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Old 08-25-2011, 05:47 PM   #1
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Default Maxing out a residentail 240VAC brewery.

I've seen a few posts lately about power requirements for running multiple 5500W elements. That got me thinking, about what the maximum volume that could be brewed using a standard residential 200A service.

Now I am going to limit my self to 100A brewery, that would be able to run 3 5500W elements simultaneously pulling ~75A. So assuming this would be ~16,500W.

Now assuming that we are only looking at boiling, A 60ºF rise in water temp in one hr for 100 gallons of water would require 16100W or (16.1kWh) so if you wanted to go from 170ºF to boil with 100 gallons it would take around 45min to 1hr. depending on kettle insulation and what not. I did the math assuming 1g of water requires 1.163X10^-6 kWh to raise its temp by 1ºC...and then converted the result to Gallons and ºF and then confirmed the results to this table...Wattage estimates

Thats not to practical, so I will say that ~60 gallons would be the max for a 240vac 100A system.I more have come up with this number because it seams that most people running one 5500W element in a kettle limit their batch size to 15-20gallons, so with three elements...the max would be around 60 gallons, Does this sound about right?

I guess if one wanted to build a 3bbl electric brewery, that would require ~200A at 240VAC with around 6 5500W elements. What about at 3phase 480VAC? I have neighbors who have had 3phase 480VAC dropped in to their houses to run welding equipment, so how feasible would this be to build a 480VAC brewery?

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Old 08-25-2011, 06:12 PM   #2
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For a 3bbl brewery, my guestimate is that you'd be better off using a gas-steam generator.

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Old 08-25-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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The price to get 480 ran into the house will be very expensive and opening up to a whole new world. Also with code there are some large barriers depending where you live with residential 480 3 phase. Depending on the load of you system you could use a phase converter to generate 3 phase. Once again very expensive equipment and limited amperage output. Not to mention loud.

I'm not really sure where your tying to go with this.

The steam generator, honestly, would be the cheapest route.

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Old 08-25-2011, 08:22 PM   #4
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Just curious, I figured there would be people on this HBT that could inform me on the impracticality of my idea, as well as to see what other people think the limit of a residential 240VAC system would be.

I'm not planing on building a 3bbl electric system, I'm just curious about the feasibility of it.

I think if one where to want to build a 3bbl system the best route would be to find and old jacketed stem kettle,or do a direct fire to the boil kettle, and use a commercial tankless water heater as the HLT.

If you where at NHC this year and listened to Vinnie talk about his first brewery in Temecula (blind pig) it sounded like it was a monster electric brew kettle.

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Old 08-26-2011, 01:06 AM   #5
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I had a flashback reading your last post. About a year ago I developed a wiring diagram for a system like you are asking about. It was a system that required 6 - 5500W 240V elements in the HLT and in the boil kettle. There is no way possible for that to be done in a residential area. Out of the question.

The system that I drew used 3 Auber Instruments PIDS and a boat load of SSRs.

Fun project.

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