EBIAB planning build vs buy controller.

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Rook85

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Installed a 30amp GFCI breaker and outlet in my garage to enable electric brewing. Have been using a Bayou classic 11gallon pot for the past 9 years and brewing on propane with a mesh bag in the punched basket.
Goal is to continue with a single vessel system. Thinking about stepping up to a 15gallon kettle to allow extra space or potential lower gravity 10gallon brews.
Unsure if a 4500 or 5500w ripple element with with a triclamp adapter or a blichman 15gallon Boilcoil is a better heat source.
I have a 13.75 by 13.5 inch mesh basket i can use or will consider a wilser bag and a false bottom.
My biggest question is buying vs building a basic BIAB controller.
Looking at options
Auber Cube 2E
Adv: EZBoil PID, Simple layout, price ($430 assembled or $340 for DIY)
Cons: No element lockout or E stop. Concerned about not being able to lockout and turn off element while tracking temp.
EBrewSupply 30a BIAB panel
Adv: Nice panel layout and appearance, Has element lockout and EStop, $375 DIY kit
Cons: No fusing I can see, Not and EZBoil PID looks nice but involves more button pushing
High Gravity EBC-130
ADV: Simple design, EZBoil PID, element lockout, good customer service
Cons: Cost $495, No Estop, unsure of fusing
Hack it yourself: Can buy a pre punched panel, switches and EZBoil PID
Adv: get it how you want.
Cons: potential cost and complexity

Whats the best route to build the controller and kettle interface.
Will plan on recirculating with a pump through a bag or basket and likely whirlpooling while chilling with an immersion chiller.
 

processhead

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Build or buy? Either option is achievable, but honestly ask yourself a few questions:

What is your experience, comfort, and skill level with constructing a fairly advanced piece of electrical equipment? Do you have a work area to build one and a sizable assortment of hand and power tools or able to access them? If you are inexperienced with electrical panel construction, are you willing and able to deal with the associated learning curve required to build a safe, functional panel?
How much free time do you have to devote to a DIY project of this scale.

I don't mean to scare you or anyone else off from building your own gear. For many of us it is a very gratifying and educational experience.

Still, some folks will find they are much better off purchasing a system that has already been put together by someone else.

Remember, you are dealing with potentially hazards levels of electrical and thermal energy, and there are associated hazards that you need to be aware of and willing to respect the risks involved.
 

doug293cz

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WRT Boil-Coil vs. Ripple w/tri-clamp: The Boil-Coil cannot be removed easily for cleaning, and is a proprietary design. Tri-clamp elements pop out for cleaning, and are available from multiple suppliers.

An E-stop may not be as essential as you think. A well designed panel will have a main power switch which will disconnect all voltage/current from all pumps and elements, just as the E-stop will, and they will be very close together, so one is as easy to reach as the other. E-stops are most valuable when located remotely from the control panel, when you might need to shut everything down but can't reach the panel. Adding an E-stop won't hurt anything though.

Brew on :mug:
 
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Rook85

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Thanks for the insight. I'm encouraged with all the wiring diagrams and information shared freely on HBT.

I think your point about the E-stop is correct as long as i have a breaker or switch for main power easily accessible the function needs are met.

I like the design and layout of the EBrewsupply BIAB DIY kit only issues would be the button based PID vs a quick select rotary know as on the EZBoil. The price seems reasonable for a precut panel with almost all the necessary parts. I suppose if I was unhappy with the branded PID i could swap in an Auber DSPR120 without much trouble.

The Auber Cube seems like a really slick minimal setup without tying up extra space. The DIY Kit or a complete unit from Bobby @ Brewhardware seems like a reasonable deal. My only hangup with the Cube is the lack of an element interlock. I'd prefer to be able to lockout power to the element when setting up initially or when whirlooling or cooling. I'm worried about powering on the unit as a whole and accidentally dry firing the element. It appears that the base EZBoil PID when powered up with a temp probe attached goes directly into the previous set mash temp mode. Is that correct. It seems like an element lockout would be almost necessary.
 

doug293cz

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Thanks for the insight. I'm encouraged with all the wiring diagrams and information shared freely on HBT.

I think your point about the E-stop is correct as long as i have a breaker or switch for main power easily accessible the function needs are met.

I like the design and layout of the EBrewsupply BIAB DIY kit only issues would be the button based PID vs a quick select rotary know as on the EZBoil. The price seems reasonable for a precut panel with almost all the necessary parts. I suppose if I was unhappy with the branded PID i could swap in an Auber DSPR120 without much trouble.

