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Old 10-10-2011, 11:17 PM   #1
Spritar
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Default Single Brew Kettle question

So I'm working on designing an all-grain, all-electric set up but I'm doing it slowly because of budget. I have the BK (got a great deal on a 26 gal from Morebeer) and would like to get started right away with extract brewing (5-10gal) to build my skills while I aqcuire the rest of my equipment. I plan on putting a 5500w 240v element that I plan on running off of my dryer outlet (30A) until I get the brew room in my basement built and wired. So my question is do I need a controller to do extract with a BK? I plan on using a BCS eventually and using schematics from P-J and designs from Ohio Ed, etc (so many good resources on this forum). Is there some sort of very basic equivalent to a dimmer switch that I can use to control the boil or do I even need to worry about it with just extract? I saw someone discussing a heavy duty light switch but rather than on/off I would like to be able to dial it down if needed. If the consensus is to build the controller than that's what I'll do. Like I said I just want to get started right away.

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Old 10-11-2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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Default Didn't want to hijack your thread

Your question is similar to my own, but didn't want to put all my questions in your thread.

I subscribed to your thread, but my question is here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/piecemeal-electric-implementation-273935/#post3379296

I'm jealous of your kettle, but I need to master 10-gallon batches before I jump up to 26 gallons.

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Old 10-12-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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I'm going to talk to the master electrician at HD next time I go. Hopefully he'll have some answers for me.

I was going to start with an 8 gal but since I was planning to go 26 eventually when I saw the BK on sale at morebeer I snatched it up.

I'll post as soon as I learn more.

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Old 10-12-2011, 01:14 AM   #4
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I just found this thread:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/manual-vs-electronically-controlled-heating-elements-241047/

I haven't read through all of it, but it's got 3 pages of discussion. Hopefully there's something usable in it.

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Old 10-12-2011, 01:16 AM   #5
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Start doing searches for potentiometer and PWM (pulse width modulation). Most brewery control SW has a PWM setting and this can be programmed via PID as well. There are some DIY PWM threads here too. If you just need to boil and control the output, this might be the way to go.

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Old 10-12-2011, 10:38 AM   #6
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I'm on a similar path as you right now. I built an electronics kit DC motor speed control, which will act as a 12V PWM ($8.00). This will control the 40 amp SSR ($11.00). DC motor control has a potentiometer which allows me to adjust duty cycle of heating element. Dial it all they way up until boil, then turn it back to maintain rolling boil. I will reuse the SSR when I upgrade to PIDs and a full blown control panel.

I know I have the thread talking about the DC motor control linked. I will post it as soon as I find it.

edit: here is the link I found most useful:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/pwm-show-us-how-221301/

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Old 10-12-2011, 11:34 AM   #7
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Default Thanks, shroomzofdoom

Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomzofdoom View Post
Start doing searches for potentiometer and PWM (pulse width modulation). Most brewery control SW has a PWM setting and this can be programmed via PID as well.
This sounds like what I need, I just didn't know what the right search terms were.

You guys are awesome
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim_inFLA View Post

edit: here is the link I found most useful:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/pwm-show-us-how-221301/
I've got more reading to do. Thanks, BigJim.
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