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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Simple 120/220v BK
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Simple 120/220v BK

So i wanted to make a very simple plug in boil kettle.

I am not an electrician by any stretch of the imagination but my idea is to wiring a 220volt 5500 watt heating element into my kettle and have each hot leg on its own switch. I would have them both on to bring the wort up to a boil and then once a boil is reached kill one leg and just run 120v to maintain the boil.

I normally do 5 or 10 gallon batches. will this work?

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Old 08-13-2014, 09:10 PM   #2
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In short no. Once you open one of the 120v legs, it becomes an open circuit and no voltage will pass.

What you could do is use two elements, or better yet use a temperature controller and SSR to throttle the element so your not pushing the full 5500 watts all the time.

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Old 08-13-2014, 09:26 PM   #3
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So either run two separate elements each on their own 120 and switch or use a PID controller basically?

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Old 08-13-2014, 10:16 PM   #4
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It could work but you don't switch off one leg you switch it to neutral. Will it even keep a boil?

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Old 08-14-2014, 03:09 AM   #5
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I would not do that. There's nothing better to use than the current 240v power supply. A PID with manual function will control your power usage.

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Old 08-14-2014, 10:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malticulous View Post
It could work but you don't switch off one leg you switch it to neutral. Will it even keep a boil?
Good luck not tripping the gfci
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trimixdiver1 View Post
Good luck not tripping the gfci
GFCI will not trip since in/out balance will not be broken.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:44 PM   #8
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A GFCI only trips if there is current on the ground. A 30A/250v SPDT switch would do the job. If the switch stops on center you could even have an off position (don't forget the other leg on the element is still live but the circuit is broke.). It's not much different than a 3-way light switch.

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Old 08-15-2014, 01:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarles View Post
So i wanted to make a very simple plug in boil kettle.



?

This can be done by simply using a large enough kettle, and sizing the element to the kettle and batch size to produce a reasonable boil at 100% element power
Varying batch size is not ideal with a simple e kettle.

IME, 4000'watts will work pretty well for 10'on batches, and 3000 w for 5 gallon batches.


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Old 08-15-2014, 03:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brumateur View Post
GFCI will not trip since in/out balance will not be broken.
If you switch the neutral, then yes it will trip. A GFI monitors the Hot and Neutral lines, not ground.
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