Gonna build an Electric Boiler...how to control? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:18 AM   #1
ApolloSpeed
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I'm gonna get supplies to build an electric boiler this weekend.....it is wayyy to hard to boil 6.5 gallons on my stovetop. And I don't really wanna go propane. I can run an extra 240 outlet off my breakerbox... so

I think I'm gonna buy one of these 4500 or 5500 watt 240v elements
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Drill a hole into my AHB Economy 7 gallon SS brewpot, and install that badboy.


My question is, I don't really wanna spend alot of money on a high dollar temp controller. So lets rule that out.
BUT, do I need some sorta potentiometer or rheostat to control it?


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Old 04-01-2009, 02:21 AM   #2
The Pol
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You will need something to control it...

I researched many different things while building mine, and could not get away from the PID and SSR combo. A rheostat for that much amperage/wattage is going to cost you.



 
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:36 AM   #3
HillbillyDeluxe
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look into honeywell, they have some great burner controllers at a resonable price. If your going electric you gotta do GFI, fuses/breakers, and like apol said you gottta control it. You could try to fin an Rstat but it aint cheap. A POT on the otherhand, well for that kinda amperage is just not gonna happen on any budget (unless your an AIG exec). Look at commercial oven parts also.

 
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:40 AM   #4
HillbillyDeluxe
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OH yeah, i forgot. I recommend to everybody, (Get a damn turkey fryer and use it with your stainless brewpot). I get like 12 batches out of a tank. I use a CO3(carbon monoxide) detector and have no problems. Electric is just not cost effective unless your brewing more than 10 batches a month(if you are you are a god!)

 
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:44 AM   #5
The Pol
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There is nothing cost effective about brewing in my mind. Electric is cheaper to operate than propane... but costs you to build. I have less $$ into my rig than many do in thier gas heated rigs...

A 5500 watt rheostat, if they exist, would be hundreds of dollars and HUGE.

 
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:21 AM   #6
ApolloSpeed
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so whats the cheapest way out for a controller or rheostat?

Can you give me a link to something?
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:26 AM   #7
wilserbrewer
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Pol,

Would it be possible to not use a controller and just let the element run at 100% if it was sized properly...just guessing here, say 3500w for a 6 - 6.5 gallon boil?

I realize this will be kind of crude and take a bit longer to reach boil.

Mike

 
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:27 AM   #8
The Pol
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PID $45
SSR $20
Heat sink $20

$85 is about as cheap as you are going to get controlling that much power... 240VAC at 23 amps and 5500W is not a trivial ammount of power, it takes some serious equipment.

 
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:28 AM   #9
The Pol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Pol,

Would it be possible to not use a controller and just let the element run at 100% if it was sized properly...just guessing here, say 3500w for a 6 - 6.5 gallon boil?

I realize this will be kind of crude and take a bit longer to reach boil.

Mike

3500W is sized about right for a 6.5-7.5 gallopn boil. I run my 5500W element at 3500W to maintain the boil, after I get it boiling. You CAN do it that way, crude, but doable.

 
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:32 AM   #10
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Thanks Pol,

While I admire your work and am a bit jealous, not all of us are cut out for such high tech rigs.



 
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