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Old 08-01-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
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Default Noob questions

Hello, I am a complete noob in the process of putting together a 1 BBL electric system. Could anyone willing to tolerate some really basic questions mind posting here so I can PM you, or PMing me? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-01-2012, 02:16 PM   #2
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Go right ahead!

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Old 08-01-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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I say post them in this thread so other newbs like me can benefit from the info too!

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Old 08-01-2012, 06:57 PM   #4
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i say post them in this thread so other newbs like me can benefit from the info too!
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
Hello, I am a complete noob in the process of putting together a 1 BBL electric system. Could anyone willing to tolerate some really basic questions mind posting here so I can PM you, or PMing me? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
This info may help you

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/my-...-build-314796/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/1-5-...-build-293615/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/1-bb...-build-333187/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/55-...system-267986/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/1-bb...-build-208092/

Cheers,
ClaudiusB
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:47 PM   #6
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I'm building a 1 bbl electric system for a nano that I am starting in a few months. My vessels are 55 gallon ss drums. I was looking at the control panels on theelectricbrewery.com and it looks incredibly complicated. I don't care about a panel that connects to temp probes and has alarms and other fancy stuff. I just want to have an on-off switch for my two 4500 w coils in my HLT, and some greater control in my brew kettle so I can get a good rolling boil but not waste energy. Is this possible to do?

The fully assembled 50A control panels on theelectricbrewery are $2700. I don't want to spend even close to that, but like I said, I don't care if my panel is nothing more than an on-off switch for the HLT and a knob for the BK.

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Summer Night raspberry dark saison

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Old 08-05-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
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How are you going to control temperature with an HLT with HERMS coil if all you have is an on/off switch for the HLT heating element? You'd need to manually monitor the HLT temp somehow and sit there and flick the switch off/on as required (this is what a PID does for you automatically by using a temp probe in the HLT). I think that would be very annoying to do for hours on end.

If you know a bit about electronics you can solder together a board to build a pulse-width-modulator for the boil kettle and it'll probably cost you $20 instead of the $40 you'd spend on a PID to do the same. It's not a huge savings.

Be aware that most of the money in a control panel is for the high current switching devices, locking connectors, and enclosure. You could hardwire to save money but then that brings about all sorts of other issues including electrical inspection, and so on.

Many have looked at ways to simplify my control panel by removing items. All of the alarm switches and the volt/amp meters can be removed but that's only about a $50 savings. There isn't (IMHO) much you can cut out without cutting into the usability/functionality/safety. Of course, at the end of the day you can build your panel any way you want to meet your specific needs. Just make sure to figure out your entire brewing process from start to end and build a panel around the process, not the other way around.

Good luck!

Kal

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Old 08-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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How are you going to control temperature with an HLT with HERMS coil if all you have is an on/off switch for the HLT heating element? You'd need to manually monitor the HLT temp somehow and sit there and flick the switch off/on as required (this is what a PID does for you automatically by using a temp probe in the HLT). I think that would be very annoying to do for hours on end.

If you know a bit about electronics you can solder together a board to build a pulse-width-modulator for the boil kettle and it'll probably cost you $20 instead of the $40 you'd spend on a PID to do the same. It's not a huge savings.

Be aware that most of the money in a control panel is for the high current switching devices, locking connectors, and enclosure. You could hardwire to save money but then that brings about all sorts of other issues including electrical inspection, and so on.

Many have looked at ways to simplify my control panel by removing items. All of the alarm switches and the volt/amp meters can be removed but that's only about a $50 savings. There isn't (IMHO) much you can cut out without cutting into the usability/functionality/safety. Of course, at the end of the day you can build your panel any way you want to meet your specific needs. Just make sure to figure out your entire brewing process from start to end and build a panel around the process, not the other way around.

Good luck!

Kal
Thanks. I didn't mean to slag off your work, it's awesome, but I just am on a really tight budget.

What if I only used one coil for my BK and used a burner to control the temp?

I can deal with sitting around waiting for my HLT to reach the right temp and turning off a switch.
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On tap at the brewery:
Logan's Song English pale
Hopsail Belgian single
Hellfire Black IPA
Summer Night raspberry dark saison

Crooked Run Brewing: Traditional ales, local ingredients

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Old 08-05-2012, 06:42 PM   #9
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Thanks. I didn't mean to slag off your work, it's awesome, but I just am on a really tight budget.
No worries about that at all. Everyone has different budgets. I just wanted to make sure that what you're doing was feasible.

Quote:
What if I only used one coil for my BK and used a burner to control the temp?
I'm not sure what you mean exactly. Do you mean use one heating element in the BK and a regular gas burner for the HLT?

Quote:
I can deal with sitting around waiting for my HLT to reach the right temp and turning off a switch.
It's not about just turning it off when it reaches temp. You talked about a coil in the HLT so I assumed you meant a HERMS coil which would be used to maintain mash temp. The way this is done is that that the HLT element fires intermittently during your mashing to keep the mash at temp.

As soon as you turn off the HLT heat it will start to lose heat. You need to periodically fire the HLT element to maintain temp.

Maybe if you explained what brewing process you plan on using that would help find a setup that works for you.

Kal
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #10
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I'm not sure what you mean exactly. Do you mean use one heating element in the BK and a regular gas burner for the HLT?
I mean using one coil in my BK, as well as a gas burner. I use the coil and gas to bring it to boil, and gas to hold a boil. That way I don't have to worry about cycling the coil on and off.

Quote:
As soon as you turn off the HLT heat it will start to lose heat. You need to periodically fire the HLT element to maintain temp.
I'm not going to do HERMS. I'm OK with the heat loss, I can insulate my mash tun but I am not worried about a drop in a couple degrees.
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On tap at the brewery:
Logan's Song English pale
Hopsail Belgian single
Hellfire Black IPA
Summer Night raspberry dark saison

Crooked Run Brewing: Traditional ales, local ingredients

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