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Old 02-07-2012, 02:06 AM   #1
Antler
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Default Maybe stupid question?

I'm looking into going electric, the only reason being ability to brew (biab) indoors. I'm not sure yet what PID and SSR means, but say I'm going 240v, can I simply have a control box with master on/off, element on/off, and a variable output for the element? This means no setting mash temps or timers etc. Element is simply "replacing" propane as my heat source, and I'll be using the analog brewmometer on my pot to monitor temps, adjusting the element accordingly. Has this been done, anyone use it and are happy with it?

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:17 AM   #2
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Yes.

Regardless of how you decide to control your element, you will need a device to separate the control current from the actual heating current, and that is done with an SSR (solid state relay). If you want anything other than on/off you will need something like a control panel with a PID (proportional–integral–derivative) controller or a PWM (Pulse With Modulation) circuit.

That should get you started...

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:38 AM   #3
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Oh thanks, so basically much the same as an automated setup, but the temp is not recorded electronically, and the element power is controlled manually. Thanks for that! Obviously I've a whole lot of reading ahead of me, lol happy brewing!

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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Yeah, if you want to control power manually with no electronic readout, just use an SSR, (to switch the element on and off), and a PWM, (which tells the SSR "how much power" to give the element).

PWM really modifies the duty cycle of the element. So, if you want a 5500 watt element to run at 2250 watts, what it does is turn the element on for 1 second (for example), then off for 1 second. The element runs at an "average" of 2250 watts. It's pretty tough to actually only supply 2250 watts to the element, (you have to "burn off" the other 2250 watts, which is a lot of power!), but the PWM comes close to the same result.

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Have you seen High Gravity's controller?
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:43 PM   #6
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Sounds like PWM is what you are looking for. Do a search for "PWM show us how" and the first couple pages have everything you will need.

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Old 02-08-2012, 02:34 AM   #7
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Thanks guys! That controller seems to be what I'm looking for, but I have no desire for a pump. Apparently I have lots of research to do before jumping into this!
Does anyone using a simple controlled single vessel like I'm planning have any pics they can share?

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Old 02-08-2012, 11:43 AM   #8
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Search for "Electric BIAB" Those will be a bunch of single vessle systems

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Old 02-09-2012, 12:36 AM   #9
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I know there's tons of ebiab rigs around here, but I haven't heard of one that uses only manually controlled heat. All the setups I've seen have programmed mash temps, timed temps, pumps, etc. I just wondering how many people use electric the way I plan to, and if I could see pics of those setups.

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Old 02-09-2012, 12:53 AM   #10
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Check out my system. It is a pretty bare bones eBIAB setup with both PWM and PID control (though I use the PWM a lot more than the PID which serves more as a temperature display).

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/pvt...inally-298407/

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