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Old 09-24-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
maltbarleyhops
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Default basic analog e brewing

i want to build a simple, effective electric power controller for a 4500w/240v element to be installed in my brew kettle.

ill use dial thermometers to monitor temp.

looking for something very basic.

power to controller, on/off selection, possibly a dial to decrease-increase power to the element, and power to element.


budget and limited electrical know how dictates this.

thanks for any and all input.

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:43 AM   #2
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Not sure if its what you want but search for "heat stick"

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:19 AM   #3
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I'm building something for a friend of mine exactly like what you're talking about. I'll throw up a couple photos in a couple days when I'm done. I'm using a $10. 240volt 30amp contactor. The infamous variable ssr kit (ebay search "1pc KYOTTO AC Solid State Relay SSR KR2040AX 280VAC 40A") and a switch I yanked out of a old pc power supply. The switch will control the contactor on & off and the dial will control the boil rate. I have a little aluminum project box that I'm looking to place everything into so that I can mount the element through the box so everything will be self contained against the kettle. I have all the parts I need I just need the time to drill holes and screw it all together.

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandequeso
I'm building something for a friend of mine exactly like what you're talking about. I'll throw up a couple photos in a couple days when I'm done. I'm using a $10. 240volt 30amp contactor. The infamous variable ssr kit (ebay search "1pc KYOTTO AC Solid State Relay SSR KR2040AX 280VAC 40A") and a switch I yanked out of a old pc power supply. The switch will control the contactor on & off and the dial will control the boil rate. I have a little aluminum project box that I'm looking to place everything into so that I can mount the element through the box so everything will be self contained against the kettle. I have all the parts I need I just need the time to drill holes and screw it all together.
Very interested in how that Kyotto SSR turns out. Great cheap solution for boiling if it works well.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:51 AM   #5
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I have a very simple setup. I use a 240V 5500 W element in my HLT to get to mash temp. Once there, I plug it into a 120V outlet through a ETC controller to keep temp. Use that for my HERMS for maintaining mash temp. For the BK, I have a 240V 3500W element. It runs a little hot; I have about a 25%/hr boil-off. But that's OK as I compensate for it with my lautering (typically at 8 gal pre-boil; 6 gal post boil to get 5.5 gal into the fermentor post losses). Simple ..... no SSRs, no PIDs. Just the ETC controller, which I also use for my fermenting fridge.

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Old 09-25-2012, 06:35 PM   #6
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ETC controller? what is it and where do i get one?

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Old 09-25-2012, 06:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandequeso View Post
I'm building something for a friend of mine exactly like what you're talking about. I'll throw up a couple photos in a couple days when I'm done. I'm using a $10. 240volt 30amp contactor. The infamous variable ssr kit (ebay search "1pc KYOTTO AC Solid State Relay SSR KR2040AX 280VAC 40A") and a switch I yanked out of a old pc power supply. The switch will control the contactor on & off and the dial will control the boil rate. I have a little aluminum project box that I'm looking to place everything into so that I can mount the element through the box so everything will be self contained against the kettle. I have all the parts I need I just need the time to drill holes and screw it all together.
would also like to here and see more about this
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:44 PM   #8
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okay. which ETC controller are you using? this looks like what id want if i decide to purchase rather than DIY(M)

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Old 09-25-2012, 06:45 PM   #9
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This should work for you.
http://www.theobtuseangle.com/Pictur...pictureSetId=7

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Old 09-25-2012, 08:13 PM   #10
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It's the Ranco 120v controller. I don't have model # handy, but its the popular one most homebrewers have been using. I connect the heating element to it when I want to control temps. A 5500w element is actually about 1400 w at 120v which is approx 12a, well within the ranco 16a limit. So, plug element directly to 240 v to get to temp and then disconnect and reconnect to 120v thru the Ranco to maintain temp. It's rediculously easy and inexpensive if you need the ranco anyway for a fermenting fridge

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