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NewBrewB

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Man, every time I find a thread that is exactly what I am doing or want to do, I start salivating as I read...

Then I unexpectedly hit the end of the thread and realize I have to wait for more... nnnnnooooooooo!!!

I dont suppose you live in my neighborhood in Rhode Island?? Maybe next door? That would be awesome haha
 
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Huaco

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Man, every time I find a thread that is exactly what I am doing or want to do, I start salivating as I read...

Then I unexpectedly hit the end of the thread and realize I have to wait for more... nnnnnooooooooo!!!

I dont suppose you live in my neighborhood in Rhode Island?? Maybe next door? That would be awesome haha
Haha... I know how you feel! Been there...

No, I live out in the STIX in a little town of 400 people that does not sell beer! I just have to make my own... Darn...

I have all but finished the panel door. I just need to add a locking latch to close the cabinet and then add a brewery badge... the badge will come when the brewery is done though...

CONTROL PANEL FINISHED-001.jpg
 
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Huaco

Huaco

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Back plate of control panel was drilled and tapped the other day... all 48 FREAKIN' HOLES!
I also mounted all the internal components. If you notice, I have planned for possible future expansion of this system to be switched over to a RIMS system. I may never do it, but I figure while I am drilling and tapping I may as well make the chips fly while no other electrical components are at risk of a stray chip lodging in somewhere... I will also drill and tap mounting holes in the heat sink for an additional Solid State Relay to switch a RIMS element. On my control panel door, you will see I left a spot above the MASH TEMP PID controller. If I ever decide to go RIMS I will simply add a pilot light and a switch on the panel. On the inside... A SSR, Contactor, and fuse block going out to a connector on the bottom of the cabinet.
Now... on to the wiring...

Brewery Back Plate (Large).jpg


Brewery Back Plate Finished (Large).jpg


CONTROL PANEL FINISHED.jpg
 
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Huaco

Huaco

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Got the main power circuit completed and tested yesterday...

Felt REAL good to hear the clunk of the contactor and see that little blue light turn on!

 
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Huaco

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Ok... Another step completed!
Both pump switches function as intended! (Green lights and switches respectively)

 
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Huaco

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This morning I was able to fix the volt meter issue. (it was only reading 120V) This is kind of surreal actually... It seemed like I would NEVER be done with the control panel. Now it is on to the next phase. Plumbing.
Notice the volt meter actually reads correct now! woohoo! I had placed the meter sensor wire on an empty side of a coil on the contactor. It should have been placed on the power terminal of the hot-b side of the contactor. Makes all the difference in the world when you have both 120 lines actually coming into the meter. The wire diagrams I had used relays instead of contactors. Their anatomy is just a little different.

I still have a lot of work on my plumbing and keggles, but it is getting MUCH closer! My local club, Cap and Hare, has several members that are VERY interested in my system. I plan to have those that are interested over for the first brew, so they can get a look at it.

Control Panel Finished and Powered.jpg
 

smmcdermott

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This is an awesome thread. Would you mind sharing the expected budget? I would love to do this but not sure what to plan for in terms of $$$. No worries if you don't want to share. Best of luck!
 
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Huaco

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It is not hard to estimate a budget for this build. Look at theelectricbrewery.com site and then follow ALL his links to source all the parts yourself. I chose to go with the kit he sells for the control panel and temp probes because I could pay shipping on ALL that stuff just one time. (instead of paying shipping on 30 different orders)

I will say this, you should be able to come in under 3K once completely finished though.
 

NewBrewB

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Huaco said:
I chose to go with the kit he sells for the control panel and temp probes because I could pay shipping on ALL that stuff just one time. (instead of paying shipping on 30 different orders)
I wish I had gone this route. I had it in my head that I could just buy the parts for one element and one pump, then add parts and functionality over time. What I didnt think about was that drilling holes creates metal shards so you want it all done before you mount any of the components. Then, either you fill the gaping holes with all of the right parts so the holes are closed or you expose the guts to condensation during brewing, which is no good.

