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Old 02-04-2012, 05:34 PM   #1
Nov 2011
New York, NY
Posts: 9

First off, I'd like to pass along a big thank you to all the posters and veterans who have made this board an incredible resource for those of us getting started. I've been brewing small BIAB batches on my stovetop for the past 6 months and have officially caught the bug. Unfortunately my electric stove is seriously under powered and I have trouble maintaining a good boil. After following many threads here I've decided to take the electric plunge and am planning an eBIAB set up.

Since I'm a renter in a small NYC apartment, I cannot really modify my electrical options, so I'm going to be going with a 120v setup. I figure this will be plenty of power, as I keep my batches under 3 gallons. I enjoy the brew day and experimenting with new things, so small batches will probably be my go to for quite some time.

With that said, here's what I'm planning:
- Modify existing 7.5 gallon kettle with a 4500w / 240v heating element (running it at 120v, but for such a small batch I figure that's enough power)
- Follow Kal's method for attaching the element to the kettle
- Flexibility to add a recirculating pump to the system at a later date
- Toolbox control panel

The toolbox control panel plan includes the following:
- 120v power in from a GFCI protected outlet
- Master power switch + light
- Emergency power off switch
- Pump on/off switch + light
- Element on/off switch
- Alarm wired to both PID and Timer
- Auber PID SYL-2352 to control the element when "on"
- Auber Timer ASL-51 with reset button and start / pause switch

After researching previous builds and combining lessons learned from many of the members on this site, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing. The one major aspect I wanted to run by folks was my control box wiring diagram. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering, but it's been a while since I was taking electrical engineering classes. Just thought it'd be a good idea to have some experts double / triple check on my work.

Below is an initial draft of the wiring diagram and I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions. If I've forgotten any details, please let me know! Thanks again for all the help thus far!
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:34 PM   #2
Dec 2010
Seattle, Washington
Posts: 87
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

I'm currently putting together a 240volt eBIAB system, and your diagram looks pretty good. Couple of things that could possibly simplify and cut cost:

-The auberins timer has a pause and a reset button on the front of it. Kal included the reset buttom because the Omega timer he used did not have this feature easily available. So if you wanted you could remove those switches.

-Since you using 120volt, you probably don't need the contactor. You could use a 120volt, 20 amp switch.

-PJ has a 10amp fast blow fuse for the pump on all of his diagrams, not sure if that is better or worse than a 2 amp slow blow.

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Old 02-04-2012, 10:32 PM   #3
Nov 2011
New York, NY
Posts: 9

Thanks for the tips brewhokie! All seem like excellent points and should definitely help reduce costs / simplify the design. Much appreciated!

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Old 05-02-2012, 03:13 PM   #4
Apr 2012
Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 33
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

NYCHopper, did you by any chance document the build? If so, do you mind sharing?

I'm starting to peice together something very similar to yours and wouldn't mind seeing how you put it together/what issues you incountered. Thanks.

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Old 05-02-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
BIAB Expert Tailor
wilserbrewer's Avatar
May 2007
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Posts: 9,794
Liked 1510 Times on 1149 Posts

4500w element on 120v is only 1125w, this is not much at all, and will be slow and might not even boil...I would spend the $10 on a 2000w 120v

I realize you are only talking 3 gallon batches, but that is not a lot of watts IME.

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Old 07-22-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
Nov 2011
New York, NY
Posts: 9

Originally Posted by mbitton View Post
NYCHopper, did you by any chance document the build? If so, do you mind sharing?

I'm starting to peice together something very similar to yours and wouldn't mind seeing how you put it together/what issues you incountered. Thanks.
Hey mbitton...sorry about the extreme delay coming back to you. I actually had to put my build on hold at the time because I found out a few weeks later that I was relocating. In any case, I'm now settled into my new spot and the build is back up and running.

wilserbrewer made a valid point about a 4500w 240v element run on 120v taking a while to boil. Unfortunately I move around quite a bit, so for me the flexibility to keep everything running on a 15a outlet outweighs speed. I may up it to a 1500w 120v element, but I believe the 1125w element would take me from tap water to mash temp in about an hour and another 30 minutes to get to boiling.

Hopefully this won't be another false start, but I'll do my best to keep the progress updated!

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
Nov 2011
New York, NY
Posts: 9

It's been a bit slow getting the build back up and going, but I finally had some time to work on things this past weekend.

Kettle Update
- Holes drilled in kettle and gang box
- Gang box attached to kettle (using Kal's method)
- 4500W 240v element installed (small batches so just running at 120v)

Control Box Update
- Holes drilled for electrical outlets with a hole saw and no drill press...that was "interesting"
- Holes for switches and lights punched with Greenlee
- Cutouts for timer, PID and SSR all just made with a Dremel
- Completed mock up with all components installed

Parts Seen Here
- 4500W 240v LD heating element (
- 2 Gang Outlet Box and Blank Cover (Amazon)
- Stack-On 16" Steel Toolbox (Amazon)
- Leviton Plug Receptacles (Amazon)
- Male 3 Pin XLR Chassis Mount (Amazon)
- Auber Instruments PID Controller (Auber)
- Auber Instruments Timer (Auber)
- Alarm, Lights, Switches, Buttons (eBay)

Lessons learned so far:
1. Cutting the large holes in the gang box and toolbox without a drill press was pretty tough. It is doable with a drill and hole saw attachment (if you're without access to a press like me), but go slow and take your time.

2. Making square cutouts with the Dremel was not as hard as I thought it would be.

3. After just mocking up the components, I can tell things in the toolbox are going to be tight. As others have stressed, bigger is better when it comes to your enclosure. I think this should still work, but wiring it up is going to be a chore.

Will try to take a few more pictures along the way for those interested in yet another eBIAB system.
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