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Old 10-12-2013, 01:18 AM   #1
walte1fr
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Aug 2011
Royal Oak, MI
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I'm thinking of a huge winter project to bring my brewery inside which would mean switching to electric. I'm pricing out everythong trying to make sure I get the best deal. Has anyone bought heating elements off ebay? I'm finding 5500w elements for like $16 instead of 35 for one at an online ebrew store.
My plan is to build a bcs 462 panel so I can control ferm chamber, run 2 pumps, and 2 heating elements plus a mixer in my MLT.
Also I haven't decided if I want to go with a rims tube or herms. Any advice on any of this would be greatlt helpful.
If not I'll just stick with my LP and use the bcs to control valves on that, but I'm thinking I want it in my basement like the guy in novembers byo article that has it in a room behind his taps. I currently am brewing in an 8x10 shed and its tough to get 15 gallons of wort to my basement to the fermenters.
Just looking for a little discussion and advice on what parts I can get cheap and what I need to spend the money on.

 
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:24 AM   #2
hennesse
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Feb 2011
Broad Run, Virginia
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I went electric because my brewery shares my garage with my antique motorcycles, and gasoline and flames mix way too well.

The Electric Brewery has a great setup. I used all his kettles and plumbing and pumps and RTDs and everything works great. Zero complaints after 25 batches.

My control panel has the same functionality as his, and actually shares a lot of the parts with his - the big power relays and SSRs, are essentially the same (except I sourced them from Eaton/Cutler Hammer instead of from an eBay seller). My enclosure, heat sink, and much of the power wiring and connectors are mostly the same or similar.

Instead of his switches and knobs, I went with a software process control approach. Insane - it took me a year's time, and a thousand hours of programming. (I retired after 30 years in computers and electronics). It too works great - zero complaints after 25 batches.

One big plus (for me) is that during the hot summer or cold winter months, I don't have to spend the day in the garage - I can remotely monitor my process from a browser in any nice warm (or cool) room in my house.

Take a look at Broad Run Brewing. You might find a couple of good ideas there.

Dave

P.S. Electricity is cheaper than propane, and it will never run out halfway through a batch.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:48 AM   #3
walte1fr
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Aug 2011
Royal Oak, MI
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Wow thanks for the advice. Any chance you'd be willing to share how much your setup costs? Do you do rims or Hermes? I have kettles already.

 
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:59 AM   #4
alien
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Apr 2012
Philadelphia, PA
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Ventilation is the issue in basements.

 
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
walte1fr
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Aug 2011
Royal Oak, MI
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Yeah I was going to put a hood over the setup and vent it outside.

 
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:37 PM   #6
huhwha
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Oct 2010
Hilliard, OH
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I was just texting with my son about this yesterday. I had just finished brewing a batch after hauling the stuff out of the basement, brewing on the patio, then cleaning and putting it all back. I have been holding off building an indoor electric brewery as I hope to retire in about 3 years and will be moving. Once I recover from the two weddings we paid for in as many years, I may re-think the plan and build it here and then move it. The thought of having everything in one place ready to go is quite appealing!

 
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:33 PM   #7
shuckit
 
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Jul 2011
Victoria, BC
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Brewing in the basement is the best. If you want to go cheaper, building it yourself with parts off of ebay and amazon will save some money. If you're curious about how much it's going to cost, check out the BOM in my build.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:10 PM   #8
walte1fr
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Aug 2011
Royal Oak, MI
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Where is the bom? Did you guys go herms or rims? I can grt a few of the parts from some buddies that own heating and cooling businesses. I figure this will be an all winter project so I'm in no hurry I'll just piece it together.

 
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:06 PM   #9
heckels
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Jan 2011
Sioux Falls, SD
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I haven't put together a BOM by line item but have a running tally from all if my receipts.

I'm running a dual 5500w element HERMS with a BCS 460.

Between the new Stout kettles, stainless sink, pre-rinse faucet, panel (including internals), exhaust hood, ducting, plumbing, electrical, shelving and stand, TC fittings, counter flow chiller, etc I am currently around $5800.

Note: I was not able to use much, if any, of my previous all-grain setup so I was literally starting from scratch. I did get $425 out of my old stand, coolers and kettle whichever helped a very little bit.

 
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:06 AM   #10
shuckit
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walte1fr View Post
Where is the bom? Did you guys go herms or rims? I can grt a few of the parts from some buddies that own heating and cooling businesses. I figure this will be an all winter project so I'm in no hurry I'll just piece it together.
If you click on the build thread in my signature you will see the BOM.
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