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jkarp

jkarp

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Great! I found the other thread now, answered a lot of my questions. If I did want to do two 120V elements, do you know any of the logistics behind that? I cannot imagine running both of those element and the pump at one time on my weak 20A breakers, but then again, I'm no electrician when it comes to those type of calculations (resistors and LEDs I'm fine with). Even then, the second element would only be needed for the boil, so the pump wouldn't be running when both elements are running anyway....hmmm....
Any relatively modern kitchen is required by code to have at least two 20A circuits for small appliances. Figure out your kitchen's wiring and you're good to go.
 

HarkinBanks

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Many, many thanks. I think I might be able to make a PID after all.
 

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Obviously a misprint... 3850W to maintain a vigorous boil on a 5 gallon full boil. The BTUs were correct though at just over 13,000
Thanks The Pol, I figured it had to be, either that or there was some weird way to calculate output of two elements in the same kettle...
 

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Maybe a silly question, but do the heating elements need to be grounded, or are they grounded when you plug it into the controller?
 

The Pol

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Maybe a silly question, but do the heating elements need to be grounded, or are they grounded when you plug it into the controller?
The elements SHOULD be grounded. 120VAC elements will only have (2) posts, one for the hot and one for the neutral. SO, you have to engineer a way to ground the element.
 

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jkarp,

This is a sweet system you got here. Is the controller wired about how you'd expect? I haven't wired up such a controller, are the green and brown wires on the bottom providing power to the controller? And then the other green/brown is connected to the SSR, yea?

Seems pretty straightforward. I like the switch+outlet combos. Are they also GFCI, or do you rely on your home circuit for that?
 

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JK, any advice on how you grounded your heating element?

I finally sorted through the BOM for the Pump/CFC and you may be missing a 3/8 nipple for the 3/8 valve wort out to kettle connection if I put my diagram together right. I could be wrong though...
 

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I love the compact CFC/Pump bucket. Really cleans up the rig and protects everything when you toss it in a closet
 
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jkarp

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This is a sweet system you got here. Is the controller wired about how you'd expect? I haven't wired up such a controller, are the green and brown wires on the bottom providing power to the controller? And then the other green/brown is connected to the SSR, yea?

Seems pretty straightforward. I like the switch+outlet combos. Are they also GFCI, or do you rely on your home circuit for that?
Exactly right on the green / brown wires. They're just some old automotive speaker wire I pulled from the scrap bin. The PID and SSR control only carry a few mA of current so heavy gauge wire isn't necessary.

Really good Q on the GFCI. As I always brew in the kitchen, all outlets are already protected. If I were planning on brewing elsewhere, I'd have definitely used GFCI outlets in the controller.
 
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jkarp

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JK, any advice on how you grounded your heating element?

I finally sorted through the BOM for the Pump/CFC and you may be missing a 3/8 nipple for the 3/8 valve wort out to kettle connection if I put my diagram together right. I could be wrong though...
I ran the ground wire back out the rear of the PVC cap before sealing it up with epoxy and then wedged the wire between the element and its rubber sealing gasket. Kludgy, but it works and hasn't come loose yet.

Sorry I forgot about your PM. Yeah, it looks like I put 2 male 3/8 barb in the BOM instead of one female (inside) and one male (on the 3/8 ball valve output). I'll fix that.
 

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Any chance of a detailed diagram of the junction box for the electronically challenged? How do you ground all the circuits in there?
 

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Ditto on the request for a wiring diagram, or a quick narrative. I have just about all of the components and am about to wire it up!
 
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jkarp

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Uber-ghetto wiring diagram:

(sorry, lost this pic)

In a nutshell, simply wire the green (ground) and white (neutral) wires to each outlet as the instructions state. Every AC outlet I've ever used is color-coded with green, black, and white (or un-colored) screws, so it really is easy.

Wiring the hot (black) wire will vary depending on the AC switches you use. Again, read the directions. For mine, a single-pole switch was integrated in with the outlet and the instructions said to break off a little metal tab on the side and use a short piece of wire to jumper the switch "out" to the black outlet screw. This makes the switch open/close the hot side of the circuit to the outlet.

