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Old 10-19-2012, 03:50 PM   #11
crane
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I use a single 5500W element in my keggle and it works just fine. I can get a very good rolling boil. Once I am boiling I usually throttle back to 60-65% and boil off 1 gallon in a hour long boil.

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Old 10-19-2012, 04:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by crane
What is the wattage on each of the elements?

It's not quite as simple as just hooking up the elements directly to the output of the PID. You are going to need a solid state relay (SSR) in between the PID and the elements. The PID will output a low voltage 12V DC control signal. This control signal goes to the input of the SSR. The output of the SSR is basically a switch that will turn on/off the high voltage 120/240V AC going to the element.

I suggest taking a look at some of the builds in the electric brewing sub forum as well as looking at theelectricbrewery.com to get more familiar with these types of set ups. You will find that P-J has done an excellent job of providing hundreds of wiring diagrams for different builds on here.

You are also going to have to provide GFCI protection since your brewery is considered a wet space. The cheapest and most common way is to use a spa panel circuit breaker box.

When it comes to working with high voltages (120 and above) I am a firm believer that you have to learn how to fish instead of just asking someone for a fish. You really have to know exactly what's going on with each component and every node in your wiring diagram. This will help to make sure that you are using the correct components and wire gauge in your control panel. Before plugging anything in make sure all of your wire connections and crimp terminals are solid. Also use a multimeter to Ohm out all of your connections and to check for accidental shorts before you plug anything in for the first time.

One more thing, IMHO it's not worth buying cheap Chinese components off of eBay. You get no support when things don't work correctly and most the time they don't even come with a half way decent users manual to show you how to set it up correctly. Auber Ins has amazing customer support and is willing to help you get your setup working properly. Every time I have emailed them I get a response within a day.

If you don't want to buy all the components separately and assemble a control panel, high gravity brewing sells a single PID preassembled box. You are still going to have to provide a GFCI and deal with mounting the element(s) and element cover(s).
I totally missed this post. Thank you so much. This is the type of info I need. I can get a spa panel easily, and am having an electrician move the wiring for me. We just moved into this house and SWMBO informed me that the garage is our brewery/bike shop, not for parking. I'll be installing two tankless water heaters in there, one or the house and the second running in series off the first for brewery water. Controlled by a commercial controller to get to 185.

I am very comfortable building, plumbing, cars, etc. for some reason when it comes to electrical I always feel very uneducated. I figure this is a good chance to learn.

Mounting the elements, covers, plumbing the system. I'm 100% confident with. Designing and wiring a controller, I'm not. I've looked through hundreds of schematics here and at theelectricbrewery and it seems like everyone is doing really complex systems. I don't want to take the manual labor out of my brewing. It's my stress relief. What I can't control manually very well is temps, which is why I want just a simple controller.

I really appreciate all of the help here.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:20 PM   #13
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http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...l-158p3986.htm
This seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. Is this something that I can save money/gain experience by building myself, or is it something that I should spend the $500 on? Money is a little tight in this economy, so I need to save wherever I can!
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaps10 View Post
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...l-158p3986.htm
This seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. Is this something that I can save money/gain experience by building myself, or is it something that I should spend the $500 on? Money is a little tight in this economy, so I need to save wherever I can!
You can definitely save a bunch of cash if you build it yourself. For what you are trying to do (just temp control of a single element) you can accomplish this with a fairly simple wiring diagram. A lot of people add a lot of things to their design that are in the "nice to have" or "eye candy" category in my opinion. My control box is as simple as you can get.

1. 240V in
2. SSR
3. 240V out
4. 1/4" jack to run the control signal from my microcontroller dev kit to the SSR.

Since you will be using a PID instead of a microcontroller yours can be as simple as:

1. 240V in
2. SSR
3. 240V out
4. PID
5. fuse for PID
6. connector for temp sensor input

Other bells and whistles that can be added include:

1. light to indicate when the element is actually on
2. alarm buzzer to sound when the mash/water temp reaches the setpoint
3. emergency stop button (I don't have one because my spa panel is within reach so I can press the test button which does the same thing).
4. switch and 120V outlet for your pump
5. timer
6. I am sure there are more items I am not thinking of at the moment.

You can always get a big enough box to add some of these items later once you initially get your system up and running.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:28 AM   #15
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^^^ That's what I want. I actually don't want the bells and whistles.

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Old 10-20-2012, 12:46 PM   #16
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Mine's even simpler than that--no fuse for the PID and a hole in the box for the temp probe (RTV). Every thing is mounted in a small plastic auxillary breaker box with a single 30A breaker.

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I had no problems whatsoever getting my pee to ferment.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:07 PM   #17
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Can you take a photo for me?

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Old 10-20-2012, 02:41 PM   #18
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Here is are some pictures of mine.

image-740999495.jpg



image-1501581965.jpg



image-3847834636.jpg

I plan on eventually outgrowing this box as I complete my system but this allowed me to get up and running with minimal cost/effort. I had the box lying around for another project that never happened.

Since my box is metal I made sure to ground it by sanding away some of the paint by one of the mounting holes and attaching my ground connections to the case.

You definitely can omit the fuse for the PID. However, if something were to go wrong with it there is nothing there to protect it. The PID will be long gone before the 30A or 50A breaker trips. A fuse holder is cheap and easy to install so I see no reason to omit it. Again this goes back to my previous comment of understanding what each component does and why it's there.

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Old 10-21-2012, 01:17 PM   #19
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Here's mine. It's wired just like crane's except the SSR control line goes to my PID output instead of the brew controller.

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I had no problems whatsoever getting my pee to ferment.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:49 PM   #20
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For a really simple boil controller this is hard to beat for $20

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10000W-220v-...item2a24b0182e

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