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Old 10-29-2011, 06:17 AM   #1
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Default Replacing a burner with an electric element

I have limited knowledge of wiring, so I likely wouldn't do the work myself (or if I did, I'd have it inspected by an electrical engineer), but I'm looking at a very simple electric conversion from a propane burner.

My setup is pretty basic at this point: a boil kettle and picnic cooler mash tun. My BK already has a themometer/sightglass which I'm more then comfortable using to heat mash water.

My ideal electric conversion involves a 240V dryer outlet connection, and a hot water element similar to Kal's electricbrewery.com style element build.

What I would like to have is a stove style (potentiometer?) dial on the element junction box where I could turn the element from 0 to max, similar to a propane regulator, then a GFCI at the 240V outlet.

Any potential issues with such a build? I'd appriciate any input from people that have a clue about electric.



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Old 10-29-2011, 10:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypt0


My ideal electric conversion involves a 240V dryer outlet connection, and a hot water element similar to Kal's electricbrewery.com style element build.

What I would like to have is a stove style (potentiometer?) dial on the element junction box where I could turn the element from 0 to max, similar to a propane regulator, then a GFCI at the 240V outlet.
It sounds like you only want a boil control. If you heat strike water you would monitor the temp manually? If that is the case, it could be done with a PWM (pulse width modulator) circuit and an SSR.


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Old 10-29-2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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I just converted my keggle to electric using this ssr. Its got a control circuit built in. You just need a potentiometer heatsink and a box to put it in and you have exactly what you describe.
http://www.newark.com/united-automation/psr-25/power-control-module/dp/97K7822
I have only heated water with it si far but it seems to work very well. Just a simple dial control like a stove.

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Old 10-29-2011, 08:46 PM   #4
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It sounds like you only want a boil control. If you heat strike water you would monitor the temp manually?
Exactly. My BK has one of Bobby M's sight glass kits with the built in thermometer. I'm comfortable using that for heating strike water. After I've mashed in, I'd want boil control.

Berniep - This sounds very promising, Thanks for the link. I'll just have to find a potentiometer/heatsink.

Would it be safe to mount the potentiometer/heat sink on the junction box I plan to use in the boil kettle? I'm guessing its better to keep in a seperate box, away from the boiling water
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:12 AM   #5
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Default My simple system!

Like you I use a single BK with a cooler.
I sparge into buckets and then refill the BK.

I have an electric system that is as simple as can be, from High Gravity:

http://www.highgravitybrew.com/ProductCart/pc/Electric-Kettle-Controller-306p3084.htm

And this:
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/ProductCart/pc/Heating-Element-5500-Watt-SS-306p2669.htm

About $250 and you are good to go!

The controller plugs into the dryer outlet, and the heating element plugs into the controller. I know, I know, no PID or other fancy stuff, just a knob to adjust the heater output, but it works!

What I like about this system is that you just plug it in and treat it like your gas burner!

I have no problems getting 11+ gallons to a very vigorous boil!

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Old 10-30-2011, 02:19 AM   #6
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The electric stove burner control won't work for this. It isn't rated for that kind of current. Most of them are sensitive to the amp draw to make them cycle properly.

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Old 10-30-2011, 03:03 AM   #7
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The electric stove burner control won't work for this. It isn't rated for that kind of current. Most of them are sensitive to the amp draw to make them cycle properly.
These aren't electric stove controls the op just wants it to act like one.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jma99
Like you I use a single BK with a cooler.
I sparge into buckets and then refill the BK.

I have an electric system that is as simple as can be, from High Gravity:

http://www.highgravitybrew.com/ProductCart/pc/Electric-Kettle-Controller-306p3084.htm

And this:
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/ProductCart/pc/Heating-Element-5500-Watt-SS-306p2669.htm

About $250 and you are good to go!

The controller plugs into the dryer outlet, and the heating element plugs into the controller. I know, I know, no PID or other fancy stuff, just a knob to adjust the heater output, but it works!

What I like about this system is that you just plug it in and treat it like your gas burner!

I have no problems getting 11+ gallons to a very vigorous boil!
Thats what i built. Mine was about 150 cheaper and uses a welder plug. I love electric. Hated all that wasted heat with propane.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berniep

Thats what i built. Mine was about 150 cheaper and uses a welder plug. I love electric. Hated all that wasted heat with propane.
OK, you've got me interested now too.. How did you make yours ??

Something I've thought about, is using a marine extension cord to handle outdoor electric brewing. Not cheap, but 30 amp, waterproof and locking connectors ..

Here's one - http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product2_11151_10001_92941_-1____ProductDisplayErrorView

What do you think ?
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeybeer

OK, you've got me interested now too.. How did you make yours ??

Something I've thought about, is using a marine extension cord to handle outdoor electric brewing. Not cheap, but 30 amp, waterproof and locking connectors ..

Here's one - http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product2_11151_10001_92941_-1____ProductDisplayErrorView

What do you think ?
That looks like it would do the trick nicely.

I just took a psr25 and an outdoor aluminum gangbox and mounted the psr25 to the side. I sanded the paint off the inside where the ssr mounted and the outside where i mounted an old cpu heatsink. I put the pot and a switch in a blank cover. I want to put the whole works inside a larger enclosure and add an amp meter for bling factor but it works for now. I used 30 amp twistlock connectors between the control and the element. Those things are pretty pricey. About 30 bucks each. I forgot about those so I guess you have to take about 60 bucks off of what I saved. That ready made system looks better all the time


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