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Old 02-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #1
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Default eBrewery build

I just started planning an eBrewery build and I have some questions for the pros. First, the plan...
I want to run a 5500w 240v element in both the HLT and BK at the same time...in case I do back to back batches. I want to run 2 march pumps and a RIMS tube with 1500w element. I will have 3 PIDs controlling all of it. i have questions on the control panel wiring, but we'll cross that bridge later.
I will be doing 10 gallon batches at first but would like to step up to 15 or even 20G soon. Will a 5500w element be good to boil 18 or 19 gallons? How about boiling 25 gallons? or would I need to add an additional element?

I currently have a 30a 240v outlet in place (from an electric stove). That will be enough to run one of the elements but not both. Question is, can I run a second 30a 240v to feed the other element? Or would it be better to remove that and run a new 60a line there? It would be much easier (and cheaper) to add another 30a instead of running #6/3 and a new 60a GFCI breaker. Would having two separate 240v lines in the box be too confusing to get wired up?

Thanks in advance...more questions to follow

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Old 02-06-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
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You can certainly design a control panel to take two 30a 240v input feeds. A 5500w element would be able to bring 25 gallons to a boil in a reasonably well insulated kettle, but it would take a couple of hours from "room temp," and I do not know whether it would maintain a good rolling boil once the lid was removed from the kettle.

One option would be to put two 5500w elements in both the HLT and the BK, and rig your panel to run either a) 1 element in each at the same time, OR b) both elements in one vessel, but NEVER c) both elements in both vessels.

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Old 02-06-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that once you go past the 50a threshold, you've crossed out of the standard household wiring practices and your costs will escalate.

50a seems to be standard for new household electric ovens.

Remember, your HLT does not theoretically need as much power as your BK.

This formula is from another discussion board:

Gallons * Temp Rise (F)
------------------------------------ * 1000 = Watts Required
372 * heat up time (hours)

So, for a homebrew example of 7 gallons of wort at the beginning of your boil, and desiring to reach boil in 15 minutes, and assuming your wort temperature before boil is 150 degrees F after sparge runnoff:

7 * (212 - 150)
---------------------- * 1000 = X Watts
372 * .25 hours

Or 4666 watts.... or a 4500W element.

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Old 02-06-2013, 01:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chugmaster View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that once you go past the 50a threshold, you've crossed out of the standard household wiring practices and your costs will escalate.

50a seems to be standard for new household electric ovens.

Remember, your HLT does not theoretically need as much power as your BK.
I don't quite understand your first statement...what do you mean? We're talking $120 for 50' of 6/3 and $120 for 60a GFCI breaker. What other costs would there be?

Yes...in theory the HLT doesn't need as much power, however, it is bringing the temp up 100 degrees whereas the BK is only bringing it up about 50 degrees and then holding...but there is twice as much volume. So I think i'd still want to keep it a 5500w element in the HLT.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #5
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I don't quite understand your first statement...what do you mean? We're talking $120 for 50' of 6/3 and $120 for 60a GFCI breaker. What other costs would there be?
This would involve you hardwiring the system into your home, rather than simply being able to plug in a system.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:23 PM   #6
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Exactly. This will be a permanent addition. I am planning on mounting the control panel on the wall and run wires inside the walls to 30a twist lock receptacles in the appropriate location...HLT/BK to wall behind pots; pump and RIMS to underneath the table (120v for those obvi).
Here is a diagram of what I want.

bigzcontrolpanel.jpg  
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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Can someone help me come up with a wiring diagram for this? Or have one already that would apply?
The only thing I haven't decided on yet is if I want to run another 240v 30a home run and use the existing circuit (probably pull a dedicated 20a circuit over too), or pull a whole new 60a circuit and just use that. The 60a stuff costs a lot more, so I'd kinda prefer to just pull a new 30a...plenty of room in my panel for either.

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Old 02-07-2013, 06:06 PM   #8
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50 amp breaker in your control panel wired to 50 amp spa panel with GFCI. Very cheap. I would recommend 5500 watts (5500/220=25 amps) in your BK and 4500 watts (4500/220=20.5amps) in your HLT. That way you can run them simultaneously and still have several amps left over to run pumps and PIDs. I think one 5500 watt element will boil 15 gallon batches. Anything bigger will be pushing it. I boil 35 gallon batches (43 gallons preboil) with two 4500 watt elements and I need to run at 90% power to get a decent boil. YMMV.

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Old 02-08-2013, 01:37 PM   #9
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That sounds good. I should be ok with 4500w in the HLT.

What is the general practice for extending the length of the RTD probe? What do I need to keep in mind when running wires to the XLR boxes? I know they work on resistance, so: What gauge wire? Do I need to keep all three legs the exact same length or is "close" good enough (does an inch or two difference matter)?

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Old 02-08-2013, 03:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehaun View Post
50 amp breaker in your control panel wired to 50 amp spa panel with GFCI..

About how much does this cost to get done? Im going to doing this in the fall.
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