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Old 01-09-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
stlbeer
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Default e-Brewery Control Panel Project/Conversion from Propane to Electric

Hi all,

I'm converting my propane/electric RIMS hybrid to an all electric, 220V eBrewery. I've been reading through the control panel builds, reviewing P-J's schematics (top notch work there!) and slowly putting my thoughts together.

I've been brewing for over 5 years and have put together several RIMS systems built up in an ammo can controlling a pump and SS RIMS tube using a PID. That experience has given me the confidence to move ahead with the planning phase of the project.



My first major score is this fiberglass electrical box that will be my control panel.



I have a good friend who is an electrician who located this for me for FREE! It will be a bit challenging working around the holes in the door, but I think many of those can be reused. It's 12 x 18 x 8 and should be big enough to handle everything I'll need.

I have access to 50A so I'll have him bring in that much to my garage via 50A Spa panel to give me GFI protection. I want to be able to run both the eHLT (220v) and RIMS tube (120v) at the same time. I would also like to run the eBK at the same time. This would rarely occur, but could if I was doing a double batch.

I think that puts me pretty close to the limit since my RIMS tube draws about 11.5A and the 5500w/220v elements for the eHLT and eBK each draw 23A. I will need an extra circuit for the 120v.


P-J,
If you would happen to have a schematic for this type of a system, I'd like to engage your services for this project. Please let me know if there is additional information you would need for this schematic. I'm sure I've left out something.

Thank you to all you eBrewers out there who regularly post in this forum. Your posts have given me the education and confidence to move forward. I hope you will have much advice for me as I move forward with this build.

Paul



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Old 01-09-2012, 04:35 PM   #2
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How about this?

The three elements cannot all be energized at the same time. You have to make choices. However, if you change the 2 5500W elements to 4500W elements, it can be run without issue. (You never stated your kettle sizes that I could see.) Additionally, I think it is important that your RIMS element be powered with 240V so that the total power draw is within reason.

As always - click on the image to see a full scale diagram that is printable on Tabloid paper (11" x 17")



Hope this helps.



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Old 01-09-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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That looks a lot like what I designed and built except for single tier! I also have 50A service but used 4500W element in the boil kettle, 5500W in the HLT, and 5500W run off of 120 in the rims (kinda). only upgrades i want to do in the near future are to put float switches on the grant and in the HLT to just make it less manual, but it works great now!

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Old 01-09-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-J View Post
How about this?

The three elements cannot all be energized at the same time. You have to make choices. However, if you change the 2 5500W elements to 4500W elements, it can be run without issue. (You never stated your kettle sizes that I could see.) Additionally, I think it is important that your RIMS element be powered with 240V so that the total power draw is within reason.


Hope this helps.
P-J,

Thank you for the reply. Regarding kettles, I'm using 15.5 gallon keggles and usually brew 12 gallon batches. If reducing the 2 5500W elements to 4500W means I can run all 3 at once, then that'll work. With this arrangement I can easily change the RIMS power to 240V. I actually have a 240V 5500W element in there now, but will pull that one out and use a much lower wattage element in the RIMS.

Of course, I could also sell the RIMS system I have and use the $ from it to buy a SS HERMS coil and connectors. I need to weigh the differences of HERMS vs RIMS.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:21 AM   #5
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So I need some opinions:

I have a 2 tier, pyramidal type brew rig.



If I go with a HERMS setup I'd put the HEX in the HLT (up on the high shelf).
I would drain strike water from the HLT into the MLT,
Then recirculate the wort from the MLT pump it into the HEX in the HLT, then drain it back to the MLT. Are there extra cleaning issues to worry about?

If I go with a RIMS setup I do what I do now and drain from the MLT, to the pump, through the RIMS tube and back to the MLT.

A RIMS requires 3 elements - HLT (4500w), RIMS(2000w), & BK(4500w).
A HERMS requires 2 elements - HLT(5500w) and BK (5500w).

I brew 12 gallon batches, if I go with a RIMS, will I miss the 1000w I would have in the HLT and BK if I had a HERMS?

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Old 01-11-2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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why cant you put that extra 1000w in there with rims? they wont all be running at the same time.

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Old 01-11-2012, 11:59 AM   #7
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why cant you put that extra 1000w in there with rims? they wont all be running at the same time.
If back to back batches are run, they will be on at some point.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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stlbeer,

I'd just go with your current RIMS system and use the 4500W elements. That's more than enough power for your batch size and your set up.

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Old 01-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #9
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If back to back batches are run, they will be on at some point.
Yup - the ability to do back to back batches is one of my objective.

I'll go with the 4500w elements.

Thanks P-J!
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:33 PM   #10
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Damn Paul...You've come a long way in the past couple of years. I need to get out and see your set-up as you are building.



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