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Old 10-17-2011, 05:39 PM   #101
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Do the electric ball valves adjust when you start sparging or do you recirculate the mash and sparge at the same rate ?
The electric ball valves are either full open or full closed. They do not adjust anywhere in between.

There are manual ball valves at the top of each kettle to use for setting flow rates.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:51 AM   #102
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It seems a pity to have to adjust a ball valve when the sparge starts (Im assuming you recirculate slower than the sparge).
There must be a way to get the ball valves to close/open to a preset setting. Possibly one of the electronic experts can comment.
Or do you could divert the wort through a different ball valve when the sparge starts ?

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Old 10-18-2011, 05:52 PM   #103
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Have any pictures of the control unit (wiring)? I'm looking into the BCS method and would like to see examples of the control units and wiring.

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Old 10-18-2011, 07:25 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Bru View Post
It seems a pity to have to adjust a ball valve when the sparge starts (Im assuming you recirculate slower than the sparge).
There must be a way to get the ball valves to close/open to a preset setting. Possibly one of the electronic experts can comment.
Or do you could divert the wort through a different ball valve when the sparge starts ?
Pretty easy to set a flow rate. I don't see that as needing to be automated.

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Have any pictures of the control unit (wiring)? I'm looking into the BCS method and would like to see examples of the control units and wiring.
I do not currently have any pictures of the inside of my control panel. I can tell you though that it is MUCH simpler than most of the electric brewery builds you see going on here. All outputs from the BCS are low voltage triggers that you wire up to relays. As noted above, 6 outputs to a relay board to trigger the valves, 6 outputs to SSR's to trigger the pumps and solenoids (for gas) and a few more outputs for igniter, kegerators and fermenter all going to SSR's.
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My Single Tier, 3 Pump, BCS-462, Brutus Build: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/sing...ed-rig-204705/
My customized BCS-462 controller web interface: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hack...s-done-209388/
My 8 tap, 11 keg, upright Keezer build: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/upri...1-kegs-371438/
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:27 PM   #105
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Regarding the wiring, my BCS has 3 cat-5 data jacks on a faceplate on the wall and another 3 on a j-box on the stand. On brew day, I attach 3 patch cables between the stand and the wall. One cable is for temp probes, one for the 12v valves and the third one for the pumps and solenoids (via SSR's).
Jon, could you share a little more as to how the cat-5 cable works? For instance, do you have to somehow split the cat-5 to control 3 pumps with one cable or is there some electronics piece that accomplishments this? Sorry for the newbie questions, but I have never wired anything in my life.
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:23 PM   #106
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Jon, could you share a little more as to how the cat-5 cable works? For instance, do you have to somehow split the cat-5 to control 3 pumps with one cable or is there some electronics piece that accomplishments this? Sorry for the newbie questions, but I have never wired anything in my life.
A Cat-5 cable is an 8 conductor cable with 4 twisted pair of wires inside. Inside the panel I just stripped the wires and used all 8 conductors for 6 outputs and a ground. The other end is terminated in a standard RJ45 data jack on my wall. I then use standard 7 ft. patch cables to attach to the brew stand. On the brew stand, there is a J-box mounted to the stand that also has RJ45 data jacks. The wiring from those jacks is then broken back out to the individual wires to connect to the SSR's.
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My Single Tier, 3 Pump, BCS-462, Brutus Build: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/sing...ed-rig-204705/
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:58 PM   #107
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I don't have a parts list for the pilots as they came with the burners. I will say however that just last night I pulled them out and put on electronic igniters. In theory, the pilots work well. However, I live by the beach and I have a continuous breeze that causes issues with blowing them out. Walmart carries a bbq igniter system with 3 probes for less than $20. I've wired that into the BCS system and the burners now fire automatically. This works pretty well and is way cheaper than using the 24V igniter systems that many use. I am always present at my rig when the burners are going on and off, so I'm not concerned with having the (expensive) safety valves and igniters. I'll try to get some new pics up soon.
I'm in a similar situation with a custom designed controller and was originally planning on lighting my burners with a loop of nichrome wire driven by a triac. I wanted to experiment with the walmart bbq lighter before committing to a heating wire design and was curious how you've connected the spark generator to your controller.

Did you solder wires to the battery contacts and connect it to a relay output? If so, are you driving it with 1.5v like the AAA battery, 3.3V, 12V? Any special considerations for electrical isolation from the rest of the controller?

I would be concerned that if the spark probes were disconnected or moved too far from the frame the path of least resistance could be back through the power source relay (usually ~4kv-5kv isolation, with the spark generator making ~20-25kv) and damage the controller. But without knowing the circuit in the bbq igniter its impossible to say. I'd take one apart to find out but seeing that its potted in about 1" of epoxy that would probably be fruitless..

I've really enjoyed reading about your rig, you've influenced me to mimic your three pump, six ball valve manifold design--
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:30 AM   #108
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Did you solder wires to the battery contacts and connect it to a relay output? If so, are you driving it with 1.5v like the AAA battery, 3.3V, 12V? Any special considerations for electrical isolation from the rest of the controller?
Yes, I did solder wires into the battery holder of the igniter. I then built a small circuit board that had an AA battery holder on it and a solid state relay. The BCS triggers the DC SSR IC and that triggers the igniter. I haven't used it for a brew day yet, but so far it seems to work fine. Another friend just did this same setup with his BCS and brewed last weekend and it worked fine.
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My 8 tap, 11 keg, upright Keezer build: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/upri...1-kegs-371438/
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:57 PM   #109
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Any update on your ignitors? I'm very interested to hear how they are working out for you.

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Old 11-05-2011, 04:28 AM   #110
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Any update on your ignitors? I'm very interested to hear how they are working out for you.
I should be brewing on it tomorrow with the igniter setup. I'll post back how it goes.
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My Single Tier, 3 Pump, BCS-462, Brutus Build: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/sing...ed-rig-204705/
My customized BCS-462 controller web interface: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hack...s-done-209388/
My 8 tap, 11 keg, upright Keezer build: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/upri...1-kegs-371438/
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