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Old 08-23-2010, 09:17 PM   #1
Aug 2010
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 6

I've been wanting to make the move to all grain brewing for quite some time, but I'd like to build something decent based on the area I'd like to make my future brew room.

I recently moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba and now live in a place that was once a duplex but remodeled into a house. This gives me two laundry areas, (one much nicer than the other - which is the one that is used for actual laundry). The other one is located in the basement, and from what little I know, could make a fantastic brew room with a little TLC. Mainly, I don't see myself wanting to do my brewing outside in -40 during the Winnipeg winter.

Here's a pic of the room. I'm sorry about crappy quality but I can't find my digital camera charger (may be still boxed up from the move) so I had to use my Macbook camera.

Since the washer/dryer isn't being used down there there are a couple good things that I think would make it nice to be a brew room. (and if I'm wrong please tell me!)

-- It has hot/cold water pipes and a drain (currently being used for a washer). Would be easy to install a nice SS sink.

-- Theres dryer tubing for the vents running through there. With a simple bathroom fan I'd be able to vent all the moisture from the boiling right outside.

-- And then there's this:

This was the plug the dryer was hooked up to. again sorry for the bad quality but it has print that reads as:

30A - 125/250V R6D6

What could be some cool ways to set this up for electric brewing? Money is a little bit of an issue (I don't have thousands to play around) but I can get what I would need to get a decent setup going.

I've done a little research on heatsticks and have listened to the podcast on how to make them, but I'd like to know a little more on what I could use this outlet for. Is a 240v heatstick the way to go? What would I need to stop it from killing me if there was a leak?

If anyone has a better idea than a heat stick please let me know. I don't have access to do any welding unfortunately so mounting elements into a SS boil kettle would be a bit difficult.

Thanks for the help. Any and all comments are greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-23-2010, 09:54 PM   #2
Bjornbrewer's Avatar
Jul 2008
St. Clair Shores, MI, USA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way
Posts: 417
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

what size batches are you looking to do?

first thing you need: GFCI breaker protecting that outlet. That will save your a$$ from getting electricuted.

Second thing: search! There is a foutain of info on these board about mounting elements without welding, control panel builds on the cheap and other essentials. RIMs, HERM's and other systems are probably too expensive right off the bat, but the info is all here.

you have a great start there with that room, just do the reading and research!
Sand Viking Brewery

“Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman - or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” ~George Burns

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Old 08-24-2010, 12:11 AM   #3
Aug 2010
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 6

Mainly just 5 gallon ones to start

I'll start looking for a breaker then!

Thanks for the reply!

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Old 08-24-2010, 01:04 AM   #4
BIAB Expert Tailor
wilserbrewer's Avatar
May 2007
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Posts: 9,817
Liked 1532 Times on 1161 Posts

For a simple five gallon system, I would look toward a "spa panel" GFI and a 3500w element. Not sure here, but you might be able to get two 120 circuits from that feed and run two 2000w / or 1500w elements w/ regular 120v GFI's. Let the experts chime in.

-40 basement will be perfect!

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Old 08-24-2010, 01:43 AM   #5
Dgonza9's Avatar
May 2010
Evanston, Illinois
Posts: 1,182
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts

I just finished my basement brewery. You can check it out here.

First, I'd say you need to decide whether you want to mount heating elements in your brew pots or make heat sticks. Heat sticks are definitely more flexible. You can move them around from HLT to BK and even stir your mash with it if your temp is a bit low.

Once you get the hang of building heat sticks, they're pretty easy to build and to use. That being said, you will need two 20 amp lines. I don't think one 30 amp 240 outlet will help you when it comes to having two heat stick lines, though someone with more electrical experience may be able to explain how to make this work. I'm thinking it may be possible to run one leg of each line to a gfci to make two breakers capable of 15 amps each, with one leg as a traveler wire. But I'm not sure.

Two 2000 watt heat sticks should be enough to boil 5 gallons. Two 1500 watt heat sticks may be enough for this as well. I would create two boxes, each with a gfci and a switch controlling it. This way you can easily turn each heat stick on or off with the switches.

For ventilation, I think most have said that a bathroom exhaust fan may not be enough for your needs. You can try it, but most have said that at least 300 CFM is need. Most dryer vents are made with 4" vent lines. Looks to me like that maximum inline fan at 4" is about 165CFM. Kind of low on the scale. I went with 745CFM for mine and it definitely clears all moisture. There may be some kind of squirrel cage fan you can rig up that will move more air.

Another idea was suggested by Bobby from New Jersey when I was planning my set up. You rig up up your vent fan to a lid that can sit an inch or two above your pot. At such a close proximity, your need for more CFM drastically decreases. Maybe worth a shot in your situation.

You might also consider rigging up a cap of some kind with a hose connect for a waste port. I did this in my setup. Using quick connects I can easily pump out from my hoses, keggles, CFC, and pump. No mess at all, straight into the waste port.

It can be done, especially if you don't mind checking your panel and running a few 20 amp lines with gfci receptacles.

Maybe someone with more experience wiring up a 240v line can weigh in on how best to use that. My understanding is that they don't make 240v gfci receptacles, so you'd need a spa panel or a 240v gfci breaker. I don't know if anyone uses a 240 heat stick, but it's another option.

I hope that helps you get started. Good luck with your build. I recently finished mine and really enjoyed brewing with it. Indoor electric brewing is great, especially if it's 40 below out. Least your chiller should work great at those temps.


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