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Old 03-21-2013, 11:16 PM   #21
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Well I ordered it and it shipped today. I won't be using it as soon as it arrives - I want to add a plate chiller but need to see the thing to see what I'm dealing with first!

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Old 03-22-2013, 06:29 PM   #22
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I was also going to get a plate chiller when I ordered this system. Let us know how it works for you.

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Old 04-02-2013, 08:55 PM   #23
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i just ordered the 62 qt system. will advise how it works out.

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Old 04-03-2013, 02:04 AM   #24
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I finally got my power run and made a batch last weekend. What a great experience. It easily shaved about 90 minutes off my normal brew day. I had essentially no problems at all. Well, one small problem, but that was my fault and not the system's. I will recommend doing a trial run with water. Not only to figure out your boil off rate but also to check and leak proof the connections. I found that I had to take apart and re-tape several of the connections that came pre-assembled. I was getting a leak behind the ball valve and at the fitting coming out of the lid that tightening wouldn't fix. A couple more wraps of Teflon tape though and I was good to go.

My problem came at the end. I was recirculating some cleaning solution and ran upstairs to prep dinner. Little did I realize that I had left a rag over the pump and when I came back down the pump had overheated and quit. Fortunately after cooling back down it fired back up so no harm no foul.

I can't wait to brew again. Shortening the day will make that more likely now for me and I've got a pipeline to refill. I'm considering doing a 10 gallon batch for one of these. It should fit it the 62 qt pot I think although I haven't done the calculation yet to be sure.

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Old 04-03-2013, 02:59 AM   #25
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Nice! Mine has been waiting to go for the past week - got the plate chiller the other day, now just waiting for my new fermenting buckets to arrive and a couple more disconnects and I'll be off. Hope to do a test run with water on Friday, and break her in with a full brew on the weekend.

I'll be sure to take photos

For other owners - what kind of boil off rate and grain absorption rate are you getting?

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Old 04-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWMushroom

For other owners - what kind of boil off rate and grain absorption rate are you getting?
I got about 1 gal/hour with water on mine. However, it will depend on where you set the analog dial for how intense your boil is. I set it to a reasonable but not crazy boil and drew a mark on the controller box. I had to turn it up for the wort though because it wasn't enough power to have the same intensity if boil. Just something that's going to take some tweaking in.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:57 PM   #27
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I have a favor to ask of the owners of these. Could you take a look inside the controller and see what's behind that knob? I'm guessing a rheostat that limits the current to the element, but just want to make sure. I may incorporate something like that into mine when I build it. Thanks.

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Old 04-04-2013, 12:32 AM   #28
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I believe they use a phase angle SSR. The potentiometer controls the voltage/current to the SSR.

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Old 04-06-2013, 04:35 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpacemanSpiff View Post
I finally got my power run and made a batch last weekend. What a great experience. It easily shaved about 90 minutes off my normal brew day. I had essentially no problems at all. Well, one small problem, . . .

<snip>

I can't wait to brew again. . .
I'm glad sippin37 started this thread. I have been considering purchasing that system. I enjoy DIY, but I'm simply not finding the energy - with everything else that's on my plate right now - to build an e-kettle as well as an e-controller.

I was starting to get quite frustrated with this thread seeing that it was started 3 months ago, 3 folks have purchased the system, but no one has used it yet. I saw today that Spacemanspiff has actually used his.

I would be very interested in a detailed account of your use of this system as soon as y'all get a chance to use your systems. I'm particularly interested in:

(1) how well your temps hold,
(2) how well your recirculation works since several e-brewers have abandoned recirculation,
(3) how well everything goes with the bag in the basket,
(4) how your cooling method works with this system - whether IC, plate chiller, counterflow chiller, etc. and, last but not least,
(5) your cleanup.

Thanks,
Keith
Please don't read any disrespect in my message above.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:53 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kzimmer0817 View Post
I'm particularly interested in:

(1) how well your temps hold,
(2) how well your recirculation works since several e-brewers have abandoned recirculation,
(3) how well everything goes with the bag in the basket,
(4) how your cooling method works with this system - whether IC, plate chiller, counterflow chiller, etc. and, last but not least,
(5) your cleanup.
Getting ready for batch #2 today. Here was my experience on the first go:

1. No issue at all with the temp. I don't know that I saw it vary by more than a degree.

2. Recirc worked perfectly and I think that directly relates to #1. From the little I've seen in some of the threads I guess the argument against doing a recirc is that you can hold temps to within a few degrees anyway if you have some insulation or if you're willing to monitor the mash and direct fire if needed. I get it and used to mash that way also. But with the recirc and the probe at the top of that loop, I can essentially set the mash temp and walk away. I don't see a downside to it. If it were something that were going to be an added expense as you're building a system then I suppose I could see the justification on saving on a pump, but IMO it helps maintain a more stable mash and has some bonus side effects I'll list later.

3. I thought the basket worked great. First, if you watch the High Gravity video you can see how he rests the basket kind of cocked on top of the pot at the end of the mash to let the bag drain. I did this also and it worked great. I'm still trying to figure out how to squeeze out the rest though as I didn't want to push on this cocked basket and have it fall back in the pot and splash everywhere. Worst case, just adjust your volume for a little more lost to absorption. I also like having a physical separation between the bag and the element. I know a lot of people say it doesn't matter, but the basket eliminates any fear.

4. I stuck with my IC and had no issues. One of the goofy parts of my setup is a have the system in my basement and I don't have water down there. So I set it up by the window and run the garden hose through the window to my IC. Then just runoff into a bucket and dump it. Here's where that recirc comes in with a bonus because I kept it running during the recirc and that keeps the wort moving across the coils and really sped up the cooling. I really didn't have to bother with a lot of stirring or sloshing the coil around and that helped the trub drop out nicely for when it was time to transfer.

5. Another bonus for the recirc in cleanup. After a quick flush with hot water to get out the big chunks, I made up about 3 gallons of hot Oxi and just let it recirc for 20 minutes or so. After that there were just a few spots in the pot that I had to hit a little harder by hand and I also had to work a little more on the basket. Overall, it was pretty simple though.
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