Home Brew Forums

Home Brew Forums (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum.php)
-   Electric Brewing (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/)
-   -   Bad News Brewery - Control Panel (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/bad-news-brewery-control-panel-368020/)

BadNewsBrewery 11-15-2012 10:31 PM

Bad News Brewery - Control Panel
This is the control panel and electronics sub-build of my overall thread, available here

I had originally dreamed of a hard-piped system with all kinds of electronically actuated valves that were controlled by switches on the panel, and each switch would illuminate a pathway on the panel visually showing where the water / wort was flowing – but then cost got the best of me and I realized that the 12 or so valves I would need would have to wait, so I’ll be turning valves by hand. I can try and attach my original schematic for my manual setup in case anyone is curious – it's a highly interactive and animated PowerPoint - you run the power point, and click on the key to ‘turn the system on’ – from there, click on the various colored squares or dials (switches) and it should perform as I dreamed, within the limitations of PowerPoint. I just don't have the web-sense to know where to upload it to make it accessible. :confused: Here's a picture though...


So now, a much simpler panel, and manual controls. Thus far I have:
60a breaker in the main panel running a short jump via 6ga wire to a 50a GFCI spa panel that has a sufficiently rated 4 prong receptacle end. This has been installed and best I can tell is working as designed. From there, 6ga runs to the 16 x 16 x 8 panel.

Power will be controlled by a 3 Pole 50A contactor with the coil getting power from a keyed switch. Distribution of power will be through DIN mounted distribution and terminal blocks. I will use3 PIDs - two of the SWA-2451 (one for the HLT, one to simply monitor the MLT and use the timer – no action) and one SYL-2352 controlling the BK. I didn’t use a SWA-2451 on the BK because you can’t use the timer and manual mode at the same time so it didn’t make sense.

The PIDs will control two no-name 40A SSRs from eBay mounted to a large heat sink from Auber. Illuminated push-buttons will close the coils on two DIN mountable 30A Allen-Bradley contacts before the power hits the receptacles. A 4500w element is in the BK and a 5500w in the HLT. With this setup, I should be able to run back-to-back batches, or pre-heat water in the BK and MLT at the same time which should cut down my overall time brewing a single batch. The two PIDs controlling temperature will have associated LEDs to indicate when the elements are firing.

I will be installing an e-stop with the technique P-J uses, and I’d like to incorporate a safe-start interlock like Kal uses – I ordered the 8 pin 2 pole relay and base from Mouser.com Each PID will have its own alarm (16mm light / buzzer from Auber) and its own reset button. I did it this way as I may have one PID monitoring time while another monitors temperature, and it’d be good to get a separate alarm for each.

I have ordered DIN mount rails, along with terminal blocks and distribution points, terminal block separators and end caps, and DIN breakers – two 25a double pole, two 16a single pole – mostly from eBrewsupply.com or Mouser.com

I have various chassis mount XLR connectors and electrical receptacles, all twist lock. The RTD probes will come through the XLRs and the pumps / heating elements will be through the twist-locks. I bought way more XLRs than needed thinking that I’d use the XLR fittings for the electronic valves, if / when I get to that… or I’ll post them for sale.

For the power on – I am using a keyed switch from ebrewsupply. In place of the typical LED that most people use to show power on, I want to go a little different. I have a logo designed for my brewery that I’ve been using. I plan to get the logo reverse-engraved in a piece of acrylic from Big Blue Saw and build an LED light box behind it – when you turn on the panel, the logo lights up – if it works the way I hope, it’ll be pretty cool looking. I may just get the logo negative-cut from vinyl and stick it to the back of a piece of plexiglass, or come up with some other idea… I have an LED transformer from SuperBrightLEDs.com and a length of LED tape from them as well. The transformer will take between 85 and 260vac input and give 12vdc output.

Below is a visual interface of how I think the final panel will look.


I would greatly appreciate any advice or thoughts on the process, help with wiring diagrams, ideas on where to get the logo panel done, anything along those lines. The more I trouble shoot this before construction, the less chance of letting out the magic black smoke.

I plan to mount the panel via a home-built ceiling mounted ‘jib arm crane’ that will allow me to adjust the panel to pretty much anywhere within a decent size area, as long as my cables are long enough. I will be writing a full article on this if it actually works out.

BadNewsBrewery 11-15-2012 10:32 PM

This is a total hack job I did on one of P-J's diagrams to get me close to where I think I want to be... I know for fact I have the wrong PIDs, and my safe-start interlock leaves a lot to be desired...


MadGus 11-16-2012 12:43 AM

Hey BadNews - Subbed... I'm building something very similar. Will follow your control panel build. P-J is the man, by the way.

P-J 11-16-2012 01:11 AM


First post - the 2 images do not show.
Second post: The image is so small that I cannot read anything on it or figure out the PIDs involved or figure out and read your "safe start" circuit. I also cannot figure out what the original diagram was that you modified.

The general plan I got. BUT???

Ok well... Wishing you the best.


BadNewsBrewery 11-16-2012 01:32 AM

I've updated the photo links to a new host. With the wiring diagram, I left the information from the original one I hacked up for reference. 3 PIDs (two SWA-2451, one SYL-2352)

Anything you can offer in terms of guidance, I'm all ears! Also, being that I have two single-pole DIN breakers - is there any value to running the pumps off one of the hot legs and the PIDs and other items off the other hot leg to balance the loads a little, or is that just causing undue complication?

BadNewsBrewery 11-16-2012 01:34 AM

MadGus - I had such dreams and aspirations, having the lines in the first diagram backlight to show where the flow path was, but I got to a point where it was either dial down the scope and finish, or shoot for the stars and have a project that drags out for months on end... Between the cost of parts and the cost of the move, extra spending on the brewery was not in the cards.

BadNewsBrewery 11-16-2012 07:16 PM

The rest of my parts showed up today. Luckily, the contactors, relays, and pretty everything that needs to be mounted to the back of the panel happens to be DIN mountable, so score one there. I tested out the contactors with a plug / pigtail - they are LOUD when the fire, especially the 50a 3-pole one (which is huge as well). The 16mm alarm buzzers are not anywhere near as loud as I had feared - loud enough to let you know it's time to do something, but not so loud that you'll hear it from another room or that it'll burst your eardrums. The LED switches seem plenty bright at 120 but I may try then at 240. It's disappointing that they are default wired to be on all the time and that you have to jumper through the NO switch to make it so that the LED is only on when the switch is depressed.

I plan to do some construction on the panel and the kettles this weekend. Fingers crossed!

milesvdustin 11-16-2012 11:24 PM

Your safe start schematic looks legit to me.

BadNewsBrewery 11-16-2012 11:30 PM

Hahaha, right? I think I can get the safe start to work physically. Drawing it may be where I'm limited.

BadNewsBrewery 11-18-2012 11:16 AM

So today I start cutting the panel and mounting up components. If anyone has any advice on wiring or a diagram that might help point me in the right direction, I'd be eternally grateful.

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:15 AM.

Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.