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Old 03-30-2013, 03:52 AM   #1
emyers
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Default E keggle build

I started working on my new rig today. My plans are going automated but this will be a manual electric rig first and slowly go automated as it drains my wallet. So far i have 3 15.5 sanke kegs, SSR's, 2x 5500w camco elements, 2x 3500w camco elements, 1" locknuts for elements, 120v fan for cooling project box with relays. I have 2" tri clover adapters and 1/2" ss valves on there way from brewershardware, hopefully they come next week.

Today i cut the bottom off one of the pots, this will probably be the HLT because it has the smaller of the 2 lids i have, the larger lid will go on the mash tun for easier cleaning. I made a simple rig with a 2x2, carriage bolt, and hose clamp to cut the perfect circle on the bottom, I cleaned up the hole with a 60 grit flap disc on my angle grinder.

Elements will be 5500W and 3500W in each kettle. This will allow the boil to be maintained with 100% duty cycle on just the 3500W and the 5500W along with the 3500W for faster temp ramping of the HLT and boil kettle. Initially i will have DPDT switches controlling SSR's to swap between which element gets power, later a brew controller. To protect the elements i will have float switches just above the elements hard wired to the SSR's ground leg. I only have 60A main breaker so im limited in amperage (badly need to upgrade my 1971 breaker box). I have been using a similar 9000w setup with great results on a single sanke keg i made (for sale BTW).

My brother has a spray foam gun so plans are to coat the mash tun with 2-3" of closed cell.

This will be a gravity fed system with one pump for HERMS.

img_3329.jpg   brew-001.jpg  
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
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Take a SERIOUS look at TheElectricBrewery.com. I built my rig from Kal's plans with a 50 Amp Back-to-Back control panel. I can run both elements at the same time. So what I do is, heat my strike water in the boil keggle and keep my HLT full of 15 gallons of Hot Liquor with my HERMS coil in it. It is not a fully automated brewery, but it is pretty darned spiffy. Take a look at my links in my signature line for details of my build.

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Old 03-31-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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By the way... good job on the bottom drain decision! I LOVE all three of my bottom drain keggles! You can make a False Bottom out of the disk you have cut out of the bottom of the Keg.

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Old 03-31-2013, 01:07 AM   #4
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You are certainly close to the limits of your panel.

I think it makes sense to do what you are doing and build the vessels first, and the controller later once you have a good idea of how you want to use them.

The electric brewery is a great resource but the specifications are at the luxury end IMO.

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Old 03-31-2013, 04:21 AM   #5
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Huaco, I do plan to run 2 elements at the same time , the 5500s and the 3500's be wired on there own paired circuits. So i can run the 5500 in the boil kettle while the 3500 is still maintaining sparge water. Thanks a ton for telling me about using the tops as false bottoms! you just saved me a bunch of $$ i don't have for over $100 in false bottoms. Now i can brew once i get the tri clovers in!

alien, I do plan to upgrade my panel. My brother will be heading over in the next few months to upgrade the panel and rewire some of the house and put legit workshop outlets in the garage, not 2 small 15A outlet's. The main line in i have can handle 120A (0/2ga?? i think) so I'm not limited on that aspect.

theElectricbrewery is nice, great source of info... but with a bcs controller i can just have an IPad and control much more valves, fermentation temps, hop dumper, and pumps then just PID's for temps. I would really like it automated enough to i can load the grain and hops, press a button and walk away. Again this is stage 1 beta, so i have a long way to go for that.

So next on my list,
-Build keg racks with angle iron that will be lag bolted to the wall, this will let me adjust height easily.
-Cut the remaining lids off
-Strip glue off kettles and start the polish process
-Find out why Brewershardware hasn't sent me a shipping notification!!!!!!

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Old 03-31-2013, 04:36 AM   #6
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Just an example of what I did. I used a cutoff disk with and angle grinder and (2) #40 drills. VERY good quality drills will last. The cheap drills from the box stores will get shredded in a heartbeat. LOTS OF GOOD CUTTING OIL AS WELL.
BTW, There are over 1,200 holes in there. (yes, I counted...)

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Old 03-31-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
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I was thinking just make slices with a plasma cutter, they should be thin enough to hold the grain bed in, whatever does get through will just get recirculated. For my initial brew i will prolly manually recirculate using my 40qt 3000w kettle to adjust temps and filter sediment. And for insulation i will just wrap a spare comforter around the mash tun.

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Old 04-01-2013, 04:41 AM   #8
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The kerf on the plasma cutter I used was WAY too wide.

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Old 04-12-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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Parts on order from brewhardware.com more building pics next week.

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Old 04-15-2013, 11:21 PM   #10
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fittings, sight gauges, and full size false bottom came in today, updated pics in OP. I plan to use one of the cut out lids with holes as a hop blocker in the boil kettle.

I have all three kegs cut open and sized for lids. I even made a DIY how-too thread for it.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/how-...om-keg-402136/

Should start drilling for the sight gauges and elements this week hopefully. Need to build my stands too.

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