.
We currently have:
3) 55g Blichmann Kettles.

We've been debating the merits of going Electric and have (for the most part) decided using electricity is more efficient.

Not too long ago I built a 2.5g E-BIAB setup using one of P-J's wiring diagrams, I'm very comfortable following a schematic, just not coming up with one.

We have a 200A panel 3-phase power.

Looking to make an E-HERMS System. With the capabilities of heating both the HLT and BK simultaneously.

We are also looking at potentially growing into Blichmann's 1bbl kettle "extensions" which is basically a bottomless kettle that snaps onto the existing 55g kettles to give a gross capacity of 100g.

I've looked at Theelectricbrewery.com and sent Kal an email/scoured forum for answers to my issue. Unfortunately, he was unable to provide me with a solution.

I've also contacted brewmation.com and their panel seemed a little on the pricey side @ ~$5,000, where as Kals is at $2,200.

So if you could help a brewing brother out I'd greatly appreciate any suggestions/diagrams!

Requirements:
Must run off of a 200A panel.
12-18KW power in HLT and BK
3 PID for HLT, MLT, and BK


Thoughts? Suggestions?

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Old 02-13-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
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Building a commercial system will be scrutanized by the "powers that be" such as building inspectors, fire chief/safety inspector and insurance companies. Brewmation's commercial panels are UL listed which is a good thing, and don't seem too pricey IMHO. You seem like you may be underfunded. If you build something yourself, you have to make sure your local inspector will approve the panel and system before you build it or you could just be throwing cash down the drain.
Call them up and go speak to them and use them as a resource in your purchasing decisions. You could check out a company like Watlow who build commercial heating systems, but I would presume it would cost even more then a brewmation sytem.

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Old 02-16-2013, 03:09 PM   #3
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Read my thread.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/55-gallon-ae-kettle-system-267986/

I made a commercial 1.5 BBL system from scratch. I built my own controls, no problem with 'code' in my area.
How the above poster thinks you are 'underfunded' without looking at your financials I have no idea. But as I state in my tread, figure what you think it will cost. Then multiply that by 2 and you are still probably underestimating the actual cost.
I have successfully done the un-doable by building my own Nano from scratch. We can't make beer fast enough. People lining up to buy it. If you are determined you can achieve! We should be turning a profit by our second year....key word should. But if know anything about business, and I hope you do, this is faster then would be expected.

www.DrunkMonkeyBrewWerks.com


We have just installed a 3 BBL Brew House. Only used the 1.5 BBL for 8 months. Someone ask if I wish I would have started with a larger system. My response is "larger system....larger mistakes" So learning commercial brewing on a small scale (Nano) system is like going to the school of hard knocks but only paying 1/2 price for your education. Most the parts in the system get re purposed into the next step system anyway!

Don't listen to nay-Sayers! If I did all my life I would be working for the-man. I just did-it! And now I live the good life.
Again; read my thread it will take you on a journey of setting up a small brewery. Also, start reading probrewer.com 's forums.

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Old 02-17-2013, 02:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input everyone.

I was hoping to gain some knowledge from some of the EE's on this forum. Probrewer has been thoroughly scoured.

Funding is not an issue, but it IS important that we spend our money wisely. We've built out (and started purchasing equipment) a detailed equipment/remodel plan, darn near to the gaskets required. We have $7,500 put aside for our Electric system, but why spend $7,500 on something when you can get it for $2,000?

The brewmation controller for $4,900 is NOT UL Certified.

Like I stated in the first post, I can follow a schematic, I just don't know the requirements for the control panel. 24KW (4 x 6KW elements spread across 2 kettles) is going to draw 100A at 240V. 6KW / 240 = 25A. Each element is drawing 25A. So do I use a 30A contactor and SSR for each element or should I go up to a 50A? 30A makes sense to me. but if I was an expert I wouldn't be posting a question like this. I'd have drawn out a schematic and asked if it made sense to you guys!

Thanks for the input. HBT's forum is much more active than probrewer.

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Old 02-17-2013, 03:55 PM   #5
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Oversizing the SSRs to 40a or 50a will lower the heat produced and likely extend the life of the SSRs, so that's a good idea. If you are using the contactors with a safety to ensure that the elements are off, then 30a should be fine.

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Old 02-17-2013, 05:48 PM   #6
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Did you try contacting ebrewsupply? His customer service is top notch maybe he can come up with something for you.

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Old 02-18-2013, 02:28 AM   #7
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I would look into Stout Kettles. They have 1, 2, and 3 barrel breweries. I use one of their 40 gallon conicals for 1 barrel batches. Their HLT and BK are set up for electrical elements. For 1 barrel, two 5500 watt elements will be plenty in the HLT and BK. For 2 barrels, I would want three 5500 watt elements in HLT and BK. I agree with 40 amp SSRs. 30 amp contactor for each element for shut off will be fine.

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Old 02-18-2013, 01:01 PM   #8
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Captain_Brew;
I agree whole hearted! Read - learn - build. Not only will you save up front. You can trouble shoot later. I bought a pre-built control system and when I had issues with it working we were up $hit-creek. Built my own, now if I want to change anything I know what is going on inside. And I saved 1000.'s

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Old 02-18-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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Also;
KISS
Keep It Simple Stupid. There are a lot of bells-n-buzzers on these diagrams of homebrew setups that just ARE NOT needed. If you make the simplest panel you will be happy. If you are brewing and you feel it is lacking something, then add it. In the true production based industrial world, simple is better.

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Old 02-18-2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for keeping the conversation going. We have our kettle already, as well as our Fermenting Vessels.

Just looking for a diagram for our panel! We were originally going to use gas, but now want to take it electric.

Thanks!

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