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Old 07-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default Power requirements for eventual electric setup

So my wife and I just purchased our first home a little over two month ago. After resolving a large majority of the must-fix to-do list items I now have time to address the brewery... I know, I know, that should have been first, right? I need to have an electrician run a new circuit for power on the unfinished side of the basement so i can connect my keg fridge, ferm chamber, stir plate etc. There currently is only a lighting circuit. While I have the electrician there I figure i should run service for my future electric brew setup. The problem I am having is deciding how much power I will need? I currently have a very basic all grain setup that heavily relies on manual labor (no pumps, no separate liquor tank). When i move to electric, I would like to be able to move inside so i can have a dedicated setup and not have to lug everything outside, as well as advance my system (herms or rims). I currently brew 6 gallon batches, but in the past have done 3 and am strongly considering going back to 3 as I dont consume it quickly enough. If I need to make something larger than 6 I will go back outside for that specific occasion (probably never haha).

So here are a few of my questions:
1A) If I have the electrician put in 30A/250v line (possibly through spa panel). Can I split the two hot poles in my control panel to run 125V stuff (pretty sure i have seen this in others)?
1b) If I can split it, could I still run 250v stuff? For example, say I decide to have a 20A/250v plug, can I allocate the other 10 amps worth of energy 110v circuit? Guess I really would like to know about the limits of what i can do in the control panel
2) Considering instead of heatsticks I might go the induction route. If I wanted to do induction cooktops they would probably each need their own 15 or 20amp 125v circuit - is this possible through splitting up that 30a/250v sercive or should I have just run multiple 20a/125v lines?
3) since I will be spending a decent amount of money to eventually get this setup going, I'd like to speed up the brewday if possible, what is "too much" when it comes to heating elements if I am only doing 3 gallon batches (5500w, 4500w)? I guess the pot geometry comes into play to ensure the element is covered, otherwise any considerations?
4) would a standard range hood be enough to handle the moisture since i will usual be doing smaller batches, or will i still need a custom venting solution with a powerful squirrel cage type fan?


hopefully, this made sense! I am sure I will have more thoughts questions once I get some answers. Just trying to thoughtfully think ahead so I will have the right power setup for when i actually go to make electric setup. Any thoughts are much appreciated

Edit1: The reason i was thinking 30a/250v is so I would be able to take the system with us if we move years down the road - easy connection to a dryer outlet.

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Old 07-22-2013, 05:17 PM   #2
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IMO, you would want a 30a/240v circuit DEDICATED to a future brewery panel, with a GFCI, and 10/3+ground wiring. You will be able to run both 240v and 120v in your brewery panel.

Run separate 15a or 20a 120v circuits for everything else that you anticipate.

You are correct that if you go the PID and SSR route, you can go with the most powerful element that will fit in the kettle subject to your amperage (a 5500w is a common choice).

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Old 07-23-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
IMO, you would want a 30a/240v circuit DEDICATED to a future brewery panel, with a GFCI, and 10/3+ground wiring. You will be able to run both 240v and 120v in your brewery panel.

Run separate 15a or 20a 120v circuits for everything else that you anticipate.

You are correct that if you go the PID and SSR route, you can go with the most powerful element that will fit in the kettle subject to your amperage (a 5500w is a common choice).
Thanks, Due to my smaller batch size I can't see why i would nee more than 30a/240v so I will probably have that installed to a dryer style 30 amp 4 prong outlet so it will be ready for when i can eventual make the jump. Now to decide on the spa panel or if I should just get the gfci I cord I see people using. I really want to make this as portable/future-proof as possible. Its a shame my place has a gas dryer, otherwise, I would conceivable already have the power necessary!

I was def planning to have a separate circuit for the other items, this was my main intention for the electrician in the first place.

What is the part in the control panel that separates the 240v into 120v? Would like to start researching about all that. Thanks
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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My spa panel has a 50amp run with 1x 220v @ 30 amps and 2x 110v @ 20 amp circuits.

This should handle the brewery and all the lights and outlets in your basement. The spa panel is just a cheap sub panel with a gfci breaker.

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Old 07-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #5
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My spa panel has a 50amp run with 1x 220v @ 30 amps and 2x 110v @ 20 amp circuits.

This should handle the brewery and all the lights and outlets in your basement. The spa panel is just a cheap sub panel with a gfci breaker.
Hmm interesting. You are thinking it would be cheaper to run the cable for 50 amps (6awg) to a spa panel and split from there compared to running two separate lines 30amps(10awg) and a separate 20/1120v circuit for regular basement power? Not a bad idea, i will have to look into it.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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Ok, I have been reading a lot the past two days and am confused about how the 240v gets split. If i got with the 30amp/240v service into the control box and I want to run something which requires 20amp/240v, can I still split the hot poles for 110v applications as long as I know the draw on the remaining side is less than 10amps? For example I am interested in the 3500 watt induction cooker which has a 20a/240v 6-20p plug. Would I then be able to have 2, 110v circuits capable of up to 10 amps if the cooktop is on?

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Old 07-24-2013, 12:46 AM   #7
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When they run the 240 you will have a red, black, white and green wire. The green is ground, white is neutral and the other two are hot leads. You can tap off either the black or red to get your 120 power.

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Old 07-24-2013, 12:54 AM   #8
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Inside of your control panel put 3 terminal strips. One for each hot (red), hot (black), and neutral (white). If you want a 120V outlet in your panel connect it to a hot terminal and the neutral terminal. If you want a 240V outlet in your panel connect it to the one hot terminal and the other hot terminal.

As far as the amperage goes, add up the current for everything you will be using and make sure it is 80% or less than your wire (and hopefully matching circuit breaker) is rated for.

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Old 07-24-2013, 01:17 AM   #9
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My understanding is that the 80% rule is meant for continuous loads (3 hours continuous). It's likely more conservative than necessary for your situation. Matching the circuit breaker to the the wire gauge to protect the wire is very important.

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Old 07-24-2013, 01:32 AM   #10
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We run a 50 amp service at around 48 amps for 16 hours straight on brew days. Wire is sized correctly. Haven't had any issues besides popping it once on a hot day

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