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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > power! a practical question
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:34 PM   #21
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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.....
Here ya go again w/ the a/r thinking....my thoughts were a $12 timer from walmart plug and play...

Stop designing and get brewing...stick an element into a kettle and brew a batch, then design you hi-falutin "system" all you want over a cold pint........
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #22
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oh, i've got a keg of stout, and a keg of dunkel. with 6 gal of english brown in secondary. beer flows freely at warthog brewing co.

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Old 08-14-2012, 03:04 AM   #23
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OK, you were right. 10.00V applied, 0.958 amps measured, = 10.4 ohms.
233.5VAC measured with multimeter.

22.01 measured with clamp-on ammeter.

So that's only 5139 Watts of heat from my element. I don't have time to do the math right now (son want's to play ping pong).

[I"m back]

Based on my timed boil, I'm only getting about 4600W of the power to my element. So, I'm losing about (5100-4600)/5100 or 10% to ambient.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:25 PM   #24
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what size kettles are you using? i've got a line on some 60qt for cheap cheap (local army surplus store). just guessing about your set-up, it looks like insulation would help your boil times quite a bit (not thinking about electricity cost, just thinking about how long the brew day is). assuming a convective heat transfer of 10 w/m^2k (guess, based on high humidity and low altitude), and a surface area of 0.15m^2 you are losing about 120 w out the top and 380w out the sides and bottom.

anyway. i'm thinking of moving from my original 40qt pot system to a 60 qt pot system so that i can make 10 gal batches (i thought about going 80 qt, but i just don't have the space). is 60 going to do it? keggles are 62 qt, so that should work right?

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Old 08-14-2012, 07:29 PM   #25
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what size kettles are you using? i've got a line on some 60qt for cheap cheap (local army surplus store). just guessing about your set-up, it looks like insulation would help your boil times quite a bit (not thinking about electricity cost, just thinking about how long the brew day is). assuming a convective heat transfer of 10 w/m^2k (guess, based on high humidity and low altitude), and a surface area of 0.15m^2 you are losing about 120 w out the top and 380w out the sides and bottom.

anyway. i'm thinking of moving from my original 40qt pot system to a 60 qt pot system so that i can make 10 gal batches (i thought about going 80 qt, but i just don't have the space). is 60 going to do it? keggles are 62 qt, so that should work right?
speaking of saving time. The larger your HLT the better IMO. I thought 25g hlt was going to be too big, man was I wrong. It is great having all that water heated and ready for use. That use could be a back to back batch, or simply cleaning water. More mass in the HLT also means your herms can take a punch if needed.

I know you said space was an issue, but I would go for the 80qt if you can. I can still catch a boil over with my 100qt BK if I am not paying attention. Thanks to the alarms on my system though... that is no longer an issue!
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:18 PM   #26
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cool good advice. i wasn't planning on herms. i've had a few crazy ideas, but i've scaled them back a bit. for my m/l t, my plan is to give it a good thick layer of insulation, mount a sparge nozzle to the lid, and call it good. though maybe i'll get a really big (80-100 qt) hlt, and 60 qt m/l t and bk. that said, i'm planning on plumbing my corner of the basement with hot, cold, and r.o. water, and tying into the sewer line. the whole project is going to cost a lot of $$ i don't have. so i need to try to figure out where to spend and where i can save.

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Old 08-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #27
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Gotcha. For my use in particular (on a well) it helps me bank water early so I have enough for chilling later in the day.

look into the flexible closed cell foam insulation. It works very well for everything but the bottom of the pots. And don't be a knuckle head like me (order all you need in one shot to save on shipping )

The hot water line is a cool idea, and will help save you time on heating up the HLT. Extending the plumbing to my brew area is something I really want to do, but only after I have my ventilation system in, since that means my rig will be permenantly placed with no movement. Right now I swing it out to pump directly to my fermentors.

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Old 08-14-2012, 08:50 PM   #28
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ha! i hadn't thought of using my hot water heater as an hlt. does anyone know if i can put a filter on that? my hot water tanks collect sludge over time, and often sound like they're percolating coffee. i'm not sure i want to use that water without filtering it first.

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:37 PM   #29
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at least the hot water heater gives you a jump start.

My thoughts on the rest are:

1. Any alc. you consume is way worse than the sludge you might get
2. Any sludge that came through would drop out into the trub in your fermenter

take witha grain of salt, my .02

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Old 08-14-2012, 10:02 PM   #30
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what size kettles are you using?
15.5g keggles
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