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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > 30 amp or 50 amp? Pros and cons
View Poll Results: What is your preferred electric setup for 10G batches?
HERMS-30 amp 7 14.89%
HERMS-50 amp 26 55.32%
RIMS-30 amp 0 0%
RIMS-50 amp 9 19.15%
Other, cooler, nonrecirc, etc 5 10.64%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-20-2012, 07:49 PM   #11
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Don't think about the expense of 50A, rather, look at the incremental cost. Since you need something, the base cost for 30A can already be considered as budgeted. As previously stated, a 50A spa panel is not too expensive, so you can go with that from either a 30A or 50A circuit. Only the costs of cord and plugs will vary. Even with 30A supplied to the control panel you should consider breakers in the panel as you probably don't want the pump or control powered from a 30A bus as you would likely use smaller wire size to the pump. With 2 elements on a 30A circuit you might also need interlocking equipment to keep them from both firing at the same time.

Build a parts list each way and price them out. You might be surprised with the results.

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:07 PM   #12
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I recently converted my system to all-electric, using 5500w elements for the HLT and BK, and using my old RIMS to recirculate the mash. (I'll upload pictures soon.) I decided to run a 50 amp service, which allows me to "not worry" when running the RIMS, a pump or two, a 5500w element, and even the inline fan in my vent hood. It did cost a bit more, but worth it all the way.

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:22 PM   #13
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I usually adhere to the theory, "Buy big or buy twice."

...then again, I take a lot of heat from the wife on the expense of my hobbies...

I think you made the right call.

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:57 PM   #14
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From my experience with everything else in this hobby as soon as I buy something I want something bigger and better. I went with 50 amps just for that reason.

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Old 06-21-2012, 08:10 PM   #15
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So I didn't answer your poll because my system was not on it. I went with 60amp (two 2pole 30amp gfi in a 100 amp subpanel that feeds two lines into my main control panel).

My system is a fully redundant, two sided panel. Both 5500w elements and all my do dads can fire at once. I have an eherms.

This type of set up is ideal for back to back brew days. I feel like for the first time the rig is where it needs to be for my use. Highly recommend it.

The cost for the upgraded amperage is well worth it and considering the cost for the r control panel alone, not a prohibitive cost. For my square d GFI breakers I bought them for around $70ea new on ebay and the 100amp subpanel was maybe $25 or so. 60 amp 2 pole breaker was $15ish and the #6 wire to run to the box I can't recall.

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Old 06-21-2012, 09:05 PM   #16
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Question, mention of the spa box throws my build into a bit of spin. Do I need a 50a GFCI in ADDITION to a 50a in my main box? Can't I just use the 50a GFCI to cover both jobs of being a breaker and not getting me killed?

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Old 06-21-2012, 09:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadboy View Post
Question, mention of the spa box throws my build into a bit of spin. Do I need a 50a GFCI in ADDITION to a 50a in my main box? Can't I just use the 50a GFCI to cover both jobs of being a breaker and not getting me killed?
one 50 amp gfi in your spa box is fine.

I have two 30 amp gfis in my subpanel because square D does not make a 2 pole 60amp gfi for my main panel and I wanted to run with 2 elements at 5500, thus requireing over 50 amps. So I went with two 30's instead. Figured I wanted to build this once.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CidahMastah View Post
one 50 amp gfi in your spa box is fine.
But I don't have a spa box. Can the GFI or GFCI or whatever be used in place of the regular breaker or does it have to be used in addition to a 50a in the main box?
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadboy View Post
Question, mention of the spa box throws my build into a bit of spin. Do I need a 50a GFCI in ADDITION to a 50a in my main box? Can't I just use the 50a GFCI to cover both jobs of being a breaker and not getting me killed?
You certainly can do that but a breaker must pe placed in your mains panel to start. If you choose to buy a GFCI breaker for the mains panel, you are A-Ok.

Just a little info on this whole process. The Spa Panel is chosen as an inexpensive solution for providing GFCI protection for your brewery and you. A 50A Spa Panel will cost you about $55 at HomeDepot. A GFCI breaker for your mains panel will cost you 3 to 5 times that price just for the breaker that will fit. That is very expensive.

So: when you set the system up, just place a standard breaker in you mains panel (30A or 50A) and then use the Spa Panel for the GFCI circuit protection.

You can also secure a 60A Spa Panel for about $75 from HomeDepot if that is what you want to do. Again, you would place a standard breaker in your mains panel and then use the Spa Panel for GFCI protection.

Please keep in mind that a brewery will be a wet area setup. It is critical for your safety that GFCI protection be implemented. It is also mandated within the current NEC (National Electrical Code). Please do not build an electric brew rig without it in place. In other words - Do Not Play You Bet Your Life.

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Old 06-21-2012, 10:39 PM   #20
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Wow, that is a good deal. I bought Murray MP250GF 50-Amp 2 Pole 240-Volt Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which may wind up returning it's way to them in favor of said spa box. I already have a 50a in the main box so I could wire it to the spa box with no extra effort.

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