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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Double Batch with 30 Amps - HEX in BK for strike water?




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Old 11-07-2012, 02:13 AM   #11
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You guys got me thinking and I think I know how I am going to do this in the rare case I need to.

Im planning on using runs4beer's method of switchcraft plugs on my element housings. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/show-us-your-element-housings-pots-how-did-you-do-212079/index10.html#post4472090

With that in mind I can swap out the 220 cord for a cord that goes to a 20a 120v gfci outlet and use that to heat strike water. I wont have any control other than plugging it in but running a 5500w element on 120 gives you 1375w. Would probably take awhile to heat strike that way but it will get it started and take minimal cost.



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Old 11-07-2012, 04:29 PM   #12
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3500w * 2 elements = 7000w / 240v = 29amps. you could run both these elements at the same time on the dedicated 30a circuit no problem.

OMJ's comment about flipping them from 240v to 120v also works but will take longer to heat the water since you have less watts



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Old 11-07-2012, 05:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMJ View Post
You guys got me thinking and I think I know how I am going to do this in the rare case I need to.

Im planning on using runs4beer's method of switchcraft plugs on my element housings. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/show-us-your-element-housings-pots-how-did-you-do-212079/index10.html#post4472090

With that in mind I can swap out the 220 cord for a cord that goes to a 20a 120v gfci outlet and use that to heat strike water. I wont have any control other than plugging it in but running a 5500w element on 120 gives you 1375w. Would probably take awhile to heat strike that way but it will get it started and take minimal cost.
Hmmm I like this thought. Better solution than some of my other ideas (heat stick, adding additional 2000W 110V element to HLT, going back to propane for second batch, etc).
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #14
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3500w * 2 elements = 7000w / 240v = 29amps. you could run both these elements at the same time on the dedicated 30a circuit no problem.

OMJ's comment about flipping them from 240v to 120v also works but will take longer to heat the water since you have less watts
Running two elements would be a valid solution if I was starting all over again, AND planned on doing double batches all the time. I dont plan on reworking my control panel any time soon, and really would probably only double brew a few times a year.

Of course the question with your idea is how much longer does it take to get the initial volume up to temps with 3500 as opposed to 5500 and does that save you time overall?

I'm afraid the answer to our questions (speeding up a double brew day) is, like always, MORE POWER!
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:48 PM   #15
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uh, aren't you already running two elements? one in the BK and one in the HLT? you just can't run them simultaneously right now.

rough calculations from sunday's brew day (5500w element, 1 at a time)
need 17 gallons total, but can't heat all of that at once.
start with maybe 12 in the HLT at 50F (ground water).
50F -> 165F = 39 minutes
then i mash in, add more water to the HLT and heat it enough to get the HERMS to the right temp plus sparge. it's done at about the time i'm done mashing in and stirring. (10 min)
mash out at 168 (about 10 min to ramp via herms)
add to boil kettle. sparge.
13.5 into the kettle around 165F
13.5 gal 165F => 212F = 18 minutes

total water heating time: 39 + 18 = about an hour

***************************
proposed method
2 x 3500W elements. can be run simultaneously
i need 17 gallons so i split it into 2 vessels (HLT + BK) and get all my water at once!
50F -> 165F 8 gallons = 43 minutes [4 minutes over my last brew day]
BK water goes into the mash, and i'm instantly able to control temps with herms, no lag. [now 10 minutes up on my last brew day]
at the end of the mash, ramp the 8 gallons in the HLT to mash out temp. [net result same as before. the herms will still take the same amount of time to ramp the mash]
13.5 gal into kettle. 165F to 212 @ 3500W = 28 minutes [10 min longer than last brew day, net result is 0 minutes longer total]

with this method, however, i can be heating water in my HLT for my next batch just as soon as it's empty. with the above method i would have had to use propane or some other method to heat the second batch water.

so the net result is basically a wash... and can be shortened by simply starting the BK as soon as there's enough liquid to cover the element. i didn't put this into the calculations because i couldn't account for the math as easily.

the answer to this particular question is technically MORE POWER, but not the way you think. by expanding your total heatable volume into 2 vessels at 7000w total you can heat water quicker than with 1 5500w element, and also free yourself up to double batch days.

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Old 11-08-2012, 03:49 PM   #16
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Nice concise writeup, I’m picking up what your throwing down! I think that if I were to redo my control panel this is exactly what I would be doing (maybe even upping everything to 40 or 50 amps so I could run dual 4500 or 5500 elements).

But… I was not planning on redoing my control panel at this point in time. Which led me to the theory that I could do this mechanically. That theory has been proven incorrect. Which leaves me with getting heat (power) from somewhere else.

So for my situation, I guess it’s a choice of the following:
A. Quit whining, dedicate an entire day to brewing double batches and be done in 8-10+ hours
B. Whip out the ol’ propane and turkey fryer and get the second batches volume going with that (issue: don’t want to put my electric HLT on flame due to plastic housing and potting)
C. Conjure up some adapter to allow me to plug my existing HLT 5500w element into a 110 outlet, getting 1375w to heat up batch 2’s sparge water during batch 1’s boil.
D. Add additional 2000w 110 element to HLT. This will both increase first batches heating time and also give me more power than C for batch 2’s heating time.
E. Build a heatstick that I can move from either HLT or BK (I don’t like this idea-most likely to kill me)
F. Man up and rebuild my CP (this aint happening, my man card will be completely removed in a short time with my wife expecting in January).

I honestly think I like option D the best. Only downsides are that there will be another hole in my keggle (join the club), and some extra cost up front for mounting it. I bet I can get 13-14 gallons of water up to 170 in 30 minutes with 7500 watts. Saving time on both single AND double brew days!

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Old 11-08-2012, 03:55 PM   #17
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a 110v heating element is a perfect solution. sorry, my brain is now only wired for 240v.

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:35 PM   #18
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F. Man up and rebuild my CP (this aint happening, my man card will be completely removed in a short time with my wife expecting in January).
LOL you have a kid coming and you're thinking about double batches? Just start building the new CP now. You're going to need it just to optimize a single brew day.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:03 PM   #19
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LOL you have a kid coming and you're thinking about double batches? Just start building the new CP now. You're going to need it just to optimize a single brew day.
+1

We just had a kid and I'm lucky to get half a batch kegged. I've been working on a keezer build for almost three months now!
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #20
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+1

We just had a kid and I'm lucky to get half a batch kegged. I've been working on a keezer build for almost three months now!
I didnt brew for a year after my first was born. Certainly makes it tougher


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