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Old 12-03-2011, 09:25 PM   #1
hatrickwah
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Default Big TX Home Brew E-Herms Build Out

*** Plenty of pictures to come ***
Hey all, its been a while since I posted last, but it comes with moving I guess. I've moved to Houston in May and have been busy brewing away since. Built a slick glycol fermentation setup with room to grow, and have been relying quite heavily on my propane heated, single tier setup that I built last year. To sum a rather long story up, wife and I have come to agreement, I get to take a portion of my Christmas bonus this year and finally go all electric, and finish taking over half of my garage in the process.

Today I finalized the plans, once I picked up the breaker and Spa GFI disconnect at Home Depot I knew it could be done.

Here is a before shot of the brewery.


As well as my slick FermTroller fermentation setup:


Where it is ALL going to end up:


Keep in mind, I'm literally taking that entire wall in my garage and turning it into a brewery now.

The plans for this build:
- BCS control (no switches on the panel, since full computer in garage, plus tablet in reserve), K.I.S.S.
- ALL STAINLESS (including the HERMS coil), I'm done with copper; here in Texas copper is bad, too much humidity or something
- K.I.S.S. so the wife can even brew when she so chooses.
- Use as much from the original setup as possible
- Simple, but solid parts (taking a point from Kal's Electric Brewery build here)
- Plumb the water in so no garden hose is necessary for brewing!

Supplies for new build already obtained:
5500w Heating elements ULWD
50a Spa Disconnect with GFI
50a Breaker for panel
40a, 120v 2 pole contactors, (2)

Currently have:
3 kegs, great shape, mostly ready to go, 6 holes to cut maybe
-- From the currently functioning brewery
2 rocking pumps from Chugger, with recently replaced impellers and gaskets
Pumps wired via locking NEMA plugs, therefore have the plugs and outlets for the pumps
Couple spare 22mm pilot switches, will use these for power on/off on entire control box, plus maybe use my e-stop as well

Being that I have been busy adjusting from Wyoming to Texas brewing, I have a few other slick features to this brewery that I'll show off as well, once I implement them (just bought the last part over Thanksgiving).

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Old 12-03-2011, 09:31 PM   #2
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Can't wait to see the results. I'm planning on making a similar move in the next year. I'll following your.progress as I build my blueprint.

Sounds like you've thought this out. Have fun!

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Old 12-03-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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Can you share some info and pics on how you built your fermentation chambers? I'm hoping to do something similar in the basement of the house we're moving into in a couple of months!

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Old 12-03-2011, 09:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatfieldenator View Post
Can you share some info and pics on how you built your fermentation chambers? I'm hoping to do something similar in the basement of the house we're moving into in a couple of months!
Hatfieldenator, I put a bad name on the thread, but here is the build thread:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/new-...-texas-252146/

I think it is current, I'll double check. If anything, a lot should happen in the next few weeks (in addition to what I did last month) at which point I'll update it even further. Any questions, of course, ask.

Quick update though, my glycol runs at 32 degrees with 1 gallon of antifreeze mixed, and the boxes get down to +10 of that. Carboys have been successfully dialed into +/-1 degree of desired temperature. Ultimate plan however is conical fermenters; but that's at least another year out.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:02 PM   #5
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Okay, so for the electrical gurus, I'm sort of stumped on perhaps the biggest step. I can get the power to my kegs but I'm not quite sure how I want to get my power to my control box yet, and once inside, how to distribute for that matter. I've looked at several different methods, Tiber_brew, Kal, and more recently BigBobsBrews, but I'm sort of stumped as to what would work best for this. Like I said earlier, I want to keep it simple, but safe.
I don't really want to drop $100/$200 on breakers and things. Any one have any recommendations? Once I have Visio re-installed I'll upload my current plans on this build.

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Old 12-04-2011, 04:09 PM   #6
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I'm not sure I understand. If you already have the GFCI disconnect it is just a matter of:

a) Wiring up a 4-wire dryer plug to feed power into the GFCI panel
or
b) Permanently installing it to the main panel using normal 10/4 wire.

From there you can either permanently wire it your BCS/control panel or using outlets and inlets.

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Old 12-04-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
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I would reconsider building a compete brewery with only BCS control. If your computer locks up or fails to communicate with the BCS you could be In big trouble quick. In my opinion having mechanical switches would be the KISS method and very easy to add between your relays and devices. I love the BCS but the response time is lacking at times and commonly needs to be refreshed. A couple of seconds can make all the difference when a pump runs dry, line pops off or a kettle is approaching boil over. I use on/off/auto configuration so I can override the BCS as needed or operate devices independent of the BCS. Just a thought, good luck with your build.

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Old 12-04-2011, 05:09 PM   #8
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I'm not to worried about my computers locking up, never been a real issue for me. I will probably use my current switches and E-Stop from the old build in the new setup. Use the switches as on-auto or off. In other words, as long as the switch is on, the auto will work, other wise I can quickly shut the power off. As for the boil over, not sure an on off switch would really help here.

As for the power distribution inside, I given the okay by SWMBO for individual breakers as used by Ohio-Ed and TiberBrew. Once we realized what they cost, it was worth it to go that route. I'm right now researching the din-rail terminals as a possible solution for clean looking control box as well since I have 7 ft of DIN on order now.

Another question now is whether or not my NEMA box is too big. Stainless steel 24wx30hx12d. It was free, so I'm leaning towards using it, but there will be A TON of free space in this thing.

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Old 12-04-2011, 05:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatrickwah View Post
Another question now is whether or not my NEMA box is too big. Stainless steel 24wx30hx12d. It was free, so I'm leaning towards using it, but there will be A TON of free space in this thing.
NOT 'free space' - room for future expansion!

Looking forward to watching this come together!
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:42 PM   #10
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Okay, so here is the tentative plans for the high voltage wiring. I'll use the Din rail breakers from Automation Direct, [2] 2-pole 25a breakers for my 5500w elements, and [2] 1-pole 15a breakers for the pumps, BCS, switches and LEDs. After more thought, I'll use auto-off-on on the pumps, but the elements will simply be on or off. I would like to have the LEDs light when the element is actually on, but not sure how to safely wire the LEDs into that circuit.

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