Not trying to hijack but wanted to endorse buying the control panel part kit all at once.
 
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Huaco

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Yep. It is much better to just take the plunge and purchase the kit or the ready-built panel. I even went as far as to drill and tap locations on the heat sink and the back plate for a RIMS conversion if I so, choose. My thinking was to get all the chip-flying finished at one time so I didn't send a chip of metal into a bad place later down the road.
 

NewBrewB

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I really appreciate the middle photo that shows your back plate as you were starting to mount components....was hoping for some interior wiring photos.

The main thing I am trying to understand at the moment is how your doorbell transformers were wired up....since ours (I bought the same as you) dont look like the ones Kal used. Reading back and forth on p225 of the pdf isnt helping me understand.

Also, I have not purchased 30 amp fuses/holders so wondering if I missed that in Kals plans or if that is something you added.

Anyway, Im sure you took some so please upload some pictures of the "guts" when you have time. Thanks!
 
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Huaco

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I really appreciate the middle photo that shows your back plate as you were starting to mount components....was hoping for some interior wiring photos.

The main thing I am trying to understand at the moment is how your doorbell transformers were wired up....since ours (I bought the same as you) dont look like the ones Kal used. Reading back and forth on p225 of the pdf isnt helping me understand.

Also, I have not purchased 30 amp fuses/holders so wondering if I missed that in Kals plans or if that is something you added.

Anyway, Im sure you took some so please upload some pictures of the "guts" when you have time. Thanks!
I did take some pix... Will post them up this evening. They won't do you much good though. There are a LOT of wires.

Are you planning to build a 30A "regular" control panel? I had to use the 30A fuse holders because I am running 50 AMPS. It is a "back-to-back" system menaing that I can run both elements at the same time... the fuses are there to protect the 30A components.

The very low voltage part of the build was the most difficult for me. It was confusing. In the end, Just run (2) signal wires from the transformers one from each terminal, to the power converter as shown in the plan.
A word of advice on mounting the power converters... USE ATX MOTHERBOARD STANDOFFS! They thread into holes and hold the board off the back plate. They should be made of NYLON so there is ZERO risk of grounding to the back plate.
 
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Huaco

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I have nearly finished my HLT/HERMS. I need to re-solder my sight glass coupling. I torqued the HELL out of it and busted the solder joint. Ooooops!

Anyway, here are a few more pix.

Also, here are what my solder joints ended up looking like. I am happy with them. (just don't torque them too much):(

HLT HERMS COIL (Large).jpg


Solder Joint HLT (Large).jpg
 

NewBrewB

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I am building the "regular" control panel (30A, one element at a time) so I guess that makes sense. Hmm Maybe I should start my own thread to ask all of these questions instead if hijacking yours. Hah sorry. For this morning though, here are another round of questions because just like you, I am also doing keg conversions for my BK and HLT (w/ a 30gal plastic barrel for my MLT).


Can you please post the "better" wiring shots?


What hardware did you have to buy for the connections? I think those looks like a SS threaded couplings but how is it attached to the copper coil? You mentioned soldering but wouldnt they have to be welded? Will you remove the coil for cleaning or just use PBW through/around it? How did you choose the locations for those holes?
 
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Huaco

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I am building the "regular" control panel (30A, one element at a time) so I guess that makes sense. Hmm Maybe I should start my own thread to ask all of these questions instead if hijacking yours. Hah sorry. For this morning though, here are another round of questions because just like you, I am also doing keg conversions for my BK and HLT (w/ a 30gal plastic barrel for my MLT).


Can you please post the "better" wiring shots?


What hardware did you have to buy for the connections? I think those looks like a SS threaded couplings but how is it attached to the copper coil? You mentioned soldering but wouldnt they have to be welded? Will you remove the coil for cleaning or just use PBW through/around it? How did you choose the locations for those holes?
I am using compression fittings. They have 1/2" NPT threads on one end and 1/2" O.D.compression on the other. As far a welding or soldering... You can solder SS. There is a huge thread stickied at the top of the DIY forum. Read it and make the "keg tool".

