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Old 03-08-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
lakedawgs
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Default Want to brew indoors but don't want a control system, yet, just want to brew.

I want to move my setup to the basement but don't want to go with all the controls and such that I see on a lot of the electric setups, yet. Right now, as funds are limited, I just want to get brewing indoors, controls will come later.

My plan is to tap in to existing water lines, install a kitchen range hood venting out a basement window and have an electrician buddy put in a 30a breaker and run the line to the brew area for the 4500watt element. A have a double wide utility sink I can use and currently have a brew rig holding my cooler mash tun and boil keggle.

Just starting to get ideas on paper but what else would you want? Remember I am not going to bling it up yet, just need to economically and safely get started. Fun stuff will get added later.

Thanks much
Lakedawgs

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Old 03-08-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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At the very least, I'd setup a pwm and an SSR.

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Old 03-08-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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To accomplish what?

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Old 03-08-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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To have at least some control over the heat. Other than constantly plugging it in and unplugging it. For me, that would get old pretty quick.

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Old 03-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #5
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The PWM will allow you to adjust the mount of power going to the element so you can control the boil rate. Otherwise you might have problems with boilovers. The SSR works in conjunction with the PWM circuit.

FYI an SSR runs about $20 and the PWM about $15 with shipping. And you will want a smallish box to put them in, so a cheap electrical enclosure and a few cable clamps. Oh, and a wall adapter to power the PWM circuit, so if you dont' have one laying around, probably another $10.

And of course you will pretty much HAVE to have a GFI breaker of some sort to prevent your death in case of accident or failure. One of the cheapest ways to do this is either with a 30A inline GFI cord if you can find one, or for about $55 you can buy a 50A GFI subpanel normally used for Hot Tub circuits.

That last bit is not absolutely necessary to get the circuit working, but is still necessary to build an electric system, IMO.

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Old 03-08-2013, 06:10 PM   #6
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Don't forget a GFCI on the 240v power source.

Basic power control could be one of the following:
* 3kW 240v element for 5 gallon batches with ON/OFF switch
OR
* 5.5kW 240v element for up to 10 gallon batches with analog power control via Pulse Widtch Modulation (PWM) of an SSR or a phase angle SSR.
* Some people also use 2x 2kW 120v elements. Turning them ON/OFF you could have 2kW or 4kW into the kettle.

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Old 03-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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OK, that all makes sense. I have been researching how to control the heat. Not ridiculously expensive at all either.
I have a lot of reading/learning to do before I get started on this.

50A GFI subpanel
4500 watt 220V element
PWM & SSR ---to control element
Range hood to control steam

Any other must haves to get going safely?
Thanks

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Old 03-08-2013, 07:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakedawgs View Post
OK, that all makes sense. I have been researching how to control the heat. Not ridiculously expensive at all either.
I have a lot of reading/learning to do before I get started on this.

50A GFI subpanel
4500 watt 220V element
PWM & SSR ---to control element
Range hood to control steam

Any other must haves to get going safely?
Thanks
Since you will have the PWM to control the element, and a 30A feed from the panel, you might as well go with a 5500w element. It will save you a bit of time. Regardless, a ULWD element is best.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakedawgs View Post
OK, that all makes sense. I have been researching how to control the heat. Not ridiculously expensive at all either.
I have a lot of reading/learning to do before I get started on this.

50A GFI subpanel
4500 watt 220V element
PWM & SSR ---to control element
Range hood to control steam

Any other must haves to get going safely?
Thanks
A heatsink to attach to the SSR. They get pretty hot so you need something to keep the heat in check. Those cost about $10-$20.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandoLincoln View Post
A heatsink to attach to the SSR. They get pretty hot so you need something to keep the heat in check. Those cost about $10-$20.
Thanks, while reading up on this on the side, that is the kind of stuff I am looking for. The sharp, little tips to keep things straight and efficient.
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