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Old 01-26-2009, 01:57 AM   #1
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Default Mike's E-KEGGLE

Hi Everyone, Just wanted to share photos of my latest project. Much of my inspiration came from "The Pol" on his quest to go fully electric.

(all prices canadian dollars unless otherwise noted and do not include tax)

Parts:
- 4500W 240VAC water heater element (home depot) $24ish
- about 6-7m of 10/3 SJOOW cable (2 hot, 1 ground) (Home Depot) $23.88
- Dryer repair cord (Home Depot) $20.89
- Junction box 6x6x4" (Home Depot) $18
- Ring Terminals (Home Depot) $1.58
- Spade Terminals (Home Depot) $1.58
- Marettes (Home Depot) $1.12
- 3/4" Wire Strain Reliefs x 4
- 3/4" stainless conduit threaded L-B (can use pvc and glue socket-thread adapters if needed)
- stainless nut and bolt to fasten ground to keggle
- 1" to 1 1/2" stainless adapter NPS (used to hold attach element)
- 40A SSR (E-Bay) $20USD
- Misc Circuit Components to build 555 PWM timer circuit.

Todo:
- Add Control power switch to control panel
- Add LED to control panel indicating when SSR is active
- EPOXY coupler to heater element connections
- add weldless fitting to keggle for easy draining and cleaning

Notable Tools Used:
- knockout set to put holes in control panel and keggle 3/4" and 1" sets.

Lessons Learned:
- Do not use silicone to "pott" the electrical connections. It seems to need air to cure properly and the middle will stay liquid! I found out the hard way. Use an epoxy or something that does not require air to cure.

Notes:
- I modified the timer circuits found here:
CD's New Electric Wort Boiler
AND The Controller . I didn't think a PID control would be necessary and I found the 555 PWM timer circuit works really well and if you have some soldering skills and a little electronics knowledge it is very easy and cheap to make. I built mine similar to Ron's in the fact that he has controls for TWO SSRS on his controller but interlocks them so that both SSRS cannot be on at the same time, allowing him to run TWO elements (one for HLT and one for kettle) "at the same time" without needing to use a bigger electrical service. I wanted to use my dryer outlet already there so 30A was my limit. At the moment I only have my keggle electrified but soon I will also have my HLT!

I am also not sure if my element will cause scorching yet. It didn't say on the package if it was a low density or not but it looks similar to what other people are using. I don't do many beers over 1.050 so I don't think it will be a problem but if it is I will have to upgrade to one of those fancy RIPP elements.

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Old 01-26-2009, 01:58 AM   #2
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:13 AM   #3
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Default Very, very, a nice!!!

[In a Borat voice]

Very, very, a nice!!!


I brew out side under my deck. I've got the 240 outlet right there for a hot tub. I don't have hot tub, so I might have to make better use of it now.

Thanks for posting this!
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:26 AM   #4
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Just a quick note before anyone asks:

The photos showing the electrical connections to the Heating element in the Keg - I eventually that crappy duct tape will be removed from the grey plastic PVC coupling and it will be slid over the connections and then the whole thing will be filled with epoxy to totally encase (pot) the connections and make them wireproof, similar to what the Pol did in his thread.

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Old 01-26-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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Will that plastic junction box hold up to the temperature of the SSR's heatsink?

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Old 01-26-2009, 04:51 PM   #6
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Nice! Do you have this on a GFI breaker?

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Old 01-26-2009, 05:44 PM   #7
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perfect, just in time for me to start researching exactly how i want to modify my keggle... mmmm... this is so sexy... is it on a gfi? Safety first.. after all... no glove no love ;0)

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Old 01-26-2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanmars View Post
Will that plastic junction box hold up to the temperature of the SSR's heatsink?
I ran a test last night and the plastic didn't even get soft after 60-70 minutes of boiling water, so it seems that it will work. I will update this thread if I detect a failure.

I did it this way because I didn't want the heatsink inside the enclosure as I didn't think it would get the proper airflow or cooling.

Having the heatsink and SSR entirely outside of the enclosure would have then exposed the line and control sides of the SSR to fingers/water/etc.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:09 PM   #9
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I did my SSR in a similar fashion, as did The Pol.

I used an old heatsink from a processor long dead. Was slightly smaller than the SSR so I was able to cut a hole in the box to fit it to the SSR, and still allow some room to bolt the SSR to the box.

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Old 01-26-2009, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conpewter View Post
Nice! Do you have this on a GFI breaker?
Not yet! For now I made sure my ground was a nice and solid connection, so in the event of a heater element failure it will short to ground and pop the breaker.

In my opinion I don't think the need for GFCIs is that high on the keggles provided they are adequately grounded. The only way I can see myself getting a shock from the keggle is if the connections to the element become detached, and I was to bridge that connection while providing a path to ground. All other failures (connector comes loose and touches side of keggle, element casing cracks, connectors short out, etc) should immediately trip the breaker as there will be a direct path to ground. If I am missing something please let me know!

That being said, I do plan to get one in the future.

It's important to also realize that GFCIs will only trip when the circuit is leaking to ground. If you were to get shocked across the two hot conductors the GFCI will not do anything. Also it is important to get a GFCI with a suitable trip level that is designed for human protection and not equipment protection.
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