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Old 02-16-2013, 05:23 AM   #1
emyers
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Default BCS-460 question

I shot an email to a vendor but with my luck i wont hear back. Im hoping someone here can answer my question,

WIth the BCS-460 Temperature Controller is it possible to have one sensor turn off an element and turn on another one? My main issue is i cant afford, or need to have all 4 elements on at once due to overall power draw.

For instance, I currently use 2 elements in my HLT and Boil kettle to decrease ramp up time. Right now i do it manually. I would like for the 5500w element to turn off in the HLT just below mash temp, allowing the remaing 3500w element to maintain temp via controller. This would then send power to the boil kettle 5500w SSR. I would also have a boil kettle float switch that sends ground to both Boil element SSR's.

Similarly when the float switch on the HLT opens (HLT empty) i would like the controller to trigger the HLT 3500 circuit off and Boil 3500w element SSR to be sent power. Would this all be possible with this controller using just 1 temp sensor and 1 float switch in each tank? Additionally can i wire in the float switches to the controller in lieu of wiring in series with the SSR's.

Thanks for letting me confuse you today. i think i even confused myself.

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Old 02-16-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
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The simple answer is "yes". The BCS is pretty easy to customize to do just about anything you need. It would be no problem to turn both elements on, and then switch to just one element once you've reached optimal temp. Float switches could be wired into SSRs, or could be monitored by the BCS and used to cancel or temporarily halt a state.

Others on HBT have better write-ups, but basically the BCS is a state machine. A state could be a number of things that happen simultaneously during a brewing step. For example, your heating your HLT to 168 (both elements on), pump is recirculating, etc. You simply tell the BCS that when the HLT gets to 168 you want to move to a new step. The new step shuts off the big element, and uses the 3500W element to hold temp. You can hold temp using a PID loop, or simply hysteresis. Lots of options built-in. Combine steps together and you have a process. I use a single process for brewing, and others for fermentation control. Each process can have up to 8 independent steps. . . . the possibilities are pretty much endless, and I don't think I can do the system justice. . .

Good Luck!
Pete

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Old 02-18-2013, 02:27 AM   #3
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Thanks for the answer, thats crazy your only using a fraction of the capabilities.

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Old 02-18-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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Look around. I think everyone who buys a BCS for brewing winds up using it for other things. I haven't seen a weather station interface yet, but there are plenty of electric smokers and sous vide's run via BCS.

Mine is used to run a dual fermentation chamber (heat in one, heat + A/C in the other), and my entire brew day (3 keggle HERMS). Fun stuff!

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