Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: Stevie on September 17, 2015, 03:21:57 pm

Title: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 17, 2015, 03:21:57 pm
In my quest to convert to electric, I have determined the cost for a PID controlled element is barely higher than a rheostat controlled element. If I am going to bother with a PID, I might was well go for a Kettle-RIMS type setup with my existing coolers. It would be nice to only need to measure my water once and basically be able to forget about everything until ready to boil.

What I am wondering is if I should bother putting together manifolds for the two coolers. I plan on resting the cooler on top of the kettle and having the runoff gravity feed into the kettle with the pump pulling from the kettle to some form of sparge setup. Currently using a bazooka in my 70qt and a hose braid in my 48qt tuns.

Another added benefit of the PID is the manual control power is in a digital 1-100 scale. Once I determine the power rating to hold a boil at a given volume, I can repeat it more easily compared to a non-linear dial.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: AmandaK on September 18, 2015, 06:35:50 am
Steve, I am in the process of researching a tiny electric brewery for winter time and pilot batches.

I'm currently leaning towards what you're talking about, which is basically making a "cheap BrewEasy".

For the PID/rheostat, I think the High Gravity EBC-SV ($395) will work perfectly with this. I also think a kettle with a boil coil (or similar element) will do well for heating/maintaining temps.

As to your question on the manifold... this is probably the part I have the most questions about. I know that recirculating can be a tricky beast (as evidenced by our Sabco), so having a proper manifold/false bottom/bazooka screen is a huge factor in how well this system will work. Obviously, the Blichmann false bottom is some of the tops in quality and efficiency - but can you find a cooler it that will work with? Bazooka screen, that will create channeling. Most other 'manifold' type setups will also create channeling but to a lesser degree. I think I'm looking at finding a round cooler and getting a perforated false bottom with a center pick up to eliminate as much channeling as I can an promote even mixing as much as possible.

Anyway, it sounds like we might be attempting very similar projects! Looking forward to seeing what we come up with.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: AmandaK on September 18, 2015, 06:38:38 am
I should note, I am looking to stay at 120V and use the 2250w Boil Coil for this. I'm not interested in running more 240V at this time.

Based on the calcs on the Blichmann website, the 2250w element should be able to go from 70f to 160f in about 30' and 168f to boil in about 15'. That's faster than a 10g batch on the Sabco so it is more than acceptable here.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: mabrungard on September 18, 2015, 06:53:17 am
If you are trying to control the heating of a RIMS circuit, you have to have a regular PID with the temp sensor mounted immediately downstream of the heating element.

If you are looking for boil control, a PID is a waste of money. You have to have some sort of proportional control to throttle the power to the element. A pulse-width modulator works well, but the unit shown below works really well and has a nice LED showing what your power percentage is. It's inexpensive too.

http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_30&products_id=444 (http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_30&products_id=444)
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 18, 2015, 07:11:59 am
Amanda - my coolers are rectangular, so I guess I could order something custom, or use some perf stock and stainless bolts as stand offs. The EBC-SV is nice, but for that price I can put something together that has more bells and whistles like lights, a main power switch, maybe even a fail safe.

Martin - that's what I don't know. At first I was only interested in boil control, but PIDs are only a few bucks more compared to the unit you linked. I might even consider going with that unit and a PID along with a 3-position switch to determine which is being used.

Way too many options here.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: AmandaK on September 18, 2015, 07:51:53 am
Martin, I'm looking for precise mash temp control - so we would 'need' the PID - as well as a somewhat manual boil control - the rheostat. I am also electrically challenged. I just figured out how to wire a temp controller last year. So the High Gravity EBC-SV, while pricier than doing it myself and may not have the bells and whistles of others, will save me a lot of time and trouble. Plus, I'm going for an electric system that brews faster than the Sabco (we are running at ~7 hours from lighting the first burner to clean up), is marginally cost-effective, has a small footprint, and works well.

