Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Electric Brewery

I didn't want to start a post without a pic but i can't resist. I 'll add pics later.
I've chosen to go the electric brewery route. It's well documented on the internet but requires some electrical know-how. To this point I have welded a stainless keg with three threaded fittings; 1 for the electric heater, 1 for the thermometer and 1 for a ball valve. The welds are not pretty, as this was my first try at welding stainless but after a few attempts they are water tight. The control box has been a challenge and a fun project. I am about 80% done with it. It will be able to handle a HLT, mash and boil. I thought i had a 220 60Amp circuit available but that was for the hot tub. So i am left with a 30 amp circuit from the sauna. If i need multiple elements for the HLT, mash and boil, I may upgrade it to 60amp or use the dryer circuit which is also 30A.
As always, i couldn't wait for the control box to be finished before i tested the electric element out. So i filled the boil keg with approx 7 gallons of cold water and wired it up. I was nervous but very excited. This is 220V 30Amp circuit that i am working from. I plugged in the unit and stood back. Instantly i could see the water moving as the element heated up the water around it. There was a low sound that emanated from the unit. I was really curious at the temperature / time curve. I plotted a few points: at 15min / 150, at 25 mins 190, at 40 mins rolling boil. I did not take the temp of the water that i started with but it was cold water.
Next steps: Ducting for the exhaust fan for moisture, finish the control box, some plumbing and build a stand. pics to follow.

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