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Old 08-09-2012, 12:40 AM   #11
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honestly, i was just trying to save you the effort. i figured the number based on nominal would be close enough, and all i would need then is the voltage, to calculate the real efficiency. knowing that you had a long run of xx awg tells me the volts are lower than 240, therefore the watts are actually lower than 5500, which means the total system efficiency is greater than 85%. way better than a gas fired system. so i'm happy with that, and will look into scaling up to a 10 gallon system.

thanks for your help. watch this space, i will be posting progress from the planning stage (now) to completion (hopefully soon).

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Old 08-09-2012, 12:54 AM   #12
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Wart, 5500w works better than a large propane burner for 13 gallons. That's my batch size, and I parked a KB6 in the back of the shed only for decoction duty. Math is cool and all, but real world is much more scaleable.

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Old 08-09-2012, 01:16 AM   #13
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... i will be posting progress ... (hopefully soon).
Before this thread, your last post was 6 years ago. Wow. Welcome back. Hopefully it won't be another 6
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:20 AM   #14
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nah! i'm waaaaaay too a.r. for that

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Old 08-09-2012, 01:22 AM   #15
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Before this thread, your last post was 6 years ago. Wow. Welcome back. Hopefully it won't be another 6
thanks man. i've been busy (2 kids since then), lots of brewing too.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:02 PM   #16
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Wart, 5500w works better than a large propane burner for 13 gallons. That's my batch size, and I parked a KB6 in the back of the shed only for decoction duty. Math is cool and all, but real world is much more scaleable.
IME a 5500w kettle will be more than adequate for all but the largest and grandest home breweries. I recently did several 15g batches w/ a measly 4000w, and while admittedly a tad slow, not objectionable given batch size.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:49 PM   #17
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thanks wilser. i'm a pretty busy guy, part of my motivation behind building an electric brewery, is to speed up my brew day (and get a better boil - i'm an electric turkey fryer/stove top all grain, armstrong brewing system, brewer).

my brew day right now starts at about 8a and finishes up at about 3-4p depending on the recipe.

i start with hauling everything up from the basement, getting mash water heating, cleaning, sanitizing and assembling everything while i wait for that. it takes 45 minutes just to get my mash going, then 45-60 min for mashing, another 30 or so for lauter, then 30 more minutes just to heat up to boil, then 60-90 minutes boil, chill (that's the only quick part of my system - about 5-10 for the 6 gallons i boil), big splashy dump into my conical, pitch; disassemble, clean and sanitize; then drag it all back to the basement and put it back on shelves. it all adds up to 7+ hours of entertainment, that i can only make time for once a month at best.

the other part, is so i don't have to haul everything up and down the stairs, i tore my meniscus skiing last season, and i still haven't gotten it fixed. my knee hurts just thinking about hauling my full conical down the stairs to the basement. i got permission from the boss (wifey) to take a corner of the basement (~300 ft^2) and turn it into a brewery/man cave. i've got water, and electricity, and not a lot of space or $$.

the good news is that i'm an engineer (with degrees in mechanical engineering, computer science, and mathematics), who works for a company that makes precision temperature controlled chambers for semiconductor manufacturing. i can get a lot of cool cast offs: we've got old plcs, pumps, motors, thermoelectric heat exchangers, fans, filters, stainless steel coils....

this will be a total custom system designed and build by me, using some of the great info i've found on this forum, and a lot of advice from those who've tackled this before me too (that's you guys). i know a lot about heat transfer, and controlling air temperature, but not a lot about controlling liquid temperature (the math is the same, but the experience, is not).

so thanks all in advance, as i dive into the design phase...

regards,
n

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Old 08-09-2012, 07:28 PM   #18
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I wanted to chime in on the pot insulation and the capability of a 5500 watt element.

so first I wanted to say I insulate my pots and I notice it really seems to work very well. I used a sheet of insulating closed cell foam, then contact adhesive and outer shell of reflectix. I use the reflectix with velcor so I can take on and take off the the wrap as needed for cleaning. (here is a picture with what I used) - see post 575

I have two 25G megapots that I use in for my hlt herms and BK. Insulated, I can boil a full pot. 5500 is perfect for most every home brew system IMO

I use a full HLT (23 gallons or so) for my herms and it takes a fair amount of time to heat that up. I would say it is about a degree per minute. It is less than that in reality but that is a ball park. Since I have two sides to my rig I can fire two elements. So a lot of the time I will put about half the water in each pot to speed up heating the strike water for the herms.

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Old 08-09-2012, 09:29 PM   #19
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OK....mega smart move setting up the basement brewery! I realized a few years ago that the brewing was the easy part...moving all the equipment and then hauling the finished product is way more work than the actual brewing....electric basement brewing is the easy way to go irregardless of total watts!

Put a simple cheap timer on a low wattage HLT and let it run while you sleep........plenty of hot liquor to start the day before you wakey....

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Old 08-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #20
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OK....mega smart move setting up the basement brewery! I realized a few years ago that the brewing was the easy part...moving all the equipment and then hauling the finished product is way more work than the actual brewing....electric basement brewing is the easy way to go irregardless of total watts!

Put a simple cheap timer on a low wattage HLT and let it run while you sleep........plenty of hot liquor to start the day before you wakey....
now there's an idea!

i've been eying an obsolete plc, rack and some i/o modules for a while. if i can score those.....
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