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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 11-08-2012, 09:52 PM   #21
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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.
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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!
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I didnt brew for a year after my first was born. Certainly makes it tougher
Thanks for all the encouragement . Maybe I should at least get the SSRs, thermocouples, and PID ordered now before 99.999% of my discretionary income goes to diapers!

And yes one of the primary reasons I have been thinking double batch brew days is to optimize seldom alone time!
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:18 PM   #22
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I just found another thread on this and someone mentioned that the total wattage capacity of a 30 amp system is approx. 7000 Watts (7000/240=29.16). He mentioned that he was able to run this without the breaker tripping due to temps too. So the idea behind it was basically that you run one 3500W element in each vessel so you can run both at the same time. Thus you have 7000W running and heating as opposed to having a maximum of 5500W heating and running, thereby increasing the efficiency of your system.

Not my idea but makes perfect sense to me. I think I'll be dropping by HD tonight to grab two 3500W Camco elements. It may increase the time it takes to reach a boil but I figure if I turn the element on as soon as its covered that will be minimized. Also that time will probably be made up for by being able to heat strike and sparge water at the same time.

I'll probably try to get the elements potted this weekend and maybe do a double batch next weekend. This of course is subject to the approval of SWMBO and child. I'll try to remember to time everything and update here with results.

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Old 11-09-2012, 01:19 AM   #23
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Thanks for the response. To be PC id like to point out that most code and general electrical practice says not to run more than 80% of your breakers rating.

With that out of the way... you COULD heat half your initial strike water in each vessel to minimize time lost in the first batch.

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Old 11-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #24
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that code is for new installations, not dedicated runs for "appliances". you can absolutely run 30 amps of service on a 30 amp breaker and appropriately sized wire all day long.

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Old 11-09-2012, 05:09 PM   #25
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that code is for new installations, not dedicated runs for "appliances". you can absolutely run 30 amps of service on a 30 amp breaker and appropriately sized wire all day long.
Good to know, I will definitely try this now.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #26
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Yeah I wasn’t at all saying it couldn’t be done in this application, I just felt it was a good thing to point out. If you are safe and sound with your electrical and follow common sense it shouldn’t be a problem.

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Old 11-12-2012, 05:49 PM   #27
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if you have some kung foo with micro controllers, this seems like exactly what you want. you could even build it in parallel with your existing PIDs and switch from auto to manual mode for both vessels.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:03 PM   #28
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that is awesome. I wish I had some micro controller kung foo

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:07 PM   #29
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If the strike water for batch 2 was heated in a cooler with an element installed in it which was powered by a 15amp (better yet 20amp) 120v wall outlet, I would think that you could reach strike temperature in less then a one hour boil. Sparge water could be preheated from water exiting the chiller (chilling batch 1) and then heated in the real HLT before the MLT drops in temp much, maybe? If the batch 2 strike water was collect earlier (day before) and could come up 20° to room temp that might help.

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:49 PM   #30
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If the strike water for batch 2 was heated in a cooler with an element installed in it which was powered by a 15amp (better yet 20amp) 120v wall outlet, I would think that you could reach strike temperature in less then a one hour boil. Sparge water could be preheated from water exiting the chiller (chilling batch 1) and then heated in the real HLT before the MLT drops in temp much, maybe? If the batch 2 strike water was collect earlier (day before) and could come up 20° to room temp that might help.
I like your thinking with using the chilling water output for sparge! That’s a pretty nifty time saver there even if it’s not up at the 170 degree mark straight out of the chiller.

I was thinking about volumes, and for ten gallon batches I am usually forced doing double sparges of approximately 4 to 5 gallons each. My thinking here is that I may be able to end up with enough hot water left over to use for the second batches strike and thereby start mashing as soon as the first batch final runnings are drained to the BK (and the mash tun emptied and refilled with new grain).

Here’s my (latest) rough process plan:

1. Start off with an absolute full HLT (~15 gallons) set at ~170 strike temp. I don’t consider this really a time-loss here since I usually have the water measured out the night before anyhow. All this would take is going down to the brewery as soon as I wake up (who doesn’t do this everyday anyhow?) and flipping a switch. Go back upstairs and get my coffee started like I normally would. A timer could make this even easier.

2. Strike volume is typically around 7 gallons. Get the mash going and fill the HLT back up to full. For 60 degree tap water temp the new average temp of the full HLT would be ~120F. Should be back up to 170 very quickly (prior to first runnings).

3. First batch sparge ~5 gallons. Fill HLT back up to full (new average temp of full HLT = ~135). 15 minute rest of the first sparge while the HLT is on full blast should get the temps up but honestly I don’t think it needs to get to 170 since the second sparge is really just rinsing the grains further (conversion should stop during the first sparge).

4. Second batch sparge ~5 gallons. Allow the rest of the HLT volume (~10 gallons) to continue rising to new strike temperature (carefully entering new higher MLT start temperature in Beersmith). Once strike temp is hit, switch power to BK element.

(OPTIONAL STEP – AUGMENT HEATING WITH SEPARATE HEATING ELEMENT, PROPANE BURNER, ETC.)

5. Drain second sparge into BK.

6. Clear mash tun and add second batch’s grains. Add strike water (approx 8 gallons).

7. When first batch is done boiling, shut off BK element, chill with plate chiller where output water is sent to HLT. I think this water can sometime be up in the 150’s depending on flowrate. As soon as the HLT element is covered switch power back over to HLT.

8. Clean BK and finish rest of batch 2.
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