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Old 02-10-2011, 04:29 PM   #1
Aberrix
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Default Need some help with my electric boil keggle

New home brewer, long time DIY/tinker... I'm doing stove-top extract brewing right now but love the DIY nature of home brewing. I recently came into possession of 3 sanke kegs (hooray!). I have dreams of building a full brew stand. But like most, finances prevent me from doing it all at once. So I'm trying to plan things out in steps/phases.

What I'd like to do is build an electric boil kettle that will allow me to still do extract brewing (for now) with the intent of being able to add-on a MT and HTL in the future. (HERMS? RIMS? I'm undecided and uneducated on both)

here is my shopping list for the boil kettle;
1. 5500W Heating Element - What should I get and from where?
2. PID - Auber Instruments SYL-2352 (stealing ideas/parts list from theelectricbrewery.com)
3. 40A SSR - Also from Auber
4. SSR Heatsink - Also from Auber
5. box to put it all in
6. misc wiring

So standard keggle fittings aside, what else am I looking missing?

let me ask the quick question, are SSR's created equally? I found a 40A SSR + heatsink on eBay for $14/shipped but I am from the school of "you get what you pay for" so I am a bit hesitant, especially when it involves electricity.

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Old 02-10-2011, 04:30 PM   #2
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are there other PID's I should be considering also? if so, what?

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Old 02-10-2011, 10:36 PM   #3
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Curious to know the answer to a few of these questions as well...

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Old 02-11-2011, 01:42 AM   #4
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Try looking at http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/ for some ideas and answers to your questions.

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Old 02-11-2011, 01:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberrix View Post
here is my shopping list for the boil kettle;
1. 5500W Heating Element - What should I get and from where?
2. PID - Auber Instruments SYL-2352 (stealing ideas/parts list from theelectricbrewery.com)
3. 40A SSR - Also from Auber
4. SSR Heatsink - Also from Auber
5. box to put it all in
6. misc wiring

So standard keggle fittings aside, what else am I looking missing?

let me ask the quick question, are SSR's created equally? I found a 40A SSR + heatsink on eBay for $14/shipped but I am from the school of "you get what you pay for" so I am a bit hesitant, especially when it involves electricity.

Comments on your shopping list:

1. 5500W element: I just walked into Home Depot and bought one that was LWD or ULWD (low watt density and ultra low watt density). The brand was Camco. I think any ULWD/LWD element will be fine.

2. PID: Make sure you get the Auber PID that supports "manual mode". You need that mode to control the vigor of your boil.

3. & 4. I use the ebay SSR and heatsink and it works just fine.

And... there are a bunch of things missing from the list.

GFI Breaker - If you don't already have a 240V outlet protected by GFI, you really need to get one. GFI is meant to save your life, whereas a regular breaker is meant to save your equipment. These suckers can be expensive... I'll wanr you right now.

Power cables. You need something rated for your voltage and amperage. You will need a length to go from your 240V wall outlet to the control box and then another length to go from the box to the kettle.

Plugs/receptacles - for your power cables

Temp Probe - technically you don't need one to control the boil strength of a kettle with a PID in manual mode, but the PID will not function unless there is some kind of probe connected to it. The probe can just be left hanging, or mounted in the kettle, or whatever. But you will need one.

Don't disregard these things. You can easily spend more than $100 on the things I just listed.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberrix View Post
1. 5500W Heating Element - What should I get and from where?
ULWD, from Rons Hardware. Camco.

2. PID - Auber Instruments SYL-2352 (stealing ideas/parts list from theelectricbrewery.com)
Yep
3. 40A SSR - Also from Auber
OK.
4. SSR Heatsink - Also from Auber
Yep.
5. box to put it all in
I like my toolbox. HD or Lowes, cheap.
6. misc wiring
Home depot can help you with most of it. Get a crimper and a bunch of fastons to make the wiring cleaner. Take your time with the wiring... don't fool yourself that you'll go back and clean it up later. Get some terminal blocks mounted first, then run load lines, ground, and neutral to them. If you don't do this, it will be spaghetti.

So standard keggle fittings aside, what else am I looking missing?

let me ask the quick question, are SSR's created equally? I found a 40A SSR + heatsink on eBay for $14/shipped but I am from the school of "you get what you pay for" so I am a bit hesitant, especially when it involves electricity.

I've bought expensive Crydoms, but I think the cheap ones are OK. Buy them, as well as the cheap heat sinks.
responses above .
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:42 AM   #7
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Are terminal blocks the same thing as a ground bus, neutral bus, or hot bus?

Thanks,

Scott

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Old 02-12-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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Are terminal blocks the same thing as a ground bus, neutral bus, or hot bus?

Thanks,

Scott
Terminal blocks are banks of screw-terminals where you can connect wires. Often times, people jumper together a bunch of the screws so that the whole thing becomes a ground bus or a hot bus or a neutral bus.

One popular version:

http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical/...atalogId=10053
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8tor
Are terminal blocks the same thing as a ground bus, neutral bus, or hot bus?

Thanks,

Scott
While it may not be technically exactly the same thing as a bus, a group of terminal blocks jumpered together functions in essentially the same fashion, if I understand correctly.
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