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Old 06-24-2010, 05:17 AM   #1
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Default Electric brewery plans - need help

Update 9.12.10: Build starts on page 20.

Update: Actual build is as follows: use HERMS setup in converted keg MLT and HLT. 5500W ULD element in HLT, and 4500W ULD element in BK. Will still do decoction mashing with propane burner outside. See wiring diagram below for control panel function.

This is what the finished rig looks like:










This is the final wiring diagram that represents my control panel:


-------------------------
Update 1.12.2011: Parts list added.

I got a quote for powder coating the stand for $40 (not included in the parts list).



Original post as follows:



I'm planning an electric brewery build, and with many searches, I found a plethora of great information on this site. I am just having some trouble piecing it all together for my application. I'm hoping I could get some direction from those of you who have done this before and/or have the knowledge.

Here's the setup I'm planning:

5-10 gallon batches single tier setup. Igloo cooler mash tun for single infusion and decoction mashing, with eKeggle for HLT (5500W ULD element) and eKeggle for BK (5500W ULD element). It will have two pumps (March 809) and combination hard and soft plumbed on a (hopefully) steel stand. Vorlauf and continuous sparging will be done via pumps, the BK is fed from the MLT via the pumps as well. I'm thinking of keeping the BK to counterflow chiller (link to build with pics) fed via gravity, but I'm open to thoughts on that.

As for the control panel, I want to have a master power on/off switch (emergency pwr), control the temperature of the HLT and BK with PIDs & SSRs, have on/off switches for each of the 5500W elements, and on/off switches for each of the two pumps. I've been told it's a good idea to have an SSR for each leg of the elements, so I would end up with 4 SSRs total. Thoughts on that? I'm thinking of getting this PID from Auber Instruments since I think it will do the job well enough for me. The SSR I've got my eyes on here. For the elements, I'd like to have illuminated push button switches so I visually know when the elements have power available to them. I'd really like to have a button for on, and a separate button for off, but push on/push off buttons are acceptable. For the pumps, I was thinking illuminated selector switches. I've looked at automationdirect.com and found some promising parts (although some are out of stock).

Since the elements will run on 240VAC, and the pumps and PIDs run on 120VAC (not sure what the illuminated switches run on - right from the 120V?), I'm not sure how to distribute and properly ground the power in the control panel. I'm also not sure about how to transmit the power to the kettles, hardware wise. Should the wires going to the kettles plug into the control panel? Or should they be wired more permanently? And how? Are fuses and/or breakers necessary/recommended? Where? How?

I'm anxious to get started, but smart enough to know not to rush into it. I'm looking forward to your help! I will provide pictures as this progresses.

Thanks!

Tiber_Brew
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On tap:
1. Dubbel 2. Oatmeal Amber 3. Camp Beer 4. Pale Ale 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Porter 2. Porter 3. Pils 4. Pils 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. Lambic 3. Lambic 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale

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Old 06-24-2010, 01:34 PM   #2
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I found this wiring diagram, and it appears to be fairly close to my application. I was thinking it might be a good place to start as far as wiring. I still have so many questions!




Cheers!
TB

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On tap:
1. Dubbel 2. Oatmeal Amber 3. Camp Beer 4. Pale Ale 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Porter 2. Porter 3. Pils 4. Pils 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. Lambic 3. Lambic 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:40 PM   #3
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This is REALLY close to what I am planning...I think I just found my wiring diagram, thanks. I can't answer your questions but I will certainly be lurking gathering up all the knowledge I can. Thanks for posting this.

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Old 06-24-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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No problem, Mose. I've been in the same boat here; I need something, search for it, find someone asking something pretty close, and watch that thread for a while. Most of the time I'll end up finding what I need and never have to start a new thread.

That diagram doesn't fit my design quite exactly, but, damn, it is it ever close.

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On tap:
1. Dubbel 2. Oatmeal Amber 3. Camp Beer 4. Pale Ale 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Porter 2. Porter 3. Pils 4. Pils 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. Lambic 3. Lambic 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
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What are your questions?
That diagram looks like a great place to start.

I would note that S1 and S2 are going to have to be VERY heavy duty to sink 20 amps of current to the elements.

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What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:14 PM   #6
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wanna know my thoughts? yes? ok...

for the illuminated switches, must are NOT 120V, especially if they're LED. check the datasheet. read this thread for ideas on how to get the voltages right and not blow anything up.

now, looking at the drawing, that is set up to get 2 seperate 240V lines fed to the control box, so you can run both elements at teh same time, but notice the breakers are 20 amps. you need 30 amps for your 5500W elements. do you actually have 2 separate lines available? I know most people are just plugging into a dryer outlet, cause thats whats available, but it will only let you run one element at time. I wouldn't say thats a problem, because once you start your sparge, your water should be up to temp and you can fire up your BK. that just means you should have some kind of selection switch for which element is active. easiest way in my book is to have a DPST switch cut the yellow and purple lines between the PIDs and SSR.

I have more thoughts too, but I want to know what your power source is going to be. 3 prong dryer outlet, 4 prong dryer outlet, straight to your electric panel?

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:09 PM   #7
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This diagram is a good starting point. I would echo the 30 A circuit breaker suggestion, and if you don't use a gfci in the spa box, then go with 30 A gfci circ brkrs. Also I would suggest 40 amp SSRs instead of 25 A as the diagram suggests, since your 4500 W elements will draw 19 to 20.5 amps at 240 v 0r 220 v depending on your house voltage. This is pretty close to their max, and they will get hot. In either case, you will need good heat sinks for the SSRs.

Another option for SSRs is what is called an SSC, solid state contactor. They are SSRs with built in heat sinks, and are designed for heavy loads. I got mine off eBay. They were made by Crydom as I recall.

Also for my eHLT I am using a two pole relay since it won't switch on and off as often as the eBK SSR will. The advantage here is both legs are controlled separately by the 2 pole relay, and the failure mode for relays is in the open mode, while SSRs or SSCs can fail in the closed mode.

Also, I like the 2 pole switch between the SSR and the element, allowing you to positively turn off the power to the element, and knowing that both legs of the 240 V are off.

Finally, on my panel I have a master switch that controls all the 120 volt devices, and when this is turned off, nothing can turn on. Another finally, is you should consider fuses on the hot line feeding each of your 120 v devices, they are cheaper than replacing a component that you have let the smoke out of.

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:28 PM   #8
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His elements are 5500W, not 4500W. The diagram is not his system, just a diagram for a system that is very close to what he wants.

I would still go with 40A SSR's, even if you only need 25A. The price difference is basically nothing. You can find 40A SSR's with heatsinks on ebay for $14 (free shipping).

About the switches. 120V illuminated switches are not hard to find. I shopped for most of my small electronics as mouser.com and found illuminated switches that run off 120VAC. They were about $1 per switch.

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Old 06-25-2010, 02:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSounds View Post
What are your questions?
That diagram looks like a great place to start.

I would note that S1 and S2 are going to have to be VERY heavy duty to sink 20 amps of current to the elements.
Indeed, I did start with that diagram, but modified it quite a bit, including relocating the S1 and S2. No longer require the heavy duty switches.

See below
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On tap:
1. Dubbel 2. Oatmeal Amber 3. Camp Beer 4. Pale Ale 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Porter 2. Porter 3. Pils 4. Pils 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. Lambic 3. Lambic 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:54 AM   #10
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I would strongly suggest you add S1 and S2 back for safety reasons. You can get double pole 250 v 30 A switches off eBay for 4 or 5 bucks right now. Do an eBay search for NKK switches. I got a pair of these for my element shutoffs and like the ability to positively switch off the power in both legs of the element.

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