If I do end up with the High Gravity controller, I really only have to worry about moving wort around during the mash effectively (I think). I'm thinking of making/buying something similar to this (http://www.norcalbrewingsolutions.com/store/False_Bottom_Picnic_Cooler_10_Gallon.html) for the false bottom. BTW - when I first got into brewing, these things were not as expensive! And that was only ~5 years ago!  :o
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 18, 2015, 08:58:59 am
That's a bit nuts at $75
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: denny on September 18, 2015, 09:35:01 am
Steve, I am in the process of researching a tiny electric brewery for winter time and pilot batches.


One word....Zymatic.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: stpug on September 18, 2015, 09:41:16 am
In my quest to convert to electric, I have determined the cost for a PID controlled element is barely higher than a rheostat controlled element. If I am going to bother with a PID, I might was well go for a Kettle-RIMS type setup with my existing coolers. It would be nice to only need to measure my water once and basically be able to forget about everything until ready to boil.

What I am wondering is if I should bother putting together manifolds for the two coolers. I plan on resting the cooler on top of the kettle and having the runoff gravity feed into the kettle with the pump pulling from the kettle to some form of sparge setup. Currently using a bazooka in my 70qt and a hose braid in my 48qt tuns.

Another added benefit of the PID is the manual control power is in a digital 1-100 scale. Once I determine the power rating to hold a boil at a given volume, I can repeat it more easily compared to a non-linear dial.

I'm intrigued by the direction you're headed here. However, I think I'm a little confused as well.

You mention coolerS and a kettle, however the breweasy design would be the equivalent of one cooler and a BK. Are you somehow planning on using a second cooler in your design, or is it that you just happen to have two coolers to pick from for your design?

As far as the K-RIMS design goes, my assumption is that the recirculation during the mash is:
-wort drains by gravity from MLT into BK
-wort is heated in BK by flame or element to temp set on PID
-wort is pumped back up to MLT and "sprinkled" on top of grainbed
Is that about correct? Am I missing important aspects of the design?

I'm slow with all of this automated/electric stuff so bare with me while I try to catch up. A homemade breweasy design really intrigues me due to footprint, automation, and cleanup, but the cost of the Blichmann setup is YOWZERS!

And, sorry Denny, but I can't bring myself to pay for and use the Zymatic. It seems like a toaster for making beer :D
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: AmandaK on September 18, 2015, 09:44:21 am
Steve, I am in the process of researching a tiny electric brewery for winter time and pilot batches.


One word....Zymatic.
Trust me, I've looked at it. There are many, many pros. However...

Concerns:
- It is not able to be used outside of WiFi and the proprietary website. IF Pico goes out of business, I have a $2000 brick on my counter. This is the opposite of appealing. Or if they don't update the web based software in the future, there are potential issues there too. This is my #1 concern. Having a system that cannot be used with only my input is just asking for it to be outdated within 5 years. (Same reason I don't have a smart watch - real watches are obviously a more long term purchase.)
- It's $2k plus shipping.
- It only makes 2.5g of beer at a time (but this is also a plus in some cases).
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: AmandaK on September 18, 2015, 09:58:09 am
Way too many options here.

Agreed. I've gone from wanting to convert the Sabco to electric (which would cost about as much or more than a BrewEasy), to wanting a PicoBrew, to eBIAB, to a modified eBIAB, to this K-RIMS idea.

For those who haven't studied the BrewEasy manual, here is the TL; DR version of K-RIMS:
(http://www.beerborg.com/forum/download/file.php?id=2128&sid=003f9528b0c8cede42bc0db5616e70df)

That's a bit nuts at $75

Yeah, right??
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 18, 2015, 10:03:47 am

In my quest to convert to electric, I have determined the cost for a PID controlled element is barely higher than a rheostat controlled element. If I am going to bother with a PID, I might was well go for a Kettle-RIMS type setup with my existing coolers. It would be nice to only need to measure my water once and basically be able to forget about everything until ready to boil.

