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-   -   Basic electric BK (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/basic-electric-bk-300626/)

Kosch 02-02-2012 09:58 PM

Basic electric BK
I've been tossing around a few ideas of how I want to move to a full boil/AG setup. Wasn't liking the idea of using a turkey fryer outside, and would need to buy a new stove (and have a gas line run) to get a decent burner.

After building a heatstick and seeing how well it worked, I looked around here and also read through theelectricbrewery.com site and realized that electric may be the way to go!

So, here's the thing. I'm not looking to go to a full electric system with 3 kettles and all the pumps etc. I really just want to do an electric brew kettle. I just want to use a cooler MLT and then just have a single pot for BK and HLT.

I will get a 40qt megapot to use for this. I figure I can build the 5500w ULWD element setup into it and then just use my oven outlet.

tl;dr -
I figure I may want some control over the element in case it boils too vigorously. Should I go with the PID and SSR setup for this, or is there a simpler/cheaper way since I don't need temp control?

Anything else I'm missing? (I know, GFCI for sure)



mattd2 02-02-2012 10:50 PM

2 ways to think about it:
1) have a big element that will get up to temp/boil quickly but need at least a PWM circuit to turn it down during the boil, or
2) Mount an appropriote size element and have it run full bore but take longer to get to temp/boil.
#2 is cheaper but less flexibal, #1 is more expensice (PWM circuit, box, etc.) but will serve you for a long time since you will mostly repopose a lot of it if you do move to a full electric system.
I have a element in my BK that is 2x 2kW elements in one both are just wired to plugs that go straight into the wall socket (well straight into a plug in GFCI), I run both to get to boil then switch one off for 5 gallon batch.

gitapaynts 02-02-2012 11:09 PM

Remember, With the 5500w element you will need access to 240v to reach that wattage. Depending on if your brewing area already has access to a 240v outlet (dryer or range), you will have to run the wiring, which can be several dollars a foot and adds up fast.

Off the top of my head I don't think you can get the most simple control panel built + electric lines/gfci for less than 500 bucks. One plus is that all the components will be easily reused as you move to a full electric or more elaborate setup.

Fizzycist 02-03-2012 12:37 AM

I want to do the same thing Kosch. I've been looking at these high wattage induction burners, mostly because the heat sticks sound like a pain to clean and still take an hour to boil. It looks like I can get a 3000 W induction burner for about the price of two heatsticks.

runningweird 02-03-2012 12:51 AM

i just put together a simple PWM board and wired it to a SSR and then to an outlet - a bit more complicated than that but once you do some reading its pretty easy.


I bought my SSR on amazon, and got my elements from a guy on the classifieds section.

I have done three batches with it so far and it works great .just be sure to ground everything and use a spa panel gfci

mattd2 02-03-2012 01:00 AM

Whats everyones thoughts on using GFCI extension cords instead of getting a spa panel installed?

l3asturd 02-03-2012 03:12 AM


Originally Posted by mattd2 (Post 3737135)
Whats everyones thoughts on using GFCI extension cords instead of getting a spa panel installed?

Those are 12/3 cords. You could only run one element per extension cord, and you'd have to go with 120V, or a 240V element used at 120V.

Kosch 02-03-2012 04:36 AM

Cool, thanks everyone! I think I'm going to look at the PWM route, looks inexpensive and fairly simple.

I'm planning to use the range outlet, so I'll likely just get a spa panel and mount it above there, and unplug the oven to plug in the panel when I'm brewing.

Tax return season is upon us, looks like I've got myself a project!



ohararp 02-03-2012 01:21 PM

You can get 240v inline gfci cables. I don't see why you couldn't use that. I went with a gfci breaker to get 4 wire 240v.

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