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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Can it all work on 50A?
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:44 PM   #11
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The PIDs would allow the "manual" aspect of it and then I can layer the BCS on top to do all sorts of other things.
You can just use switches to do the same thing. There are lots of examples around here with a BCS with 3 way switches to have manual control, manual-off-BCS.

All of this well said and would work with bcs too.
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Even the career electricians on this forum cannot agree on whether the 80% rule applies to a brew system. I believe one reason is the fact that this is not a branch circuit, nor is it a true continuous use appliance like a residential water heater. I am not an electrician and I'm not giving you advice, but I have no concerns about running a 50amp spa panel at 49 amps.

I think the Cadillac of designs here can put 9000 watts into the HLT at one interval (rapid strike heating), then add 1500w of RIMS during the rest while the HLT is heating sparge water. That's 10,500watts and at 240v, that's under 44 amps leaving some room for a pump to run. Once you are sparging and collect enough wort to cover the BK element, fire a 5500w element in there on PID manual mode while using a selector switch/contactors to prevent the HLT from firing at all. While I don't anticipate that the HLT would lose too much temp during the sparge, you could always route it through the RIMS tube to keep the sparge temp topped off. Bonus is that you're cleaning the RIMS out at the same time.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:15 AM   #12
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I think the Cadillac of designs here can put 9000 watts into the HLT at one interval (rapid strike heating), then add 1500w of RIMS during the rest while the HLT is heating sparge water. That's 10,500watts and at 240v, that's under 44 amps leaving some room for a pump to run. Once you are sparging and collect enough wort to cover the BK element, fire a 5500w element in there on PID manual mode while using a selector switch/contactors to prevent the HLT from firing at all. While I don't anticipate that the HLT would lose too much temp during the sparge, you could always route it through the RIMS tube to keep the sparge temp topped off. Bonus is that you're cleaning the RIMS out at the same time.
Nice - makes a great deal of sense. So what you're describing above is essentially an HLT with two 4500W elements, a RIMS with 1500, and a BK with 5500 and a single pump. You don't happen to have reference to a PJ drawing for this do you? All the drawings I see use a single element for each but a double HLT element would be great especially since you're switching back and forth anyway. If you're going 240 / 50A why not pimp your ride?
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:55 PM   #13
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Actually to go even further, if you're selecting between the BK and HLT so that only one could ever fire at a time couldn't you outfit the BK with the same 9000 watts? Necessary? Probably not since your wort's already coming out warm from the MLT, but maybe a nice capability to have.

When having two elements in a vessel, do people typically somehow pair them up under the same PID or do you need a separate PID for each?

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Old 01-30-2013, 06:28 PM   #14
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I have 10k in both the hlt and the bk and I pair them up to one I/O of my BCS which would be the same as one pid for each kettle. With 10 gallon'ish batches you only need one in the BK for sure so it's a bit overkill, but in my case I can run all 4 elements at once and it's handy to have to heat the hlt and strike water super fast and all at once.

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Old 01-31-2013, 03:47 AM   #15
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I have 10k in both the hlt and the bk and I pair them up to one I/O of my BCS which would be the same as one pid for each kettle. With 10 gallon'ish batches you only need one in the BK for sure so it's a bit overkill, but in my case I can run all 4 elements at once and it's handy to have to heat the hlt and strike water super fast and all at once.
How are you able to run all four at once? That's gotta be a 80+ amp draw. Do you have two big lines feeding your setup?
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:26 PM   #16
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How are you able to run all four at once? That's gotta be a 80+ amp draw. Do you have two big lines feeding your setup?
Yes, I ran 2 - 50 amp 4 wire circuits from the main to my brew area, into 2 spa panels for GFCI then into my control panel. Similar to how you would wire a hot tub.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:35 PM   #17
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Apparently you weren't f'ing around...

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