Help needed! Electric kettle build ~~I am a newbie to electric brewing~~

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

StellaMaris

New Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Hi, Y'all
I am new to electric brewing, as I have just made the jump from using burners. That being said, I am a bit confused and need help understanding the process of creating a system( I need some sort of schematic) and also need help clarifying some processes. If you have time and can point me in the right direction I would appreciate any help you can give me!
So, to start, I want to list the equipment that I recently purchased from a fellow in my town...it was an extraordinary deal, actually!
-Digiboil 35L kettle
-Brewer's Edge Mash and Boil 35L
-Counter Flow chiller (needs quick detach ports welded on)
-Blichmann 7 gallon fermentor
-A bunch of tubbing with some small accessories that are not worth noting

I know I need to purchase a pump, maybe two.
I am open to purchasing more equipment, too, if needed/recommended.
I plan on purchasing/DIY a glycol chiller in the future, but that's a different conversation.

Here are a few questions.
How many pumps do I need? which ones?
How the heck do I set this up?! If possible is there a schematic you can recommend?
What will brew day procedures look like?
I know the basics, but I want to ensure I am not missing anything.​
Is it possible to have a closed system? I would prefer that for obvious reasons.
Would it be easier to purchase a new kettle to separate the boil kettle and mash tun? What would you recommend?
Where are the pumps placed and what are their functions intended for? I am a bit confused about recirculatting.
Any other equipment would you suggest?

Guys, I know this post has a ton of questions but I am seeking help and wisdom from those who are experienced. I really desire to learn from all of you so I, too, can brew some darn good beer!
Thank you for any help you provide!
 

Sammy86

Still thirsty
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
3,151
Reaction score
2,066
Digiboil 35L kettle
-Brewer's Edge Mash and Boil 35L
-Counter Flow chiller (needs quick detach ports welded on)
-Blichmann 7 gallon fermentor
-A bunch of tubbing with some small accessories that are not worth noting

This is really all you need, a pump is nice but not necessary. You can literally mash your grains in either using a brew in a bag bag then pull the bag and boil/add hops.

I'm not sure what you need a schematic for...both machines are designed to be all in one machines...meaning you mash and boil in one.
 
OP
OP
S

StellaMaris

New Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Not sure if I'm supposed to refer you to a different site, but theelectricbrewery.com has a great 'brew day step by step' overview complete with diagrams of what gets pumped where in the process.

This is the best website for my needs! Wow, I am honestly blown away by this!
This page, in particular, has helped clarify so much. I recommend that anyone who has similar questions go through the entire page. I was a bit confused at first when I read it but then got the gist after sticking with it.
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
13,071
Reaction score
9,748
Location
Renton
This is really all you need, a pump is nice but not necessary. You can literally mash your grains in either using a brew in a bag bag then pull the bag and boil/add hops.

I'm not sure what you need a schematic for...both machines are designed to be all in one machines...meaning you mash and boil in one.
As Sammy said, you have two all-in-one brew systems with built in controllers. If you want a brew system that works differently, that's fine, but you need to figure out what that system is - 3 vessel, 2 vessel [BK doubles as HLT], or something else, in order for us to make recommendations for additional equipment.

I have created many electric brewing control panel schematics, from single vessel to 3 vessel, and posted them here on HBT. I can also make custom modifications, but you have to define what you want the control panel to do.

Brew on :mug:
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
13,071
Reaction score
9,748
Location
Renton
This is the best website for my needs! Wow, I am honestly blown away by this!
This page, in particular, has helped clarify so much. I recommend that anyone who has similar questions go through the entire page. I was a bit confused at first when I read it but then got the gist after sticking with it.
This site describes brewing on a three vessel HERMS (Heat Exchanger Recirculated Mash System) which is about the most complex homebrew system in common use. There are simpler ways to brew that require less equipment, such as BIAB (Brew in a Bag [or Basket]), and a number of variations in complexity and equipment requirements between the two. You can find an overview of BIAB here. Both systems can make excellent beer, and there is no definitive proof that one makes better beer than the other (although there any many, many opinions.) Which system is right for you depends on your personal desires (and budget.)

Your current kettles are designed for doing BIAB, and you can do that without adding more equipment. If you want to go three vessel, you could use one of your kettles for the boil, and add a HERMS coil to the other to be the HLT. You would also have to add a vessel to use as a mash tun.

The drawback to the kettles you have is they are limited to 120V power input which means the heat input is limited to 1650W or 2200W, depending on whether it is designed for a 15A or 20A house circuit. Heating times for strike water and heat up to boil are pretty slow on these systems.

You can get faster heating by adding heating elements to the kettles (although these kettles may be too narrow for the highest power heating elements available - 5500W.) You need at least a 30A 240V circuit to power a 5500W element. If you want to power two 5500W elements at the same time you will need at least a 50A 240V circuit. 50A circuits require more copper in the wire than 30A circuits, so are significantly more expensive. Control panels for three vessel electric systems are 4X - 5X more expensive than panels for single vessel systems (the price increase is non-linear because of additional switches, wires, circuit breakers, etc. required in the more complex systems.)

Brew on :mug:
 
Top