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Old 11-05-2010, 07:29 AM   #1
stockwes
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Default How much power for 12-15 gallons?

I am thinking about setting up an electric brewery. I have a dedicated 30amp 240v plug for my welder that I could use. Would this give me enough power? How long would I be looking at to get 15 gal to boil? Would a single 5500 or so do it, or would a pair of 3500's be better?

Thanks

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Old 11-05-2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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A 5500 watt element would be more than enough for that size brewery. Check this out for details of a pretty darn nice one that uses all electric on the same 30 amp circuit.
www.theelectricbrewery.com

I use a 5500 watt element in my 10 gallon set up for the HLT and HERMS system and it is way more power than I need.

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Old 11-05-2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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You could go as low as a 4500W element. The 5500W would give you a little more power and would be a nice way to go.

Joshua

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Old 11-05-2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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You can drive about 7000 watts with 30 amps.

Some quick estimates for raising 15 gallons of 50 degree water to Strike:
4000 - 69 Minutes
4500 - 62 Minutes
5000 - 56 Minutes
5500 - 50 Minutes
6000 - 46 Minutes
7000 - 40 Minutes

Raising 12 gallons of 170 degree wort to boil:
4000 - 19 Minutes
4500 - 17 Minutes
5000 - 16 Minutes
5500 - 14 Minutes
6000 - 13 Minutes
7000 - 11 Minutes

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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 11-05-2010, 01:57 PM   #5
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Those estimates on 15 gallons of strike water may be a little conservative. I can bring about 11 gallons of cold water to 155 in probably 10 minutes with my 5500watt heater. Although I'll admit I've never timed it, so I could be off on that estimate.
Next time I brew I'll time it to see what I'm actually getting. But, it seems pretty fast regardless.

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Old 11-05-2010, 02:11 PM   #6
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They aren't real world for sure - I just pulled them from the boil calc spreadsheet I found here.

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Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
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 11-05-2010, 02:52 PM   #7
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Yeah, I'd say my times are better with 4500W than those listed, too. I also don't have hard data yet, so I'll time it tomorrow when I brew.

TB

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Old 11-06-2010, 01:13 PM   #8
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I have found on my system (4500W) that I can move 15 gallons 100 F in about 50 minutes. For 5 gallon batches, the time is half that. It is a nice quick system.

I made the choice to use 4500W elements so that I could have two of them on a single 50A circuit (as a side note, 9000W makes for fast heating to mash in). If you are going to have just a single element, then there is no disadvantage to having the 5500W element and I would go with that.

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Old 12-03-2010, 08:35 PM   #9
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You only want to go to 5500 watts on a 240 volt, 30 amp circuit. 7000 watts takes the circuit to the max it can hold before tripping.

240 volts x 30 amps = 7200 watts. That is max load. Multiply that by .80 to get a working load, 7200 watts x .80 = 5760 watts.

If you were to run a 7000 watt element, the wiring and breaker will quickly start to heat up and the breaker should trip. If the breaker should fail, well, let's just say you'll have a whole other set of problems. Also, 240 volts is a very optimistic number for voltage into a house. Usually the power coming in is about 210-215 volts. The power company will usually run lower to prevent power spikes from damaging equipment. So, if this is the case;

210 volts x 30 amps = 6300 watts x .80 = 5040 watts.

Take a voltage tester on your dryer outlet to find out how many volts you really have and use that number for calculations. If you don't want to do that, use 220 volts and you should be safe.

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadViking View Post
You only want to go to 5500 watts on a 240 volt, 30 amp circuit. 7000 watts takes the circuit to the max it can hold before tripping.

240 volts x 30 amps = 7200 watts. That is max load. Multiply that by .80 to get a working load, 7200 watts x .80 = 5760 watts.
Exactly right. Thanks for posting this... you saved me some typing.

Quote:
Also, 240 volts is a very optimistic number for voltage into a house. Usually the power coming in is about 210-215 volts.
That's *really* low. If you're only getting 105-107.5VAC from your regular outlets, I'd talk to the power company. You should only see sags that low *maybe* during the hottest parts of the summer when A/C units everywhere are running.

The lowest I've on my 240V into the control panel is low 230's.

For example, here it says 236V:



The element is off here. If it's on the voltage drops an extra 2-3 volts.

Looking at some of my other pics I see a few with 239V. One even with 244V!

FYI - In the end it should really matter. It'll just take slightly longer to heat up the water if it's under 240V.

Kal
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