Electric without a controller? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Electric without a controller?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-10-2012, 04:42 AM   #1
ballewblake
Recipes 
 
May 2011
Magnolia, NJ
Posts: 55
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts



Noob question.

I was wondering if I could hook a dimmer switch to the elements to control temps? I currently have a two tier propane rig, with 3-keggels that I want to move to the basement. I'm comfortable hooking up electric for 220v. I recently purchased two 5500w elements that I would like to put in my HLT and Kettle. I was wondering if I would have my plugs on a dimmer between the outlet and element?

I'm not currently in a position to buy a controller (unemployed) so I'm looking for another alternative.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 04:48 AM   #2
runningweird
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
runningweird's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2009
State Line, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,068
Liked 91 Times on 67 Posts


look up a pulse width modulator (PWM)

There is a thread on here about them - cheap and easy to build
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/pwm...us-how-221301/
__________________
My 6 Tap Long Draw Tower Build:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/long...-tower-271578/

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 04:57 AM   #3
lschiavo
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
lschiavo's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2009
Upper Peninsula of..., Michigan
Posts: 4,747
Liked 1110 Times on 752 Posts


Yeah, if you are handy with soldering, a PWM kit (or from scratch) is pretty easy. You will still need some components to put it all together though. A standard lighting dimmer will not work here.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
BadNewsBrewery
 
BadNewsBrewery's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2012
Severn, MD
Posts: 1,244
Liked 129 Times on 103 Posts


I have yet to see a wall dimmer rated for 220v and 30a... it won't work. The PWM is your best bet, short of you plugging in / unplugging the element yourself to maintain temps - that's the cheapest option around!
__________________
Building a Bad News Brewery - eHERMS

2014 - 70gal
2015 - 72gal

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #5
jCOSbrew
Recipes 
 
Feb 2012
Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 619
Liked 38 Times on 34 Posts


The other option is a phase angle SSR. search for voltage resistance SSR on ebay or amazon. The end result is the same, adjust the power delivered to the heating element.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2012, 05:22 PM   #6
wilserbrewer
BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2007
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Posts: 9,690
Liked 1458 Times on 1109 Posts


Or you can use smaller elements and power at 100% without a controller. 3500 - 4500w depending on variables involved, ambient temp, 5gal or 10 gal batch, etc. 5500w would have the wort jumpin!

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
BIAB Electric Kettle with Controller BrotherGrim Brew Stands 24 07-30-2013 03:55 PM
Electric Keggle BK/HLT Controller yowbrew Electric Brewing 11 12-20-2011 01:49 PM
Electric HLT temp. controller Steven9026 Electric Brewing 5 02-04-2011 12:11 PM
Electric BK & Payne Controller enid Equipment/Sanitation 2 12-05-2009 03:32 AM
Electric Controller tdiowa Equipment/Sanitation 1 06-26-2006 02:37 AM


Forum Jump