For the kettle switch, I wired it the same except for passing this jumper through the SSR. So, the black switch "out" goes to one AC side of the SSR, and the other SSR terminal connects back to the black screw on the outlet. This way, the switch has ultimate authority on passing current to the kettle. If the switch is ON, then the SSR / PID decides on the flow of current.

Power for the PID is AC so polarity doesn't matter. Just piggyback onto any switch/outlet screws that have a direct path back to the AC appliance cord. Heavy gauge wire is not necessary here. Even though the wires carry 120V, the PID only uses a few milliamperes of current.

The SSR control connections are DC so polarity DOES matter. Just follow the directions that came with your PID. Again, heavy gauge wire is not needed.

The thermocouple connections also have polarity. If you got your TC from Auber, most likely, the red lead is POSITIVE.
 

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I really like this setup as it is the perfect size. However, I would like to upscale this to do at least 5 gallon batches. My lack of electric know-how is an obvious handicap here.

What changes would need to be made to the control panel parts for a 240v power source?

I think i'll use a 5500W RIPP heating element.
 
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jkarp

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What changes would need to be made to the control panel parts for a 240v power source?

I think i'll use a 5500W RIPP heating element.
Well, remember the pump is still 120V. If you ran a 4-wire dryer cord, you could drive the pump off one hot and neutral (120V) and the kettle side off both hots (240V). As long as the SSR, switches and outlets are all rated for 240V 30A you'd be fine. Note you'll still want GFCI in there somewhere for safety sake; back at the circuit breaker, ideally.

Definitely have a talk with Pol. He's much more versed in 240V brewing than I am.
 

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Would this be an easy way to scale the design up to 5 gal batches?

Two 120v elements
One SSR, for each element (drawing power from 2 seperate household circuts)
One PID controlling both SSR's

From what I understand a PID like yours puts out enough current to control two SSR's, however would the PID still function correctly. I'm assuming since there's no feedback to the PID other than the thermocouple it would just think its controlling one element?

Edit: I'm trying to avoid a 240v outlet for portability
 
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jkarp

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Would this be an easy way to scale the design up to 5 gal batches?

Two 120v elements
One SSR, for each element (drawing power from 2 seperate household circuts)
One PID controlling both SSR's

From what I understand a PID like yours puts out enough current to control two SSR's, however would the PID still function correctly. I'm assuming since there's no feedback to the PID other than the thermocouple it would just think its controlling one element?

Edit: I'm trying to avoid a 240v outlet for portability
Should work just fine. The SYL-2362 PID can source 40mA on the SSR output pins and the 40A SSRs only sink 12mA each.
 

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I am building this system with two 120v 2000kw elements right now. I plan to only use the second heating element (not connected to the PID) to get up to a rolling boil and then unplug it. From my research, the other 120v 2000kw (which is hooked up to the PID) will keep a good boil going for about a 6.5 gal boil. You really only need the one 120v 2000kw element (connected to the PID) during the mash and recirculation. I don't have 240v service anywhere in my house, so I didn't have a choice and I think this is the easiest way to put this system together.
 

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2 pot system, eh? I like it! It's got me thinking. If you were worried about efficency just toss an extra gallon in the mix and boil a bit longer. *Shrug* What kind of efficency could I expect to get from just running my boil kettle and mash tun in a similar fashion. Can you count on 70% efficency if you mash with your full boil volume? What about bigger beers? Can you still get 70% efficency on a 8% beer? This just seems like a hell of alot less thinking to me. Looks like there are 3 schools of thought on sparge. Fly, batch and just mash with full boil volume. One less tun, one less pump and no sparging. Just drain to the boil kettle. Seems a bit win/win to me! :tank:
 
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jkarp

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I've NEVER dropped below 70%, and grist seems to have a bigger impact than gravity. I got mid seventies on the last barleywine I did, but 72% on my last wheat. I'm actually doing a raspberry wheat this weekend so it'll be interesting to see how it does.
 

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I am building this system with two 120v 2000kw elements right now. I plan to only use the second heating element (not connected to the PID) to get up to a rolling boil and then unplug it. From my research, the other 120v 2000kw (which is hooked up to the PID) will keep a good boil going for about a 6.5 gal boil. You really only need the one 120v 2000kw element (connected to the PID) during the mash and recirculation. I don't have 240v service anywhere in my house, so I didn't have a choice and I think this is the easiest way to put this system together.

