Help/suggestions for a 110v eBIAB/Smoker combo controller - Home Brew Forums
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:09 PM   #1
Jan 2012
Cumberland, ME
Posts: 63
Liked 7 Times on 4 Posts

So, I've been trolling the Electric Brewing forum for the last month or so contemplating various builds and have really enjoyed seeing all the different approaches people have taken. I feel fairly confident that I could make do with some of the wiring diagrams P-J and others have put out there, but if anyone is willing to tackle a specific design for me, I'd appreciate it!

My concept is a compact (toolbox or auber enclosure sized), portable controller that I can switch between brewing and smoking applications. I brew 5 gal no-sparge BIAB, so my starting volumes are in the 8-9 gal range, which gives me around 7.5 gal boil volume. I'd like to run 2-2000W elements on separate 20A circuits. One should be controlled by a PID/SSR, the other I want to be simple on/off. 1 pump for recirc & transfer. E-stop to kill it all via GFCI trip.

Here's how I see a brew day going:
1. Connect 2 extension cords to controller power inlets from 2 GFCI 20A 110v circuits
2. Connect 2 elements, pump, and RTD sensor to controller outlets
3. Energize PID-driven element and manual element
4. -5 deg from strike temp, secure manual element
6. Dough in, energize recirc and allow PID element to maintain mash temp
7. Raise to mash-out via PID element
8. Lift/drain bag, switch PID element to PWM, energize manual element
9. Achieve boil, secure manual element, maintain boil via PID/PWM element.
10. Gravity drain or pump to no-chill cube or fermenter

Controller should have:
2x 20A 110v inlets
3x control switches (PID-element, manual element, pump)
1x alarm/switch
2x 20A 110v outlets (elements)
1x ?A 110v outlet (pump)
1x RTD sensor connection
1x E-stop

The Catch - I'd like to use the PID-element outlet from the controller, plug in a smoker fan and take advantage of the PID for overnight cooks. Basically, connect a separate RTD, plug in the fan, set the temp, and walk away. Fan controls airflow to the coal bed to regulate heat.

So - Is that reasonable? Or would I need a switch and 4th outlet? Between the SSR and the PID? After the SSR?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice!


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Old 12-01-2012, 09:50 PM   #2
May 2011
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 22

I'm planning on a very similar build, but haven't made any progress. If you did make progress, I'd love to hear any details.
AJ2 Brewing Co, Minneapolis, MN
Primary: Broken Nose Vienna Lager, Triple Black Diamond Extreme Backcountry Ale
Secondary: Imperial Stout
Serving: Bill White Rabbit Carrot IPA, Dubbel Dee Dunkelweizen, 32nd and Bryant Pine Tree Ale

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Old 12-03-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
Feb 2012
Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 619
Liked 38 Times on 34 Posts

I don't see any issue with the your setup above. One feature of the PID is it autotunes the PID parameters to your system. The thermal characteristics of your kettle will be different then your smoker. You can eliminate this by disabling the PID feature and using ON/OFF mode for you kettle, your smoker, or both. Also make sure that your switches are rated to deliver the full 20A to your manual element. Most of the rotary switches are rated for 10A.

I used a relay output PID to control my strike temp with PID disabled (on/off mode) and hit the strike temp within 1 deg F by turning on the re-circulation pump. Several gallons of water has a lot of thermal mass and the temp increase is relatively slow.

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