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Old 01-02-2013, 06:31 AM   #1
deadcactus
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Nov 2010
City, Texas
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So I really like the concept behind Gabrew's Apartment Toolbox e-BIAB.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/apa...system-303247/

I don't like the whole pump next to all the electronics thing though...

So I was thinking of starting with something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/HOMAK-BK060227...ref=pd_cp_hi_2

Kettle sits on top up the whole thing with some sort of insulating mat underneath to keep heat from convecting downward.

Electronics go in the large cabinet at the top of the unit. Either a PID or maybe even play with a BCS-460.

Finally a pump and a plate chiller mounted to a wooden board and stored on the bottom of the cart.

Can even keep some brew tools and supplies in the two drawers.

Not as compact but it would still put all my brewing stuff in a few square-feet with a vertical design.

Brew day would go:
1) Fill kettle with water.
2) Mash buy having the pump circulate water (from spout to lid as in Gabrew's set-up) while a PID/BCS and electric heating element keep temperature.
3) Boil
4) Disconnect tubing from lid and attack to plate chiller. Either accept some loss of wort once the pump run's dry or move the board the pump and plate are mounted on to a more gravity friendly location in relation to the fermentor.
5) Run cleaning solution through kettle, pump, plate chiller, and all tubing to clean.

With one 2000W heating element, the pump, and a controller I'll probably be right the 20A limit I can get away with on normal residential electrical wiring. I could even wire the electronics portion up to be ready to take two 240V in anticipation of having a garage or shed designed for brewing larger batches one day.

Make sense or am I rambling? Am I missing any fundamental conceptual flaws?

The other options is to just clone Gabrew's design with a toolbox that would allow me to keep the pump away from the circuitry but I do like the growth potential of this idea with a BCS...

 
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
BadNewsBrewery
 
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Overall seems sound. Are you sure your wiring is 20A? Most 20A sockets have one vertical and one 'T' shaped inlet on the plug. 15A only has two vertical. I believe most standard house-hold sockets are 15A.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
jCOSbrew
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Feb 2012
Colorado Springs, CO
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I designed a similar compact setup. In my case the small pump mounts directly to kettle via cam locks.

If you want to expand past biab or use bcs get a large panel instead of a toolbox.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #4
deadcactus
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Nov 2010
City, Texas
Posts: 59

Thanks a bunch for the responses guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNewsBrewery View Post
Overall seems sound. Are you sure your wiring is 20A? Most 20A sockets have one vertical and one 'T' shaped inlet on the plug. 15A only has two vertical. I believe most standard house-hold sockets are 15A.
Hmmm, definitely have the regular socket with 2 vertical slits. Maybe I was confusing the breaker limit with the socket rating. After posting, I reconsidered the 2000W element and decided to go with a 1500W element both to get an ultra-low density element and to build in a little more breathing room in the amperage. I think I'll still be fine with the heating element going into one socket and the other components powered by the other socket. I'll double check the actual limits before I build of course...



Quote:
Originally Posted by jCOSbrew View Post
I designed a similar compact setup. In my case the small pump mounts directly to kettle via cam locks.

If you want to expand past biab or use bcs get a large panel instead of a toolbox.
Nice set-up. I can't make it out in the picture, is the pump free floating and only held up by the attachment to the kettle? That seems like a good way to build Gabrew's controller without having the pump inside.

I don't see going beyond BIAB in the next 5 years, by then I'd probably want to start from scratch anyway. The main change I could see is getting access to more voltage or more amperage and upgrading the heating elements. I figured I could just wire it the heating element circuitry with those specifications in mind and be all set for the most likely upgrade to my brewing process.

Playing with a BCS would be fun and using it as a fermentation controller to get smooth ramping temperature changes for lagers would be a nice benefit. Why a large panel instead of a toolbox? I can't imagine I'd be hurting for space inside that large upper compartment.

 
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:08 PM   #5
danb35
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May 2012
Hartsville, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNewsBrewery View Post
Overall seems sound. Are you sure your wiring is 20A? Most 20A sockets have one vertical and one 'T' shaped inlet on the plug. 15A only has two vertical. I believe most standard house-hold sockets are 15A.
Most recent household circuits are actually 20A with 15A outlets. Most 120V devices are <=15A, and therefore have the standard plug with two vertical blades; a device rated > 15A should really have the 20A plug on it.

If the breakers are 20A, I'd expect it'd be fine to put in a 20A outlet.

 
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
BadNewsBrewery
 
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True - if the breakers are 20A and the house was wired up correctly, I'd assuem you are OK. Easiest way to check would be to pull the outlet and look at the gauge rating on the wire. If you have 12ga wire, you're good. If it's 14ga, you're SOL.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:19 PM   #7
jCOSbrew
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Feb 2012
Colorado Springs, CO
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I use the topsflow solar pump, it is very small and lite weight. Runs off 12vdc at 15w max. Flow rate is slower than a march pump but works well for me and <$60 on eBay.

If you do an automated bcs design you will need a dc transformer, wireless router, and a relay or ssr for each element and pump. This more complicated than a basic toolbox pid design and a real enclosure might be a good option.

 
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