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Old 03-30-2011, 05:51 PM   #11
Amity
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Go to no-chill. A valve on your kettle with a couple feet of silicone hose, and a 6 gallon water jug (green/aqua colour) from Canadian Tire. At the end of your boil, just drain it into the clean & sanitized jug. Wait a day, then pitch it into a bucket or carboy.

We do exactly that and produce fine beer. Saves time too.

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Old 03-31-2011, 12:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stevehaun View Post
At a minimum, you will need either two SSRs or one SSR and a hard shut off, i.e., a contactor. Otherwise you will only be turning off one hot limb of the 240 vac circuit. Here is a reasonably priced contactor:
http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=129

SSRs usually fail "closed" which is why I think it is preferable to have a hard shut off. I personally use one SSR and a contactor. Some will argue for two SSRs which is also safe because it would be really unusual for both SSRs to fail simultaneously. I suppose the most safe way would be two SSRs and a contactor. I find the contactor very useful, especially at boil over time. I use my contactors to turn off my elements many times during a typical brewday.
So, are you using the contactor as a switch? Is the contactor connected to your PWM?


I am thinking of using two SSR's and a standard double pole switch.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:35 PM   #13
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Yes, you use the contactor as an on/off switch for the 240 vac circuit that feeds your element. It is not wired to the pid or pwm. The contactor costs about the same as 240 vac, 30 amp double pole switch.

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Old 04-05-2011, 11:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wuertele View Post
You could get a proportional controller: https://www.alliedelec.com/search/pr...px?SKU=6823038

Then control it with a cheap potentiometer and a battery.
I really like this idea. I'm in a similar situation to that of the original poster right now. I live in a relatively small 2nd floor apartment where brewing outside is huge pain. I know I won't be living here forever, so I want a relatively inexpensive and, most importantly, small and simple solution. I have easy access to the 50A range circuit, so my plan is to use a 4500W element. But as mentioned, I need some way to reduce the power once a full boil is reached.

Another enticing option is this:
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/Produ...r-306p3084.htm

The price tag seems high at first, but once you start adding up all the parts it seems fair. I know that's a 30A plug, but I could build a little cord with a fuse to adapt it to the 50A outlet.

He also has a more advanced control box that has an interior photo. I've consulted with several electrically minded friends and none of us can figure out what components he's using. There's obviously a small DC circuit with a potentiometer but I can't figure out where the DC voltage is coming from or what actually controls the AC output. Any ideas?
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/Produ...l-306p3073.htm
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERock101 View Post
I really like this idea. I'm in a similar situation to that of the original poster right now. I live in a relatively small 2nd floor apartment where brewing outside is huge pain. I know I won't be living here forever, so I want a relatively inexpensive and, most importantly, small and simple solution. I have easy access to the 50A range circuit, so my plan is to use a 4500W element. But as mentioned, I need some way to reduce the power once a full boil is reached.

Another enticing option is this:
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/Produ...r-306p3084.htm

The price tag seems high at first, but once you start adding up all the parts it seems fair. I know that's a 30A plug, but I could build a little cord with a fuse to adapt it to the 50A outlet.

He also has a more advanced control box that has an interior photo. I've consulted with several electrically minded friends and none of us can figure out what components he's using. There's obviously a small DC circuit with a potentiometer but I can't figure out where the DC voltage is coming from or what actually controls the AC output. Any ideas?
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/Produ...l-306p3073.htm
The electric kettle control is interestng, looks like a pwm w/relay and switch. Make sure you are using either a gfi breaker in your panel or a cord with built in gfi!
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:54 PM   #16
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Haha, yes, I've read enough electric brewing threads on here to know all about GFIs. Unfortunately I have the old 3 wire setup (no ground) so I have to put one in the panel itself.

I agree that the electric kettle has some kind of PWM, but wouldn't that require a DC voltage source? I don't see a transformer anywhere in there. Could they be using AC power to charge a capacitor and then power the DC signal from that?

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:41 PM   #17
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I run my PWM with an old cell phone charger. Works great!

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Old 04-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CanadianNorth View Post
I get it. 120v to run the contactor.


Could a two pole contactor could handle both lines of a 240V heater????

Why would this be different than a physical switch?

maybe the magnetic contactor gives you the option of some type of automatic control, whereas a toggle switch is strictly manual...
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