What I am wondering is if I should bother putting together manifolds for the two coolers. I plan on resting the cooler on top of the kettle and having the runoff gravity feed into the kettle with the pump pulling from the kettle to some form of sparge setup. Currently using a bazooka in my 70qt and a hose braid in my 48qt tuns.

Another added benefit of the PID is the manual control power is in a digital 1-100 scale. Once I determine the power rating to hold a boil at a given volume, I can repeat it more easily compared to a non-linear dial.

I'm intrigued by the direction you're headed here. However, I think I'm a little confused as well.

You mention coolerS and a kettle, however the breweasy design would be the equivalent of one cooler and a BK. Are you somehow planning on using a second cooler in your design, or is it that you just happen to have two coolers to pick from for your design?

As far as the K-RIMS design goes, my assumption is that the recirculation during the mash is:
-wort drains by gravity from MLT into BK
-wort is heated in BK by flame or element to temp set on PID
-wort is pumped back up to MLT and "sprinkled" on top of grainbed
Is that about correct? Am I missing important aspects of the design?

I'm slow with all of this automated/electric stuff so bare with me while I try to catch up. A homemade breweasy design really intrigues me due to footprint, automation, and cleanup, but the cost of the Blichmann setup is YOWZERS!

And, sorry Denny, but I can't bring myself to pay for and use the Zymatic. It seems like a toaster for making beer :D
Two coolers to be used independent depending on batch size. Might throw a third (20qt) in the mix for lower gravity batches.

You got the basic functions down.

Nothing against the zymatic, just not for me.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 18, 2015, 11:33:15 am
Martin, I'm looking for precise mash temp control - so we would 'need' the PID - as well as a somewhat manual boil control - the rheostat.

I personally think that the High Gravity design is a bit of a hack.  If you want PID control and easy manual control, what you really want is a PID and the unit that Martin has linked.  All you need to do is to use a double-pole double-throw switch between the +/- control output connections on both units and the +/- control inputs of the SSR.   

You are more than smart enough to wire to up a simple control unit, especially a 120V system because only the black (hot) wire needs to be switched.   By code, the white (neutral) is bonded to ground at the distribution panel (a.k.a. fuse or breaker box).  U.S. power is 240 split-phase.  A transformer outside of your home steps the distribution voltage from 7.2K Volts AC down to 240 Volts AC.  If your subdivision is fed with underground wires, the transformer will be on the ground in someone's yard or in a common area.  In older areas that are fed by overhead lines, the step-down transformer is on a pole.

The step-down transformer has three secondary winding taps that feed your home; namely, two hot legs that are the ends of the secondary winding and a wire that is located mid-way on the secondary winding known as the center-tap.   The center-tap is what becomes the white wire after power service enters your home.  It is the zero crossing for the AC power signal, which is a sine wave (thanks to Nikola Tesla).  The voltage delta between the coil ends (hot legs) is 240 volts.  The voltage delta between center-tap and either of the hot legs is 120V.  If we run a circuit that consists of only the center-tap and one of the hot legs, we obtain a 120V circuit that is 1/2th of the sine wave, which is why the power distribution system is known as split-phase.

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/transformer_zps01ffwnqw.gif)

Here's where anyone who is considering using a 120V BoilCoil needs to be careful.  The most common "branch" circuit in a home is 120V 15A.   One cannot plug a 2250W BoilCoil into a 15A circuit.   The electrician who wired your home should have labeled the branch circuits inside of the distribution panel (breaker box).  Identify the circuit that you plan to use, and then check the number on the breaker.  Unless it says 20, the circuit cannot be used for a 120V BoilCoil-equipped kettle.  Furthermore, one has to be careful that a previous owner has not replaced a 15A breaker with a 20A breaker without upgrading the wire.  A 20A circuit requires 12AWG wire.  Fifteen amp circuits are wired with 14AWG, which can overheat when one attempts to draw more than 15A.  AWG sizing works the opposite way that people think.  The higher the number, the smaller the diameter.  The smaller the diameter, the higher the resistance.

