• We have a new forum and it needs your help! Homebrewing Deals is a forum to post whatever deals and specials you find that other homebrewers might value! Includes coupon layering, Craigslist finds, eBay finds, Amazon specials, etc.

new 'hybrid' build - help me pre-troubleshoot

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

twardnw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Location
Vancouver, WA
So I've been brewing extract batches for ~2 years, and they are definitely improving, but I am moving into AG now. Scored a couple of 1/2 bbls kegs and 2 propane burners, and then began ordering other bits and pieces.

The idea behind my system. I live in a rental house, and there is no convincing the landlord that I 'need' a 240v 30amp outlet in the garage. So, that outs going 100% electric. I also do not have the patience to wait for a 1500w element to bring 5+ gallons of water up to temp in my HLT.

Enter the 'hybrid' system. HLT will be propane and electric powered. I will use propane to do the 'heavy lifting' and get the water from tap-temp up to ~150 manually, and then switch over to PID controlled 120v 1500w element to bring the water to temp, and maintain.

I then have a 60qt igloo cube (their 'marine' one) for my MLT, and the final keg is to be the BK, entirely propane heated.

Don't have money for pumps right now, so I am building a 3-tier sculpture.

Here's a wiring diagram of my control box:


Spot any problems?
 

Dgonza9

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2010
Messages
1,182
Reaction score
12
Location
Evanston
Hmmm... So you are going to mash in a cooler, correct?

I don't see the need for a PID just to get strike water up to temp. The PID would be useful if you were going to recirculate in a RIMS type setup. Unless you are going RIMS there's very little need for the PID and Element.

Alternately, you could go all electric with two 2000w elements as heat sticks.

But there's little point in making heat sticks if you have two propane burners.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
79
Hmmm... So you are going to mash in a cooler, correct?

I don't see the need for a PID just to get strike water up to temp. The PID would be useful if you were going to recirculate in a RIMS type setup. Unless you are going RIMS there's very little need for the PID and Element.

Alternately, you could go all electric with two 2000w elements as heat sticks.

But there's little point in making heat sticks if you have two propane burners.
+1 this pretty well sums it up very concisely. It's fairly easy to heat both strike water and sparge water to the desired temps. Automation is most advantageous with a RIMS or HERMS. I run a direct fired RIMS using only a Johnson digital controller (aka a dumb thermostat) to operate the mash tun burner. I heast the cooler HLT with a bucket heater on a timer. I see no need to automate the boil kettle at all as I only need to light the burner one time. Adjusting the burner is easily done visually. It's also fairly easy to get the HLT up to temp. It's difficult to overheat the HLT as the water will cool en route on the long slow journey to the mash tun when fly sparging. Strike temperature is also very easy to hit. I just glance at the thermometer now and then and I can estimate about when it will reach the desired temp. When it gets close, I just dial down the burner as needed. You can also add cold tap water to the strike water if you overshoot for some reason. Heat can be added if you undershoot. Once you operate the system a few times, this will become intuitive.
 
OP
twardnw

twardnw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Location
Vancouver, WA
Well, I guess I was doing a bit of planning for the future. All I need is for someone to buy my bass and amp off Craigslist and I can pick up a pump and go HERMS :p
 
OP
twardnw

twardnw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Location
Vancouver, WA
So in the spirit of preparing for the future, I guess I should have my welder put 2 extra couplers in the HLT for a HERMS coil when he does the other couplers
 
Top