Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > 240v or 120v

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-02-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
ronan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 35
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default 240v or 120v

Ok, I presently have 240v service in my garage which is where presently brew. My intent for now is build a electric HLT and maybe a year or two out perhaps an electric kettle. But the question at hand is 240v or 120v and the reason I ask is this. A 30A GFCI breaker which is in my opinion is 100% required here is nearly 80$. If I go 120v its just a cheap GCFI outlet and most of the part are pretty cheap. I also have a PID which I may or may not use with the HLT but its rated for 110-240v so no concern there. So the question is 240v going to be that much better and worth the additional upfront cost? What sort of current draw can one expect from a 2000 to 3000 w element?

Thanks

-Robert

__________________
ronan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-02-2012, 09:49 PM   #2
tre9er
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,372
Liked 232 Times on 196 Posts
Likes Given: 35

Default

I used a 1650w element in my 8g HLT for a while and it was OK. It took a good while to heat strike/sparge, but not longer than the mash for sparge and for strike I'd just mill my grains, clean stuff, etc. while it heated. Really, the HLT is easy IMO. I watch the thermometer, old school I guess you could say, since I don't have RIMS/HERMS. I think you could totally get away with 120 on the HLT and then shoot for a 240 BK down the road.

__________________

_________________________________
Skal!
Den Faaborg Bryggeri

Quote:
Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
tre9er is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-02-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
DeafSmith
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DeafSmith's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,447
Liked 33 Times on 31 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

I'd definitely recommend using 240 volt, especially since you already have it available. With a 240 volt, 30 amp outlet, you can use a 5500 watt element drawing 23 amps; with 120 volts only a 1500watt element drawing 12.5 amps, or maybe, if you have a 20 amp outlet, a 2000 watt element drawing 16.7 amps. So with 240 volts, you can heat your water/wort 2.5 to 3.67 times faster - that makes a big difference on brew day.

A lot of people use spa disconnect panels for the GFCI because they are pretty cheap (as of a couple of years ago you could buy a 50 amp spa panel at Home Depot for $49 - don't know what they are charging now). That works well for people like me who plug into a dryer outlet and don't want the GFCI while using the dryer. If you have a dedicated outlet for brewing where you can always leave the GFCI breaker in place, you'd probably be better off to go ahead and buy the breaker, because with a spa panel you'll have additional expenses in wiring and possibly an additional pair of plugs depending on how you wire it.

EDIT: I didn't catch the part where you only want an electric HLT for now - you could probably get away with 120 if you don't mind the additional heating time, but I'd definitely go with 240 for a boil kettle.

__________________
DeafSmith is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-02-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
ronan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 35
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Based on the feedback thus far thinking better to start off with 240 v then have to rebuild my HLT to later to support it. Thanks for the suggestion on the SPA disconnect. This is what I found near me at local big box store. I think it will work what do you think DeafSmith?

http://www.menards.com/main/electric...096-c-6435.htm

__________________
ronan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-02-2012, 11:29 PM   #5
P-J
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 3,231
Liked 244 Times on 196 Posts
Likes Given: 430

Default

A SPA panel is a good solution. The one from Meynards 'appears' to be ok. This one from HomeDepot is the one I frequently recommend and is often pictured in this forum.

P-J

__________________
P-J is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-03-2012, 12:17 AM   #6
DeafSmith
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DeafSmith's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,447
Liked 33 Times on 31 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronan View Post
Based on the feedback thus far thinking better to start off with 240 v then have to rebuild my HLT to later to support it. Thanks for the suggestion on the SPA disconnect. This is what I found near me at local big box store. I think it will work what do you think DeafSmith?

http://www.menards.com/main/electric...096-c-6435.htm
I use the one from Home Depot - don't know anything about other brands. I'd follow P-J's recommendations as I'm pretty sure he knows more about this than I do.
__________________
DeafSmith is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-03-2012, 01:36 AM   #7
ronan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 35
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

So I picked up the one from Menards but may return it if the consensus is the version from Home Depot is better and tried-n-true. I did notice my wires are only 12g so the most I can run is 20a even though the Spa Disco is rated for 50a. I suppose it's not an issue since the breaker in the box is 20a, right? Probably looking at a 2500 to 3000w element does this sound correct for the circuit size? I will probably run a heavier wire at some point when I decide to do brew pot.

__________________
ronan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-03-2012, 03:04 AM   #8
thargrav
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 821
Liked 38 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

A 3000 watt, 240V element only draws 12.5 amps.

__________________
thargrav is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-03-2012, 03:10 AM   #9
porcupine73
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Fort Meade
Posts: 811
Liked 45 Times on 41 Posts
Likes Given: 513

Default

I'd go 240VAC for a couple reasons, it's just kind of bad ass having something like that in a home application on 240VAC. Yes the current will be a lot less, well I guess 1/2 basically. Trying to push more than 2000 watts through a 20A GFCI outlet may be pushing it, though for short durations it should take it alright.

__________________
porcupine73 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-03-2012, 05:29 AM   #10
maltbarleyhops
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: st charles mo, mo
Posts: 304
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

im doing the same as you as far as the build goes.
240v to start. i tested my 4500w element today at 110v with 5 gallons of water (although it will be used for 220v, just wanted to see it "run") after 2 hours, running full on, did not reach boiling temps (186f).

when i heat the water in the HLT, i bring it to a boil at first, just to rid it of Chlorines and such. i then let it "rest" to and maintain it at strike/sparge temps. and i usually start with 10-12 gallons in the HLT, 220v is a necessity

__________________

"Brew Free or Die!"

maltbarleyhops is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
240V 30A HLT and BK with 120V 20A RIMS running BCS-460 Tom_FL Electric Brewing 13 10-14-2013 04:56 PM
Switch element from 240v to 120v brewsme Electric Brewing 5 07-21-2012 04:29 AM
Switching elements between 120V and 240V?? kevin509 Electric Brewing 6 03-11-2012 10:43 PM
Was planning on 120V, now thinking 240V... kerklein2 Electric Brewing 22 02-13-2012 06:09 AM
Strange issue with 240v legs. 120v on both, no 240v Brewmoor Electric Brewing 5 12-03-2010 06:15 PM