The Auber Cube seems like a really slick minimal setup without tying up extra space. The DIY Kit or a complete unit from Bobby @ Brewhardware seems like a reasonable deal. My only hangup with the Cube is the lack of an element interlock. I'd prefer to be able to lockout power to the element when setting up initially or when whirlooling or cooling. I'm worried about powering on the unit as a whole and accidentally dry firing the element. It appears that the base EZBoil PID when powered up with a temp probe attached goes directly into the previous set mash temp mode. Is that correct. It seems like an element lockout would be almost necessary.
You are correct about the EZBoil startup behavior (unless they have changed the functionality since I read the manual.)

Brew on :mug:
 

JONNYROTTEN

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BIAB control panel is real simple. Its one pot so it needs one PID
A few things your never going to need a temp alarm unless you like gadgets. I have an estop on my panel that will never get used. When the **** hits the fan I'll be freakin out way to much to remember to hit an Estop...Plus everything is on a GFI breaker. I've never had an issue but I would think the breaker would trip long before running for the EStop. I guess its a good piece of mind

Killing power to the element is as simple as wiring a light switch from Home Depot into the system....its pretty much the most used thing on my panel and a necessity

kill the power to the element during mash
Kill the power to the ement during the chill...all with a flip of a switch. Real easy

The actual panel will cost you about $75 if you DIY.

Its only a PID
SSR
heatsink and some odds and ends

A couple hours on the bench and youll be done
 

processhead

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I have an estop on my panel that will never get used. When the **** hits the fan I'll be freakin out way to much to remember to hit an Estop...Plus everything is on a GFI breaker. I've never had an issue but I would think the breaker would trip long before running for the EStop. I guess its a good piece of mind

Killing power to the element is as simple as wiring a light switch from Home Depot into the system....its pretty much the most used thing on my panel and a necessity

kill the power to the element during mash
Kill the power to the ement during the chill...all with a flip of a switch. Real easy

The actual panel will cost you about $75 if you DIY.

Its only a PID
SSR
heatsink and some odds and ends

A couple hours on the bench and youll be done

Whether anyone needs an E-stop or not in their panel is debatable. What a good safe and functional panel needs is a master power switch that shuts everything off in a safe condition.

No one should ever think a GFCI in your system is a substitute for a control switch that shuts down the panel in a safe condition. A GFCI is device that helps protect you when there is a very specific type of problem with your brew system.

Build a panel for $75? I'd like to know where the rest of the free parts are coming from!:D
 
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JONNYROTTEN

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Whether anyone needs an E-stop or not in their panel is debatable. What a good safe and functional panel needs is a master power switch that shuts everything off in a safe condition.

No one should ever think a GFCI in your system is a substitute for control switch that shuts down the panel in a safe condition. A GFCI is device that helps protect you when there is a very specific type of problem with your brew system.

Build a panel for $75? I'd like to know where the rest of the free parts are coming from!:D
I didnt price everything out before posting but...

$35 mypin TD4
$15 large reclaimed heatsink Ebay
$15 quality SSR Ebay
Home depot light switch,,,cant be much
A bus bar, some wire....thats about it.

That doesnt include a temp probe but not sure if thats considered part of a panel...seems like it wouldnt be.....either way it cane be done and done right for right around the $75 I mentioned....maybe a little more but it would be splitting hairs at that point..

Unless I'm missing something....trying to visualize my panel without going to look at it
 

jetfixr

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I built the DIY ebiab setup from e-brew supply. It was a fairly easy and enjoyable build. Although I really think it would be hard to go wrong with the Auber cube. It is a nice compact simple setup. In fact, I may pop and e-z boil pid into my panel.
 

ginger_beer

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I just got finished building one from e-brew myself and for the most part it was pretty simple. There were some things that I had to ask questions about. I did buy an Ezboil DSPR320 PID to replace the one that came with it, highland brewer helped me with wiring. The other issue I ran into was the cable from the temp probe to the control box was cross wired. Ryan at e-brew is easy to work with and seems to be a good dude. I just converted my existing pot to electric so I was able to save money on that.
 

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PsychoBiter

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I just bought the Cube 2S DIY kit from Auber. The one that comes with the EZ boil that can do step mashing. It has 2 "pump" switches. If you don't have 2 pumps, you can wire the second switch to interrupt the element on/off signal from the PID to have element lockout. That is what I am going to do since I only have 1 pump.

It is the only one that has the EZ boil with the step mash function standard that I know of. I think you can get it on the EBC-130 as an adder, but I wanted a DIY to save money.
 
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Rook85

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I just bought the Cube 2S DIY kit from Auber. The one that comes with the EZ boil that can do step mashing. It has 2 "pump" switches. If you don't have 2 pumps, you can wire the second switch to interrupt the element on/off signal from the PID to have element lockout. That is what I am going to do since I only have 1 pump.

