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Old 03-23-2012, 01:55 PM   #1
Eighty2Fifty1
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Default Electric All-Grain Planning Stages

So to pass the time on deployment, I've been planning my electric rig. I plan on slowly piecing it together throughout the next year, and hopefully be brewing on it before next deployment. I started off by wanting to build a Kal clone, but after I started pricing everything out, I decided to start stripping it down and simplifying everything. So here we go.
-I don't plan on changing the basic principle and layout of the HERMS as Kal has it set up. I'm going to, however, go with keggles and a Jaybird false bottom instead of the gucci Blichmann gear.
-I'm definitely gonna build my own counterflow chiller. The Chillus Convolutus is awesome, but way too expensive for this guy.
-I was thinking of changing to the camlock style of quick disconnect fittings. I'm sure it'll save me a few bucks, if only I could remember what website I found them on.

The controller is where I plan to really differ. I'll keep the PID for the hot liquor tank, but I was thinking of just deleting the one for the mash tun and using an analog thermometer like the Blichmann BrewMometer in the outlet line. I plan on using a PWM for the boil kettle, and instead of the mechanical relays for the heating elements, I was thinking about a simple DPDT switch to feed either SSR. I also plan on getting rid of the timer and alarm features of Kal's system. They are really cool, but I don't think they're strictly necessary. After pricing the control panel components out, I'm estimating about $600-650. Total cost of the project about $2K. Attached is the schematic I had in mind.


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Old 03-23-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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I'm in the same boat but I think my build is going to take a little longer. What about the pumps? Those march pumps cost a lot. I think I'm going to go with dual Chugger pumps when they become available they are about half the price.


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Old 03-23-2012, 02:20 PM   #3
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I haven't really shopped around for the pumps. I can probably do a pair of the $150 March pumps, but I'm definitely not fooling around with the SS version. As long as I don't use the wrong chemicals to clean everything, I don't see it being an issue.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eighty2Fifty1 View Post

The controller is where I plan to really differ. I'll keep the PID for the hot liquor tank, but I was thinking of just deleting the one for the mash tun and using an analog thermometer like the Blichmann BrewMometer in the outlet line. I plan on using a PWM for the boil kettle, and instead of the mechanical relays for the heating elements, I was thinking about a simple DPDT switch to feed either SSR. I also plan on getting rid of the timer and alarm features of Kal's system. They are really cool, but I don't think they're strictly necessary. After pricing the control panel components out, I'm estimating about $600-650. Total cost of the project about $2K. Attached is the schematic I had in mind.
Ideas/questions: I wonder if you could use 1 pid (w/manual mode) but have multiple temperature probes (one for HLT, MLT), and multiple relays (contactors) for HLT, BK along witch a selector switch for the input probe and one for the output destination (HLT, BK)?
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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chugger pumps are SS for around 140. The problem is they sell out quickly so you have to snatch them up when they got them. www.chuggerpumps.com they are supposed to have some soon. My build is probably a 2 year deal so I won't be buying this time but hopefully later in the year.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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You will likely get a faint glow in your indicator lamps on the load side of the SSR's due to leakage current. Many have had problems with this when placing the lamps there.

I like to use an LED/resistor to mirror the PID and PWM DC output. It does not indicate actual power at the element but that is generally pretty obvious without a lamp.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copyright1997 View Post
Ideas/questions: I wonder if you could use 1 pid (w/manual mode) but have multiple temperature probes (one for HLT, MLT), and multiple relays (contactors) for HLT, BK along witch a selector switch for the input probe and one for the output destination (HLT, BK)?
I think you could do the multiple temp probes, it would depend on several things. If I used RTD's, I would need either 2 input jacks or a 3 position, 3 phase switch, as the RTD's have 3 wires. As far as wiring up multiple relays, I decided against it due to cost. Each DPDT, 30A relay was about $35, and it was $50 for the DPDT switch. I'd save about $20 with that setup.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lschiavo View Post
You will likely get a faint glow in your indicator lamps on the load side of the SSR's due to leakage current. Many have had problems with this when placing the lamps there.

I like to use an LED/resistor to mirror the PID and PWM DC output. It does not indicate actual power at the element but that is generally pretty obvious without a lamp.
I hadn't considered that. Will I get leakage even though the other side of the circuit is open (via the main DPDT switch)? Even if I do, would it be easy to discern whether it was current leakage or the element actually firing?
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #9
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If the red line back to the source is broken either by your contactor or selector switch, you should not see any light. I have never seen this first hand but from pics I've seen, it looks like you would be able to tell if the SSR is on (much brighter).
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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Camlocks are found at a number of places:

bargainfittings.com and proflowdynamics.com are just a couple


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