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Old 01-24-2013, 03:23 PM   #1
makubex
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Default Requesting help with 220V control panel design

Morning all!

I'm a homebrewer in a pretty tiny apartment where up until now, I've been doing 5 gallon extract or 3 gallon BIAB batches on a pretty weak gas stove. I'm looking to make the jump to full boil, 5 gallon, all grain batches but don't necessarily want to have to stand outside to watch a propane burner in these ridiculously cold Chicago winters. I've already picked up a rectangular 10 gallon cooler and converted it to a MLT with a stainless braid.

I've been doing a bit of lurking in this section of homebrew talk over the past couple of days and have a pretty good idea of what I do and don't need, as well as which heating element I'd want to use.

I've been looking at this kettle and am pretty much sold on this heating element since it seems to be the one that everyone raves about around here. I'm planning on using this kettle as both a HLT and boil kettle, since I don't really see the benefit to me having a separate HLT in my small setup. I have no need for pumps at this point either, nor do I think I will at any point in my near future. So my control panel would basically only need an on/off switch and temp control.

I should also note that I'm attempting to do this as inexpensively as possible. I have a 220V, three prong, dryer outlet available which I hope to use for this setup. I was hoping someone could give me some guidance with a basic parts list, as far as what the bare minimum I would need to pick up for this project would be.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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Something similar to this controller, offered from High Gravity Brewing, would be exactly what I'm on the market for; though $250 seems a bit expensive for what it is.

If anyone could point me to plans for a similar device, or provide me some guidance as to how to design/build a simple controller like this myself, it would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makubex View Post
Something similar to this controller, offered from High Gravity Brewing, would be exactly what I'm on the market for; though $250 seems a bit expensive for what it is.

If anyone could point me to plans for a similar device, or provide me some guidance as to how to design/build a simple controller like this myself, it would be greatly appreciated!
I'd like to suggest that you first check out other build threads that are here - even older threads still have something to offer. Not all of them will meet your specifications, which you will need to supply to us. How big are your batches (you say 5, but do you plan on jumping up later to 10), do you plan on doing back to back brews, how much power do you have access to (amps), how far are you away from your power source, how much bling do you want (lights, alarms, timers, etc)?

Make sure you read the Electrical Primer for Brewers sticky as well - at least the first post (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/ele...rewers-145019/). There are ground rules there that will help you decide which direction your build will go.

There's a thread in this forum with P-J's diagrams in it. Find that thread and review the different schematics he's put forth for HBT folks. You'll more than likely find one that is very near to your specifications if not exactly.

Plan on this process to at least twice as long and cost twice as much as you originally plan. That's how this goes some times.

The element you refer to is a 5500w element when run at 240w and is common for use in our brewing equipment. The pot you refer to will work just fine for a HLT and BK for 5 gallon batches without too much worry about a boil over. You'll need a temporary holding space for your runnings off your MLT until all the sparge water is out of your HLT - I used my brew buckets. Using a 10 gallon cooler for your MLT will work pretty well too.

Good luck and keep us posted. We're happy to help.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:43 PM   #4
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Well start by checking to see if the breaker for the dryer has a gfci on it. If it doesn't you will want to get a spa panel from home depot or ebay and wire it like in this thread.

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:46 AM   #5
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Search for voltage resistance ssr on eBay amazon. This is a phase angle control that will control the power to the element with a potentiometer. Add a heat sink, box, and heating element for a basic setup.

You can a a gfci in the main panel or use a power cord with a gfci.

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