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Old 04-20-2011, 11:06 PM   #1
Dec 2009
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 133
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

Ive been reading threads on electric brewing and am going to take the plunge soon. Ive decided on a flexible design for my system in following Brouwerij Boerderij Kabouter's design of the 2p-twent-e found here:

My question is I want to run a system like this on 110v and be able to get up to 5 gallon batches out of it. I like the RIMS tube and will probably postpone the HERMS coil aspect of the design. I like to move around and usually live in older houses want to have the flexibility to be able to run this on 110v 15 amp outlets because that would be minimum of what I would be supplied.

What I am getting at is I wanted to pick some of your brains on how to wire this up. Im thinking 2 1500 watt heatsticks in the HLT/BK and one in the rims tube. I know this would be only possible with 2 110v circuits coming into the box, and the RIMS would never be running when the HLT/BK would be running.

I was thinking 1 PID that could switch between HLT/BK and RIMS. Each heating element would have a 25 amp SSR.

Could a single PID trigger up to 2 25 amp SSRs to run the kettle?

Could I use a larger element and merge the 2 110v elements to it to save on a second hole in my kettle?

In using 2 power circuits I also didnt want to not be able to brew if I was limited on finding a second circuit.

I know this is a lot to ask, and I have looked through almost every thread to how to do this. I am good at hands on stuff but havent wired up anything before. I will have a buddy who is an electrician look over it when it is done to make sure I didnt mess anything up.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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Old 04-21-2011, 02:51 AM   #2
Feb 2011
Miami, Florida
Posts: 868
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts

Ok, first important point: 1500W on 120V is 12.5A. That means 15A outlets are way too tight. I'd recommend you to use one 20A (minimum) outlet per element. I wouldn't run more than 1200W off of a 15A outlet.

I'm still not sure I understand the differences between HERMS and RIMS, so I will limit my comments to the general electrical aspects of the build. Hopefully, somebody with more knowledge about those systems will pitch in, and eventually correct me if I said something that doesn't apply.

As a norm, all electronic measurement and control devices are designed to drive 5 standard loads with each outlet. However, some manufacturers are kinda "flexible" with their definitions of "standard load", so I'd recommend you to check both the PID and SSR's specs. If the PID outlets' impedance is 1/5 the input impedance of the SSR, you can drive, "theoretically", 5 SSR's with it, which means, in the real World, you can drive 3 of them safely.

If you want to keep your outlet requirements to 15A, you can't run an element bigger than 1200W off of it, with any margin of safety. If you want to run 1500W elements, you will need 20A outlets. If you want to combine the 2 elements into a single, 3000W element, you will need a 40A outlet, minimum, or, ideally, you should get a 240V element, and run it off of a 240V, 20A or more outlet.

My recommendation would be to make a 240V extension that you can plug into the stove outlet, and plug the stove into it, with an extra branch so you can run your setup off of it. That way, with a 240V, 30A outlet, you'd be ok.

Hope that helps.
A pessimist is a well informed optimist.

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