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Old 01-15-2011, 05:15 PM   #1
Laouboy
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Default Simple electric brewing??

Hello Everyone,

I have decided I want to step away from propane and go electric, I am not at all an electrician but have wired allot of car audio accessories. If someone can guide me to a area where I can find a basic nooby set up guide for all the parts and accessories that would be excellent, I have a 15.5 converted sanke so I need a power source that can heat that up. Also what is the average most affordable price for electric brewing?

Thanks everyone

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Old 01-15-2011, 05:24 PM   #2
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Kal's build is a must read. It will provide you with links to everything you will need. But his build is on the high end, both price wise and quality. There are many ways to accomplish the same thing, and many builds are documented and discussed on the forums. The main thing to take away from Kal's build is the weldless style of attaching the element to the kettle.

Do some looking around. All the questions you asked here are answered on the forums.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:28 PM   #3
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thanks bud, that was very good information, only is there a cheaper alternative for the central control for the temperature of the kettle, Kal's is amazing but I dont have funds for that expensive of a system. Sorry I am not 100 % familiar with the words. Also what is the running price for these control systems?

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Old 01-15-2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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You can go as simple as the element in the kettle plugged directly into the wall (not to forget the safety of GGCI breakers). However, that is ON/OFF. No adjustability. Works just fine for a lot of people as an HLT. Can get a little tricky for use with a boil kettle but can be done (2 elements to reach boil, 1 to sustain the boil).

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Old 01-15-2011, 10:35 PM   #5
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All of the "control systems" are DIY projects, though some look store bought. You'll have to make your own control panel, which can be as simple or as complex as you want. Spend a few weeks reading through the threads here and plan your system. You might find someone with a system that is close to what you want, then copy/modify their system. Many wiring diagrams also exist. Once you plan your system, you can start purchasing parts and trying to find good deals. If you're going to order parts such as SSR's from China, allow several weeks for delivery.

I think Kal's system was upwards of $5,000, but a simple system could be built for far less. There are no shortcuts or quick prices, you'll have to do the leg work and design a system that's in your budget. Don't fool yourself, it will take months. But it will be worth it in the end.

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Old 01-15-2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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I would look towards induction burner system. Saves on energy. But you have to have a pot that magnetizes.

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Old 01-16-2011, 01:44 AM   #7
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Your options include:

Heat sticks to replace the propane burners. Some ventilation system if you're working indoors. You can build a heat stick for about $50-$60. Two 2000k elements are sufficient for a 10 gallon batch.

Mounting a single 240v, 4500k element in the keggle and using a control panel with PID to control it's output, plus ventilation.

My system combines heat sticks with a RIMS tube and a portable control box.




All three are good options IMO. Very simple.

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Old 01-16-2011, 03:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_brews_now View Post
I would look towards induction burner system. Saves on energy. But you have to have a pot that magnetizes.
I would argue that an insulated brew kettle with a heating element mounted inside is more efficient than an induction burner; in fact, it's probably close to 100%. Also, few people want to invest in ferromagnetic pots, let alone an induction burner just for brewing.

But if you already own an induction system, then it might be a good way to go provided you are doing single pot brews.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:16 PM   #9
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Search around in the electric brewing forum....the meat and potatoes of every elecrtic system are basically the same; PID's and SSR's. Things get more complicated and expensive as you add functionality. .JKarp's countertop system is pretty simple and relatively inexpensive. But since you're using a keggle, you'll probably need 220 or at least 2x120v circuits separately plugged in. The concept would be the same, and it's pretty no frills.

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