New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Variable speed controller




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-07-2013, 02:42 AM   #1
millsware
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 210
Liked 11 Times on 6 Posts

Default Variable speed controller

I'm looking to convert to electric. I currently brew 5 gallon batches. I would like to build an electric HLT/BK and use a cooler mash tun in between. I'm looking for the simplest setup, and was thinking of using an element plugged into a variable controller so that I could just install a 4500 or 5500 watt element and manually control the output. The cost difference between the high wattage and low wattage elements is a few dollars, so I would like to just go with a high wattage element to begin with in case I want to upgrade later. I would also like the flexibility of being able to plug into a dryer plug in case I move later.

Somebody was kind enough to point out this, which seems perfect, but is awfully expensive.

I was also looking at these, but they are 120V. There is one on ebay for 240V, but it is only rated to 8 amps.

Question time:
1) Has anybody put something like this together, and how did it work?
2) Does anyone have suggestions on components, or how to build a box like that?
3) I don't see myself doing much more than 5 gallons in the future, should I just go with a 3000W element and just go with on/off?

Thanks a lot.



__________________
beerapprentice.blogspot.com
millsware is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 02:57 AM   #2
CalypsoCowboy
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Nampa, ID
Posts: 38
Default

Search for PWM, they can be built pretty cheaply. Look through this forum, there are lots of builds similar to what you want.



__________________
CalypsoCowboy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 03:14 AM   #3
thargrav
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 821
Liked 38 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by millsware View Post
Somebody was kind enough to point out this, which seems perfect, but is awfully expensive.
Before assuming that $144.95 is expensive, I suggest you do some shopping around on the net & do some price comparisons.
__________________
thargrav is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
wilserbrewer
Vendor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 7 reviews
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jersey Shore, Jersey
Posts: 6,202
Liked 331 Times on 284 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by millsware View Post
I don't see myself doing much more than 5 gallons in the future, should I just go with a 3000W element and just go with on/off?

Thanks a lot.
This would be my advice, unless you add temperature control, the higher wattage will just improve your ramp time during heat-up. Elements are so cheap that there is no big set-back $ to try one and build as you go. Stick a 3000w in your kettle, a larger wattage in your HLT if you like and brew a batch in manual mode.

Lots of folks here build wonderful sophisticated electric systems, but the bells and whistles are really optional IMHO.

And of course you know to use GFCI!
__________________
wilserbrewer
BIAB Bags, Hop Bags and Ratchet Pulleys for sale

Expert tailor and supplier of custom sized, top quality BIAB bags, hop bags and ratchet pulleys at reasonable pricing

http://biabbags.webs.com/


CORONA MILL BUCKET SYSTEM V. 2.0
wilserbrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 04:57 PM   #5
fermenter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: lakeville, mn
Posts: 30
Likes Given: 6

Default

What about this: http://www.stilldragon.com/diy-controller.html I used this SSR setup (Solid State Relay) with a PID to control how often the element is "ON" works great!

I just ran some 10 gauge wire from a 30A double pole GFCI breaker into the unit above then outputted from the unit into a 30 amp plug.

I plugin in my kettle/5500W 240V element and use the PID to control the "power" of the element. let me know if you have questions or want some pics?

__________________
fermenter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 05:02 PM   #6
alien
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,229
Liked 61 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 61

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fermenter View Post
What about this: http://www.stilldragon.com/diy-controller.html I used this SSR setup (Solid State Relay) with a PID to control how often the element is "ON" works great!

I just ran some 10 gauge wire from a 30A double pole GFCI breaker into the unit above then outputted from the unit into a 30 amp plug.

I plugin in my kettle/5500W 240V element and use the PID to control the "power" of the element. let me know if you have questions or want some pics?
That's a bizarre set up, and not what the OP was after.

The kegkits controller is actually the cheapest readymade that I have seen. I doubt Mr Hargrave is making that much out of selling them. The chunky locking socket would probably cost about $15 on its own. 4' is maybe a bit short for the cable but hey.
alien is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
fermenter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: lakeville, mn
Posts: 30
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by alien View Post
That's a bizarre set up...


Works great for my needs and was much less pricey then other options I found for variable temp control. A SSR simply cut's power to the element so for example if you set the PID to 50% it would allow the element to be on 1/2 the time, thus you have your variable power.

But yes I am also mostly unclear as what the OP wanted to accomplish.
__________________
fermenter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 06:32 PM   #8
alien
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,229
Liked 61 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 61

Default

Your own post wasn't that clear either. Sorry if I misunderstood it.

PID on manual control with an SSR sounds fine but accomplishes the same thing as the Stilldragon controller, so I don't see why you need both.

__________________
Magic Smoke brewhouse and grill

Arduino PID controller - Automatic Smoker - Cooler MLT - Counterflow Chiller - SSR demo - PWM timer - Folding Brew Table
alien is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 06:41 PM   #9
millsware
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 210
Liked 11 Times on 6 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fermenter View Post
What about this: http://www.stilldragon.com/diy-controller.html I used this SSR setup (Solid State Relay) with a PID to control how often the element is "ON" works great!

I just ran some 10 gauge wire from a 30A double pole GFCI breaker into the unit above then outputted from the unit into a 30 amp plug.

I plugin in my kettle/5500W 240V element and use the PID to control the "power" of the element. let me know if you have questions or want some pics?
If I'm understanding it correctly that link looks like what I want.

To clarify, I would like to have one element in a kettle. I would like some kind of control knob that I could set to 100% to heat quickly, and then turn down to say 50% to maintain a boil. I don't want on/off 50% of the time, I want 50% power.
__________________
beerapprentice.blogspot.com
millsware is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #10
fermenter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: lakeville, mn
Posts: 30
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by millsware View Post
If I'm understanding it correctly that link looks like what I want.

To clarify, I would like to have one element in a kettle. I would like some kind of control knob that I could set to 100% to heat quickly, and then turn down to say 50% to maintain a boil. I don't want on/off 50% of the time, I want 50% power.
alien - Sorry I was not clear, the Stillgragon in the link is just a PID + SSR + Housing. just one per heat stick I do not have two SSR.


millsware - If you do not want "I don't want on/off 50% of the time" then the link I posted is not for you, you would need some sort of rheostat to lower the voltage. As I did not set mine up that way I am of no help.

I can say the SSR route works super well! but I still need full power to boil, but I use less just to heat up the wort via sparging.


__________________
fermenter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY variable speed grain mill ernestmyname DIY Projects 16 01-28-2012 10:35 PM
Inexpensive variable speed Keezer fan (stirplate?) pelipen DIY Projects 1 12-23-2011 04:46 PM
Harbor Freight Variable Speed Drill weirdboy Equipment/Sanitation 7 12-12-2011 05:23 PM
$18 Dual PWM Dimmer / Speed Controller CrazyP DIY Projects 1 05-14-2011 07:32 PM
What would MacGuyver do? - variable speed pump Gordie Equipment/Sanitation 7 04-11-2008 04:34 AM