It is the only one that has the EZ boil with the step mash function standard that I know of. I think you can get it on the EBC-130 as an adder, but I wanted a DIY to save money.
I thought about doing something similar but I don't think just switching the PID output is a proper way to achieve element lockout. SSRs can fail and when that happens it's usually in the on position. A upstream switch on the PID won't prevent that. Best way is a 30a 2 pole switch or using that switch with a contractor to definitively remove power from the element but I don't think you can squeeze a contractor in with the limited space in the cube.

Thanks for all the replies in the thread. Still looking at the ebrewsupply diy kit or building a panel probably close to beardedbrews with an auber dspr120 and use Doug's safe start interlock plan.
 

PsychoBiter

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I thought about doing something similar but I don't think just switching the PID output is a proper way to achieve element lockout. SSRs can fail and when that happens it's usually in the on position. A upstream switch on the PID won't prevent that. Best way is a 30a 2 pole switch or using that switch with a contractor to definitively remove power from the element but I don't think you can squeeze a contractor in with the limited space in the cube.

Thanks for all the replies in the thread. Still looking at the ebrewsupply diy kit or building a panel probably close to beardedbrews with an auber dspr120 and use Doug's safe start interlock plan.
Very true, I wasn't doing it in case of SSR failure, but just to turn off the element in case of a stuck mash. So technically lockout isn't what I am doing...and for all I know I am doing it wrong.....If the SSR fails, I hope I would notice the temp going up...set point alarms?...smell smoke? (I don't have it yet and have never messed with a EZ boil, much less a failed SSR) and I would just unplug the whole unit. At that point electric brew day is over and I'm not worried about the EZboil losing it's place.
 

k-os

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Did you have to buy the wiring guides or did it come with one? Was looking at it and it seems like you have to buy it separately.
If you buy the DIY kit it comes with the guide. You can also download the PDF for free from their website even if you didn't purchase the kit.
 

augiedoggy

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I always use a mechanical relay upstream of the ssr myself... I usually use a selector switch that only allows one of my 2 main elements to be on at a time since I use a 30a feed...
 

PsychoBiter

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Very true, I wasn't doing it in case of SSR failure, but just to turn off the element in case of a stuck mash. So technically lockout isn't what I am doing...and for all I know I am doing it wrong.....If the SSR fails, I hope I would notice the temp going up...set point alarms?...smell smoke? (I don't have it yet and have never messed with a EZ boil, much less a failed SSR) and I would just unplug the whole unit. At that point electric brew day is over and I'm not worried about the EZboil losing it's place.
Just an update......The EZboil that came with my Auber kit has a pause/stop button that will pause the whole timer process as well kill the input signal to the SSR in case of a stuck mash. The Auber kit is small and doesn't use a contractor to kill power. The circuit breaker mounts through the door to kill power to the whole panel in case anything goes haywire.
 

ginger_beer

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Did you have to buy the wiring guides or did it come with one? Was looking at it and it seems like you have to buy it separately.
I apologize for the late reply, but I bought one. To be honest there is some contradicting stuff between the book you buy and whats on their website. So what i would say is not to buy the book just use the instructions online.
 

augiedoggy

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I apologize for the late reply, but I bought one. To be honest there is some contradicting stuff between the book you buy and whats on their website. So what i would say is not to buy the book just use the instructions online.
theres a recent thread about the wiring directions that come with the kit being wrong and someone doing some serious damage to their panel with them so I would make sure you address it with the company when you buy the kit.
 

TheMadKing

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theres a recent thread about the wiring directions that come with the kit being wrong and someone doing some serious damage to their panel with them so I would make sure you address it with the company when you buy the kit.
Yeah that was me, but that was a BrewBuddy HERMS panel.

I would advise that you double check their wiring diagrams with someone knowledgeable about wiring.

I had to rewire my entire panel after their drawing had me short neutral to hot through the interlock circuit. It fried my entire neutral line and two contactors.
 

matt_m

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I just bought the Electric Brewing Supply panel. Short of maybe having the EZ Boil in place of the PID it came with I couldn't be happier. I could switch it out but a little longer term its likely I'm going to move to an even more automated controller anyway.
 

ginger_beer

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I just bought the Electric Brewing Supply panel. Short of maybe having the EZ Boil in place of the PID it came with I couldn't be happier. I could switch it out but a little longer term its likely I'm going to move to an even more automated controller anyway.
I replaced the PID that came with my control panel E Brewing supply, I like it much better.
 

augiedoggy

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I replaced my pid with an ezboil and then replaced the while lot with Brucontrol and wish I would have just started with that and saved a lot of hardware changes and reconfigurations..
 
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