With that said, there are usually two branch circuits that are almost guaranteed to be 20A circuits.  The first circuit is the one for one's washing machine.  It will usually be a single receptacle where one of the slots looks like a "T" turned on it's side.  If the circuit is wired to code, that type of receptacle indicates the circuit is capable of carrying 20A.  The other circuit is often labeled "Kitchen Circuit."  This circuit is usually wired to the receptacles that line one's kitchen counter top.  It will also usually have GCFI breakers.  If your kitchen circuit is 20A, and you want to use it to power a BoilCoil, you should upgrade the GFCI receptacles on this circuit to 20A GFCI receptacles.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-SmartLockPro-20-Amp-Slim-GFCI-Duplex-Outlet-White-R02-N7899-0KW/203427638

(http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400/20/2072c659-28f6-4ba1-b777-e8494e2398ec_400.jpg)


By the way, the 2250W BoilCoil does not draw 2250W of power on a good day.  My 2250W BoilCoil has a resistance of 7.1 Ohms.  Power equals voltage multiplied by current.  In this case, we only know the line voltage and the coil
resistance; however, we can use Ohm's law to determine the current.

P (watts) = E (voltage) * I (current)

I (current) =  E (voltage) / R (resistance)

Therefore

P (watts) = E (voltage) *  E (voltage) / R (resistance)

E = 120
R = 7.1

P = 120 * 120 / 7.1 = 2,028W

The 2250W BoilCoil actually draws 2,028 / 120 = 16.9 amps of current.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: AmandaK on September 18, 2015, 02:59:27 pm
You guys got me thinking (as usual) - looking at PIDs and such really isn't that big of a stretch. I almost understand this, but I'll get there - maybe with pictures:

If you want PID control and easy manual control, what you really want is a PID and the unit that Martin has linked.  All you need to do is to use a double-pole double-throw switch between the +/- control output connections on both units and the +/- control inputs of the SSR.

Back to our OP: so Steve, do you have a wiring diagram in mind for your K-RIMS?
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 18, 2015, 03:37:51 pm
I have the basics, but not all of the internal components figured out. I have a buddy that's good with this, so I can basically show him what I want and how I want it to work. He will then figure out how to make it work.

I was working on my panel art earlier. I'll upload it when I get a chance.

The components do get pricey, but I still think I can put something together that offers more compared to the high gravity offering at $500.
Title: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 18, 2015, 04:49:24 pm
(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/09/18/15c3a79e925fe7384b9a7a5fa8cfd2a4.jpg)

Here is the basic layout. It's a low-rez export, the actual file is vector with a high-rez background.

Two top circles are lights to show which controller is being used. Left controller is a standard PID and the right is the one Martin linked. Center switch is a three position to choose which controller is being used.

Square to the right of the right is the door lock mechanism.

Power switch will be an illuminated switch that will only light when on. Same with the two pump switches.

On the inside there will be a safe start relay that will only let the panel turn on if all switches are in the off position. This I gleaned from The Electric Brewery panel. It is intended to prevent dry firing and pumps running unintentionally. It will also keep the panel from restarting after a power outage or blown breaker.

All components on the panel will be 120v with the power switch driving a mechanical relay for the 240v circuit.

All of the sockets will be on the bottom including the temp probe for the PID.

I am not sure how I am going to mount it for use. I'm thinking I could add a camera mount to the back and and use a microphone stand. I'm sure I will need something beefier, but I can figure that out once I have an idea on the total weight. Maybe a standard floor flange?
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 18, 2015, 06:20:55 pm
A tripod speaker stand is more than stout enough to handle the weight of a control panel.  A ProLine basic tripod speaker stand will set you back around $40.00.

I have been going through this same exercise.  I even acquired a nice NOS American-made 1/16 DIN Red Lion PID and the manual controller that Martin referenced before deciding that Kal's approach is just too bulky (even a 10x12x6 enclosure is huge when one is building a 3.5 gallon brewery).  I am not brewing on a factory floor.  I do not need "washdown" capability.  I am considering designing a SBC-based brewing controller over the winter. 
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 18, 2015, 07:15:08 pm
Good call on the speaker stand. I'd rather not have that amount of floor space taken up (plus it's another thing to trip over), but very good idea.

