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Old 06-13-2012, 03:19 AM   #1
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Default 220v outlet in the garage...

what can I do with it?

I'm a beginning brewer, only done 3, 2.5gal batches so far (doing 2 more this week, plus my first 5gal batch in the next 2 weeks probably).

I am not looking to build something like Kal's (zomg that man's hardware makes me drool!), but I was just wondering if there was some kind of basic, barebones setup that I could run off a single 220v outlet, that would allow me to brew 5+gal batches in one go.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 06-13-2012, 03:46 AM   #2
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For right now, build a 220 heat stick and heat your strike water and boil your wort with it.

No propane. Less residual heat. No noise.
But make sure it is GFCI protected. Your life (or someone else's) depends on it!
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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But make sure it is GFCI protected. Your life (or someone else's) depends on it!
This 220 line actually runs from a separate electrical panel box from the main house box. It has its own individual breaker. I think it was added later when the basement was finished, as the only other outlet on this panel runs all the outlets in the finished part of the basement.

I may look into building a very basic heat element/heat stick, and build a stand to start brewing. Its located about 8 feet from the garage door, and there's a hose faucet about another 8 feet further in, so I've got venting and a water source right there... Plus I keep all my fermenting beer in the basement, so no having to go up or down stairs...
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:10 PM   #4
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This 220 line actually runs from a separate electrical panel box from the main house box. It has its own individual breaker. I think it was added later when the basement was finished, as the only other outlet on this panel runs all the outlets in the finished part of the basement.

I may look into building a very basic heat element/heat stick, and build a stand to start brewing. Its located about 8 feet from the garage door, and there's a hose faucet about another 8 feet further in, so I've got venting and a water source right there... Plus I keep all my fermenting beer in the basement, so no having to go up or down stairs...
Having its own breaker does NOT mean it is GFCI protected. You could buy a replacement breaker w/GFCI (usually expensive), or use a GFCI protected power cord, or what many people do is install a Home Depot Spa Panel: http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Breakers-Distribution-Load-Centers-Disconnects/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xjzZbm0h/R-100686230/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051 which includes the GFCI breaker.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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as Copyright mentioned, a breaker is a circuit breaker. it protects your house, not you. GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interruption protects people (of which we assume you and your loved ones are).

in other words, only one will help prevent you/others from getting dead. as such, it should not be considered optional.

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Old 06-13-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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Oh yeah, I had planned on using a GFCI protected power cord. Sorry, wasn't trying to suggest that the breaker was GFCI protecting the line. Although now I look back it does kind of read that way.

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Old 06-14-2012, 12:16 AM   #7
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Looks like the breaker its run off of is a 50A breaker.

I'm mostly thinking for the future here, but wondering if it would be better to plan on building an all-electric build in the storage room where the panel already is, and just plan good venting to the exterior, or plan on putting the all-electric build in the garage, where the end of the 220/240 line is, with outlet in place (could either have spa panel installed either place, or use a GFCI power cord in garage).

(I'm probably just going to pick up a propane burner and larger pot for now, and start saving up my pennies for a future electric build).

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Old 06-14-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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Alright, I think I know what I want to do.

I'm going to plan on installing a 50A spa panel in the garage, on the wall above where the current 240v outlet is located. (After turning off electricity) I will then disconnect the line from the outlet, and rewire it to the spa panel.

After that, what I would LIKE to do, is to wire 1, 2, or possibly even 3 240v outlets to the spa panel, so that I can run 1, 2, or 3 heater elements at a time from it.

Is that possible? Can I simply modify the spa panel box to have several outlets into the front/side/bottom, that I can then plug 240v plugs into?

Also, the spa panel that I'm looking at is this one:
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100686230/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=gfi+panel&storeId=10051

I noticed that it says "maximum 240w". Does that mean that I couldn't run something like a 4,500w water heater element off of it?

Lastly, my plans for this would be to just wire the water heater elements with a normal 240v extension cord. Then, I can just plug them into the 240v outlets on the spa panel, and they will be GFCI protected.

Does this sound feasible? If so, I might start collecting the parts for this project, and skip doing a propane burner altogether.

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Old 06-14-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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Oh, yeah, I'd also like to hook up some kind of very basic PID controller to control how much heat I'm putting into each pot, so that I can mash and boil in the same pot.

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Old 06-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #10
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Alright, I think I know what I want to do.

I'm going to plan on installing a 50A spa panel in the garage, on the wall above where the current 240v outlet is located. (After turning off electricity) I will then disconnect the line from the outlet, and rewire it to the spa panel.
If you do it that way, please keep in mind that you will have to have the work inspected which also means that you will most probably have to get a permit to do the work. This is the case whenever the building wiring is modified.

Quote:
After that, what I would LIKE to do, is to wire 1, 2, or possibly even 3 240v outlets to the spa panel, so that I can run 1, 2, or 3 heater elements at a time from it.

Is that possible? Can I simply modify the spa panel box to have several outlets into the front/side/bottom, that I can then plug 240v plugs into?
I believe that you will have problems providing appropriate circuit breakers within the Spa Panel to protect each of the circuits. There is only enough room within the panel for 2 - 240V GFCI breakers. One of them being 50A. How are you planning on protecting & limiting the current to your brewery? You need to include circuit breakers within your brewery control panel.

Quote:
Also, the spa panel that I'm looking at is this one:
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100686230/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=gfi+panel&storeId=10051

I noticed that it says "maximum 240w". Does that mean that I couldn't run something like a 4,500w water heater element off of it?
The designation 240W is a misprint. The panel has a 50A 240V breaker in it therfore it is a 12,000W panel as is. Their 60A GFCI Panel uses the same case as well.

Quote:
Lastly, my plans for this would be to just wire the water heater elements with a normal 240v extension cord. Then, I can just plug them into the 240v outlets on the spa panel, and they will be GFCI protected.

Does this sound feasible? If so, I might start collecting the parts for this project, and skip doing a propane burner altogether.
Doing your electric brewery that way will not allow you to have any control over your process.

Please think this through and consider making a controller for your brewery.
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