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Old 11-02-2010, 07:40 PM   #1
Quaffer
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Default A 3-Vessel 2-Tier 1-Pump E-RIMS for 30A

I have been greatly inspired by all the electric brewery builds on HBT. I am now in the planning process for my own version, based on what I have as well as what I want it to do. I'm putting up my plans here to solicit comments and suggestions before I commit to it.

The following system diagram shows roughly what I have in mind.

I have been gravity fly sparging in my previous setup so I plan on doing that here too. That will save one pump from the system. Not shown in the diagram is a grant I plan to put below the MLT, using a float switch to make the pump move the wort to the BK, a gallon or so at the time.

If I were to fire all the heater elements at once they would draw over 58A and pop the 30A circuit breaker. I plan to use the elements both at 240V and 120V to mitigate the current needs. I have selected a 5500W ULD for each the MLT and the BK, and a 3000W LD incoloy element for the RIMS. The following table shows what the current draw is for each type of element at 240V and 120V. The 30A margin is what is left of the current budget when firing each element. I used this as a guide to chose a 3000W RIMS element. 3000W will allow me to do step mashes in 12-13 minutes from 122F to 154F with 8 gallon or so of water in the MLT.


Each element can be set to Off, Low, or High power by a 3-position selector switch. This table shows what I anticipate needing at each step of the brewing process.



One of the master E-brewery builders here said that it would be a design error to allow the operator to turn switches such that it blows the circuit breaker, no matter how stupid it seems. I agree, and to that end I came up with the following switch logic to ensure that the current draw will never exceed 30A on either leg (L1 or L2).



The switch logic prioritizes first the RIMS, then the HLT, and last the BK. I have not yet designed the actual circuit to make this happen, but it should'nt be a big problem coming up with a circuit that matches the above requirements.

So, what do you all think? Does it makes sense? Have I overlooked something?

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Old 11-02-2010, 08:04 PM   #2
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Looks familiar.



As far as step mashing, you'll find you're far more limited by the recirculation flow rate than the heating element wattage...

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Old 11-02-2010, 09:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
Looks familiar.
Well, I'll be.... It's great that you already have the same basic configuration.

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As far as step mashing, you'll find you're far more limited by the recirculation flow rate than the heating element wattage...
I see. That makes sense. I don't know how much flow to expect during recirculation. I wonder which will flow better, a perforated false bottom or a copper manifold with hacksaw cuts? I have been using a copper manifold so far, but of course at far less flows for sparging.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:40 PM   #4
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I don't know how much flow to expect during recirculation. I wonder which will flow better, a perforated false bottom or a copper manifold with hacksaw cuts? I have been using a copper manifold so far, but of course at far less flows for sparging.
Depends on a number of factors but surface area is king. A false bottom will have the highest flow rate (greatest surface area).

I recirculate at ~1 gal/min using a hexagonal shaped CPVC manifold. The grain bed tends to compact above 1 gal/min, especially when mashing huskless grains like wheat or rye.
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Doggfather Brewery

Planned: Lambic, American IPA
Fermenting: 6 gals of 1.090 stout (Belgian) & 6 gals of 1.090 stout (English)
Tapped: Berliner Weisse, Black English IPA, German Pils, & Live Oak Primus
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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I recirculate at ~1 gal/min using a hexagonal shaped CPVC manifold. The grain bed tends to compact above 1 gal/min, especially when mashing huskless grains like wheat or rye.
This is good information, Lamar. Just the kind of thing I hoped to find out.

I made a quick calculation assuming a flow of 1 gal/min of pure water through the RIMS. The temperature rise in the RIMS tube @ 3kW is 20.5 degF. That is under ideal conditions, so of course the wort is hotter than that close to the element. I think I will have to consider a backup plan, say 1000 to 1500W in the RIMS tube. Luckily heater elements are pretty cheap so I can experiment with this.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:41 AM   #6
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I am trying to figure out what you've got going on there. It looks like you are using the pump to clean out the CFC, RIMS, and a corny keg, all at once. Wow! I like the multiple simultaneous operations. It will make the chores at the end of the brew day all the quicker.

I see an RV hose, you probably also have a water filter in there somewhere. I see the newfangled cam-lock QDs with silicone 1/2" hoses. Sight glasses with thermo probes sticking out of the Tees. Storing equipment under the HLT tower. Everything I have thought of you already have. I'm probably missing something too. By the way, how do you dispose of the dirty water when you are done? I know my brewing area would be a sloppy mess If I did not take it all outside to clean. Maybe that's what the drip tray is for.

Edit: ... and you are heating the wash water with the RIMS tube! I can see that the power is on. This is great!
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:05 AM   #7
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I see an RV hose, you probably also have a water filter in there somewhere.
Ya, I use a standard 10" filter housing with a 0.5 micron carbon filter I picked up at Lowes. The filter is rated for 1K gallons and cost $25.

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Everything I have thought of you already have. I'm probably missing something too.
Ha, I stole most of the ideas from other folks rigs. It's the natural way of things.

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By the way, how do you dispose of the dirty water when you are done? I know my brewing area would be a sloppy mess If I did not take it all outside to clean. Maybe that's what the drip tray is for.
The drip pan catches small spills when reconfiguring hoses.

I use a 16 gallon shop vac to to clean the tuns. I scoop out most of the grain in the 5 gallon bucket and vacuum the rest. Work great with a 2.5" "commercial quality" hose. The heat permanently deformed the cheaper hose that came with it.
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Doggfather Brewery

Planned: Lambic, American IPA
Fermenting: 6 gals of 1.090 stout (Belgian) & 6 gals of 1.090 stout (English)
Tapped: Berliner Weisse, Black English IPA, German Pils, & Live Oak Primus
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:58 PM   #8
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Default Wiring Diagram

So I have here an attempt at creating a ladder diagram for the brewery. I usually draw schematics so this is a little different for me to try.

Some description on what I intend it to do:
An E-stop shuts down all controls and the 24VAC transformer which makes all relays drop out and everything stops.

When I pull out the E-stop the three PIDs turn on and show temperature. Try as they may, they cannot yet turn on power to the SSRs. I have a latching relay at the bottom of the diagram. I need to push the "Enable Heaters" button to latch the relay. Now three selector switches indicate the power selected for each the RIMS, HLT, and BK. They can be Off, Low, or High. Indicator lamps show how much power the panel has allotted to each.

Switch logic prioritizes First the RIMS, then the HLT, and last the BK to receive power, so at no time will the system consume more than 30A from either leg.

I have almost everything shown, but not the extra switch blocks. Is it reasonable to have up to four switch blocks stacked on one side of a selector switch?

Without further ado, the ladder diagram: (click on picture, then again in the gallery to get the max size drawing... That was further ado, wasn't it.)


Comments are apprecieated.

I am trying to attached a PDF but I cannot see how to do it. Am I not allowed?

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Last edited by Quaffer; 11-18-2010 at 02:42 AM. Reason: Better picture
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:52 PM   #9
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HIJACK!

Does a shopvac really work for cleaning the MLT?


Damn that could save me back a bit carrying the damn thing to the compost heap

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Old 11-18-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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HIJACK!

Does a shopvac really work for cleaning the MLT?


Damn that could save me back a bit carrying the damn thing to the compost heap
Me too! I carry the keggle outside to scrape out hops and sludge. The worst part of my brew day.
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