I'm opting for the 10x12x8. I feel the depth gives more wiggle room for the inside components and wire routing and the smaller enclosures can't have two PIDs mounted side by side. It might look like there is tons of wasted space on my layout, but even blank space has its purpose.

Speaking of Kal's panel, what's up with the volt and amp meters? Doesn't make sense to add them. Cool factor? It's just overly complicated for my use. I don't need alarms and many of the lights can be eliminated by opting for illuminated switches.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 18, 2015, 07:50:07 pm
Volt and amp meters are useful in that the voltage fed to one's house can and often does vary.

Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 18, 2015, 08:05:29 pm

Volt and amp meters are useful in that the voltage fed to one's house can and often does vary.
But why would it really matter? As long as it is within the normal range, all would be good.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Phil_M on September 18, 2015, 08:41:53 pm
I think an ammeter isn't a bad idea, and considering the cost of one of Kal's builds I'd think it would be a good idea to include one. (Most ammeters are pretty inexpensive.) It'd be very useful if you ever need to troubleshoot your system, and in a multi-element system provide another indicator as to how many elements are being powered.

I've currently got a High Gravity system, and I'd agree that I think it could have been designed a bit better. I've been drawing up plans for an upgrade, but that's not likely to happen till I finish my degree. Something I've been considering is computer control, something like a raspberry pi ought to be able to be able to run a simple brewery without too much work.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 18, 2015, 09:08:00 pm
A guy in one of my clubs just finished building a pi controlled gas fired system. He uses his tablet to work it, but also installed a touch screen high contrast display. Pretty sweet.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 18, 2015, 09:33:12 pm
But why would it really matter? As long as it is within the normal range, all would be good.

The wattage that an element draws is dependent on the mains voltage.  The mains voltage can and does swing by as much as 10VAC due to demand and/or re-configuring of the power grid.  I have measured voltages ranging from 118VAC to 127VAC on my 120VAC outlets. I mentioned earlier that my Blichmann 2250W BoilCoil has a resistance of 7.2 ohms, and that power in watts is equal to voltage squared divided by resistance.

P (watts) = 118 * 118 / 7.2 =  1934W
P (watts) = 127 * 127 / 7.2 =  2240W

The difference in power between the two voltages is 306W.  That power difference is significant enough to notice a difference in heating time.  A watt is 0.24 calories per second; therefore, 1934W = 464 calories per second and 2240 = 538 calories per second.  A calorie is the amount of heat energy needed to raise one gram of water one degree Celsius*.  One gallon of water contains 3,785 millimeters of water.  One milliliter of water weighs one gram; therefore, one gallon of water weighs 3,785 grams.

starting_boil_volume = 6.5 gallons/24603ml
mash_runoff_temperature = 151F/66C
boil_temperature = 212F/100C
temperature_delta = 61F/34C

We need to raise 24603 milliliters of wort 34 degrees Celsius.

time_to_raise_boil_1934W = 24603 / 464 * 34 / 60 = 30 minutes

time_to_boil_2240W = 24603 / 538 * 34 / 60 = 26 minutes

Four minutes is a significant difference if one does not have one's kettle alarmed.


* Wort is denser than water.

Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 18, 2015, 09:40:24 pm
Something I've been considering is computer control, something like a raspberry pi ought to be able to be able to run a simple brewery without too much work.

I am thinking about using a BeagleBone Black.  I like the BeagleBone more than the Raspberry PI for embedded control projects.  It was designed with embedded control in mind.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 18, 2015, 09:44:14 pm
I get that it would impact heating times, but what's 5-10 minutes in the grand scheme of things?

I don't understand your note about the alarm. How would that make a difference? Set the alarm for 210-212 and walk away?
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: mabrungard on September 19, 2015, 08:02:06 am
Volt and amp meters are useful in that the voltage fed to one's house can and often does vary.

