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Old 09-20-2007, 02:39 AM   #1
Dec 2006
Posts: 473
Liked 20 Times on 16 Posts

I have been researching electric brewing control systems recently, as I start planning my own electric HLT and brew kettle. There is no way I can be considered anything but ignorant on the subject of electronic controls. But what I have gleaned so far is that I need this sort of set up:
- a heating element
- a relay of some sort to control power to the element
- a control device to turn the relay on and off at my chosen temperatures, or to maintain the vigor of the boil.

There are lots of options that simply baffle me out there, but today I had a bolt out of the blue, and want the opinion of those here who are more competent on the subject.

What if I use as the control device an electric stove element control to relay? Advantage is I have some from a stove I gutted, and they are simple to wire up. I am competent to do electric wiring stuff, just don't have the electronic control knowledge that some here do.

So, what do you think?

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Old 09-20-2007, 12:25 PM   #2
Oct 2005
Iowa City
Posts: 145
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

I guess I am different type of brewer. I inherited a 220 volt Bruheat setup several years ago. I really have come to love it because of its consistency while brewing. Of course being true to every homebrewer I decided to try and upgrade or modify my setup. Reading everything I could on electric brewing I decided to try to make my own. I bought a 3000 watt water heater element (low density) for boiling my water. For a controller I bought and use:

Simmerstat® Regulator or Cycling Timer
"Simmerstat" regulators provide a range of control from zero to full heat by opening and closing a snap-action switch in the circuit at short, definite time intervals, convenient for cookers and hot plates, grills, glue pots, drying ovens and similar applications.

The control knob has a scale marking in five divisions from "off" to "full".
Ratings: 15 amps-200/250VAC or 15 amps-100/125VAC.

Web Site: http://www.ogdenmfg.com/etrtherm.htm

I then bought a 32 quart Aluminum Turkey Pot with tap and mounted the element to the pot. I have encased the element and Simmestat in a Air Conditioner fuse box. Works very good and can boil the water in 30 - 35 minutes.

In addition I have a dedicated 220 volt line to my "Brew House" and I put a 25 Amp GFI Circuit breaker in the panel.

The whole setup cost me less than $100.00 dollars and several gallons of homebrew from consults with my favorite electrician. Note very important... If you try this setup make sure it is checked out by a sober master electrician....

If you have questions let me know.


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