I placed the holes after careful consideration. I had to have my element in place as not to interfere with it. also I had to have my HERMS coil made so I knew how far apart those holes would be.
 

tuckferrorists

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Kudos, because I don't think I'd even be smart enough to figure out how to turn that thing on. Can an electrical idiot build that never having soldered anything before?

Looks amazing by the way.

Tuck
 
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Huaco

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Kudos, because I don't think I'd even be smart enough to figure out how to turn that thing on. Can an electrical idiot build that never having soldered anything before?

Looks amazing by the way.

Tuck
:tank:Your looking at one!:drunk:

The most electrical work I had done before this was replacing a light switch and a light bulb. SERIOUSLY! I have been shocked by 120 several times while growing up working in construction. Not fun but I learned to respect electricity, so much so that I would just walk away from anything that was electrical in nature. (read-scared of electricity) Anyway, I challenged myself to learn something new and do it the SAFE way. I started out building the "ebay temp controller" here on HBT. Once I got a good understanding of how that worked, I read through Kal's instructions SEVERAL times. The labor of "building" the panel was not bad. The WIRING was the part that got me worked up. I simply followed what I had learned in the instructions and wired the panel EXACTLY as I saw in the diagrams. My panel was slightly different so I had to ask a few questions here and there. In the end, I followed Kal's testing procedure and was safely able to power up the panel circuit by circuit. I took my time... that is key. If you get frustrated, just walk away and come back later. This is not something you would want to rush through. It took me more than 2 weeks to wire this control panel. I checked and rechecked my wire paths multiple times prior to powering up a new circuit. In the end, the panel powered up without letting any smoke out! I have good grounding all the way through all the circuits and all the way out to the Keggles.

Don't be intimidated by this project. Yes, it looks terrifying, but if you break it down in individual tasks, it is VERY do-able. Contact Kal at The Electric Brewery or Mike at Spike Innovations and bend their ear about getting started.
 
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Huaco

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This evening I was able to get a little done to my brewery. I cleaned it off and moved it to where it is going to live. I also laid out the holes for the bottom drains in my keggles. The flanges are chromed steel disposal flanges. I will have to kneel down to operate the output valves.

Valve PassThrough01.jpg


Valve PassThrough02.jpg


Valve PassThrough03.jpg


Valve PassThrough04.jpg


Valve PassThrough06.jpg
 
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Huaco

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Looks good. Keep up the good work.
Thanks man. I noticed you are from Dallas. If you ever want to come to a meeting of Cap and Hare, the Ft. Worth brew club, you are more than welcome to come check us out. In October we are having a special even called Iron Mash. It is somewhat like Iron Chef on TV, but with teams of brewers.
 

soundgodjr

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Huaco said:
Thanks man. I noticed you are from Dallas. If you ever want to come to a meeting of Cap and Hare, the Ft. Worth brew club, you are more than welcome to come check us out. In October we are having a special even called Iron Mash. It is somewhat like Iron Chef on TV, but with teams of brewers.
It would be awesome to come check y'all out. Sounds like fun!!
 
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Huaco

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It would be awesome to come check y'all out. Sounds like fun!!
You will be able to find much more information and follow discussions in the forms on the club website.
www.capandhare.com

Lots of real good guys in our club and many of them are VERY successful homebrewers! I go by the same User Name on that forum too.
 