While supply voltage (and subsequent amperage through your brewing system) can vary, I'm not sure that it matters. For example, when operating in a RIMS mode with my PID controlling the temp, it just means that the unit has to cycle faster or slower to meet the temperature goal. For my boil controller, it just means that I have to turn the pulse percentage up or down a notch to produce the boil vigor I am looking for...very subjective.

Volt and amp meters are 'nice to have', not 'need to have' items.
Title: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 19, 2015, 10:55:58 am
I think I have a possible flaw in my layout. The element would only be controlled by the ssr using the control leads from the PIDs through the selector switch. If the SSR were to fail closed, the element would be hot. By design, mechanical relays should fail open cutting power to the element. Should I simply add a mechanical relay in parallel with the switch using additional switch blocks that would also cut the power to the ssr, or would it be best to add a separate switch?
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 19, 2015, 11:49:27 am
I don't understand your note about the alarm. How would that make a difference? Set the alarm for 210-212 and walk away?

I wrote, "Four minutes is a significant difference if one does not have one's kettle alarmed,"  meaning that estimating time to boil can be crap shoot without knowledge of the supply voltage. 

I have seen many control panels that lack audible alarms.  From what I can ascertain from reading the manual for my Red Lion PID, the PID does not adjust anything after the alarm threshold has been met.  It merely closes a relay than can be used to close an audible alarm circuit.  A kettle can boil over in four minutes without an audible indicator.

Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 19, 2015, 12:13:30 pm
Should I simply add a mechanical relay in parallel with the switch using additional switch blocks that would also cut the power to the ssr, or would it be best to add a separate switch?

A separate illuminated switch or switch plus illuminated indicator wired to a DPDT electromechanical relay that opens and closes the outputs from the SSRs allows for easy visual verification that the circuit is open, as well as allowing one to energize the system without fear of energizing the element.  Adding switch blocks to the key switch adds no value because the key switch should control the power supplied to the brewing controller via a DPDT (240) or SPST (120V) mechanical relay.  Adding a electromechnical relay to the SSR outputs that is controlled by the key switch is the equivalent of not having the electromechanical relay protection.


With that said, the KISS principle is always one's friend when designing a system.  The probably of a failure occurring increases with the number of components.  One has to weigh additional complexity and failure points against the possibility that the condition that one is guarding against will occur.  In my humble opinion, a simple one controlled element controller does not need to have a relay installed between the receptacle and the SSR(s), especially a controller that is not hardwired on its own branch circuit.  This type of controller exists to heat one thing at time; therefore, it is easy to prevent dry firing.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 19, 2015, 12:20:39 pm
The relay would not be between the element and ssr, it would be before the ssr and would be energized by the same switch that selects which of the two controllers is active, hence the additional pole blocks for the switch. My thought here is power is cut ahead of the ssr.

Best analogy I can come up with this the mechanical relay would be a deadbolt and the ssr would be a locking handle/knob. If the latch fails, the deadbolt still keeps everything safe.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 19, 2015, 12:34:34 pm
Mark, can you also confirm if it would be OK to control a single ssr with the two controllers, obviously not at the same time. The switch would control the positive to the ssr and the negative from the ssr would go to both controllers. Installing a second ssr wouldn't be hard, but my initial idea follows you KISS method.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 19, 2015, 02:56:34 pm
You are better off switching the negative and positive terminals because the controllers do not share a common DC power supply. In days of yore when linear power supplies ruled the roost, one could tie the grounds from several DC power supplies together.  However, many DC power supplies today are switch-mode power supplies.  Tying the grounds from multiple switch-mode power supplies together can result in ripple interaction between the power supplies.  This problem will more than likely not occur when tying the grounds together in your configuration, but it is worth keeping the outputs isolated from each other in that it eliminates a possible source of gremlins. 
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 19, 2015, 03:24:30 pm
I would only be switching the control leads to the ssr, not the power to the PIDs themselves. The PIDs will be powered off of the hot and neutral bus that will power all of the 120v items.

