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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * April 18, 2004 * Electric Sanke Boiler,Help please? < Previous Next >

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Brewzz (65.88.98.1)
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 12:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know this subject has been gone over a lot of times.I have read a few good articles but didn't save them or bookmark them either,DOH! and I can't seem to find what I want anywere.Could someone with some knowledge post some links that show how to install the heater elements,wire it all up with whatever PID or relays it needs.What I have is a 15 gal. sanke that I want to be able to set to a temp of 80 C. and hold it there for as long as I want.I COULD use propane to get it up to temp but would rather not.I would be using a 60Amp welder circuit and would probably need two 700watt elements and then switch to one after getting to temp.TIA
Brewzz
 

Brewzz (65.88.98.1)
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 11:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmm...Guess I'll go eat some worms..Brewzz
 

Kevin McDonough (204.38.58.12)
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 11:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You ask for a lot of information and I don't know of any Web page I can just point you to. I have a fully electric system that I made myself, without having very much knowledge of anything at the beginning. My HLT and boil kettle both have two 5500w elements (240v), with the HLT hooked up to a PID and the boil kettle to a pulse width modulation control unit.

You don't say how many gallons you are trying to boil, whether you want to use a 240v elements, etc. Why don't you go to Google groups and do a some searches in the archives of the group, rec.crafts.brewing. Then you will find some some more info on what you want to do. There is a lot there. Once have a better idea and have some specific questions I would be glad to help. You can contact me by the email address in my profile.
 

Mike Kessenich (165.189.92.23)
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 11:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brewzz, I sent this email to someone asking about this in the past, hopefully this will help.

The design is pretty simple. Get the lowest density elements you can find/afford, mine are low density 5500 watt 220v water heater elements. You can get "Extremely Low Density" elements from here http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html if your extremely paranoid, but they cost a bit. If you intend to automate the HLT and boiler temp., you'll need some sort of temp controller and some solid state relays. You can get by with some cheaper Ranco or Johnson control direct temp controllers, but PID's (that's what I use) are pretty cheap on Ebay and will help you to not overshoot temps. You'll need to get the proper thermocouples or RTD's that match the requirements of the PID. You can either get them off Ebay or I know a guy that's pretty reasonable for purchasing new. You can get by without a PID for the boil since you only need to boil, not set temps. I use a Solid State Relay (SSR) driver that a guy built for me for $50, but if you know someone who knows electronics it could be built for a lot less. Some use an old stove controller from junkyard, you'll just need to make sure you know how to deal with it. You will need Solid State Relays to drive the elements as the PID's wont be able to handle the power.

You'll need about 50Amps of service if you want to run more than 1 element at a time. You can either use 1 50 amp service or multiple smaller ones, but if your building from scratch I would run 6 or 8 gauge (can't remember) wire to a 50 amp GFCI for the brewery. I bought a 50 amp SPA panel w/GFCI because it was a lot cheaper than a standard GFCI breaker.

The first thing you need to do is start collecting parts:
(2) Water heater elements (1 low density for boil 1 reg or low for HLT)
(2)1 inch stainless 1/2 couplings (need to be welded to kegs or kettles to thread the elements into)
(1 or 2) PID controllers w/low voltage outputs
(1 or 2) Solid State Relays that accept voltage correlating to your PIDs(depending on how many PID's you get)
(1) 50 GFCI spa panel
Wiring for low and high voltage

I hope this gets you started, feel free to ask questions.
 

Ric Heinz (64.154.26.251)
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 12:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brewzz -

Go to Omega.com ( http://www.omega.com ).
Click on "Temperature" (left column).
Click on "Technical Reference" (left column).
Click on "Temperature Related" (center).
Skip down to "Temperature Control" (about half way down the page). Seven topics are listed.

These seven topics should answer all of the questions you are asking.

If you purchase an Omega PID controller off of eBay. Get the model number and find the installation and operation manual on the Omega website. This will tell you how to wire it all up.


Ric
Houston, TX

BTW, you can run two 700 watt (700 watts @ 120 VAC) heating elements off of one 120 volt 15 amp household circuit.
 

