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Old 06-10-2011, 06:04 PM   #1
frankstoneline
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Default 2 loop 120v build

Been lurking the electric section for a while, finally prepping to make the plunge, looking for input/thoughts on these ideas for a 2.5 vessel(more on that in a second) system.
I have 2 keggles, one with a false bottom/insulation for a Mash tun, one with a valve/pickup tube as a boil kettle. Until now, I've been mashing using a 4 gallon stock pot and my stove and boiling on a propane burner, but want to build a recirc/rims system.
Getting wordy, so heres a general layout:
BK: 2 120v elements, 1 2000w, 1 1500w, whirlpool pickup/return
Mash tun, recirc return
rims tube: 120v 2000w element
control. 2 loop controller, one loop has two outs for pump +1500w BK element, the other has single out controlled by PID/SSR for use with rims tube during mash, BK element #1 during boil.

This allows a couple things (I hope).
a) use in various locations (I rent living spaces)
b) elimination of propane
c) greater mash control
d) diversity of element usage. at any time i have a loop which will allow toggling of an element in both vessels (rims tube/boil kettle) as well as control of a pump.

have I missed anything here/suggestions/thoughts?

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Old 10-24-2012, 12:05 AM   #2
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I would love to know how this worked out for you. I also "rent living spaces", so using two 120v elements vs. the one 240v element is interesting as it would save the cost of buying 50ft of 10 gauge wire. I’m assuming that you are plugging into the same circuit for both of the 120v elements and was wondering if you are able to pull enough current?

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Old 10-24-2012, 05:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bstux
I would love to know how this worked out for you. I also "rent living spaces", so using two 120v elements vs. the one 240v element is interesting as it would save the cost of buying 50ft of 10 gauge wire. I’m assuming that you are plugging into the same circuit for both of the 120v elements and was wondering if you are able to pull enough current?
You wouldn't be able to pull enough current having both of those elements on one circuit.

There's challenges to doing this plan safely, it can be done, but you need gfci outlets on both circuits (or gfci inline breakers), and killing pretty much everything on the existing circuit in the room(s?) so you don't blow breaker.

I too am renting now and am curious about doing something similar but havwnt pulled the trigger yet
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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This is easy to solve. Home kitchens built since the 1970s are required to have two separate 20 Amp circuits. one circuio on one wall & the other on the opposite wall. You plug the two elements into the opposite walls.

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Old 10-25-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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This worked out quite well, though I used two separate circuits. In my case, one outlet in the kitchen, the other in an adjacent bedroom (though as mentioned above, opposite kitchen walls would work if you don't live in an old house).
I mounted two 1200w elements in a keggle and constructed a stainless RIMS tube with a single element. One loop has a switched outlet for a pump and a switched outlet for a full on/full off element in the kettle. The other loop is switched by a PID/SSR setup and gets swapped between the RIMS tube element (during mash) and then used in manual mode for the boil.

I've been brewing in a modified 2 vessel routine, brew day goes as follows:
Fill mash tun (5 gallon cooler) with ~3.25 gallons of water, recirc and heat to strike temp.
Dough in, set PID for desired mash temp and recirc for mash duration. At mash out, raise PID temp in 5 degree increments to reach ~170. I usually give it about 8 minutes per step, though YMMV.
Drain the majority of first runnings to a spare kettle which I begin to heat on the stove.
During the boil I calculate loss from absorbance of grain and determine how much sparge water I need which I put in the boil kettle and begin heating with the one on/off element.
Recirculate the sparge water in a loop through the mash tun. I usually give it 20 or 30 minutes.
Drain the sparge water after shutting off recirc, fire both kettle elements, pour in first runnings and you're off to boil.

Of note: this requires a two tier type setup, but with the small mash tun this is easily achieved with a cheap wire shelving unit. Also, I've brewed batches as big as 6 gallons on it without noticing too much increased heating time (~7.5 gallons preboil), though I have yet to try a 10 gallon batch.

I think i'll re-build the rig eventually employing 2 pumps and 2 kettles. I'd also like to insulate the kettle, as this might help with heating times, though really I havent had too much trouble with it.

Hope it helps, I havent been logging onto HBT as much lately but am more than willing to answer questions you might have and will check back.

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Old 10-25-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMGfan View Post
You wouldn't be able to pull enough current having both of those elements on one circuit.

There's challenges to doing this plan safely, it can be done, but you need gfci outlets on both circuits (or gfci inline breakers), and killing pretty much everything on the existing circuit in the room(s?) so you don't blow breaker.

I too am renting now and am curious about doing something similar but havwnt pulled the trigger yet
I havent noticed a need to kill other items in the room (routinely also run a laptop and other stuff while brewing) though I never used anything very significant.

One of the biggest selling points for me was the GFCI breakers, I got mine for about 11 bucks each, vs 120+ dollars for the 240V inline gfci units.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:01 PM   #7
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I run a very similar setup and it works well for 10-12g batches. I have an electric keggle with 120x1500 and 120x2000 elements. My control box plugs into 2 separate 20A circuits, one is basically dedicated, the other is shared with the fridge, so I only use a 1500W on that circuit. My PID controls both circuits simultaneously via 2 separate SSRs. I do a batch sparge with a 70qt cooler, so I only need one heated vessel. My keggle starts off as the HLT, first runnings go into a separate 8g pot, then the keggle becomes the boil kettle for second runnings. I pour the pot of first runnings into the kettle and I'm good to go.

I can optionally run HERMs with a copper immersion coil I made for the HLT. I usually run 2 march pumps when I do that - one to recirculate wort, one to recirculate the HLT water to keep it even.

I've probably done about 80 batches on this setup. My only complaint is with the 120V HWD elements. They accumulate some burned-on crud during normal batches that I need to clean off. If I don't clean them well, I get a burned flavor. I also have to replace them at least a couple times a year and when they burn out during a batch I get a smoky burnt flavor. I have ruined a few batches by having elements burn out or by missing a spot when cleaning the elements.

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:29 AM   #8
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A couple of low density 120V elements will solve your burnt crud problem. And if you can't find them, two 6000 Watt 240V elements run at 120V will do.

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by thargrav View Post
A couple of low density 120V elements will solve your burnt crud problem. And if you can't find them, two 6000 Watt 240V elements run at 120V will do.
I suspect it would if I could find what I need, but I have yet to find either a 120Vx2000W ULWD or LWD element or a 240Vx8000W element. My current 3500W is adequate for my 10-12 gal batches, but barely, so I really don't want to drop another 500 watts.

If anyone knows of any 120x2000 or 240x8000 elements, I'd be very interested.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:41 AM   #10
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The highest wattage screw-in element you'll find is 6000 watts at 240V. 8000 Watt & above are commercial elements and they are flange mounted.

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