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Old 07-08-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
BeerMe21
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Default Advice Please - eBIAB Build

Hey guys, I have been doing a lot of reading in this forum and I am looking forward to putting together my eBIAB setup but I wanted to get some feedback before I start making purchases. I was originally doing extract batches, now I am splitting AG batches between two 20qt kettles and that has gotten old REAL quick.

Advice and opinions are appreciated.

Ok, this is what I have to work with:

- Keggle

- 240v coming from two 15a legs at the breaker box, this supplies power to my wall a/c unit that I will unplug to power the kettle **Note the a/c plug is a nema 6-20p (3-prong L1, L2, G)

So theoretically the breaker would switch at 240v * 15a = 3600w.

My understanding is that I should not use close to the breaker amp rating so I was thinking a 240v 3000w LWD heating element: "Emerson SG2307 430107" would put me at about 83% of breaker capacity
- Use a 1" NPS locknut and silicone o-ring for weldless installation

- PID Controller: REX-C100 & K-type thermocouple (Already purchased)
- SSR: FOTEK 25a 250v (Already purchased)
- Home Depot 50A GFI Spa panel (wired downstream of breaker panel for ground fault protection)
-also use spa panel as control box
- 20-25ft 12/3 300v insulated cord & nema 6-20p plug
- quick blow fuse for PID, slow blow for heating element
- Weldless ball valve and hop strainer

- Planning on building a keggle stand out of 2x4's and insulating the keggle.

Questions:
1. Is 83% of breaker capacity too much?
2. is 3000w too weak for a 12 gallon boil?
3. Am I forgetting anything?

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Old 07-09-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
Dgonza9
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Default Some ideas, but consult electrician.

1) From what I understand, you are fine on the watts there. I have exactly the same 83% draw on my system and have never had a problem. In my case I have 120v 20 amp circuits with a 2000w element2. Same percentage, though. I believe you are fine there.

2) There is a chart floating around about how much power is needed for each boil. I don't have it handy, but it's probably a sticky at the top of this forum. In my experience, that's not enough power. I think 4000w is, though, so you're in the ballpark and maybe if you insulate your keggle it will work. I regularly do 12-13 gallon boils with 4000w, no problem.

I hesitate to give electrical advice as I'm just a dude on the internet and all my power needs have been 120v. But I don't think your breaker provides 30amp of 240v power as is. You will need to upgrade that 15 amp/240v breaker to a higher amp. Two 15 amp slots on your panel at 240 is 15 amps, not 30amps at 240.

So you will need to install a 240v GFCI breaker of at least 30amps. This should give you enough rating to power a 5500 watt element, which is plenty for your needs. You will also obviously need to size the wires from the panel to the proper gauge.

Again, ask a real electrician. I'm just trying to point out something that either I didn't understand properly or is a problem in your thinking on this plan.


**An alternative option is what I have done, use two 120v 20 amp outlets. Wire to a gfci receptacle with a switch. Mount two elements in the keggle. 4000w is about perfect to boil 12-13 gallon batches IMO. You can then use the PID for a RIMS system if you like. I am surprised how many people use a PID for controlling the boil. IMO not necessary.







Cheers. You'll love electric brewing.

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Old 07-09-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgonza9 View Post
1) From what I understand, you are fine on the watts there. I have exactly the same 83% draw on my system and have never had a problem. In my case I have 120v 20 amp circuits with a 2000w element2. Same percentage, though. I believe you are fine there.

2) There is a chart floating around about how much power is needed for each boil. I don't have it handy, but it's probably a sticky at the top of this forum. In my experience, that's not enough power. I think 4000w is, though, so you're in the ballpark and maybe if you insulate your keggle it will work. I regularly do 12-13 gallon boils with 4000w, no problem.

I hesitate to give electrical advice as I'm just a dude on the internet and all my power needs have been 120v. But I don't think your breaker provides 30amp of 240v power as is. You will need to upgrade that 15 amp/240v breaker to a higher amp. Two 15 amp slots on your panel at 240 is 15 amps, not 30amps at 240.

So you will need to install a 240v GFCI breaker of at least 30amps. This should give you enough rating to power a 5500 watt element, which is plenty for your needs. You will also obviously need to size the wires from the panel to the proper gauge.

Again, ask a real electrician. I'm just trying to point out something that either I didn't understand properly or is a problem in your thinking on this plan.


**An alternative option is what I have done, use two 120v 20 amp outlets. Wire to a gfci receptacle with a switch. Mount two elements in the keggle. 4000w is about perfect to boil 12-13 gallon batches IMO. You can then use the PID for a RIMS system if you like. I am surprised how many people use a PID for controlling the boil. IMO not necessary.


Cheers. You'll love electric brewing.
Hmm, that is a good point. I did not consider a simple switched element on a gfi outlet for the boil. Compared to other setups I was thinking 3kw might be a little low. I am in an apartment so unfortunately I don't have the option of changing any of the electrical, but maybe I can do a combination of the controller and a switched heatstick, then move to a more powerful single element once I can.

I do plan to check with an electrician before moving forward, just want to make sure I am in the ballpark first.

Thanks for the comments!
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
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Check out this thread. I still think that PID could be put to better use than controlling a 3000w element in a BK. Just my opinion.

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Old 07-10-2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dgonza9 View Post
Check out this thread. I still think that PID could be put to better use than controlling a 3000w element in a BK. Just my opinion.
I'm sure it can, but I have it already and have no other use for it. I'm thinking I might also use the controller for a smoker also
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:24 PM   #6
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RIMS tube?

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Old 07-16-2011, 04:15 PM   #7
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Oh yeah, I will be mashing in this keggle also (biab) so I guess the PID will be put to use. I don't know how I forgot that.

Right now I am just working on figuring out the wiring, mainly the GFCI with only 3-wires from the nema 6-20p a/c plug. Everything will be 240v so my understanding is that I will be fine without the neutral, but I am still researching it.

Also debating if I should get 4-wire cable in case I have access to a 4-wire 240v down the road and would like to run the neutral for any 120v accessories

It certainly isn't as easy as grabbing a propane burner and brewing. I know it will be worth the wait but man am I getting anxious to brew.
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