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Old 09-11-2011, 12:43 AM   #1
wadefisher
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Arrow 55 Gallon AE Kettle system

Applying for Brewery License.

Getting ready to build a 1.5 barrel system out of SS 55 gallon drums and various tanks I have plus 2 Stout 125 gallon fermenters. Any and all info will be appreciated. I am no stranger to 'constructive' critisism. My BIG questions are about trying to make a 55 gallon drum into an ELECTRIC boil kettle.
I am making one that operated on NG for backup. I think I have the HLT and the Mash/Lauter Tun figured out.

I really would like to power the Boil Kettle on 3 phase 480 but that is not a requirement. Yes I have the electric service available.

I currently have 2 All Electric 10 Gallon systems (single phase 220). One is infusion only the other is a RIMMS system.

My weak point is making a controller that would work with 3 phase power. Or to calculate how much wattage of elements I need to get a good boil in a reasonable time without a controller and still not over do it. I thought some real hands on experience would help here.

Any and ALL input on the electric part and the 'drunken stuper ' idea of my brewery is welcome. Don't worry as much about the business side of it that is my better part. I have accounts waiting for me to go public. But input is still welcomed.
It used to be they talked about buying a vineyard when you retired, now it's all about opening a brewery!

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Old 09-11-2011, 02:38 AM   #2
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I think it will be very hard to get 1.5 barrels out of a 55 gallon BK. My BK is a 55 gallon SS drum and I make 35 gallon batches. I start with a preboil volume of 43-45 gallons. I suppose I could increase it to 40 gallon batches but I don't think 46.5 gallons is realistic. 3 phase 480 would be great. The elements would be more expensive but I think you could use a PID and several SSRs.

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Old 09-11-2011, 03:11 AM   #3
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You should check out Kals theelectricbrewery.com. he has a topic on 1 bbl electric. You can use a 50 amp service with 2 4500 watt elements for the boil

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Old 09-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #4
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40 gallon batches are really the limit with 55 gallon tanks, good luck with electric at this size. share your work-up ideas and thoughts, I am gas fired.

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Old 09-11-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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wadefisher,

A 3 phase system would not be all that difficult to setup and control. When you have a good idea of your HLT and BOIL kettle sizes, I'll put together a suggested controller diagram.

P-J

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Old 09-11-2011, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-J
wadefisher,

A 3 phase system would not be all that difficult to setup and control. When you have a good idea of your HLT and BOIL kettle sizes, I'll put together a suggested controller diagram.

P-J
Can you do 3 phase on residental power? I did not think so.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:04 PM   #7
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The OP said he had 3 phase, 480 vac available:

Quote:
I really would like to power the Boil Kettle on 3 phase 480 but that is not a requirement. Yes I have the electric service available.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:14 PM   #8
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Duh, sorry forgot about that.

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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Yes I do have 3 phase. This is going into a commercial building. I have a business in an industrial park. I am sectioning off an area that is about 700 sq ft. Which includes a defunct walk in cooler. I will be putting a new freezer unit on the walk in. Already has tile flooring. This is part of what use to be a large kitchen for a company 40 years ago. This is to be my 'pilot' setup to get some public exposure and feed back before doing the BIG plunge.

'milldoggy' I will check out Kals topic. I am on that site lately reading about his controller. As I said, that is my weak area. The one I use now (on both systems) was from brewmation. Like alot of things with brewing I'd like to customize it how I want and know how to change it as needed.

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-J View Post
wadefisher,

A 3 phase system would not be all that difficult to setup and control. When you have a good idea of your HLT and BOIL kettle sizes, I'll put together a suggested controller diagram.

P-J
P-J
I do not plan on making the controller control more than one unit. I would like to make this totally modular. And I want to be able to power any and all units as needed. Even at the same time. Plus by keeping it modular you can 'plug' and play with new or different kettles.

The HLT's will be 2 80 gallon hot water tanks. I have done this with a 20 gallon tank for my one setup. I disable the built in thermostats add a recirc pump add level control, MAKE SURE it is an OPEN system (no pressure) and a sight glass for volume measuring. What is a HLT but a glorified Hot water heater. These will be single phase 240v. just because thats how they come and the commercial Hotwater heaters with 480v are really expensive.

The Mash/Lauter Tun; I am planning on either a false bottom or multiple bazooka's. My shop guy is getting the perfed stainless to keep on hand. Oh yes, I have my own shop that can do basic stainless work.
I want to recirc the wort through a heat exchanger made out of a 15 gal Keggle with Copper Coil inside and its own controller and electric element to do step mashing.
I like using the float valve from Blichmann when sparging on my 10 gallon system so I'm thinking about incorperating something like that.

Boil Kettle; I have NG in the building so I will build one to use this. But I want to make one electric. I have enjoyed my 10 gallon one better since doing so. I am thinking about these elements, I use some of these in the 240v Single phase for heating other products (not boiling)
http://www.mcmaster.com/#immersion-heaters/=e0pxsq
Their temperature controlled one's are very basic. One thought I had was to just make a potentiometer inline to get the right boil.
I am planning on putting Tri-Clamp connections thru 55 gallon stainless drum then a TC-Thread fitting to put the elements in. Allow for easy removal and maintanence

I believe in KISS

Gotta GO, Thanks All
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