Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Electric Brew System Questions

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-01-2011, 06:16 PM   #1
Lou1998
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Brandon, FL
Posts: 32
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Electric Brew System Questions

Thanks to this message board, I have switched to electric brewing using two 1500 watt heat sticks which has made brewing more fun and easy compared to the turkey fryer.

I would like to upgrade to a 10 gallon brew system using 5500w heating elements in my HLT and kettle, and keeping my 48qt cooler MT (which should be large enough since I rarely make high gravity beer).

My questions are:
Since I won't be using a RIMS/HERMS system, is a controller necessary? Right now I just plug in my heatsticks and unplug them when I reach my temp on the HLT and finish my boil.

Will 5500w in the brew kettle be too vigorous of a boil and cause excessive evaporation? If so, is there a way to dial down the voltage to the element using a variable resistor?

Thanks,
Lou

__________________

Last edited by Lou1998; 10-01-2011 at 06:17 PM. Reason: spelling
Lou1998 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-06-2011, 07:57 AM   #2
NoCornOrRice
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Great White North
Posts: 217
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 18

Default

I am under the impression that you need to control either using pulse-width modulation or a PID. A variable resistor at that amperage would not be good. A cheap alternative would be to have two elements: both fired to bring to boil, and the smaller one fired to maintain boil. There is a way of calculating the wattages needed on each element, but that is not something I have really explored yet.

__________________
NoCornOrRice is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-06-2011, 08:57 AM   #3
devilbrewer75
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 113
Default

I tried keeping my cooler mash tun but the pump sucked the false bottom down. I have 5500 watt elements in both hlt and kettle and in my opinion it's perfect. Auber pids are cheap and they work great I have one for each element.

__________________
devilbrewer75 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-06-2011, 12:11 PM   #4
TommyB
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pontiac, Michigan
Posts: 99
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I use a 4500w 220v element in a 20 gallon bayou classic pot and I can get 18 gallons boiling in an hour. and the boil is just fine. I use a little fermcap and havent had any problems. I just unplug it when Im done. I loose a gallon an hour boil off.

__________________
20 gallon PRIMARY 1 - 15g XTRA HARD SKEETER PEE (13%)
SECONDARY 1 - XTRA HARD Apfelwein (15%) w/fruit
BOTTLED - Bourbon Barrel Porter
KEG 1 - XTRA HARD Apfelwein (15%)
KEG 2 - XTRA HARD Apfelwein (15%)
KEG 3 - XTRA HARD Apfelwein (15%)
TommyB is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-06-2011, 01:24 PM   #5
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,890
Liked 934 Times on 621 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

I'm sure it COULD be done with an unregulated element but for the HLT, even having a simple analog on/off controller will make your life easier so that you could walk away and not risk boiling your strike water.

On the BK side, you can try to size the wattage just right for a good steady boil, but the ramp time would be increased. I'd rather have 9000 watts available and have the ability to run it at 50% pulse width after boil is achieved.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-06-2011, 01:28 PM   #6
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,582
Liked 4342 Times on 3157 Posts
Likes Given: 845

Default

I have a 5500 w in my HLT and a 4500 w in my BK. It's really nice to be able to turn down the power on the BK, and to have a PID with the HLT. You can ramp up temperatures, for example, for sparging by turning up the HLT but not risking it going to high.

I can boil 12 gallons with my 4500 w element, and need to dial it down a bit once the hot break is over!

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-06-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
Lou1998
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Brandon, FL
Posts: 32
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Thanks all for the replies. I will look into building a control box. Will I need two PIDs, one for the HLT and one for the BK?

__________________
Lou1998 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-06-2011, 03:01 PM   #8
frankstoneline
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: ellensburg, washington
Posts: 375
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou1998 View Post
Thanks all for the replies. I will look into building a control box. Will I need two PIDs, one for the HLT and one for the BK?
This depends on what you want to do with it.
I run a single PID on a 3 element 120v system (2 elements in BK, 1 in rims tube).
When I need to run two elements at a time I run the one that needs to be heat regulated on the PID loop and then use a simple on/off switch to operate the other loop. I can keep a rolling boil in 6 gallons of water with the PID in manual mode and set at 70%.
__________________
frankstoneline is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-06-2011, 03:34 PM   #9
SAMBUCA
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 66
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

I only use 1 3500watt element @ 220.( only 20 amp breaker required)in my kettle. Then you don`t need any control but on/off as it will need to be going 100%. I always start with my water a room temp. and use my counterflow chiller with hot tap water to pre heat the water to 125F as it enters the kettle.This saves a lot of waiting.I can do a 14 gallon all grain in 6 hours and I fly sparge very slowly.

__________________
SAMBUCA is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My electric system ver 6 missing link Electric Brewing 3 09-09-2011 04:33 AM
New Electric BIAB system Navy_Brewer Electric Brewing 22 07-29-2011 08:49 PM
Finally...New Electric Brew System is complete. NTabb Electric Brewing 6 02-28-2011 01:07 PM
Brewmation Electric system? MSKBeerfan Electric Brewing 10 01-30-2011 12:01 AM
Portable electric AG system LordUlrich Electric Brewing 5 12-29-2010 03:54 AM