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Old 07-30-2010, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Brutus 20

I am currently in the process of building a HERMS system. I have reached somewhat of a fork in the road. My initial plan was just to buy a 15gallon boil kettle and have a three vessel system. I then thought why don't I just use the HLT as the boilkettle like so many do. My dilemma is that I only have 120v as I live in an apartment. They are 20a breakers, the whole kitchen is wired for 20a. I currently have a 1500w element in there hooked to a ranco. I would like to boil and I know 1500w isn't going to boil. Here are my options:

1. install a 2nd element. A 2000w. On it's own circuit.

2. Build a heat stick with the 2000w.

3. Revert to original idea and buy the kettle. Price will be about same as heatstick. Just have propane to contend with and NE winters.

Aluminum kettle from Sams Club is 43.00

I can also eventually change the element in the HLT from 1500w to 2000. Of course then the Ranco will have to be changed to a PID and SSR. Help me out guys. I really can't decide.

I know 2 x 2000w elements should get 7.5 gallons boiling. Might not be super agressive but it should work.


Also, will a PID control two heatsticks? Or will I need one for each?

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Old 07-30-2010, 07:27 PM   #2
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question do you have a dryer in your apartment? if so then you would have access to 220... Sorry if its a dumb question but I am almost finished building my set up and I have a MT, HLT, and BK Utilizing two elements but running only one at a time.

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Old 07-30-2010, 07:27 PM   #3
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I have a system with one PID and two elements. It heats well and in a reasonable time. I would go with two elements on two circuits controlled by the one PID.

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Old 07-30-2010, 07:41 PM   #4
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My system is actually a little different... I have 2 PIDS controlling 2 elements. Its unnecessary but i purchased two so might as well use both. I have a 3 position switch up controls the HLT, Center is OFF, and down is my BK, this switch also switches from one PID TO another for control, so I will always know what my set points and what not were on the HLT and what its current temp is (same with the BK)

I also have a main switch to power the PIDS and basically start the system. Also have two switches for my pump and stir motor.

A great guy that frequents this site as well as many others goes by the name of P-J He used to frequent the green boards a lot and he helped create "Carl's Electric HLT"
http://www.wortomatic.com/articles/C...s-Electric-HLT

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Old 07-30-2010, 08:09 PM   #5
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No dryer. Have to goto a laundromat. Stuck with the 120 for now. unless I pull my stove out..haha

Ok, so i can do two elements on one PID.. I would then need two 25a SSRs..correct? Then I can wire my switches and other plugs into my panel once I have those basics. So you guys thinking I should be ok to boil 7.5 gallons with 4000w?

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Old 07-30-2010, 08:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowtiebrewery View Post
My system is actually a little different... I have 2 PIDS controlling 2 elements. Its unnecessary but i purchased two so might as well use both. I have a 3 position switch up controls the HLT, Center is OFF, and down is my BK, this switch also switches from one PID TO another for control, so I will always know what my set points and what not were on the HLT and what its current temp is (same with the BK)

I also have a main switch to power the PIDS and basically start the system. Also have two switches for my pump and stir motor.

A great guy that frequents this site as well as many others goes by the name of P-J He used to frequent the green boards a lot and he helped create "Carl's Electric HLT"
http://www.wortomatic.com/articles/C...s-Electric-HLT
WOW.! Thank you so much for that. I'm glad I was of some help to you.

BTW - I'm more than willing to help here as well.

P-J
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:25 PM   #7
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I'm not sure that will work... you have 20A breakers... and you are wiring in 25A SSR's it will overload the breaker.

4000w/120v service = 33.334 Amps drawn... I believe I did that right...

Its not going to work with a 4kw heat element. You could do it with a (2) 2000w elements on separate circuits. Although you would also have to be sure that nothing is being used on those circuits at all...

2000/120v = 16.667A

You would still need two separate SSR's and two PIDS.

P-J am I right on this one? Or have i got my math all screwy?

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Old 07-30-2010, 08:30 PM   #8
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yes I must not have specified. They will be 2 x 2000w on seperate 20a breakers. Already know the two I'm using. Tested them out. So I would need one PID for each circuit? I can follow diagrams fairly well as I have some education in EE. I'm an IT guy so electronics and electricity doesn't really bother me. This is just new to me.

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Old 07-30-2010, 08:37 PM   #9
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You can use one PID, the power line for the SSRs will be from the two separate circuits.

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Old 07-30-2010, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowtiebrewery View Post
... P-J am I right on this one? Or have i got my math all screwy?
Absolutely right on the money.

To the OP:
Do you have an electric stove in the apartment? Not a cook top but a free standing stove? If so, you have a 50A 240V outlet available to you for your brewing rig. It could/would be fairly easy to make a set up to use that.
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