Between PJ's diagrams and Kal's detailed instructions, my build was straight forward so a big thank you to you both for your contributions.
I have a 15.5 gal Bayou Classic kettle as my boil kettle and an Igloo cube cooler as my mash tun (I use a smaller 7.5 gal Bayou Classic kettle to hold the sparge water while I drain the mash tun) so my controller design is similar to an eBiab setup. I used the following diagram, as designed by PJ:
I made the following changes to the diagram:
- No eStop. The breaker is less than 10 feet away from the controller. I can easily kill the power if I need to. If, however, I was brewing in a different location, away from the breaker, I would have installed an eStop.
- I added a 220V red LED in parallel between the contactor and element. This is the only LED I installed as I wanted a visual confirmation that there was a voltage applied to the element when the contactor was engaged.
I broke this project into 3 phases:Install 30A GFCI Service
I brew in the garage (my wife hates brewing aromas so basement brewing is out) but fortunately, the service panel is in the garage. I installed a 30A GFCI breaker and ran 10/4 wire to the outlet.Control Panel
Auber 2 inch RTD (with deluxe cable)
Auber 40A SSR and heat sink
eBrewSupply 3 selector switches and 1 220V red LED
10-Foot 4-Wire Dryer Cord
Leviton 2620 30 Amp, 250 Volt, Flush Mounting Locking Receptacle
Packard C230B 2 Pole 30 Amp Contactor 120 Volt Coil
2 panel mount fuse holders
Home Depot 8x8x4 thermoplastic enclosure
Misc: outlet for pump, 10, 14 and 18 gauge wire, crimp connectors, cable ties, 1A & 10A fast blow fuses, etc.
I laid out the components and wired everything. I used ring terminals to crimp all high current lines. As I wired each component, I took the time to run continuity tests. Everything was tested and after I finished the wiring, I test it again. Since I was using a plastic enclosure, I paid careful attention to grounding so I made sure everything was properly grounded, I even grounded the heat sink. Once finished, I plugged it in and to my amusement, everything powered on. I used a multimeter to test voltage at various locations.eKettle
eBrewSupply Element DIY Kit: Camco 5500W ULWD, enclosure, 10 ft of 10/3 wire and L630P (using Kal's design)
This was probably the easier part of the build. I bought a QMax punch to cut a 1.25 inch hole in the kettle and plate on the element enclosure. At around $19, it was a great buy! I also cut a hole for the RTD element using my step bit that I bought years ago to install the valve on my kettle. The element hole ended up at 2.5 inches off the bottom as I had to make clearance for the enclosure. I followed Kal's kettle design to lay out mine so if the valve is at 6 o'clock, the element is at 3 and the temp probe half way between 12 and 3.
Once again, I ran continuity tests from the kettle through the plug for the element and all the way down to the ground of the controller service line. Originally, I didn't have continuity. It ended up that the L630P that came with the element kit had the ground mislabeled. The plug had on one of the straight blades labeled as ground instead of the one that sort of looks like an L. So I rewired the plug and successfully tested ground all the way through the system.
I tested the kettle for leaks then dried everything and used RTV silicone caulk to seal around element base inside the kettle and on the enclosure side (as documented to minimize chances of rust and leaks) and then waited a week to allow the caulk to cure (instructions say 3 days).
Friday night I ran a water test, calibrated the RTD and auto tuned the PID. Ran the system for about to 2 hrs to get the feel of things. Saturday night, I brewed my first batch on my new electric system. The equipment ran flawlessly. The PID maintained the temperatures with precise accuracy. The element brought the 13 gal of wort to a boil faster than my Banjo LP burner ever did.
Everything worked and I can say that brewing with an electric system is as awesome as everyone says. Thank you to everyone that answered the questions I had here and there. And once again, thank you to PJ and Kal.
I will post pictures soon.