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Old 12-29-2010, 06:53 PM   #1
chrispykid
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Default Advice needed for Tri-Clover Rims Build

Hey guys,

I'm in the very early stages of planning an an electric upgrade to my brewery setup and was hoping that you could help steer me in the right direction with some questions I have. Fair disclosure, I'm a total electricity newb. Here's where I'm starting from and what I'm looking to do.

I'm currently brewing 5 gallon batches inside and will be doing so for the next year or two, before moving outside and hopefully increasing batch size. I'd ultimately like to build a RIMS system capable of reliable producing 10 gallon batches. The long term plan is to have an electric HLT and an electric RIMS with a propane fired boil kettle probably on a Blichman top-tier system. In the meantime I'd like to at least get the RIMS portion going so that I can really lock down mash temps. Obviously while I'm building the RIMS tube I want to make sure that I'm making choices that will be easy to upgrade when I make the move outdoors and up to 10 gallons down the road.

I'm leaning towards a BCS-460 as my PID/control unit and Brewer's Hardware's Tri-Clover Rims tube.

Here are my questions:
1) What kind of element will be best for the RIMS tube? I'm in an apartment now without any special electrical service so can I get away with a 110V element? Or should I just run a more powerful element at 110 now until I upgrade? Can anyone recommend a specific element that is known to fit in the RIMS tube?
2) To start out I'll need two SSR's right? One for the element and one for the pump. Am I going to need a heatsink for each SSR as well? Or just one for the SSR that controls the element?
2) What's the quietest pump in the $100-$150 range I can find? Since I'll be running this indoors and throughout the mash (and then again probably again as a JZ style whirlpool chiller) I'm really going to want it quiet or it will drive me nuts.
3) Does anyone have a wiring diagram for a setup like this? A plan/diagram with some three way (auto-on-off) switches for the ability to interrupt the automation with manual control would be ideal. I'll have a friend who is a licensed electrician look over my final system before plugging anything in, but would like to do the actual work myself so that I'm not totally leaning on him for free labor.

Thanks for any advice that you guys can provide. I'm basically starting from scratch here and appreciate any and all help that you guys can give.



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Old 12-29-2010, 09:02 PM   #2
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1) http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/rims-dummies-114997/
2) http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/240v-heating-element-1-2-ssrs-159897/
2) http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ssr-heat-output-161818/
2) http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/march-pump-alternatives-156554/
2) http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/march-chugger-pump-188101/index5.html
3) There's about 50 wiring diagrams on the forums, you'll need to do some digging

Aslo, make sure you read this so you don't kill yourself or burn down the house you live in.

And, just my opinion, I would go completely electric. It's faster, cheaper, and more efficient than gas.

Good Luck



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Old 12-30-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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Thanks Chefkeith

1) I've reviewed the RIMS for dummies thread and seen a lot of people using many different elements, but am trying to figure out what will specifically fit in the Tri-Clover tube, it looks like it might be smaller than some of the other tubes out there. Hoping someone that owns that specific tube can chime in with their element choice and experience with it.
2) Looks like 2 SSRs per element is the conservative approach to ensure a true off, will try to plan accordingly although I'm gettting a headache just thinking about the wiring
2b) Looks like I'll heatsink element SSRs and leave the pump SSR's to air cool on their own.
2c) As I price out parts and the total bill spirals steadily north I'm leaning more and more towards the chugger pump, glad to hear people say it's quiet too.
3) I've seen so many wiring diagrams on the site that my eyes are starting to glaze over, it's just one of those scenarios where everyone does things just a bit differently in terms of what switches and indicator lights they're using. I'll keep looking I'm hoping against hope that someone can point me to one for the BCS-460 with a hardwired control panel option. Please reward my faith HBT!

I have reviewed Coderage's electrical primer and am doing my best to educate myself. Regardless I won't pluy anything in without an electrician looking at it first. I love beer and brewing, but I'm not willing to die for it or burn myself and the 31 other tenants in my apartment building out of their homes for it.

An electric boil might be in the future as well but I have a hard to quantify affection for gas flame boils. I figure with the BCS-460 I'll have plenty of options about how I want to upgrade over the years.

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Old 12-30-2010, 04:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispykid View Post
Thanks Chefkeith

1) I've reviewed the RIMS for dummies thread and seen a lot of people using many different elements, but am trying to figure out what will specifically fit in the Tri-Clover tube, it looks like it might be smaller than some of the other tubes out there. Hoping someone that owns that specific tube can chime in with their element choice and experience with it.
2) Looks like 2 SSRs per element is the conservative approach to ensure a true off, will try to plan accordingly although I'm gettting a headache just thinking about the wiring
2b) Looks like I'll heatsink element SSRs and leave the pump SSR's to air cool on their own.
2c) As I price out parts and the total bill spirals steadily north I'm leaning more and more towards the chugger pump, glad to hear people say it's quiet too.
3) I've seen so many wiring diagrams on the site that my eyes are starting to glaze over, it's just one of those scenarios where everyone does things just a bit differently in terms of what switches and indicator lights they're using. I'll keep looking I'm hoping against hope that someone can point me to one for the BCS-460 with a hardwired control panel option. Please reward my faith HBT!

I have reviewed Coderage's electrical primer and am doing my best to educate myself. Regardless I won't pluy anything in without an electrician looking at it first. I love beer and brewing, but I'm not willing to die for it or burn myself and the 31 other tenants in my apartment building out of their homes for it.

An electric boil might be in the future as well but I have a hard to quantify affection for gas flame boils. I figure with the BCS-460 I'll have plenty of options about how I want to upgrade over the years.
1.) I have a 120-1500-ld low density element in the Tri-Clover RIM's tube you are looking at. I bought a 120-1500-eld, but it would not fit. Here's the link:
http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html

2.) You only need an SSR on the HOT line, for a 120v element you only need one.

2b) You need a heat sink on every SSR.

2c) I have March Pumps, they are not the quietest... can't say about others, but you might look at Little Giants.

3.) I have a BCS-460 system... My avatar is the control box. You can get some ideas in the following thread:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/electric-question-153310/

Good luck.

Ed
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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Ohio-Ed,

Your build is a definite inspiration. I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions along the way, but for now I'm going to try and figure out you're wiring diagrams because it looks like you're doing approximately what I'd like to in terms of splitting the difference between the automation and manual control.

Is version 1.5 the most recent version of your diagrams?

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Old 12-31-2010, 03:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispykid View Post
Ohio-Ed,

Your build is a definite inspiration. I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions along the way, but for now I'm going to try and figure out you're wiring diagrams because it looks like you're doing approximately what I'd like to in terms of splitting the difference between the automation and manual control.

Is version 1.5 the most recent version of your diagrams?
I just edited the first post in the following thread and added links to the latest logical and wiring diagrams:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/electric-question-153310/

Ed
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:18 PM   #7
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Ed - you rock. I'm studying your diagrams and digging through a half dozen threads to figure out what I need to do here. I'm sure I'll have a million more questions.



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