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Old 01-24-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
ascha
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Feb 2010
pennsylvania
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Im in the process of planning a new brew rig and I have a few electrical questions. Im not sure if theyve been asked before but I did do a search.

I want to be able to plug a power cord into the rig and then distribute the power to 3 items.
1. 2000w water heater element for a 10g cooler HLT
2. wort pump
3. water pump (for chiller)

Id like to have each one on a switch and I would manually operate each item.

Do I need to have all those fancy switches, SSR, heatsinks, ect? Or could I get away with household outlets (GFI) and indoor switches in a plastic junction box?

 
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
Chefkeith
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Nov 2009
Peoria, Illinois
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Theoretically, you could set up an all manual system of switches, but you would most likely drive your self crazy trying to keep all your temperatures in check. I couldn't imagine having to flip switches all day, I don't think I'd have time to brew.

How do you plan to mash? Is your MLT just going to be a direct gas fired kettle that you stir manually? If so, I'm not sure I would worry about an element in your HLT since it's a plastic cooler. People sometimes struggle keeping the element from leaking in a plastic cooler. When I had a plastic HLT, it would keep my sparge water at the correct temperature without needing to be heated. Of course I was careful not to add the water too soon, and I calculated a few extra degrees to compensate for the HLT not being pre-heated.

Reason: Clarity

 
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
ascha
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Feb 2010
pennsylvania
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Thank Keith.

I'm going to mash in a 10g cooler and once the HLT reaches the desired temp I'll hit the switch and turn off the element and the temp should stay constant for a time since it's in a cooler so I will not have to flip switches all day.

 
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
weirdboy
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The only thing I could think of is if you wanted to put some kind of PWM or PID controller on the element so that you had a bit more control over the amount of energy going into the HLT. In that case you'd want the controller + SSR, etc.

But with a cooler I don't think it's strictly necessary. I basically do the same thing manually with my BK (with propane) now and don't have too many problems with hitting strike temps and whatnot.

 
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:18 PM   #5
Cpt_Kirks
 
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Lakeland TN
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Plain old switches (rated for 20A) work fine:





I put water resistant outdoor cover plates on everything.

 
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