Ric Heinz (64.154.26.251)
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 03:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Brewzz

Your 60 Amp welding circuit will provide you with a good power source for brewing. 240 volts, 2 phase @ 50 amps will drive 24,000 watts of heater.

I have about 900 watts on a 9 gallon plastic tank (uninsulated) that I use for sparge water. The 900 watts would eventually boil it but it would probably take 3 to 4 hours from ambient. If it was insulated it would work a lot better. I plan to build an insulated aluminum tank for this. Future project.

Ric
Houston, TX
 

Ric Heinz (64.154.26.251)
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Brewzz

Your 60 Amp welding circuit will provide you with a good power source for brewing. 240 volts, 2 phase @ 50 amps will drive 24,000 watts of heater.

I have about 900 watts on a 9 gallon plastic tank (uninsulated) that I use for sparge water. The 900 watts would eventually boil it but it would probably take 3 to 4 hours from ambient. If it was insulated it would work a lot better. I plan to build an insulated aluminum tank for this. Future project.

To boil off 1 gallon of water in one hour takes about 8,100 BTU's/hr, or about 2,400 watts. This calculation neglects the heat that is lost from the surface and the outside of the boiling vessel. For you guys who are boiling with electric heaters, is this about right?

Ric
Houston, TX
 

Stumptown (12.111.160.74)
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 07:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Or you could buy one of these and stop pulling your hair out. Does this do what you need it to do?

http://www.zymico.com/LMN'T/
 

Stumptown (12.111.160.74)
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 08:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

** Note that the link I posted won't work because the end of it didn't get picked up. Just go to www.zymico.com and click on "LMN'T".
 

Brewzz (65.88.98.1)
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 08:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks guys...This is just what I needed.The batches I'll be heating to 80C.are usually 12 gals.So looks like I'll need:
2- 5000 watt 240v. elements
1 PID controller w/low voltage outputs
1 Solid State Relay and some low and high voltage wire.I can make the box thing like Zymico for a neat look (sorry zymie, but I am a toolmaker).The Omega site is a great help Ric, thanks.I guess a trip to ebay is in order.Thanks again!
Brewzz
 

Kevin McDonough (204.38.58.12)
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 08:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't think you will need (2) 5000 watt elements to heat 12 gallons to 80C. One 5500w would be fine. It depends how quickly you want to get up to temps. I used a one 5500w element in my Sanke boil kettle for 10 gallon batches with no problems maintaining a more than vigorous boil. In fact, a 4500w will work well for boiling that amount.

When you buy your PID unit on Ebay (which I recommned 'cause they are cheaper then buying new), make sure you get one that has a solid state relay output. Other outputs may work, but most people use SSRs to control the voltage. You will often have to go to the manufacturer's site and read manuals to find this info out.
 

Ric Heinz (66.139.8.113)
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 04:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brewzz -

You may want two SSR's, one for each heating element.

Make sure they are rated for the wattage of your heaters.

Ric
Houston, TX
 

Mike Kessenich (165.189.92.23)
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 11:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm assuming you're putting 1 element in the boil and 1 in the HLT, if so that's good. Kevin is right 11,000 watts would be way overkill. 2 SSR's per element is a good idea, but I only switched one side of the 240. This leaves one leg hot all the time, but when I'm done brewing I just throw the breaker on my spa panel to cut the juice.
 

Mike Kessenich (165.189.92.23)
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 11:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Also, in my long post up a ways in the thread I was explaining the parts for en electric HLT, RIMS, and boil kettle. If you're just wanting to electrify your boil, I wouldn't suggest a PID, but just the SSR driver.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 12:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

To heat 12-13 gallons of water to 180 F in a reasonable amount of time you will need about 3000 watts or more, and about 5000 watts to bring an equivalent volume to a boil. At 240 volts, this would be 12.5 amps and 21 amps respectively, certainly within the capacity of your 60 amp welding circuit.

Personally, I might use a 5500 watt element in the HLT and dual 3000 watt elements in the the kettle. This would allow fast heating of the hot water, and one of the elements in the kettle would be sufficient to maintain the boil once it started. A PID would not be required. One single-stage temperature controller and mechanical or solid state relay connected to the HLT would do the job, and the switches for each of the kettle elements would need to be rated for the 12.5 amp load.

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