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Old 01-09-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
Xpertskir
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Default Is there less chance of a boil over with an electic set up?

Until recently I never thought about going electric, but since seeing Jkarps Brutus 20 Ive been pretty certain I am going to build a 5 gallon system in that vein.

I could go into a lot of detail but just a simple answer to the topic will put me on my way in deciding what size pot I'll be working with.

So, all things equal is there any more or less probability of a boil over with an electric vs high BTU burner set up?

Thanks.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:32 PM   #2
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You definitely have more control with an electric system.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:43 PM   #3
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Something similar to your system...is exactly what I'm planning. I dunno if I'll stay at two vessels, Im going to build with the ability to switch back to 3 vessel if I dont like no sparge.

The decision is wether Im going to use my current 10 gallon BK and 10 gallon cooler MLT for the conversion or buy a new 15 gallon pot(or convert a keg). I figure I can always demote the 10 gallon to a HLT if I want to go 3 vessel E brewery.

Even 90 minute boils for 6 gallon batches, If I can make it work outside in my current pot, inside should be no problem.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
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Just make sure you think about what exactly you want for a bit longer. I was originally going to just do Jkarp's CB20 but then I got it in my head I wanted to do 10 gallon batches too! I did one and then went back to ~6gal, heh. I really like and enjoy my rig but I do wish I had just stuck with my original idea and gone for the smaller CB20 so I could store it in a closet (and cheaper). Now I'm having to sell mine because I don't have any room for it.

I think the two-vessel system is great and I'll do it again on my next system I believe. I got mid-70s efficiency once I learned my system - if I had a bottom-drain it'd definitely be a respectable 80. Time/effort saved not sparging > an extra 5% efficiency to me. If you're wanting to go all out though a nice 3V HERMS is a dream to use.

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:21 PM   #5
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With my kal clone, I have to be incredibly careful during the first 5 mins of the boil. After that, I set it and forget it.
With propane, it was a constant struggle to maintain a rolling boil without going over.

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Old 01-10-2013, 02:47 AM   #6
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I've thought about what I want. Room is thankfully not a concern, we are about to move to a new place and I get a 20 by 14 brew room. I want at most 10 gallon but for the foreseeable future I'd just rather brew 5 gallons more often.

How hard was it to build your panel? Being an electrical neophyte does give me some hesitation, but I figure with some common sense, healthy electrical fear, and online resources I can muddle through it.

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Old 01-10-2013, 02:53 AM   #7
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The wiring is incredibly easy with all of the resources here on HBT. PJ's wiring diagrams, Kal's site and all of the helpful members made it very easy.

The only hard part I had was drilling into the panel. Which was quite hard with my cheap tools.

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Old 01-10-2013, 10:44 AM   #8
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Try to find someone near you that has done it. They may be able to save you some money on tools.

Control panel essential tools:
Drill press
Corded drill
Greenlee step bit
Skill saw with fine metal blade
Shop vac (cleanup as you go so the filings don't get out of control)
Wire stripper/crimper
Decent soldering iron
Volt meter (hardly used mine though)
Various screwdrivers and pliars
Metal file to smooth edges after you cut openings for your components

Parts you can cut from kals plan to save money:
Tap and dye set (just drill holes and use small bolts and nuts)
Volt/amp meters
Doorbell transformers
Adjustable 5v transformers (forget the name)
Twist lock connections if you hard wire power cords for power in, element 1 out, element 2 out, and pumps 1/2 out. It is nice to be able to disconnect them but the twist locks are mad expensive. I wish I had considered a break in the cables somewhere with a basic plug that I could wrap in electrical tape to protect from the occasional splash.
The decorative handles on three sides (though I liked having a way to carry it around)

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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Boil over's technically possible on any kind of setup since "heat is heat".

But electric's better for the brewer who's easily distracted since with an electric PID-based setup for the boil kettle, there are ways to lessen the chance by doing the following:

- Set the PID temperature to (say) 208F automatic mode instead of running it on at 100% manual.

- Assuming you have a light or buzzer of some sort, set the PID alarm to 208F as well.

- The PID will heat the boil kettle wort to only 208F and not go over. Once 208F is reached, the alarm sounds.

- Brewer then takes over in 100% manual mode and stirs/watches for boil overs.

Kal

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