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Maxkling 02-10-2011 08:03 PM

Electric Brew Set-Up
 
Well I pretty much have a control panel already built, problem is I don't know what kind of brew system to go with.

My main idea/plan is to put an element in my brew kettle and just use a cooler mash tun. I plan to heat the strike water in the kettle and transfer to the tun. Then heat up the sparge water in the kettle, then drain the tun into my old brew pot and sparge with the water from the kettle. Transfer the wort into the kettle then boil. Is this a good setup or will it even work? I have yet to do an all grain batch because I cannot do a full boil and since I already have all the electronics minus an element and PID, I don't want to go the propane route.

With the control panel Ill have a PID and SSR controlling the element for the kettle, and maybe another PID just to monitor the mash tun temp. Is there a good way to mount and seal up the RTD is the mashtun?

bzomerlei 02-10-2011 08:22 PM

I use the BCS460 controller with appropriate SS probes for temperature monitoring. I use the round drink coolers for mash tuns and the way I monitor the temp is to just drop the probe in through the top cover.

I slid about 2 feet of very small silicone tubing over the end of the probe to protect the wiring. I found my tubing at a pet store in the aquarium section. The tubing fits very snugly, but I still put a dab of food grade silicone sealer in the end of the tube. So for a 6" probe, 4" is exposed, and the rest is covered by the silicone tubing.

This works well for me, since I have different tuns depending on batch size, plus it allows me to take a quick read of my grain temps to help determine proper strike temp.

Alternatively, I have seen posts where people drill a hole and use a drilled stopper or weld-less fittings to mount the probe.

Good luck.

Maxkling 02-10-2011 08:28 PM

Yea that sounds about the easiest and simplest route with the probe.

Thanks.

MX1 02-10-2011 08:30 PM

It should work, lots of extra lifting, but it should work. How big is the old brew pot and can you install an element in it?

Tim

Maxkling 02-10-2011 08:43 PM

Its a 5 gallon stainless pot. Yea I could install a small element.

TheAleMaster 02-10-2011 09:24 PM

I was doing exactly what you have described. It got old quickly. I took my old kettle (7.5 gallons) and am mounting an element into it so that I can run off directly into my boil kettle without having to transfer.

Maxkling 02-10-2011 10:26 PM

Yea, I mean I'm sure I could use my 5 gallon kettle as a HLT until I get a few all grain batches under my belt and upgrade as I go. I have everything thing to control another element anyways.

Walker 02-11-2011 03:15 PM

if your kettle is only 5 gallons, you're going to have to upgrade that before you ever even do your first AG batch. You'll need at LEAST a 7 gallon pot, and you'll have to watch it like a hawk to make sure it doesn't boil over. 10+ gallons is better.

As for your general question of having an electric kettle and then just a pot to temporarily hold something in while you sparge... yeah. that's fine. It's what I have always done.

Maxkling 02-11-2011 03:20 PM

My old kettle is 5 gallons.

What I was talking about was using my old 5 gallon as the hlt. Heat 3 or 4 gallons to strike temp, the refill it and while its mashing heat 3 or 4 gallons to sparge temp. Then I can drain the mash wort out straight to my new boil kettle then sparge with what was in my old kettle that has been heating during the mash time.

Walker 02-11-2011 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maxkling (Post 2636285)
My old kettle is 5 gallons.

What I was talking about was using my old 5 gallon as the hlt. Heat 3 or 4 gallons to strike temp, the refill it and while its mashing heat 3 or 4 gallons to sparge temp. Then I can drain the mash wort out straight to my new boil kettle then sparge with what was in my old kettle that has been heating during the mash time.

ah. my bad.

sounds great.


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