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Old 03-19-2011, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default Design Ideas

Hello, all. I am taking the eBrewing plunge, and come to you humbly soliciting advise, criticism, and help. I keep waffling back and forth between a traditional HLT-based herms and a separate, smaller self-contained hex for my system. Currently it is based on 2 10G coolers and a 15G kettle. 5G batches are my norm, with the occasional 10G batch or partigyle thrown in.

The building I am turning into my brew shack has one 240/30A and 2 120/20A (one is shared by the lighting) circuits available, and I have definitely determined that I will be using the bcs460 as the heart of my control system.

What are thoughts on the relative merits of the two types of herms? I have read extensively, but want opinions on that from people who currently use or have used both types. Also, what is the best configuration (either way) to use my available circuits effectively. Does one method provide faster ramping to mashout vs the other? Does it not matter? Indecision is a b!tch. Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-19-2011, 12:43 PM   #2
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I would stick with 120 if all your equipment will run on it. The amount of power will not speed up your brew day as its all in the heat my friend. My system is direct fire which is extremely efficient.

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Old 03-19-2011, 12:45 PM   #3
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You know I just noticed you were all electric, ha-ha sorry friend you can disregard my post!

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Old 03-19-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyurboy View Post
The building I am turning into my brew shack has one 240/30A and 2 120/20A (one is shared by the lighting) circuits available, and I have definitely determined that I will be using the bcs460 as the heart of my control system.
You have all of the power you need to create an all electric system of your choice. Come up with a plan (or a guess) on the process that you want to run.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:22 AM   #5
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I thought about using a separate and smaller hex with my eHERMS, but decided it was easier to put my hex coil in the HLT. This way the sparge water is already near it's temp and ready to go. This also eliminates the need for another vessel, element, PID, temp probe, more fittings and another circuit (or more power) for all of it.

Just seems easier to combine this task with the HLT imo.

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Old 03-20-2011, 07:27 AM   #6
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You could probably swing a 240v BK and a 120V HLT since you're using 2 10g coolers. I'm actually thinking about a similar setup with a 30amp 240v boil kettle with a PID, SSR + PWM, and then a basic 120v HLT with a PID and SSR. That way I could heat up my dough in and sparge water in the BK. Then use the 10g cooler HLT with my HEX and a 2000w 120v element to maintain mash temps during recirculation and then heat up to sparge. Finally boil with the PID set to 100% and use a PWM to dial in the boil.

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Old 03-20-2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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My current thinking involves 240/3500W HLT, 120V/1500W hex, 240/4500W BK. The HLT element will be shut off for sparge with the water traveling through the hex to ensure it is the proper temperature. That way I do not have to worry about water level in the HLT while maintaining temp for the sparge, since I can just shut off the HLT element at the start of the sparge or even as soon as it comes to temp.

I figure that with the separate hex, I will be able to overcome any reasonable amount of heat loss over the course of a 1/2-1 hour fly sparge....and the hex coil will be mostly cleaned by having the sparge water flow through it.

Given the above setup, could I get away without any kind of stirring/agitation in the HLT since the HEX will provide a boost to cooler water on its way through to sparge?

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Old 03-20-2011, 01:10 PM   #8
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If you are looking to get an exact temperature for your sparge water you could setup a temp probe on a fitting where the sparge water comes out. That could be hooked up to your hex PID to boost the temps to whatever you need.

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Old 03-20-2011, 09:38 PM   #9
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Started wiring my brew shed today...30A service in to a Home Depot spa panel, 2x20A circuits to lights and outlets.

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