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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Electrical Brewery Build, input please!
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:56 AM   #21
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Can you send me a link to the EBC II? I tried looking for it, but all I saw was a box, plugged into itself, with an on/off switch on it. Alternately, you could plug the ranco into it for MLT control.

But I saw nothing that indicated you could dial up/down the power for the boil, so maybe I was looking at the wrong thing.

At any rate... if you are willing to go with a PID, then you can accomplish everything nice and easy and cleanly.

Plug in the HLT, with a probe in it, and tell the PID to heat and maintain a certain temp.

Then, for boil, you unplug HTL, plug in boil kettle, and switch the PID into "manual mode" and tell it to "use 80% power" or whatever, and it will control the strength of your boil kettle. The temp probe is irrelevant in this mode. It can be left in the HLT, monitoring nothing useful. The PID does not use the probe input in manual mode.
Here is the link: http://www.highgravitybrew.com/Produ...l-158p3073.htm

You can see the dial controller mounted on the side of the box. They have a 3 plug and a 4 plug option as well. Obviously a 3 plug would be ideal for me!

I would be all for using a PID and accomplishing everything nice, easy and clean! What you just described sounds great, and is what I am searching for!
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:00 AM   #22
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Nevermind. I found the link to the EBC II that does have a dial on it now.

To get the functionality in that box, you can build it for under $150, and it would also have the ability to control your MLT without having to plug in an external ranco controller.

PID - $45 from auberins.com
SSR - $10 on ebay
dryer cord - $10 at home depot
dryer receptacle - $5 at home depot
temp probe - $20 on ebay
box to put it all in - $15 at lowes
power switch and receptacle for pump - $7 at home depot
power switch for turning element on and off - maybe $10 at home depot

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Old 02-17-2011, 01:20 PM   #23
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Nevermind. I found the link to the EBC II that does have a dial on it now.

To get the functionality in that box, you can build it for under $150, and it would also have the ability to control your MLT without having to plug in an external ranco controller.

PID - $45 from auberins.com
SSR - $10 on ebay
dryer cord - $10 at home depot
dryer receptacle - $5 at home depot
temp probe - $20 on ebay
box to put it all in - $15 at lowes
power switch and receptacle for pump - $7 at home depot
power switch for turning element on and off - maybe $10 at home depot
Awesome, is there a scematic, or could you make one for how to wire all of this?

Also, do you have a link to the first 5 items on the list? I am gonna assume which PID or SSR has some effect on wiring.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:55 PM   #24
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Awesome, is there a scematic, or could you make one for how to wire all of this?

Also, do you have a link to the first 5 items on the list? I am gonna assume which PID or SSR has some effect on wiring.
PIDs and SSRs are fairly interchangeable. Which ones you end up using won'y have a very big impact on wiring. But, we still have more talking to do.

Seriously, you need to be patient while we sort out the details. If you just want a schematic, I'll let someone else draw it for you, but I personally insist on making sure you understand what's going on with every aspect of this.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but you are WAY to eager to rush into something you don't yet understand, and which has the ability to literally kill you before you know what happened.

So... I have two other concerns, and they are both related to the 220v service you have.

Is the 30A breaker a GFI breaker? GFI = Ground Fault Interrupt. In short, it's a life saving device. You can tell if it's GFI by just looking at it. If it has a little "test" button on it that causes the breaker to trip when you press it, then it's a GFI breaker.
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:28 AM   #25
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It is not a GFI. Here are some pictures of what I have currently. I have a friend that is an electrican who said he would actually setup my box if I got the plans. I am sure I can have him setup a GFI if it is needed. I am not in a huge rush, but I am just eager to get stuff on order.






I also have a 30 I could replace the 20 with.

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Old 02-18-2011, 02:09 AM   #26
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OK. Thanks for the pics. That helps a LOT.

There are a few problems, but since you have an electrician friend, this might be a piece of cake to remedy.

First: you cannot just take out the 20A breaker and put the 30A in. The wires in the wall and the outlet are only rated for 20A. If you put a 30A breaker in, then the wires inside your wall become fire hazards in the event of a problem.

At 20A, you are limited to a 4000W or 4500W heating element. That's plenty for a 5 gallon batch, but doesn't leave a lot of room to spare.