You just plug the "extra" heating element into the wall? No need to run it through the controller?
 

HarkinBanks

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You just plug the "extra" heating element into the wall? No need to run it through the controller?
Yes, the only time you need it is to get to a full boil, so you don't need to control it through the PID. It isn't needed during the strike, mash and recirculation. Depending on your house wiring, you may need to plug it into a different circuit. Make sure everything is GFCI. I used GFCI switches in the control box and will plug into GFCI outlets.
 

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[*]Does the high watt density element scorch the beer? - No! I've done everything from pils to barleywine on this system and have never seen or tasted a hint of scorching.
This really intrigues me because I built a boil kettle out of a sanke and a high density 3800W 240V element and it scorched the **** out of my beer. A very distinct offensive smokiness was the result. I still have it and use it as a HLT, but I have never considered boiling boiling wort in it again because of how bad it scorched.
I wonder if 1500W high density element is a low enough watt density that it doesn't scorch or what. Maybe a 2000W HD element will? Something people need to consider because I guarantee a 3800W HD element will.
 
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Well, a 7" 2000W HD element has about 170 watts per square inch, and a 11" 3800W HD has about 210. Doesn't seem like a huge difference to me. I wonder if something else contributed to the smokey flavor...

Just ran rough numbers on a propane burner and it's worth noting that even a small 55,000 BTU one is putting nearly 100 watts per square inch into the bottom of the kettle.
 

The Pol

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Well, a 7" 2000W HD element has about 170 watts per square inch, and a 11" 3800W HD has about 210. Doesn't seem like a huge difference to me. I wonder if something else contributed to the smokey flavor...

Just ran rough numbers on a propane burner and it's worth noting that even a small 55,000 BTU one is putting nearly 100 watts per square inch into the bottom of the kettle.
Of that 55000 BTUs tough, how much is being lost? Is this based on the assumption that 100% of the heat is being applied?
 
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jkarp

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Of that 55000 BTUs tough, how much is being lost? Is this based on the assumption that 100% of the heat is being applied?
No, I calculated at 60% efficiency into an 11" dia pot. Works out to right at 100 watts per sq inch.
 

z987k

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Well, a 7" 2000W HD element has about 170 watts per square inch, and a 11" 3800W HD has about 210. Doesn't seem like a huge difference to me. I wonder if something else contributed to the smokey flavor...

Just ran rough numbers on a propane burner and it's worth noting that even a small 55,000 BTU one is putting nearly 100 watts per square inch into the bottom of the kettle.
Well I did consider that and did do another 3 gal test batch but again it was smoky. The only difference in technique ever being was the sanke+element for a boil kettle.

You almost got me wanting to do it again, but I hate wasting 4 hours for worthless wort. Maybe I'll boil some sugar at 1.040 for an hour.
 
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That's really weird. Now I wonder if there really is a relatively narrow watt-density demarcation for caramelization in wort. I positively can't stand smokey beers so I'd definitely notice even a trace in my beers.
 

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I really want to figure this out. I am looking at parts online and I see 4500W low density elements that are 11.75" and that's 382W/in. Where the 2000W elements are 10 11/16" and 187W/in. Then the 6000W element(which i would like to use) which is nickel based instead of zinc, and 22 5/8" so 264W/in.

Based on my previous experience of an apparent threshold somewhere below 210W/in it looks like the 6000W LD element may still scorch the wort. However I don't think this is really true, because I have seen these used and they don't. I think there must have been something else going on in those beers. Still related to the different method and equipment used but not directly related to the high watt density element.
Correlation != causation right.
 

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I really want to figure this out. I am looking at parts online and I see 4500W low density elements that are 11.75" and that's 382W/in. Where the 2000W elements are 10 11/16" and 187W/in. Then the 6000W element(which i would like to use) which is nickel based instead of zinc, and 22 5/8" so 264W/in.

Based on my previous experience of an apparent threshold somewhere below 210W/in it looks like the 6000W LD element may still scorch the wort. However I don't think this is really true, because I have seen these used and they don't. I think there must have been something else going on in those beers. Still related to the different method and equipment used but not directly related to the high watt density element.
Correlation != causation right.
Just trying to help you out here, and not knocking you, but I believe your calculations are rather elementary, and do not take into account the thickness of the elements and are giving you numbers that are not reflective of the true watt density/sq inch. Again, not knocking you.

