Electric brewing questions

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MikeMorrison
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Electric brewing questions

Post by MikeMorrison » Sat May 12, 2018 10:09 pm

Hey folks. I'm in the process of upgrading from my cooler/ turkey fryer system to a 3 vessel keggle system. I have 2 burners so I'll start with those but I'd really like to move to electric as soon as possible. Just looking for some feedback on what's working for people brewing with electricity. Do you just on/off your elements? Do you have controllers? If so did you build/buy/contract? Is anyone nearby building them? Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Mike
Fermenting: Amalgamation Saison, Festa kit with 100% Brett, Wet Hopped Harvest Saison, Kveik
On Tap: Zero (calculated) IBU Hop Bomb, Lemon Ginger Ale
In bottles: Newdale-Galena SMaSH, Belgian Witbier

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Celiacbrew
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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by Celiacbrew » Sat May 12, 2018 10:57 pm

I do 6 gallon batches with a 1500w 120v element and a 1800w induction plate. I’m happy with it. Having more power would be nice but the cost to run 220v to my garage was more than what I spent on my whole setup. I use the temp control on the induction and a power bar on the element to control my boil. 15amp power bars with a switch can be had for $4. During the boil I dial the induction down and leave the element on. i mash in a cooler so I don’t worry about holding the temperature. To get my strike temp I use the element and induction on full power to get to roughly temperature and the set the induction to the nearest temp it will hold (80c). When I want to mash in I add cold water to bring temp down to target. I had a temp controller on my old system which was a grainfather and I sometimes miss the set and forget nature of it. But the effort with my current set up isn’t huge. I just have to be here whereas the controller gave me the confidence to leave it while I went to the park with my kids.
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oceanic_brew
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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by oceanic_brew » Sun May 13, 2018 9:14 am

Hey! I just converted to electric. I have 1 tier 3 vessel 2 pump system with a 5500 watt element in an 9 Gallon HLT and 5500 watt in a 15 G Kettle with a 11 Gallon igloo cooler.

The controller is a hosehead from brewtronix it’s 240v on a 60 amp breaker and also needs 120 to power the smaller electronic components inside. It runs hdmi video out to a monitor but also can run through your WiFi to smartphone or tablet. Most people use a program called Craftbeer Pi on it but it comes with strangebrew eisenore. I prefer the first.

I had to run 60 ft of 8/3 cable from my panel to my brew area and also had to plumb water to the area and install a 6” vortex inline exhaust fan for a range hood that I built.

It likely cost about $2000 but my electrician was free, plus I did all the plumbing and carpentry/cabinetry work. You can definitely get by with less.


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MikeMorrison
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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by MikeMorrison » Sun May 13, 2018 11:20 am

I was looking at those a while back and then completely forgot about them. I'll have another peek. You find the 5500W element works well in you kettle? I have a 15g keg I'll use for my kettle and 2 smaller ones (13g?) for my mash tun and HLT.
Fermenting: Amalgamation Saison, Festa kit with 100% Brett, Wet Hopped Harvest Saison, Kveik
On Tap: Zero (calculated) IBU Hop Bomb, Lemon Ginger Ale
In bottles: Newdale-Galena SMaSH, Belgian Witbier

MikeMorrison
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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by MikeMorrison » Sun May 13, 2018 11:23 am

Celiacbrew wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 10:57 pm
just have to be here whereas the controller gave me the confidence to leave it while I went to the park with my kids.
That's 1 big reason I'm reluctant to go with a direct fire mash tun. I have no trouble filling that hour when I don't have to think about my cooler!
Fermenting: Amalgamation Saison, Festa kit with 100% Brett, Wet Hopped Harvest Saison, Kveik
On Tap: Zero (calculated) IBU Hop Bomb, Lemon Ginger Ale
In bottles: Newdale-Galena SMaSH, Belgian Witbier

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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by Peterpasha » Sun May 13, 2018 12:31 pm

Good thread! I'm in the process of converting to electric and have been curious about how much wattage to supply to the boil and HLT. I came across this site with some handy calculators when I was researching electrical elements:
http://manskirtbrewing.com/calculators.aspx
On Tap:
Fuligin Session Stout
Anchor Steam Lager
Anchor Liberty Ale SMaSH
On Deck:
Anchor Steam Lager
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Fuligin Stout

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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by Peterpasha » Sun May 13, 2018 12:34 pm

I too am wondering about the 5500W element in the boil kettle. I wonder about scorching with an element that hot, considering wort is coming out of the mash tun upwards of 170 degrees, I wouldn't think that you would need more than 3000 to keep it at that temp and increase it to boiling.
On Tap:
Fuligin Session Stout
Anchor Steam Lager
Anchor Liberty Ale SMaSH
On Deck:
Anchor Steam Lager
'Mosh Pit' Maris Otter SMaSH
Brewing
Bourbon Vanilla Porter
Fuligin Stout

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Yeastcoaster
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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by Yeastcoaster » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:55 pm

I am running a 240V 4500W element. I can say I have never had an issue with scorching. Now, to be fair there is a 1cm wide section of the element where it comes through the kettle wall that has a tiny bit of burnt on sugar on it, however this has never translated to an off flavour. Biggest thing is get a good temp controller. Something like https://www.auberins.com/index.php?main ... cts_id=769 this is what I am using. Very useful and the diversity of being compatible with solid state relays for power control is super slick.

just my $0.02
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oceanic_brew
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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by oceanic_brew » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:52 pm

Yeah I get that “scorching” there as well. I haven’t gotten any flavors coming through in final product. I’ve heard you want the ULWD (wavy) elements over the straight ones to help prevent scorching but I’m not sure on that.

I haven’t ran into any who’s gotten genuine scorching across the entire element.

Like I mentioned above I have a 240 setup with 5500 watt element in both my HLT and BK. The hosehead controller with craft beer pi software phases or cycles the element in and out to control its intensity i turn it on 100% until I reach a boil and then bring it back down to 66% for the boil. Else I get 25%-30% boil off and way too much condensation in my hood.

It real nice being able to get up to strike temps quickly especially on double brew days or when I try to get a brew through in the evenings after work.

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Halifax_Jeff
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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by Halifax_Jeff » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:58 am

2 1500w 120v elements for 6 gallon batches. No controllers just a basic setup. Works for me and having them both run full tilt gives a nice rolling boil

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mckay75
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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by mckay75 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:26 pm

I've had some scorching with mine a couple of times in the past...both were times when I was brewing with a lot of wheat or rye. Last time was my own fault when I was doing a step mash and heating up the mash with my heat stick. Left it for a split second without keeping the element in constant motion. Didn't come across in the flavour though.

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Re: Electric brewing questions

Post by HotBreak » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:31 pm

I am running a 40 Gallon kettle (30 Gallon batches) with a single 6000W element. Same in the HLT. I switch over to firing the kettle as soon as the element is covered and have never had an issue with scorching. My setup is controlled by 2 EZBoil units from Auberins and I would have nothing else.
When I get some time, I will put up a post on my build. Took a while (mostly due to overthinking) but I am really happy with how it turned out. I don't know how I convinced myself that brewing outside in the cold with propane and only getting 5 gallons was ever a good idea but now that I finished my new setup, it seems like madness.
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