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Old 02-14-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
amishland
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Default Using a generator to get 220V brewing

I am considering using electricity for brewing, lots of conversations on HBT.

My garage does not have an 220V outlet, and it will not be an easy thing to run.

I was talking with my buddy, and we thought that we both already own one why not just use the generator to get 220V?

What do you guys think?



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Old 02-15-2010, 12:26 AM   #2
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It will work, provided your generator is large enough for the heating elements but without knowing your specific reasons for going to electricity, it seems like it will be more expensive using a gas powered generator than sticking with propane. Not to mention the noise and ventilation issues... Also, generators seem to have "dirty" electricity in terms of voltage variation. If you will be using a PID controller, I don't know if they will handle the variation very well.


But, if it works for ya, go for it.



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Old 02-15-2010, 12:27 AM   #3
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Interesting. How many amps? It'd be an interesting way to have a portable rig as well.

Of course, any savings of not using propane are wasted in gas if that matters.

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Old 02-15-2010, 12:37 AM   #4
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It'll work.

FYI, for $400, I had a contractor install two separate 220VAC circuits in my garage (100+ feet from the service panel). Also included in the $400 price tag was service to my brew hut (a sub-panel + a trench and conduit). I really lucked out on the price, but I can't imagine that a single circuit would cost more than a couple hundred unless the service to your house is extremely limited.

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Old 02-15-2010, 01:55 PM   #5
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It will work. Ideally, you'd keep the electronics on house power.

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Old 02-15-2010, 02:11 PM   #6
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Add up the wattage of your elements (if they will be running together) and make sure your generator is at least a little larger. The elements will put quite a load on the generator so you will likely go through quit a bit of gas. If it were me, I would try to find some way to get wiring installed. It would probably be much cheaper in the long run.

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Old 02-15-2010, 02:11 PM   #7
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You could also do a line conditioner in line if you're concerned about quality.

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Old 02-15-2010, 02:12 PM   #8
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It will work. Most generators produce 30 Amps on the 220V side. Keep the generator far enough way from the brewing area and kick the tunes up to listen to something besides the sounds of the generator.

Plus you don't need to run the generator the whole brew session.

But I do think getting a quote from a electrician for a 220 line in your gargae will help understand the costs between the two methods.

Also what is the costs between using all this electricity vs. propane?

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Old 02-15-2010, 02:59 PM   #9
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1 pound of propane = 22,000 BTU = about $1 per pound.

22,000 BTU = 6.45kWH @ about $0.11/kWH = about $0.71.

Also an electrical element is 100% efficient. I am sure a burner is no where near that. So, I would guess electrical brewing would be about half the energy cost of propane. Also, no trips to refill cylinders.

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Old 02-16-2010, 04:21 AM   #10
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I've noticed that the construction trades are willing to make some crazy deals just to get some business. I was talking to a master electrician the other day who only did new construction, he'll crawl through an attic now at bottom dollar rates. It kind of sucks but now is the time to have any kind of construction done.



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