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Old 04-07-2012, 12:46 PM   #1
lafolielapper
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Default Do you really need a control panel for e-kettle?

So, yeah, if I really don't feel like spending the money, is there anything wrong with just letting a 240 5500W element just go full blast without a control panel for my 5.25 and 10.5 gallon batches?

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/heating-element-kits

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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It will get too hot.

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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At the very least use a PWM. You can also build a pretty simple PID box without all the flashy bells and whistles and lights.

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Old 04-07-2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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If you're hell-bent on not building any sort of controls you may be better off forgetting about 10g batches and just going with a 2000W-ish 120V element for 5g batches. You could run that full blast and not really worry about having to control its output. That or a PWM build like DustBow has suggested.

Just my $0.02

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Old 04-07-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
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You can use boil a 10g batch just fine with one 3000w element, some use two 3000w elements to get to a boil and one to mantain the boil.

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Old 04-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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The Electric Brewery is great but it's a Cadillac. You can do a panel for much cheaper. You'll probably going to want something to control your element. There are lots of toolbox threads for pumps and PIDs. There are also a few DIY PWM threads where you control the output of your element with a dial. There are much cheaper and simpler solutions out there. Just make sure you keep it safe.

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Old 04-07-2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustBow View Post
At the very least use a PWM. You can also build a pretty simple PID box without all the flashy bells and whistles and lights.
+1

A PWM circuit is pathetically easy to build and it'll give you excellent control of the element.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:15 AM   #8
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so a single low density 3000W 240V heater element for a range between 5-10 gallon batches should be fine. I'm not super electrical savvy, and I am confused why there isn't just some kind of dial that I can hook up to the element (like how a stovetop works) without it looking like a bunch of wires and 9v batteries (ghetto rigged). I do not need it to be controlled via a temp controller, just manually by a dial what are my options. thanks.

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Old 04-08-2012, 01:41 AM   #9
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I know one 3000w element in a keggle will boil a 10g batch just fine, you could use a 3000w and a 2000w or 2500w. Then you can use both for getting to a boil and one or the oher depending on batch size. I do not know what size is best for a 5g batch. One advantage of using a set heat input is a consistent boiloff rate.

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Old 04-08-2012, 02:10 AM   #10
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so I am contemplating making the leap into electric brewing since I intend to move to MN here in a few months, and with electric, my brewing season doesn't need to be limited by the typical Minnesota winter weather.

With that said, I am very confused. Everyone says to use a GFCI breaker when going electric, but when I am researching, I am confused what items I need to actually be able to use my setup with a GFCI circuit.

My plan is to use this controller (http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...r-306p3084.htm) Don't hate, I'd rather spend the money and have it done right then have a cheapo DIY PWM type setup that I might just screw up anyway. I will also use this element (http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...S-306p2669.htm).

My confusion comes from the fact that with the controller, I have the choice of a 3 or 4 wire model for the controller, and since everyone says I'd be stupid not to use GFCI when doing e-brewing, then I obviously must use the 4 wire version. However, the element only comes in a 3 prong variant. I am confused...if the heater is only 3 prong, but the controller is a 4-wire setup, and connected to a GFCI breaker, am I still protected?

Also, since I plan on having my dad (electrician) put the 220V 30A drop in the garage, I assume that this can only be the 4-prong outlet or else it would not be truly GFCI protected? Damn I'm dumb.

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