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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Electric vs. Natural Gas
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:44 PM   #21
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Your brew pot is good & the HLT is just fine as well. No need to throw money away. Going electric is not ALL that expensive. You already have the kettles and a pump. You do not really need a second pump & this all can be operated as a single level setup. If you want a separate mash tun, just go and buy a 10 gallon Rubbermaid drinking water cooler. As far as the expense on the PID and other controller items, you are looking at about $230 for the setup. This includes the PID, SSR, temperature probe and connectors, controller case, switches and a couple of heating elements. (Plus a little more for wire.)

It's not all that bad but something that only you can decide. If you do decide to have a go at it, I'd be glad to make a custom diagram for your setup.

P-J
If I can piggyback a bit, I have been drooling over electric as well for the last year. I felt a little lost in the electric section hearing people quote prices for all the high end electric systems they built, all talking about $1000+ price tags. Happy to hear your encouragement and lower price estimate!

I have a 1 tier, 3 keggle, 2 march pump, all SS + copper HERMS coil rig that I built this winter as a replacement for the old pot+rubbermaid HLT setup.

With my HERMS setup, maximum load would include running 2 pumps + one 5500W element while fly sparging (correct me if I'm wrong).

What would you recommend for the most economical but quality setup to accomplish this. What amperage total? Running 1 element at a time off one PID? Same $230 cost estimate?

Thanks PJ!
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:53 PM   #22
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Not to poop on PJ, but if you just want to buy something off the shelf, this is what I got.
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...g-269p3302.htm

He has cheaper options, but you can just get 1 element for the bk for $25 and your off to the races.

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Old 06-29-2011, 07:55 PM   #23
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O'Haggerty,

Short answer - yes. You can run that rig from a dryer outlet (30A-240V). There is one other thing you will need and that is GFCI protection if you do not have it already. For that there is way to minimize the expense. Buy a SPA panel from HD. Cost? $49.00

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Old 06-29-2011, 08:13 PM   #24
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Not to poop on PJ, but if you just want to buy something off the shelf, this is what I got.
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...g-269p3302.htm

He has cheaper options, but you can just get 1 element for the bk for $25 and your off to the races.

_
No sweat. Something to keep in mind with that unit. As I understand it, and I could be wrong, that unit is a controller to regulate the % power. I don't think it comes with a temp controller. If not, his cheapest one is about $100 that has to be added on.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:19 PM   #25
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No sweat. Something to keep in mind with that unit. As I understand it, and I could be wrong, that unit is a controller to regulate the % power. I don't think it comes with a temp controller. If not, his cheapest one is about $100 that has to be added on.
I don't know how it works, but it controls the boil very well, just leave it all the way up for controlling hlt. No temp controller, but rancos work well.

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Old 06-29-2011, 08:32 PM   #26
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I don't know how it works, but it controls the boil very well, just leave it all the way up for controlling hlt. No temp controller, but rancos work well.

_
It's really just a 555 timer & a SSR in a box with a couple of switches and outlets. Walker described the components for his design of that type controller in a few threads on the forum.

Adding the Ranco jumps the price to $400 +/-

Oh well. I'll shut up now. Sorry.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:49 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by P-J View Post
It's really just a 555 timer & a SSR in a box with a couple of switches and outlets. Walker described the components for his design of that type controller in a few threads on the forum.

Adding the Ranco jumps the price to $400 +/-

Oh well. I'll shut up now. Sorry.
It looks like the box I used for my ebay aquarium controller. I'd gladly build my own if I knew what those parts inside the box were. It looks like there's a fan, a 220v recepticle (dryer style), a heat sink, a dial, etc.
pict0051_1091_detail.jpg  
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:32 PM   #28
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I am quickly losing patience with this "debate" and how guys will say that theirs is the only way to do it. Fact is, there is good and bad with all systems and it boils down to personal preferences. Electric is cheaper to run, yes. It is also MUCH more expensive to build. Electric will keep your room cooler and there will be no worries about CO poisoning, true enough. I personally LIKE to be outside when I brew, even in winter when the temp gets below zero. If you build an electric system, you are tethered to a wall outlet and never can go anywhere else to brew. I attend a few club-sponsored brew days, and like to be able load my rig onto a trailer and take it with me. No way can you do that with an electric setup. I am an electrician by trade and could build an electric system with my eyes closed, yet I choose not to for the reasons already given. But it is my choice and others will likely feel differently. The point is, everybody is different and to say "Go electric (or propane)- it is a no-brainer and if you don't you are Dumbass", well that is just not right.

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Old 06-29-2011, 11:38 PM   #29
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I am quickly losing patience with this "debate" and how guys will say that theirs is the only way to do it.

The point is, everybody is different and to say "Go electric (or propane)- it is a no-brainer and if you don't you are Dumbass", well that is just not right.
Wow, nice going sunshine. There is none of what you accuse us of in this thread. Mind your business and take your dark cloud elsewhere.

I have a portable propane setup as well, I can brew wherever I want to.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:55 PM   #30
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I am quickly losing patience with this "debate" and how guys will say that theirs is the only way to do it. Fact is, there is good and bad with all systems and it boils down to personal preferences. Electric is cheaper to run, yes. It is also MUCH more expensive to build. Electric will keep your room cooler and there will be no worries about CO poisoning, true enough. I personally LIKE to be outside when I brew, even in winter when the temp gets below zero. If you build an electric system, you are tethered to a wall outlet and never can go anywhere else to brew. I attend a few club-sponsored brew days, and like to be able load my rig onto a trailer and take it with me. No way can you do that with an electric setup. I am an electrician by trade and could build an electric system with my eyes closed, yet I choose not to for the reasons already given. But it is my choice and others will likely feel differently. The point is, everybody is different and to say "Go electric (or propane)- it is a no-brainer and if you don't you are Dumbass", well that is just not right.
Nobody is saying there is only one way to do it; only giving opinions as to what I was asking. I could run gas pipe outdoors as well, but I have no ambition to brew out there; my preference. I am just looking for the most efficient, yet safe and comfortable way to do things and also learn other ways to do it in the process. I love the convenience of brewing indoors and am just looking for an even better way of doing it. Every brewery tour I've been on has been indoors, but I don't have their budget obviously or I wouldn't be on here posting.
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