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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Manual control for Heating element
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Manual control for Heating element

Hey guys, I am in the process of switching to a 5500 watt element in my brew kettle. I was hoping I could just let it run full bore and not have to orry about boilovers, but I'm beginning to see that might not be the case. What I'm wondering about is if there is a way to manually control the percentage of power to the element with a set up that just uses a nob or something similar to dial up or down as you need. I'm hoping it would be relatively cheap as well.

I'll eventually be going to a control panel, but for now, I just need to be able to control a boil. Thanks!

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Old 03-08-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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Yes, search for PWM.

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Old 03-08-2012, 07:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Yes, search for PWM.
That's exactly what I have. I had a PID for the boil kettle, but moved it to the HLT and decided on PWM for my current boil kettle. It works great- like a ceiling fan dimmer switch, I can just turn down the knob and still keep a rolling boil.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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Sounds exactly like what I need! Now to see if I can manage to build one myself.

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Old 03-08-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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Check out the link in my signature line for my build. I built one for ~$15 and a couple hours with a soldering iron. You'll also need a SSR which is about another $15. You can mount them in/on a tool box or other enclosure for little cost. You can also buy one for about the same price but you'll need to de-solder one capacitor and solder in a new one. Knowing what I know now, that is how I would go.

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Old 03-09-2012, 01:56 AM   #6
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Depending on your kettle and batch size, rather than controlling a 5500w element, perhaps a 4000w or 3500w element at full bore will give you a satifactory boil. I boil 9-10 gallons w/ 4000w "full bore" in a 15 gallon pot without issue. While I agree a controller is awesome...just not mandatory IME and IMO.

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Old 03-09-2012, 10:25 PM   #7
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I'll give a boil a try, and see what happens.

pvtschulz, what pwm would you have bought if you could do it again?

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