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JerryMc

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I'm building a system mostly copied from John "Jrcrilly" Crilly articles and posts. I can't tell you how many times I've poured over his posts and pictures enlarging them to capture fine detail. I have natural gas so I'm using it instead of electric because it should be more efficient and cheaper to operate. I have two Blichmann burners one original I found used and one hellfire. I've decided on 3 Mypin TA4-RNR pids, one is still in shipping along with a lot of other stuff. One for hot liquor tank with herms or boil kettle (haven't made a firm decision on that yet) one with herms recirc and one with boil kettle. Also I ordered a MYPIN HH4-4RN Digital Timer without understanding if it will help at all. My mashtun is a 10 gallon igloo cooler with Blichmann AutoSparge. So two stainless kettles one with a herms coil and a cooler. I got 2 stainless pumps coming as well. I ordered a Regency 18" x 60" two shelf chrome utility cart with casters from webstaurantstore.com to mount it all on. I will be brewing on my patio connecting my natural gas with QD under my outdoor kitchen.

I'm thinking to use my boil kettle to pump water into the mashtun for mash in then use the herms coil already preheated in the HLT for recirc sparge and to keep the temp constant.. Then up the temp on the boil kettle to boil the wort. I also have a Jaded Hydra to chill the wort.
Looking to automate as much as possible so I'll have less to worry over. Any suggestions welcome.
P.S. If any of this doesn't make sense blame it on the whiskey!
 

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JerryMc

JerryMc

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@Sammy86

Natural gas is more efficient because it doesn't have to wait to heat up. It's hot immediately. Also where I live it's much cheaper than electricity due to the city overcharging for power. They buy it at wholesale from Duke Energy and resale it to the public at a hefty profit.

Copied and Pasted from ycnga.com

Energy Savings with Natural Gas
The following table illustrates the comparative savings when using natural gas for space heating, water heating, cooking and clothes drying instead of other energy sources. The figures below are calculated based on a home having an annual use of 50 million BTU’s of energy. A BTU is a common denominator used to compare various energy sources. Results may vary depending on your actual rate, the efficiency of the equipment used and other factors.


ENERGY SOURCE
Natural Gas
Electricity
Propane
Fuel Oil

ENERGY COST
$500.00
$1,758.00
$1,258.00
$810.00

ANNUAL SAVINGS
N/A
$1,258.00
$758.00
$310.00

Natural Gas
Monthly Rate

Base charge
$8.50
Energy charge per therm $0.9390

Electricity
Monthly Rate

Customer charge: $9.97/month.
Energy charge: 12.141 cents per kwh.

I have a gas outdoor kitchen with grill and dual side burner clothes dryer, range, 50 gallon water heater, gas pack central air system and a tankless water heater for my shop's closed loop in floor heating. My bill in the dead of winter when I'm heating the house and the shop is rarely over $100.00

Then we have the electricity bill coming like clockwork every month usually in excess of $300.00 a month and I have grid tie solar usually producing about 32 KW/h per day. So yes I believe gas is much cheaper to operate.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, 12.141 cents per kwh is actually a decent rate, probably middle of the pack in the States...


Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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Gotta keep the lights on :)

I live in a town with a not-for-profit municipal power system that also invested wisely in power sources and thus we have extraordinarily low rates compared with the state's commercial suppliers. Like, under 14 cents vs 22 or higher...
 

TLaffey

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Not a HERMs expert here, just passing on some thoughts: With natural gas, the flame under the HERM kettle will need to cycle on and off, so an igniter is needed. The only potential problem with this vs. electric is if you have wind messing with the flame. I think I'd go with electric on the HERMS and NG on the BK. Maybe that best of both?
 
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JerryMc

JerryMc

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@TLaffey you are correct about ignition. I've had the wind blow out my pilot light once so far but for me isn't a big deal as I am working on my patio that is surrounded on three sides by the walls of my home. The opening is facing NNW so usually not much of a problem.

I've almost completed my build. Still have to wire in the 24 VAC side of the control wiring, waiting on 22 gauge wire delivery today, and get a couple fittings welded into my kettles for the thermocouples, run a few hoses and do a water test. I decided to go all manual valves for the time being. I'll change them out to solenoids later.
 

doug293cz

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A MyPin TA4 is not suitable for boil vigor control, as it has no manual power output level capability. Boil happens at a fixed temperature. If you set the TA4 to just below boil temp, it will never boil. If you set it just above boil temp, your burner will be on full time. Also, full on or off burner control (if you switched to a TD4 that does have manual mode) will give you a very annoying "high boil/no boil" pulsing, as you cannot get the cycle time low enough with on-off burner control.

Brew on :mug:
 
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JerryMc

JerryMc

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@doug293cz My empirical data suggests overwise. I did a 5 gallon extract batch using just one pot. I had to manually start and stop the gas burner with a simple switch as my control box wasn't finished yet. I found that I could maintain a good slow rolling boil on the low end and a strong vigorous boil on the high end just before flame cut out. It worked out to about 3 seconds off 5 seconds approximately or maybe it was the other way round, not sure.

According to an online calculator @ 666 ft of altitude the boiling point of water is 201.82 °F so if I set the MyPin TA4-RNR to that or maybe a little more due to unlikely temp probe difference from actual (Auber PT100 sensors) then I think it will work just fine. Should do better than I did.

I don't know what the temps were precisely because the thermometer was above the liquid level. I was too busy watching the actual boil to take the time to record any of it anyway.
 
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JerryMc

JerryMc

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I'm almost finished with my pipe job now. I copied this routing scheme from Blackheart Brewery except I added one more valve to to the line that feeds out to fermenter. He probably did as well but didn't put it in the drawing.
 

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Bobby_M

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....deleted boilerplate pricing comparisons....

I have a gas outdoor kitchen with grill and dual side burner clothes dryer, range, 50 gallon water heater, gas pack central air system and a tankless water heater for my shop's closed loop in floor heating. My bill in the dead of winter when I'm heating the house and the shop is rarely over $100.00

Then we have the electricity bill coming like clockwork every month usually in excess of $300.00 a month and I have grid tie solar usually producing about 32 KW/h per day. So yes I believe gas is much cheaper to operate.

You've already built a system based on gas and I'm sure you'll have many great brew session on it. I want to just mention for others that may stumble upon this that typical energy use comparisons for household consumption are not exactly relevant for home brewing applications. Water heaters and furnaces are typically high efficiency designs while a flame under a pot is extremely low efficiency (especially when outdoors in even a mild breeze). I've measured this efficiency at 28% in a no wind, enclosed space and as low as 21% outdoors in a gentle breeze. For clarity, only about 25% of the BTUs generated by burning gas actually gets into the water you're trying to heat. With that, the energy cost comparison is more of a break even or advantage electric.
 

Bad Bubba

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@doug293cz My empirical data suggests overwise. I did a 5 gallon extract batch using just one pot. I had to manually start and stop the gas burner with a simple switch as my control box wasn't finished yet. I found that I could maintain a good slow rolling boil on the low end and a strong vigorous boil on the high end just before flame cut out. It worked out to about 3 seconds off 5 seconds approximately or maybe it was the other way round, not sure.

According to an online calculator @ 666 ft of altitude the boiling point of water is 201.82 °F so if I set the MyPin TA4-RNR to that or maybe a little more due to unlikely temp probe difference from actual (Auber PT100 sensors) then I think it will work just fine. Should do better than I did.

I don't know what the temps were precisely because the thermometer was above the liquid level. I was too busy watching the actual boil to take the time to record any of it anyway.
I don’t know if you transposed 2 numbers but at 666 feet altitude your boiling temp should be 210.8.
 
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