Simple 240V Element Controller

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trav77

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So it's probably inevitable that I will switch over to electric at some point in the next year or two. I'm thinking something like these:

http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Tri_..._10_Gallon_SS_p/10gal-mashking-wtc-kettle.htm

http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/5500W_240VScrew_In_Element_ULWD_LimeLife_Ripple_Fo_p/camco-2965.htm

Does anyone have suggestions for a very simple 240V element controller (either pre-built or DIY). I have looked through HBT but most electrical threads are way more complex than what I need and/or have the DIY knowledge to take on.

Thanks.
 

Riot

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Are you looking to control mash temp or boil intensity? Mash I would just buy a cheap PID controller. For boil I have a couple elements like that run through an SSR with a hacked together PWM board controlling it which works surprisingly well for how cheap it was
 
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trav77

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Thanks angrybits. That's pretty much what I was looking for. I'm mostly just interested in converting my 3v propane system to electric. I mash in a cooler so it would just be converting the HLT and Kettle.

Also I found one of PJs old wiring diagrams that I think would work well with an additional contactor and 3-way switch to control power to HLT or Kettle (but not both at the same time):

Any advantage to using the EZboil instead of the SYL-2352 (in manual mode)?

Auberin-wiring1-a4-5500w-BIAB-30d6.jpg
 

BeardedBrews

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Any advantage to using the EZboil instead of the SYL-2352 (in manual mode)?
The people who have switched from PID to EZ Boil have been very vocal about how much simpler and easier the DSPR120 is.

From a functional standpoint, the power output adjustment on the EZ Boil should be much more linear, you won't get a surging effect from the On-Off cycling of the element. Additionally, if you're going to just use one controller for your whole system, the EZ Boil's reduced tuning requirements will fit the bill nicely.

You are correct that a 3-way switch with contractor would add the extra element. You could also use a rotary selector switch (common in marine battery applications and relatively cheap). If your goal is cheapest safe and effective solution, there are 30A DPST light switches from Leviton that can take the place of the panel mount button and contactor approach and only cost $14.

You can also consider the "super-simple" approach of simply un-plugging the HLT element and plugging in the BK :D


Also, don't forget to think about placement for the temperature probe. In the HLT it is very helpful to have the water circulating around the probe so you get a more accurate reading.
 

angrybits

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The interface is essentially a single rotary knob, it's absurdly simple to operate on brew day--which I don't think can be understated. Since buying mine, I have only had to tune the "overshoot correction" setting. It's simple and can be done in about 5 seconds if you need to add or remove juice.
 
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trav77

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Does the EZboil require the use of the thermometer, or can it be run manually without one? I don't have thermowells in my HLT or Kettle (suppose I could add them but...) really just looking for a simple, manual way to regulate the element output.
 

BeardedBrews

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Does the EZboil require the use of the thermometer, or can it be run manually without one? I don't have thermowells in my HLT or Kettle (suppose I could add them but...) really just looking for a simple, manual way to regulate the element output.
It will need to have one connected in order to work, and the probe will need to be in the HLT if you want it to hit and hold strike / sparge temp for you (the best part of going electric).


If you are looking for the electrical equivalent of a gas burner:
Start with a GFCI breaker:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-50...el-with-Self-Test-2P-GFCI-BR50SPAST/206696172

Then you just need an On/Off Switch and a SSVR
http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_30&products_id=353
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-...ble-Pole-Switch-White-R62-03032-2WS/100356941

That gives you on/off and 0-100 power output.
 
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trav77

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Thanks. The SSVR is more along the line of what my original intention was.

Of course I agree that the EZboil being able to hold strike & sparge temp is an appealing feature. I feel some scope creep coming on...
 

BeardedBrews

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Thanks. The SSVR is more along the line of what my original intention was.

Of course I agree that the EZboil being able to hold strike & sparge temp is an appealing feature. I feel some scope creep coming on...
Scope creep can be a real problem, but you should also remember that switching to electric is not cheap, even if you source the cheapest individual parts.

Basic On/Off:
GFCI - $70 + installation costs if you aren't handy
SSVR - $30
Switch - $15
5500w Elements with Enclosures and Bulkheads - $100/each - $200
Misc. Wiring - $40
Electrical Box - $20
Locking Plugs - $60 for 2x Element and Wall Power (or use standard appliance plugs for $20)

-$400 give or take

Cost to add Temp Control for HLT:
Temp Probe - $40
SS Tee - $5
Upgrade to DSPR120 - $35
 
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trav77

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Yes the cost is really the only thing holding me back. A little hard to justify when I have a perfectly good 3v Keggle/Propane brewery that can turn out some excellent beer already (which also holds some sentimental value since it was entirely DIY). Still I would love to be able to brew in the basement.

Of course the argument in favour of scope creep is that you won't go half-way and then want to upgrade again in a year from now...
 

BeardedBrews

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For what it's worth, I did my electric keg almost a year ago, and it has only made me enjoy brewing more. The same can't be said for the damn stir plate I tried to build and can never get balanced right.

If I were starting over today (converting functional pots) I would do the following, even if I was doing 3V:

One DPSR120 for a controller
Auber's RTD100 probes in HLT and BK (including panel mount XLRs)
A Rotary Selector switch to turn elements on/off and in place of the leviton DPST
Elements from Bobby
Weldless TC from Bobby
Element cords from Bobby
Enclosure from Auber
Illuminated Push Buttons for Pump(s) from Auber

I would not put a L6-30R on the control panel enclosure for the element power cables, I don't know anyone who regularly disconnects those. I would also not use a disconnect on the main power in cable, I can plug/unplug it from the wall.
 
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Jrl1775

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I see this thread is old, if anyone could answer this question it would be great. Would the EzBoil be able to control 2 elements even if they ran off different voltages? A 120v in the HLT and 220v in the BK?
 

BeardedBrews

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It's always fun to get a reminder on an old thread.

The Auber DSPR sends a signal to a solid state relay to turn on and off, so it doesn't care what voltage is going through the relay. It can be used to control 120, 240, or both depending on how you have things wired up.


Since my post was at the bottom I'll add that I went to a switch and contactor instead of the rotary switch I referenced above. I also bought a nice commerical stir plate from Amazon that works well.
 

Jrl1775

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It's always fun to get a reminder on an old thread.

The Auber DSPR sends a signal to a solid state relay to turn on and off, so it doesn't care what voltage is going through the relay. It can be used to control 120, 240, or both depending on how you have things wired up.


Since my post was at the bottom I'll add that I went to a switch and contactor instead of the rotary switch I referenced above. I also bought a nice commerical stir plate from Amazon that works well.
Would there be a suitable wiring diagram around? Maybe the one from earlier in this post? But I believe it’s a different controller? Thanks!
 

BeardedBrews

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Would there be a suitable wiring diagram around? Maybe the one from earlier in this post? But I believe it’s a different controller? Thanks!
I think you'd have to describe your goal a little more.

Is the idea to physically unplug the controller (temp probe and element) from the HLT (120v) and then plug it into the BK (240v)?
 

Jrl1775

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I think you'd have to describe your goal a little more.

Is the idea to physically unplug the controller (temp probe and element) from the HLT (120v) and then plug it into the BK (240v)?
The more I think about it I think what you did would accomplish what I want. I want it to control the HLT. Then when that’s done just switch over to the BK, unless I can make do more haha!
 
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