When looking at water heater elements there are three basic varieties: high density (HD), Low Denisty (LD), and Ultra Low Density (ULD). High Density elements are 150 w/in2 and ULD are 50 w/in2. I cannot recall right now the breakdown of a plain LD element.

Nevertheless, if you want to use a 6000w element, as long as it is ULD you will be fine. The high wattage elements people are using are all ULD.

The most common I have seen is the 5500w ripp element. The cheapest place seems to be here: Camco 2963 5500W 240V Ripp Element - Plumbing & Heating - Plumbing Appliances & Accessories - Water Heater Repair

Good luck.
 

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Just trying to help you out here, and not knocking you, but I believe your calculations are rather elementary, and do not take into account the thickness of the elements and are giving you numbers that are not reflective of the true watt density/sq inch. Again, not knocking you.
Yes, I know the calculations are very elementary. No where do any of these say what their actual surface area is so I had no way of calculating the actual W/sq in. Using the linear inches still establishes a reference point.
 

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I I see 4500W low density elements that are 11.75" and that's 382W/in.
Not really. Most low density elements loop back on them selves, so multiply the length by 4 (look at the pictures of one). Not exact, but a decent enough approximation:

4500w / (11.75 * 4) = 95W/in
 

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For what it's worth, I just tested my new e-kettle with two 120V/2000W HD elements tonight (same as JK's element). I did a 5 gal sugar water boil. I hit a full boil at 29 minutes, turned off one of the elements and maintained a decent boil for 60 minutes with one element. I had exactly 10% boil off at the end and absolutely no scorching. I cooled a sample and it looked clear, smelled fine, and tasted like, well, sugar water. This certainly backs up JK's experience with his 2000W HD element.
 

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Yes, I know the calculations are very elementary. No where do any of these say what their actual surface area is so I had no way of calculating the actual W/sq in. Using the linear inches still establishes a reference point.
Not all sites list the wattatage, but I have seen several. The site I linked to actually does list the wattage per square inch on their HD and ULD elements. So 150 in2 and 50 in2 is accurate for a HD and ULD respectively.

Good luck!

:mug:
 

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I'm surprised that your pump has not had any windings cooling problems in that bucket, it needs some ventilation with fresh air as it is making heat in that bucket. The system overall is simple and clean, I would only use ULD elements for that 50 watts sq/in.
 
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jkarp

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I'm surprised that your pump has not had any windings cooling problems in that bucket, it needs some ventilation with fresh air as it is making heat in that bucket. The system overall is simple and clean, I would only use ULD elements for that 50 watts sq/in.
There are ventilation holes in the top and bottom sides of the bucket if you look closely.

ULD would be great but nobody makes 120V 2KW ULD elements. I've had no issues at all with the HD element, fortunately.
 

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Watts/(length*diameter*pi) would give you a better Watts per square inch.

You could install two 4500W ULD elements in parallel, that would give you 2kW 4xULWD.
 

Saccharomyces

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I love the elegance of this system. Farking awesome. I'm definitely gonna have to try a setup like this with my system.

Nice thing about this system is assuming your conversion efficiency is near 100%, you can calculate your efficiency a-priori as the wort loss in your system + grain absorption; like you said it's really independent of gravity, since the only variable is the absorption % of the grist.

Assuming 95% conversion efficiency, 1qt of loss in the lines and pump, and .12 gal/lb absorption a typical 5 gallon batch with 10# of grain would yield 73% efficiency into the fermenter. That seems to match up with your numbers.
 

bakins

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Assuming 95% conversion efficiency, 1qt of loss in the lines and pump, and .12 gal/lb absorption a typical 5 gallon batch with 10# of grain would yield 73% efficiency into the fermenter. That seems to match up with your numbers.
95%+ conversion efficiency is pretty easy to get.

I've been arguing with myself I if I want to do something like this or just go all brew-in-a-bag. BIAB has the plus of less equipment, less grain absorption, and no losses, but you have to worry with a large hot bag and have a really big boil kettle. I already have pumps, etc...

I like this system alot, though. I've always liked using gravity to drain a MLT.
 
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