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Huaco

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I am SOOO close to the finish line.
Today I had a LOT of Stainless Steel show up in the mail. I ordered from a new vendor here on HBT "StainlessBrewing", on Friday late afternoon. My order shipped that day and showed up on my porch TODAY! Zach is a great guy to deal with if you ever need anything...
So, naturally, I spent the better part of this evening piecing together plumbing and figuring out the last little pieces I need to pick up. Looks like I just need some bushings to hold my Temp Probes into the "T" below the valves. I am going with CamLock fittings throughout. I also still need to solder in two couplers so I can mount the HERMS return in the MLT and the Whirlpool/Recirc in my BK.
I am thinking about returning to the BK at about the 4 to 5 gallon mark so that when I am doing a small batch, I don't have hot wort cascading down from the top of the BK from a valve that was placed too high. Does this sound like a good plan to you more experienced brewers?
I had to relocate one of the pumps to the other side of the brewstand leg. They are more on an even plane now and should prime similarly. Now I should not have any problem with fitting interference.

HLT FINISHED PLUMBED (Large).jpg


FINISHED PUMPS PLUMBED (Large).jpg
 

slatkin

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Been trolling your thread since started. Must say that is looking nice. Good work. Many happy brew days to ya.
 
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Huaco

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Thanks for the compliment Slatkin...
Here is a question for more experienced homebrewers than I...
A question came up on another forum I am posting in about my pump head orientation. Do I have them indexed properly? From my reasoning, if the inlet was on the bottom, it would force fluid up and into the impeller in an effort for the fluid to level itself. While pushing up through the head, it would also push air out of the pump head and be less likely to cause cavitation. (I honestly don't know... I am not a plumber. Just trying to think through this the best I can)
What say you guys?
 
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Huaco

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It lives!

I made up hoses this evening.
I also ran a simulated mash as well as a simultaneous boil-off. I need to do some more work on it but it could technically brew beer as it sits!

I had a snafuu with my water pump. It kept running and then shutting off. It shut off twice for about 10 minutes each time. I am NOT happy about this and plan to contact chugger pumps tomorrow. The motor housing got PRETTY HOT to the touch on both pumps during operation but only one of them would shut off. I know I have one Gen2 pump and one Gen3 pump. I wonder which one it is that is shutting down as both are identical.

Aside from that little hang-up, I am ecstatic to have an operational brewery!
 
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Huaco

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Also... I wanted to update you guys on the pump head orientation. It worked FLAWLESSLY! I connected the the bottom drain hose to the keggle and then to the input side of the pump. I then connected the output hose to the pump. Then I opened the bottom drain valve as well as the output valve of the pump. I made sure to keep the hose end high as I did this because on the first hose, I had water jump out of the hose as soon as the valve was opened. Also, I could hear the air being pushed out of the pump head and up the hose. Once I connected the hose back to a keggle, I turned the pump on and it IMMEDIATELY began pumping good and strong with no bubbles what-so-ever.
Hope this discussion on pump head orientation helps someone down the road a bit.
 
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Huaco

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I snapped a few pictures last night while testing things out.
One picture of the hoses as set up for mashing.
The other picture is the control panel with all cables attached. First time to test full load on the panel and it worked flawlessly.

Brewery Test Run.jpg


Brewery Test Run CP.jpg
 
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Huaco

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Stepped out to the brewery at 8:45 ish. About to hook up hoses and turn on the power to the panel.


Doughing in


Mashing at 152 for a medium body. I mashed out for 10 minutes at 168, then sparged for 60 minutes very slow and pulled 8 gallons of wort. I was supposed to pull 7.75 gallons. But... I am happy with 8.


10 Brix at first hop addition. 1.041 SG
 
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Huaco

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60 Minute boil
-Magnum 0.75 oz @60
-Perle 0.25 oz @60
-Tettnang 0.50 oz @30
-Whirlfloc Tablet @15


I used my HLT and HERMS coil to chill the wort. This worked VERY well. I filled up the HLT and circulated 'till the wort dropped to under 105* which took only a few minutes. I then dumped the HLT and filled it again with water. This time I started adding bags of ice. 4 bags of ice later, the wort was down to 65*F and there was Cold Break EVERYWHERE! The bottom of the Boil kettle was THICK with cold break!


Just after filling the carboy.


After a little settling of the Cold Break protein.
 
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