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Old 10-31-2011, 03:15 AM   #1
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Default Electric brew in a bag build and question

First off, Thanks to so many great posters and the wealth of information sharing that goes on around here.

My build is essentially based off of the electric brewery's website and P-J's wiring diagrams. I found a great 80qt kettle with a steamer bottom on ebay for $125 shipped. the steamer bottom has about a 3.5" gap below it that will keep the grain bag off the drain, whirlpool inlet, rtd/ sightglass, and element. Everything else has just been ordered and i will hopefully be brewing on the thing by december. So far i've just received the kettle and have pics below.

I do have a wiring question regarding my 50a gfci. basically, i will be running a polycarbonate enclosure and i was wondering what anyone thinks about cutting my breaker right into my control box. This way, i don't need another enclosure and extra plugs. my disconnect then, would be right on my control box so i could just unplug my brewstand from my second dryer outlet and move it into storage.

Thanks,

monk e

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Old 10-31-2011, 01:56 PM   #2
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Generally, it's a bad idea to put your GFCI inside your main control panel. The thought is that your control panel will be near your brewery, but hopefully you'll be positioning the GFCI a few feet away.

The reasoning is that if your GFCI is separate, if you have a fault or short in your control panel, (or spray it with water), the GFCI will trip and ALL power to the control panel will be cut. On the other hand, if the GFCI is inside the same control panel, and there's a fault, the GFCI will trip, but there will STILL be 240V going into the control panel from the main line, (so the panel box, for example, could still be electrified, even though the GFCI is tripped).

Basically, for safety and redundancy, you want the GFCI separate from the panel you'll be constantly touching.

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Old 11-01-2011, 03:07 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply. that was pretty much my thought too. in the back of my head i was thinking that since it was a plastic box and i plan on putting the panel out of the splash zone that maybe i could get away with it. guess i'm just wondering if anyone else has put everything in one panel.

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Old 11-01-2011, 03:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by brooklanebrewing View Post
thanks for the reply. that was pretty much my thought too. in the back of my head i was thinking that since it was a plastic box and i plan on putting the panel out of the splash zone that maybe i could get away with it. guess i'm just wondering if anyone else has put everything in one panel.
Short answer? Yes they have.

However, IMHO that is a huge mistake. Why? When your GFCI detects a fault and trips, you still have raw power being delivered to your brewery control panel. The risk? I would not want to take a chance and ANY risk like that. It is playing "you bet your life" after all.

Please think this through. Please.

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Old 11-07-2011, 06:46 PM   #5
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Thanks P-J,

I will make a separate GFCI panel.


Anyway, for anyone interested, here's more of my e-brewery build.

I did run into a problem during testing though. My indicator light for my element does not shut off. It comes on bright when the element is heating but it stays on dim as though there is still a small amount power going to the element across the SSR. I'm running a 240v 5500w element and I use a 120V pilot light across one leg and a neutral (they only made the lights i bought in 120v). I even disconnected all inputs from the SSR and the light is still on dimly. Does this mean i have a faulty SSR?

Thanks

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Old 11-07-2011, 07:14 PM   #6
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Thanks P-J,

I will make a separate GFCI panel.


Anyway, for anyone interested, here's more of my e-brewery build.

I did run into a problem during testing though. My indicator light for my element does not shut off. It comes on bright when the element is heating but it stays on dim as though there is still a small amount power going to the element across the SSR. I'm running a 240v 5500w element and I use a 120V pilot light across one leg and a neutral (they only made the lights i bought in 120v). I even disconnected all inputs from the SSR and the light is still on dimly. Does this mean i have a faulty SSR?

Thanks
No, SSRs do generally leak a little bit of current when they are off. However, the amount is so small that it will not cause the element to heat up just keep the light on. If you wanted to see when the SSR is applying power to the element, I would recommend wiring a 12V DC indicator light to the SSR control lines.
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