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Old 09-26-2013, 04:40 PM   #1
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Default 10 gallon keggle system with PID controlled heat stick?

I am thinking about building an electric brew keggle and would like to know if the following is feasible.

Boil volume will be about 13 gallons (or less)
Use the keggle for both mash water and boil

Install a 240V, 30a dryer plug with a GFCI.
Plug in a PID / relay system to control heat element
If I read the specifications right I can use a 5500W element with 240V and 30a
Hang a heat stick and heating element into the keggle with a chain

I would like the PID to do the following:
Full heat for fast rise in temperature
Thermostat control to keep water at strike temperature
Full heat until 208F then reduced heat to minimize boilover but still bring to boil
Adjustable boil power level
Timed boil after reaching boil temp
Automatic shutdown after target boil time
Notifications of which stage the process is in, either lights, sound or perhaps email?

What kind of PID will do this type of control?
Is this type of system feasible/advisable?

This system would allow the brewer to set the process and wait until given notice that the step is complete. Do other electric brewers "set and forget" certain steps without watching the process?

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Old 09-26-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
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I've been thinking of doing something similar. I know the bcs-460 can do this stuff, it might not email you, but you could check status by webpage or app. I think the standard version has 4 inputs and 4 outputs. So if your ferm chamber is close by it can control that as well.

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Old 09-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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Your first three requirements are standard PID controller behavior, assuming that you've set the control parameters up right. A well set up PID controller will apply full heat until the temperature gets close to the set point and then ramp down to minimize overshoot and then maintain that temperature. The adjustable boil power level is a little tricky, as it's not strictly a function of temperature, which is the only input the PID has, but something might be possible using the alarm function to switch to a separate pot that controls the boil power level. The rest are more in the realm of process control rather than PID control.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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A PID like the Auber 2352 has a manual mode that allows you to control the power (actually the time slices where power is on) from 0 to 100%. If you don't care about having an analog dial (personally, I don't), that would do it.
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