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Old 02-28-2011, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default Electric burners - Any builders out there? (My eBUILD!)

This post started out an an ebuild feeler for me. Well wouldn't you know it that I ended up going electric with a simple control panel. Inevitably that lead to an upgraded design for a larger more comprehensive brew control panel in less than a year along with the build of a steel rig. This has officially become my brewery build thread.

That said some folks who come across this thread may wish to skip through the initial posts and go to the highlights, as there is a lot of very basic question answering going on for my first build. If that is the case please feel free to use the reference links I have posted below.


REFERENCE POSTS:


How to configure, autotune, etc your PID - Post #307

How to drill your pot for your electric element - Post #335

Brew Build 2.0 Starts! - Post #474

Wiring Diagram for 2.0 (draft) - Post 463

Contactor wiring for power main switch - Post 528

Controller build 2.0 photos! - Post 536

How to wire my stir motor and what capacitor to use - Post 552

How I insulated my pots and why - Post 575

How we did our Herms coil - Post TBD

Final build immortalized (photos) - Post 576 - 579

Sankey Kegging Info




Original opening post:

I am noticing the wicked consumption of propane on my burner, and with 90 minute boils killing my propane, I am really interested in looking into an electric burner.

I am a jack of all trades (woodworking, cars, building structures, masonry, computers, agriculture, landscaping, etc.), but I know very little about electric. It seems like most people are building their burners from scratch (something which I have little experience).

Are there any suitable off the shelf electric burners out there? I have a 15 gallon set up and right now only have the need for max 10 gallon batches (figure boil volume of 13 gallons).

Does anybody sell these burners, or would be interested in selling one they made?

From what I have read a 5000W-9000W would be the range I am looking for, but would appreciate any advice.

I have dedicated 30 amp breaker in my garage that I was planning on using for the hook up, but none of my lines are set up for 220.

Thanks for advice, and or help.

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Old 02-28-2011, 03:42 PM   #2
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Take a look in the electric forum, there are many of us brewing in Electric kettles.

Most people are using either a fixed element (or two) in the pot or a removable heatstick both of which use water heater elements submerged in the wort to boil.

Unfortunately for you, the biggest commonly available 110V element is 2000W which probably isn't going to get 10 gallons of liquid to a boil very well.

On the other hand, you could run two 1500W elements for a total of 26W which is a little high for running on a 30A circuit, especially if you have pumps, lights, freezers or anything else in the garage.

Do you have a second circuit that you could use?

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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I have a second 15 amp circuit in the garage that I can use also. I believe it is all hooked up to GFI (I know the 15 amp is). Right now there isn't anything but lights and a garage door opener hooked up in the garage - but I may put a lagering keezer out there in the future, but that is like a year in the future.

I have yet to have any pumps involved, but I was considering doing a recirculating mash tun.

I am now just thinking, I believe the 30 amp circuit is single pole and the 15 circuit is dual pole. i have to check it out tonight.

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Old 02-28-2011, 06:05 PM   #4
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I use two 2000 watt heatsticks for 10 gallon batches. Even that is a little low on the power side, it takes about 25 minutes to get the 150*F mash out wort to a rolling boil.

2000 watt elements pull a little over 17 amps at 120v, so 20 amp circuits are a must. I use two separate 20 amp circuits.

A better solution would be to use a 5500 watt 240v element.

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Old 02-28-2011, 06:25 PM   #5
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So you think that one 5500 watt 240 element would do the job? The question I have is, do I have enough power running to my box, AND how hard is it to wire.

I have to look at my box and determine how much "arse" it has coming from my main panel. Then decide if I think I am savvy enough to rewire it. If my memory serves, I have a dual pole 15 amp circuit and a single pole 30 amps.

I was thinking of trying to find a stove top dial (to control the current going into the heating element). I don't like the idea of the current just coursing through without any thermostat on it. I could only find a thermostat in HD for 150F, so that won't help me getting to a 212F boil....

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Old 02-28-2011, 06:38 PM   #6
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A typical home has 200 amp service. Is your breaker box in the garage? Mine is and I ran a 50 amp GFCI breaker and cut the drywall just below the paned and put the 50 amp outlet on a stud below the panel then put the drywall piece back in.

A 5500w element is plenty enough for a ten gallon batch. Dry run in my system brought 8.5 gallons from 44f to boil in about 30 minutes. Took 15-20 to get to mash temp but mash to boil seemed much quicker.

As for the dial type control IDK I went with PWM first then switched to PID control.

If you are not well versed in electrical I would recommend finding a good electrician these systems can be dangerous of not properly done. I am a do it yourselfer but I also work with electricity everyday. Good luck on your build.

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Old 02-28-2011, 07:03 PM   #7
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My main panel is 200amp, and in the house. My garage is detached and I have a small box (juiced from the main panel) in the garage with a line run underground.

Sounds like 240 is a must, and based on how often I brew, well worth the cost.

The trick now is getting the my near brother in law (union) electrician, engaged to my little sister, to stop by for a visit. Trouble is he is over 200 miles away!

Please excuse my ignorance - what does PWM and PID stand for. I am not married to the dial control, was just looking for something to control the current coursing through.

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Old 02-28-2011, 07:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CidahMastah View Post
My main panel is 200amp, and in the house. My garage is detached and I have a small box (juiced from the main panel) in the garage with a line run underground.

Sounds like 240 is a must, and based on how often I brew, well worth the cost.

The trick now is getting the my near brother in law (union) electrician, engaged to my little sister, to stop by for a visit. Trouble is he is over 200 miles away!

Please excuse my ignorance - what does PWM and PID stand for.
PWM is Pulse Width Modulation. It's basically a circuit that controls the duty cycle of the element - ie. how long it is on vs. off.

PID is Proportional, Integral, Derivative - basically it's a unit that takes a temp sensor input and at a certain temp setting will control duty cycle of your element to avoid overshooting the temp. It sounds alot more complicated than it is - there are a million wiring diagrams in this forum for how they are connected.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruin_ale View Post
PWM is Pulse Width Modulation. It's basically a circuit that controls the duty cycle of the element - ie. how long it is on vs. off.

PID is Proportional, Integral, Derivative - basically it's a unit that takes a temp sensor input and at a certain temp setting will control duty cycle of your element to avoid overshooting the temp. It sounds alot more complicated than it is - there are a million wiring diagrams in this forum for how they are connected.
It sounds like what I am looking for is a PID. That would in essence act like a thermostat, what (I think) is what I want.

thanks for the info!
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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http://www.auberins.com/ for PIDs and temp sensors

ebay for SSR (solid state relay)

Basically the PID send a low voltage signal to the SSR that turns one or two legs of the element off and on when heat is called for.
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