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Old 02-12-2011, 02:13 AM   #1
HossTheGreat
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Default My new electric build....in progress

***3/6/2011 UPDATE*** The rig has been finished and the maiden voyage completed. Updated with lots of pics below.

Here's a few pictures of the new control panel that I am almost finished wiring up. I put an old computer case that I had laying around to good use. It's a pretty simple setup, since I do a single vessel BIAB.



I do have one question about the SSR. You can see that the heatsink is enclosed in the case. I know that many people who use small water-tight enclosures opt to put their heatsink on the outside of the box. Do you think I'll run into any heat issues with the current setup? Obviously I do have the option of running a couple of case fans, but this would require me to purchase a transformer to step the voltage down, plus an ac to dc transformer to feed the fans. Just curious if this is necessary, or if I should be ok.



Next, here's a look at the outside. Before anyone says anything, I know there's no point in having waterproof covers, but I wanted a cover for the outlet just for a little added safety....and I just thought the switch cover was pretty cool.



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Old 02-12-2011, 02:59 AM   #2
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Looks good, can't wait to see more pics! As for that heatpipe cooler, it's made to cool a CPU that certainly gets hotter than that SSR ever will, I think you'll be just fine.



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Old 02-12-2011, 04:20 AM   #3
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Cool idea with the case. I was viewing this on the iPhone app and it didn't show the pictures. I was completely expecting one of those neon/clear cases with a PID mounted in the middle!

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Old 02-13-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I also appreciate all the help you all have given me the past few weeks as I planned out this build. Here's some more pics.

5500w element, RTD probe, and Ball Valve/Dip Tube installed. Drilling that hole for the element using a step bit was a miserable experience, in which I hope I will never have to repeat.



By bending the last couple of coils, I'm able to place my IC in without much trouble. We'll see how it works during an actual brew session though.



I went back and forth between going with pol's method of using a PVC coupling and JB weld, but ultimately went with a waterproof box.



I drilled out the back of the box and used JB stik to attach it to the element. Hopefully it'll hold up ok. I'll probably also run a bead of silicone caulk around where the box meets the element...just to ensure a watertight seal.

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Old 02-13-2011, 06:57 PM   #5
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Box is a far better solution than the jbweld IMO. Looks good.

I'm also building a new system to do 1 pot BIAB, so look forward to hearing how yours works.

As to a fan, buy a cheap 120v muffin fan and then you don't have to mess with transformers, etc. Something like this http://www.amazon.com/Thermocool-Axial-Cooling-110V-19CFM/dp/B001TJWRS4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=industrial&qid=1297626952&sr= 8-2

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Old 02-14-2011, 12:56 AM   #6
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Well, after triple checking my wiring, I plugged it in tonight and took her for a test drive. Must say, I'm pretty happy with it. The only thing was that my RTD sensor was reading about 6 or 7 degrees less than the actual temp. While boiling, it was reading 205-206. I need to read up on this a little and see if I need to do some calibration. Does anyone have any quick tips about this?

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Old 02-14-2011, 05:54 PM   #7
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I would guess that your PID controller has instructions for offsetting the temperature reading to have it read 212 when you are boiling. The old Love controller I got off eBay has that function. Not really calibration, but I don't care if the BK thermometer is off a few degrees on it's way to boiling, I want to know when the temp is close so I can get full enjoyment out of the inevitable boilover.

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Old 02-14-2011, 06:02 PM   #8
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If that's an Auber PID, then you most certainly can enter a temperature offset. The user manual is available online, and will tell you what to do for that.

Neat build, BTW.

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Old 02-14-2011, 09:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tiber_Brew View Post
If that's an Auber PID, then you most certainly can enter a temperature offset. The user manual is available online, and will tell you what to do for that.

Neat build, BTW.

TB
Thanks...I just tested it in a water bath and sure enough' it's reading right at 32 degrees. Perhaps it's just the placement of the probe that's giving me a reading that's lower? I'll test around some and see what I figure out.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:33 PM   #10
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Well after testing the rig out last night, I left the water in it to cool before emptying the keg. Today, there's quite a bit of rust on the element base. There's even some on the element itself, the RTD probe and some spots on the bottom of the kettle.

The obvious answer to prevent this would be to not allow water to sit in the kettle for such a long period of time...however, wouldn't water still sit under the stainless nut, causing rust on the element threads anyway? I've read where some people have tried using an aluminum nut instead of stainless, covering the base of the element in food grade silicone or food grade paint, using aluminum flashing or other means of sacrificial anodes, but have really yet to see any definitive answers on which method (if any) is the best.

In the meantime, I'll clean this up with some barkeepers friend and figure out what to do from here.







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