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Old 04-10-2014, 01:10 AM   #1
shaneritz
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Default Want to try 20G electric..What do I need?

Hey everyone, I was wondering if I could get some advice on electric brewing. I have been doing 5G batches with my cooler setup, but would like to start brewing bigger batches. I don't want to mess around with propane or natural gas and have read that in the long run electric is the way to go. I am a big do-it-yourselfer and want to rig this on my own. How much do you think it would cost? and what do I need or what would you recommend to start with? Elements, controls, pumps etc.. Where is the best place to buy? Thanks!!!



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Old 04-10-2014, 01:35 AM   #2
Brewbien
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Originally Posted by shaneritz View Post
Hey everyone, I was wondering if I could get some advice on electric brewing. I have been doing 5G batches with my cooler setup, but would like to start brewing bigger batches. I don't want to mess around with propane or natural gas and have read that in the long run electric is the way to go. I am a big do-it-yourselfer and want to rig this on my own. How much do you think it would cost? and what do I need or what would you recommend to start with? Elements, controls, pumps etc.. Where is the best place to buy? Thanks!!!
If you are a DIYer then your best bet is to start by reading everything at http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/. Make sure you understand all the concepts and the whys of why he did things the way he did them. Then once you understand, you can start deciding what, if anything, you want to change based on preferences and budget. There are a lot of builds and wiring diagrams here on HBT that you can use for inspiration but I would start by understanding Kals setup on the website listed. I built a basic, 10 gallon electric BIAB system and spent clsoe to $1000 so for a larger system, you are probably looking at quite a bit more but it can range quite a bit based on what you go with.

Hope that helps,
Cheers!


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Old 04-10-2014, 02:31 AM   #3
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Duplicate, delete this reply.

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Old 04-10-2014, 02:36 AM   #4
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I've been thinking (fantasizing) about the same thing, but a barrel (31 gallon) biab nano-brewery setup. I'll walk through my thinking and you (or anyone) can correct me where I'm wrong.

Electric immersion heating elements are 99% efficient, so the first question I have is how many watts to heat about 45 gallons of mash water from 65 to strike temp in 30 (or so) minutes? (I don't know yet myself)

Then how many watts to heat 40 gallons of first wort to a boil in 30 (or so) minutes.

I'm hoping I can do that with 18kw (or 3 6kw elements).

If so, I'm thinking of getting a blichmann stainless steel 55 gallon kettle for $800, drilling 3 holes and installing 3 immersion elements with integrated thermostats from bubba barrels.

http://www.bubbasbarrels.com/6-kw-immersion-heater-w-thermostat

They're $300 each so that's $900.

They are 15" long, so I have to stagger them vertically, but I'm thinking I can get all 3 in the bottom 3 inches of the kettle and then put a false bottom above them. The false bottom is to keep the bag from touching the elements. In theory the elements will never be on when the bag is in the water anyway, but better safe than sorry.

That needs 3 30 amp 240v circuits added to my breaker box and 3 outlet boxes. I think I have the ability to do that with my existing circuit breaker panel, but it will likely cost another $500 to wire it all up.

Then I found a heat exchanger that will cool a barrel of boil in 10 minutes for about $300.

So:

Kettle - $800
Heating elements - $900
Heat exchanger - $300
Circuit breaker / wall outlets - $500
Misc hoses connectors - $500

Total - $2500

Then use a food safe 55-gallon drum as a fermenter. $100 or less each.

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Old 04-10-2014, 12:44 PM   #5
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You could build a simple controller with a PID that would automatically maintain temperature with three 5500W elements for less than the $900 for the 3 Bubba elements. Add a pump and recirculate during your mash, and you will have much more control over your mash temps.



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