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Old 02-21-2009, 06:47 PM   #1
diatonic
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Default My Ghetto Fabulous Electric HERMS Project

I'm working on building an electric HERMS setup (inspired by The Pol), and am going to document it in this thread.

I'm only deviating from The Pol's setup a bit... I'm going to use a PID/SSR for heating the HLT to give me more flexibility in wattage of the HLT element. Also, I occasionally brew at friends houses, and want a rig I can fit in the back of my Ford Explorer, which will include GFCI protection on the rig itself. I will be able to plug in to a 20amp 120v circuit at a friends house and use a 1500w 120v element and should have enough power. When I'm at home I can put in a 2000w element if I want faster heating.

Here is my preliminary 'ghetto fabulous' wood cart design. 4' wide, 2' deep, 2' 6" tall. Conceived in Google Sketchup:


$10 worth of lumber, $2 worth of deck screws, and $6 for 2 rigid casters and about an hour of assembly time and my creation springs to life:


I'm using wood for now mainly because of budget constraints, and wanting to try things for a while before committing to a metal stand.

I'm going to put some plywood/masonite on the top and bottom for surfaces, and cut a hole for the element wiring in the HLT. I still need to purchase a HLT stir motor and paddle, a march pump, and I'm going to make the HLT coil. I've got pretty much everything else purchased. Will update this thread as I progress.

Thanks to all of the info from HBT members, and especially The Pol. It has been very helpful.

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1° - Simple Cider (2/15/2014) - Saison Mead (6/26/2014) - En Perpetuum (Belgian sour base) (7/3/2014)
2° - Nuthin
Aging in a wine barrel - En Perpetuum—Solera (1/23/2011)
Kegs - May the Schwarz-Bier with you (2/9/2014) — Test Depth American Stout (8/29/2013), Big Red Imperial Red IPA (1/19/2014)

My brew rig is pretty much done :)
You should follow me on Twitter - My Brew Logs

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Old 02-21-2009, 08:47 PM   #2
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Looks cool!

Where did you get all the 2X4's for all that for $10???? I'm planning something similar but the cost of the wood was like 10 times that!!!

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Old 02-21-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
diatonic
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Local lumber yard in Boise, ID. They sold me 3 14' 2x4s for $10, I had them cut it all to the lengths I needed (charged me $2.50 and I BSed with the guy while he did all the cuts). All of the 1' 9" segments he gave me for free cutting them from scraps he had.

I almost went to Home Depot to get the 2x4s, then remembered the lumber yard about a mile from my house and decided to try there first. Glad I did

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.:diatonic:.

1° - Simple Cider (2/15/2014) - Saison Mead (6/26/2014) - En Perpetuum (Belgian sour base) (7/3/2014)
2° - Nuthin
Aging in a wine barrel - En Perpetuum—Solera (1/23/2011)
Kegs - May the Schwarz-Bier with you (2/9/2014) — Test Depth American Stout (8/29/2013), Big Red Imperial Red IPA (1/19/2014)

My brew rig is pretty much done :)
You should follow me on Twitter - My Brew Logs

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Old 02-22-2009, 01:30 AM   #4
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Dude, I have your grill... carry on.

Um, did YOU PM me about getting the HERMS software that I wrote for my system? If so, did I send it to you? I totally forget.

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Old 02-22-2009, 02:19 AM   #5
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I did PM you about that, but you didn't send it. I put my email address in the PM if you still have it... I didn't want to bug you about it until I'm ready to run a batch in it. If you could email it though, that would be sweet .

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.:diatonic:.

1° - Simple Cider (2/15/2014) - Saison Mead (6/26/2014) - En Perpetuum (Belgian sour base) (7/3/2014)
2° - Nuthin
Aging in a wine barrel - En Perpetuum—Solera (1/23/2011)
Kegs - May the Schwarz-Bier with you (2/9/2014) — Test Depth American Stout (8/29/2013), Big Red Imperial Red IPA (1/19/2014)

My brew rig is pretty much done :)
You should follow me on Twitter - My Brew Logs

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Old 02-22-2009, 03:17 AM   #6
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Yeah, so sorry man... must have gotten side tracked. I am out on the road and the software is on my zip drive at home. I will email it when I get back! Sorry!

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Old 02-25-2009, 05:13 AM   #7
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Tonight I started building/wiring the mobile control panel. I'm putting all of the components in a $14.99 plastic Craftsman toolbox from Sears. Power will come in through a cord of 12/3 water resistant cable. I built a GFI outlet box to mount on the cart to plug this all in to. There will be 3 power pigtails going out the back. One will be 12/3 for the HLT element (120V 1500w or 2000w) then two 16/3 cords for pump & HLT stir motor which will be controlled by front panel switches. Each power cord runs through a strain preventing fitting. Progress so far:



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.:diatonic:.

1° - Simple Cider (2/15/2014) - Saison Mead (6/26/2014) - En Perpetuum (Belgian sour base) (7/3/2014)
2° - Nuthin
Aging in a wine barrel - En Perpetuum—Solera (1/23/2011)
Kegs - May the Schwarz-Bier with you (2/9/2014) — Test Depth American Stout (8/29/2013), Big Red Imperial Red IPA (1/19/2014)

My brew rig is pretty much done :)
You should follow me on Twitter - My Brew Logs


Last edited by diatonic; 02-25-2009 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:22 AM   #8
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Looking great, well done.

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Current Rig
4.5KW E-HLT
5.5KW E-Kettle
MasterFlex Peristaltic Primary Pump
March Secondary Pump
Therminator for Chilling

Planned
Automated Grain Drop
Automated Hop Dropper


System controlled via BrewTroller

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Old 02-25-2009, 02:46 PM   #9
The Pol
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Diatonic...

Your HERMS software is sent, let me know that you got it!!!

Pol

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Old 02-25-2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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Thanks Pol, I got it. I hope to have the wiring on the control box done tonight and the element mounted in the HLT. If I'm really lucky I'll actually heat some water. I made the element assembly late last week. I'm using the same thermocouple you used on your BK in my HLT. I'm going to mount it a few inches off the bottom in the HLT.

I'm using a 25A SSR froum Auber with a heatsink. I'm going to do the initial test with it all inside the box. My HLT element should only be pulling 12.5A... and the heatsink was for use over 10A... so I don't think it will get too warm in there. Luckily it is easy to open and check .

Wish me luck!

__________________

.:diatonic:.

1° - Simple Cider (2/15/2014) - Saison Mead (6/26/2014) - En Perpetuum (Belgian sour base) (7/3/2014)
2° - Nuthin
Aging in a wine barrel - En Perpetuum—Solera (1/23/2011)
Kegs - May the Schwarz-Bier with you (2/9/2014) — Test Depth American Stout (8/29/2013), Big Red Imperial Red IPA (1/19/2014)

My brew rig is pretty much done :)
You should follow me on Twitter - My Brew Logs

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