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Old 01-17-2012, 02:02 AM   #1
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Default 4500W for 5 Gal. Overkill?

Hi all,

I'm planning an electric brewery that I will mostly be doing 5 gallon batches in with the occasional 10 gallon batch. I have 220v and Auberin 2352 PID. From what I've read on these forums, the 4500W element will work fine for the 10 gal batches. I'm going to be using a two tier, one pump, no sparge system. The BK will act as a large RIMs while I'm mashing. Do you foresee any problems with heating a small amount of recirculated wort with the 4500W (caramelization)? Can the PID be manually "turned down" and still work as a PID? Can the manual setting turn down far enough to get a proper boil on a 5 gal batch?

Thanks!

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Old 01-17-2012, 02:08 AM   #2
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I do 5g batches with a 5500w. I suggest you go 5500w if you have not already bought it. The pid doesn't care what size element it just hits the set temp. In manual mode the pid just acts as a pwm for dialing on/off time. If you go with the larger element it will make ten g batches easier if you start making larger batches.

To answer the question no it won't hurt your wort

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Old 01-17-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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while that is true, the difference between 4500 and 5500w is the difference between being able to use a 20A 240v circuit and needing to build/install something larger. if you already have a 30 or 50A circuit, then it doesnt matter.

Quote:
The BK will act as a large RIMs while I'm mashing.
how exactly do you plan on setting this up? is there a coil/heat exchanger in the boil kettle? is it gas or electrically heated?
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:58 PM   #4
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Thanks. Ya audger nailed it. I'm using the 4500w so I dont have to replace a bunch of wiring.

This is what I have in mind...



MT on the bottom. BK with element above. I have calculated water volumes for different batch sizes and gravities and I think it will work, but please feel free to give input.

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Old 01-17-2012, 05:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audger View Post
while that is true, the difference between 4500 and 5500w is the difference between being able to use a 20A 240v circuit and needing to build/install something larger. if you already have a 30 or 50A circuit, then it doesnt matter.


How exactly do you plan on setting this up? is there a coil/heat exchanger in the boil kettle? is it gas or electrically heated?
If a 4500 watt element draws 18.75 amp how can you run that on 20 amps? Doesn't the 80% rule come into play? Also running this element with a pump would put you over 20 amps as well wouldn't it?

I ask because I'm planning an eBIAB system and decided to go with a 5500 watt element, because I thought screw it 20amps isn't going to work anyways.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:31 PM   #6
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I'm using 10 AWG

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Old 01-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikesnbeers View Post
I'm using 10 AWG
Sorry, I'm still confused. On a 20amp circuit your going to constantly be tripping the breaker if your using a 4500 watt element and pump at the same time.

If you wires in the wall are 10 AWG which is rated for 30amps, wouldn't you just need to replace the breakers to get a 5500 watt element?
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
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brewhokie, look for the spreadsheet named "Electric Heat.xls". I'm not sure who made it, but it is pretty useful. I know enough about circuits to be dangerous, but luckily my dad is an electrician. I plan on consulting with him after i get a good idea about what I want. Anyway, this is my thinking:

10 AWG, max load (80%) = 24 Amps, min breaker = 30 A

4500w element @ 240 = 18.8A
5500w element @ 240 = 22.9A

pump = 1.4 A

The 4500w element puts me in the range of the 10AWG, the 5500w puts me out.

Anyone have a correction or comment? Thanks

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Old 01-17-2012, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikesnbeers

MT on the bottom. BK with element above. I have calculated water volumes for different batch sizes and gravities and I think it will work, but please feel free to give input.
Consider putting the MLT above the BK, so you gravity-feed the BK. This avoids putting suction on the grain bed.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikesnbeers View Post
brewhokie, look for the spreadsheet named "Electric Heat.xls". I'm not sure who made it, but it is pretty useful. I know enough about circuits to be dangerous, but luckily my dad is an electrician. I plan on consulting with him after i get a good idea about what I want. Anyway, this is my thinking:

10 AWG, max load (80%) = 24 Amps, min breaker = 30 A

4500w element @ 240 = 18.8A
5500w element @ 240 = 22.9A

pump = 1.4 A

The 4500w element puts me in the range of the 10AWG, the 5500w puts me out.

Anyone have a correction or comment? Thanks
It is fairly common around here to run one 5500W element and a March pump on 30A service.
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