So after being a keggle all grain brewer for about three years now I stumbled across Kal's very well known ElectricBrewery.com site and well to say my jaw dropped was an absolute understatement. I had always dreamed of not having to lug all my equipment outside in the dead of winter to brew my beers but never felt comfortable enough with my working knowledge of electricity and wiring to pull off a build that I as a supreme perfectionist would be satisfied with. That was of course until I found Kal's site and realized that he may be more of a perfectionist than I am!
I have now embarked on the long build journey to replicating Kal's build and being the engineer that I am, I decided to begin with the most work intensive section in the control panel. I will keep this thread updated as I save up to piece together the other components of my build and update my progress on the brewery.
I hope this serves as an example to anyone considering trying to tackle Kal's build that his instructions, advice, and site are supremely impressive. Props to Kal for providing information that really covers every single aspect of this build and leaves no stone unturned. Happy brewing!
The first step of course is to cut the holes in the enclosure and prime the beast:
After the enclosure is primed you need to apply to hammered finish spray paint. I tried a couple of different types on some scrap metal and quickly found out why Kal used the hammered finish. For one it looks super cool and durable and two its uneven texture helps conceal any irregularities in the metal surface and holes:
After the enclosure is dry I removed some of the painters tape I used to protect the gasket and a few other spots, re-assembled the enclosure and prepped the whole thing for the switches, lights, and receptacles:
And of course here is the enclosure with everything but the Amp meter installed which I believe is coming on horseback all the way from China!
After all the buttons, switches, and receptacles are installed I did a little wiring of the temperature controllers to the PIDs as well as mounted nearly everything on the backing plate.
The most annoying part now is that I am stuck where I am at as I wait on the Amp Meter and shunt to make it across the Pond from China. I am hoping that it arrives sometime this week so I can move forward with the wiring of the box.
If anyone is considering this project or has any comments/questions please feel free to leave them and ask and I'll be happy to respond/help!
Sparky/Mrlisk - Let me reiterate a point that Kal makes on his website in regards to using a Greenlee step bit... Don't buy cheap knockoffs! I originally tried to use a cheap step bit and regretted it after less than 5 minutes on my first hole. They are pricey to get via Amazon but just check on eBay as I was able to get a brand new Greenlee bit in it's packaging for 35 shipped.
Kal recommends a drill press for the hole drilling process which would have made it much easier in my opinion. I used a hand drill and did just fine but I am sure I would have saved myself a few curse words if I had a drill press for the whole process (unintentional pun!). The key if you go the hand drill route is to have a drill with more torque and lower speed. I used a Black and Decker 1/2" chuck drill that maxes out at a whopping 850 RPMs but is powered by a 7 amp motor. The difference in torque and power makes a huge difference with both the step bit and the hole saw holes as they tend to catch on the metal and stall a higher speed but lower torque power drill. Also don't forget to use plenty of oil when drilling otherwise your bit gets very hot very quickly.
Thanks for all the comments/questions glad to help everyone skip the same mistakes I made!
Just when I go and start complaining about the delivery time of my Amp meter in the mail from China look what shows up on my front porch! Also got a nice surprise with the panel tags being delivered!
I decided to name my contraption "The Flux Incapacitor", a nice play on one of my favorite movies of all time....except this contraption will send you to inebriation before it sends you to 1955. Anyway here's the control box with a few updates!
Front of the control panel with all components installed:
Bottom Panel with the tags:
Interior shot of the door with the amp meter installed. I decided to take the optional step and set myself up for the safe start interlock that Kal added after the fact on his panel. I figured it was easier to take the step now and prevent any accidents than to go back after and add it. You can see the interlock mounted on a metal backing plate in between the water/wort pump switches and lights.
And last but not least a (semi) artistic shot of my new creation! The Flux Incapacitor!