Second: You're right that there is no GFI there. You do not "need" GFI for the system to work, but I would NEVER suggest someone brew on an electric system without GFI protection. So, you will either need to have the electrician put in a GFI breaker or you can find a powercord that has GFI built into it. Both of these items are pricey. I had SERIOUS sticker shock when I went to purchase a GFI breaker for my panel. It was over $100 in a retail store, but I ended up scoring a deal on ebay for $35.

Third: your outlet provides no neutral wire at the outlet. It provides two hot lines for the 220v and a ground, but there is no neutral. That's bad news for your pump. Your pump wants 110v to operate, which means that it wants to be connected to one of the hot lines and the neutral.

SO, I would talk to your electrician friend and see if he can:

Install a GFI breaker and fix your wiring so that you have both hots, the neutral, and the ground available to plug into.

If he has to run new wiring, to do this, you could consider having him up the size of the wiring to give you more amps than just 20.

Most folks use 30A at least. That's room for 5500W and pumps.

So... check with him about that stuff.

I would hold off on ordering anything at this point, honestly. I suggest you work through the details and price everything out. You might not like the final number you are looking at and can back out without having spent anything.

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Old 02-18-2011, 04:27 AM   #27
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That should be no problem, I am gonna have my buddy come over and look at it this weekend. He said it was like the setup for a hot tub. He said you he would be able to look at the line entering the breaker box and be able to tell.

$100 for a GFI breaker should not be a problem.

Looking at the following link: http://www.highgravitybrew.com/Produ...y-276p2351.htm

I do have a question. In the bottom picture it shows the power plugin from the wall, stating a 220v 30A service is required. It however does not mention the GFI breaker.

Is that because the unit has a GFI incorporated into it? If so that would make the EBC II a deal at $300 right? Roughly you are looking at $150ish for the control box, plus a GFI of $100 equaling roughly $250 + you have to put it all together. But if you still have to install a $100 GFI either way the self built is a better deal!

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Old 02-18-2011, 05:26 AM   #28
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Looking at the following link: http://www.highgravitybrew.com/Produ...y-276p2351.htm

I do have a question. In the bottom picture it shows the power plugin from the wall, stating a 220v 30A service is required. It however does not mention the GFI breaker.

Is that because the unit has a GFI incorporated into it? If so that would make the EBC II a deal at $300 right? Roughly you are looking at $150ish for the control box, plus a GFI of $100 equaling roughly $250 + you have to put it all together. But if you still have to install a $100 GFI either way the self built is a better deal!
No, I don't think there is any GFI inside of it. I think that that thing, in all honesty, is an semi-unsafe piece of equipment at rip-off price.

With only 3 wires coming in, it's two hots and ground. You can run the pump by connecting it to one of the hots and the ground, but this means that you CANNOT use a GFI with that kind of system. So... that 3-wire version is explicitly a non-GFI electric brewing box. Functional... but not something I would suggest.

You can have them put a 4-wire cord on it. That would provide the neutral in addition to the ground, and the pump would be connected to one hot line and the neutral, and THEN you could have GFI in the breaker box.

At any rate $300 for that thing is in no way a deal. To build something exactly like that, it would cost less than $100.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:31 AM   #29
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I don't know if I could consider it unsafe, but obviously the GFCI is added peace of mind.

I don't know if you can tell but the outlet is probably less than 3 feet on the wall from the breaker box. So pulling a heavier gauge wire if needed should not be a problem.

Bottom line though this is gonna get completed by me in a month or two. I hate dragging crap out. Today I purchased an 809 march pump, and all the quick connect hoses. I will brew with a gas HERMs setup, until I move to electric.

I want to build the control box and put in the elements all at once.

Having a 220v 30a GFCI outlet in place the remaining parts are the following:

4500W Heating Elements (2)
PID - $45 from auberins.com
SSR - $10 on ebay
dryer cord - $10 at home depot
dryer receptacle - $5 at home depot
temp probe - $20 on ebay
box to put it all in - $15 at lowes
power switch and receptacle for pump - $7 at home depot
power switch for turning element on and off - maybe $10 at home depot

Honestly, I need some direction as to what order things are to be placed in (schematic). I am not gonna be doing any of the wiring but need a plan and list of parts for my buddy to follow.

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Old 02-19-2011, 03:01 AM   #30
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use kals site as a reference. It has everything you need to design your own. Spend some time on it.

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