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-   -   Suggestions for controller (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/suggestions-controller-249400/)

jsguitar 06-04-2011 02:28 AM

Suggestions for controller (and my build with pics)

To get to the main points of the thread;

1) The wiring diagram I used is here and I have since swapped the original element selector switch with a NKK S833 for its high capacity rating. Check here and here for details.

2) The official panel build starts here and continues here, here , and here

3) A couple of odds and ends are here

4) brewery as set up last year is here

5) controller with labels is here

6) some info on hole sizes here

7) current small reworking of system and other brewery updates here

8) I'm currently updating my elements and a couple of other things which I will post soon!

Below is my first request for help....

I usually brew 10.75 gallons. I have two keggles for a HLT and BK and a 70 qt cooler for MT. I have a 30 amp dryer outlet (three prong) that will be wired to a 50 amp GFCI (thanks P-J!) with a 4 wire outlet.

I'm looking to use a 5500 W element in the HLT and BK to be used one at a time along with a single pump. I batch sparge in two batches and don't anticipate doing a herms or rims.

I'd like to be able to control the HLT with a pid to reach a set temperature, boil using a pid to adjust the percentage of power, and turn my pump on and off from the same panel. I don't want a bunch of extraneous features. An emergency shutoff is a plus and a failsafe for the ssr's in case they fail at some point seems wise.

I have a Sampson Servo 550 poweramp that I was hoping to use in some way.


It has a big heatsink and I was thinking I might be able to use the case and some other components from it.

Any links or plans to point me to? I've been reading and reading but there's a lot of variations on these things.


phidelt1499 06-04-2011 02:34 AM

If you havent' already, check out kal's site, theelectricbrewery.com

He does have as many features as one would ever need, but he does go into extreme detail on every step. I used his site as a springboard to my own panel.

FWIW, I dont use an HLT (yet) and have an e-keggle connected to a panel that has a PID, SSR, mechanical relay (for physical disconnect of power), two lights, and a switch. I used Kal's links to buy the components and scanned eBay for the panel. I'm an electrochemist by education so wiring it was a joy for me. I also don't have pumps (again, yet) so I gravity feed everything.

Hope this helps. Going electric was one of the best homebrew decisions I've made since I decided to keg instead of bottle everything :D

jsguitar 06-04-2011 02:57 AM

Thanks! I actually bought Kal's ebook because I was so impressed with his design and thoroughness. It's been very helpful.

I'm excited about going electric too. I've wanted to for a long time.

P-J 06-04-2011 06:14 AM

How about this setup?
(Click on the image for a full scale diagram)


jsguitar 06-04-2011 02:39 PM

P-J, that looks great! Thank you for taking the time to help. Exactly what I was looking for. I like the idea of using one pid and just switching the elements. Simple and effective.

P-J 06-04-2011 02:51 PM

You are more than welcome. One of the things you might consider is the Auberin.com Project Box. It'll save you a little work setting it all up.

jcalisi 06-04-2011 03:27 PM

P-J I'm going through the same process and looking at your drawing should the e-stop go to ground or neutral? I thought the gfci breaker monitored the neutral.

P-J 06-04-2011 03:48 PM


Originally Posted by jcalisi (Post 2980112)
P-J I'm going through the same process and looking at your drawing should the e-stop go to ground or neutral? I thought the gfci breaker monitored the neutral.

The GFCI breaker monitors both hot lines and the neutral. The 3 lines must be in balance. Any leakage current will cause the GFCI to trip. The e-stop I drew provides a small leakage current to ground. That leakage current disrupts the balance and will trip it.

I put the info in the legend at the bottom of the diagram.

EPO - wired to trip GFCI main circuit breaker
with small leakage current. ( 0.06A)

Hope this helps.

jcalisi 06-05-2011 01:57 AM

Thanks P-J I plan on incorporating this into mine as well and I appreciate the clarity.

jsguitar 06-05-2011 02:52 PM

Is there enough room on the back of the Auber box to get all of the receptacles and heatsink mounted? I was going to use the heatsink I have, but it's 12"x4.5"x2" so I was thinking of just using Auber's heatsink sticking out the back if I can get all of the receptacles in there too. Seems like it might be a tight fit so I was considering some other enclosure options before I make my Auberin's order.

Edit: Nevermind, I think I'm going to cut my big heatsink and mount it on top of the box. I'll post pics once I get some things going on it.

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