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Old 08-31-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
mojobently
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Default E-Noob mypin TA4 PID Question

I am moving to a simple all electric set up "if that's possible", and found the mypin ta4 for $18. I have found a few posts on the pid saying it cant be used in a BK because it does not have a manual mode. Can someone please explain this to me. I was under the assumption that if the boil gets too viscous one would just turn the temp down a bit till the boil settles out.

thanks for any help with this.

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Old 09-01-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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While it is probably possible to use a PID with a set temperature, the problem becomes control the strength of the boil. First Ill explain it in theory what should be happening, then the real world.

In theory, water boils at 212 (on a standard day, altitude, pressure and temp change this but thats more complex), so at 211 the wort doesnt boil and at 212 it does. So logic would then state put the temp to 212. The problem arises in that once the water reaches 212 it no longer rises in temperature. So adding more heat doesnt make it hotter it just makes it boil more vigorously. With a PID, if you set it to 212 there is no way to control the level of boil other than setting it to 212 gets you some level (depending on PID settings and element) or setting it to any temperature above would give you the max output of the element. This is how it would work in theory

In reality, some parts of the water hit boiling before 212 so you get a simmer before a boil. The problem still arises that there is no way to control the level of boil based on temp, because the PID cannot determine the level of boil. while you might be able to set it at a temp just below boiling and get a strong simmer that is close to what you want there is no way to control that. The reasoning behind wanting a manual setting is to be able to lower the power of the element to get the boil to an equilibrium with the element power to get the right amount of boil to control boil off.

Now you might be able to get away with using the temp setting and the difference depending on your system and location, but that would change day to day and would not be very controllable. I have not tried using a PID in auto mode to boil so if someone has experience with this and would like to add to this please do. But for the price I would search for a PID that has a manual mode, you will be happier in the long run.

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Old 09-03-2012, 07:07 AM   #3
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Manual mode is like he knob on our stove. Once a boil has been established you don't need 100% power. Usually something like 65-75% is all that's needed.
If you're looking for a cheap solution to control your electric BK, look at the threads with 'PWM' in the title.

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Old 09-03-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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You need the TD4-SNR for boil. Just tested one of the two I bought, it appears to work great, although it took me some time figuring out how the manual mode (0-100% duty cycle) adjustment worked due to the poorly translated manual. Basically you just adjust the figure with an up/down arrow so the boil intensity matches what you want. Also nice is setting the auto mode to a temp below boiling with an alarm so you can be away and know when it's close to boiling. Then you put it manual mode and adjust the boil. No more boilovers 'cause you walked out of the room!

I bought a couple of them; turns out in my re-design, I may only be using one, but I won't know for sure for a few days yet if it will be available. PM me if interested. They go for about $30 on ebay and amazon.

You can use the one you have for RIMs, HERMS, and/or HLT. Just not for boil.

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the responses. it does make sense on dialing back the intensity of the element. Luckily I have not bought it yet, so no loss. I still have so much to learn about this electric setup.

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Old 09-04-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Keep reading and asking questions. Study the plans and schematics others have placed here. It's the only way.

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