Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Considering an eHerms 120V build.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-19-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
Anthony_Lopez
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Anthony_Lopez's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Groton, MA
Posts: 1,693
Liked 17 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default Considering an eHerms 120V build.

I have been brewing on and off for quite a few years and have decided that my next piece of equipment will be an eHerms system built off a keggle. At some point I will probably upgrade, but for now I am only interested in going with 120V in a keggle. I want this to be portable and work using any 120V circuit. Looking for something simple enough but wanted to see what people have built in the past. I looked through the search results, but didn't see a ton.

I boil on propane with a keggle and use a 15G MiniBrew MLT for 10 gallon batches.

Cheers!

__________________

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
--Tom Waits

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.
--Frank Zappa

My Cheap and Easy Stirplate

Anthony_Lopez is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #2
RichBenn
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 749
Liked 13 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Do some searches. With a single 20 AMP GFCI circuit, the maximum you can use is a 2000 watt element. 2000 watts is marginal for 5 gallon batches. (Boil = barely or not for 6.5 gallon boil, VERY slow rise in HLT). I use 2 separate 20 amp circuits, with two elements in the kettle, which works good for 5.5 gallon batches. But I had to install another GFCI and have two cords going to the two separate circuits plus two elements in the boil kettle and two elements in the HLT. (The HLT and boil kettles cannot be on at the same time.)

But you're talking 10 gallon batches. You really need a 240 volt circuit. Then you can use a nice 4500 or 5500 watt element to give you the heat you need. Believe me, I did a lot of soul searching before going 120V. If my brew location was the garage, outside, or in a basement, it would be 240 volts. A single 120V circuit should be used for 3-4 gallon batches only, IMHO.

__________________

Try my 1st Place Wedding Pale Ale!

RichBenn is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2013, 08:30 PM   #3
Anthony_Lopez
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Anthony_Lopez's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Groton, MA
Posts: 1,693
Liked 17 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Well, my mentality is that I can run the HLT with the element for keeping the temps stable. The pre-heating of the HLT water can be done with my BK and transferred over using my pump. I'm simply interested in keeping my eHerms running as steady as possible using the element. Once I have a designated brew space the HLT will most likely be re-fitted with 240V equipment.

Thanks for the input though. It's all appreciated.

__________________

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
--Tom Waits

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.
--Frank Zappa

My Cheap and Easy Stirplate

Anthony_Lopez is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2013, 11:41 PM   #4
kenh
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 256
Liked 20 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

You need to read this article.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Home...-Calculations/

And after you read it you'll understand why you need 240V to do 10 gallon batches.

__________________
kenh is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-21-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
Spellman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Woodward, Iowa
Posts: 175
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

If sticking with a 120v system you will definitely want 2 elements going. I have been using 2 heat sticks for about a year now and they worked very well for getting my temps up to strike, then while fly sparging I would kick them on after the elements where covered with liquid. Basically I used them in place of a burner, but my control was limiting to shutting them off and on. Which for all intensive purposes was a VERY affordable way to brew indoors and make wonderful beer. I am now working on a more sophisticated system doing eherms. I was originally going to do this with the two 2000w elements I had, but after much consideration I decided I am going with 240v 5500w. It is ultimately what I wanted to do and decided to not build out the 120v with the intention of converting later. My reasoning was it will be quicker, easier, and I won't waste my time when I would probably upgrade 8-12 months down the road anyway. I'd rather build it how I wanted right from the start, and I found a place in my home that I could wire it in (made it and easy decision). With that said, if 240v isn't an option PJ has some schematics on how to do 2 element 120v setups that you should be very pleased with to accomplish the same thing. They key here is 2 2000w elements will do 10g just fine, just might add 20min here and 20min there.

__________________
Spellman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-21-2013, 04:34 PM   #6
AnOldUR
fer-men-TAY-shuhn
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
AnOldUR's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 6,270
Liked 607 Times on 439 Posts
Likes Given: 456

Default

For your purposes 120V will be fine, but if you want to be able to use it anywhere you'll have to keep it below 15 amps (or 1800 watts.) Insulating the keggle with something like a Keg Koozy will help.



edit:
That is if I'm reading this right. All you're looking to do is recirculate your mash using HERMS and you'll still be doing your boil and maybe sparge water with your propane burner?

__________________
. . . once and a while I'll spout some jaded jackassery. — Billy-Klubb
AnOldUR is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2013, 04:53 AM   #7
kenh
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 256
Liked 20 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOldUR View Post
For your purposes 120V will be fine, but if you want to be able to use it anywhere you'll have to keep it below 15 amps (or 1800 watts.) Insulating the keggle with something like a Keg Koozy will help.
I just looked at the Keg Koozy and it's kind of neat. If I wasn't mashing in a large round GOTT cooler I'd buy one!
__________________
kenh is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2013, 11:43 AM   #8
wilserbrewer
BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 9 reviews
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jersey Shore, Jersey
Posts: 6,961
Liked 495 Times on 414 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichBenn View Post

But you're talking 10 gallon batches. You really need a 240 volt circuit. Then you can use a nice 4500 or 5500 watt element to give you the heat you need.
Two 120v, 20 amp circuits will give you 4000w, which is adequate for 10 gallon batches IME. While a 5500w would be quicker, if you are limited to 120v, 10 gallon batches can be done.
__________________
wilserbrewer BIAB bags
custom sized BIAB Bags, hop bags and ratchet pulleys at reasonable prices


Http://biabbags.webs.com/
wilserbrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-27-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
RichBenn
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 749
Liked 13 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Two 120v, 20 amp circuits will give you 4000w, which is adequate for 10 gallon batches IME. While a 5500w would be quicker, if you are limited to 120v, 10 gallon batches can be done.
Key word here is "adequate". And using 2000 watt elements is on the ragged edge according to some, as the breakers are not really supposed to run right at their limit. With the added load of controllers, pumps, and the like, and voltage spikes), they will. And they'll not work on 15 amp circuits, which is what most homes have on most plugs. Looking around, the next size down is 1650 or maybe 1800.

Just saying he really needs to think about it. It's a lot like buying a 7.5 gallon pot for a 5.5 gallon batch. You can get it to work, but trying to do 90 minute boil volumes with lots of hops and you'll soon upgrade to a 9 gallon pot. Or getting a 5 gallon cooler to mash in. Pretty soon you buy that 10 gallon cooler because you can't do a high gravity beer. It's cheaper in the long run to do it right.

Yes, it can be done with 120 volts, but you do need two elements, and two separate 20 amp circuits(not plugs), and in the end you may wish you'd made a different call.
__________________

Try my 1st Place Wedding Pale Ale!

RichBenn is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-27-2013, 05:10 PM   #10
chickens4life
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Fort collins, CO
Posts: 98
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

a 2000 watt element is not going to go over the recommended load on a 20A 120V circuit (80% constant use for 3 hours) unless you have it on for 3 hours with out it cycling off. As a side note 20A is standard in kitchens, I have only lived one place that didn't have 20A GFCI for at least one of the circuits.

As far as ability to boil, if you (which isn't even a concern here, you are using propane for that) as long as you have some time to wait for it to heat up (about 40 min from mashout to boil) 2000 W is enough for an 8 gallon batch, might not work with a wide kettle on a windy day, but you can always brew in side.

__________________
chickens4life is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
eHERMS build...one more amongst the many! Gabrew DIY Projects 17 02-14-2013 11:28 AM
My BCS-460 eHERMS build jbbeer Electric Brewing 13 01-29-2013 03:26 AM
LiquidFlame's eHERMS Build -need help LiquidFlame Electric Brewing 38 10-20-2012 04:02 PM
My eHERMS build Jdaught Electric Brewing 2 08-12-2012 03:24 AM
110v eHERMS build Tinga Electric Brewing 7 08-07-2012 06:40 PM