Do you think it would be best to switch both the positive and negative control leads?
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 19, 2015, 03:28:48 pm
The relay would not be between the element and ssr, it would be before the ssr and would be energized by the same switch that selects which of the two controllers is active, hence the additional pole blocks for the switch. My thought here is power is cut ahead of the ssr.

It does not make a difference if the dry-fire protection relay occurs before or after the SSR.  How are you planning to implement your master power switching circuitry?  I am assuming that you are you planning to have your power switch energize the coil on a master DPDT relay that switches both hot legs of the 240VAC power feed with the other circuits taken off of the outputs of the master relay in a balanced fashion.  I am also assuming that you are planning on a 4-wire feed with two hots, a common, and a ground wire.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 19, 2015, 03:36:28 pm

The relay would not be between the element and ssr, it would be before the ssr and would be energized by the same switch that selects which of the two controllers is active, hence the additional pole blocks for the switch. My thought here is power is cut ahead of the ssr.

It does not make a difference if the dry-fire protection relay occurs before or after the SSR.  How are you planning to implement your master power switching circuitry?  I am assuming that you are you planning to have your power switch energize the coil on a master DPDT relay that switches both hot legs of the 240VAC power feed with the other circuits taken off of the outputs of the master relay in a balanced fashion.  I am also assuming that you are planning on a 4-wire feed with two hots, a common, and a ground wire.
Yes, wire with two hots, ground and neutral. The power switch would function just as you are describing, same as Kal's setup. He uses additional relays for the elements as well. I was planning on only using one hot bus off of one of the hot legs, same as Kal's.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 19, 2015, 03:41:33 pm
Do you think it would be best to switch both the positive and negative control leads?

Yes, because it will avoid the possibility of ripple interaction between the DC power supplies on the two controllers.  There's a high probability that ripple interaction between the two power supplies will not occur if you tie the control signal negative (ground, common, 0 volts, or whatever you want to call it) terminals on the controllers to the negative terminal on the SSR, but using a DPDT switch instead of SPDT switch is a small price to pay for complete isolation.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 19, 2015, 03:47:33 pm
That is what I was planning to do. Control "whatever" leads would both be connected to the ssr. The two positives would be connected to a three position switch the out from the switch would connect to the ssr positive. Additional blocks on the three position switch isn't a big deal cost wise, just extra depth.

I'm trying to draw up a wiring diagram now. Using Visio, which isn't the best option, but I don't feel like paying for a schematic program.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 19, 2015, 03:48:12 pm
Thanks for the help by the way. Just keep it simple. :)
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 19, 2015, 03:50:54 pm
Yes, wire with two hots, ground and neutral. The power switch would function just as you are describing, same as Kal's setup. He uses additional relays for the elements as well. I was planning on only using one hot bus off of one of the hot legs, same as Kal's.

There are actually two hot buses when dealing with 120VAC devices, and they need to balanced across the hot legs.  If one looks at one's electrical distribution panel, one usually sees two rows of breakers.  The 240VAC breakers span both legs while the 120VAC breakers are between one leg and neutral.  When wiring a distribution panel, an electrician spreads the 120VAC circuits across the legs in order to maintain as close to equal current draw on the legs.  I need to check Kal's design, but I do not believe that a qualified electrician or EE would wire a 240VAC control panel with only one 120VAC hot bus.   
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 19, 2015, 03:59:53 pm
He pulls the bus power off of the shunt best I can tell. I'm going off of his site, but I am considering buying ebook. The amperage draw of all of the 120 items should be quite low. I know my two pumps will only pull 3 amps combined and the PIDs are very low power usage.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 19, 2015, 05:44:39 pm
I managed to locate a clone schematic, and it does appear that running an unbalanced configuration is the norm.  It's not what I would do, but I believe that a March pump only draws 1.4A.
Title: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 19, 2015, 06:40:07 pm
Oops. Deleted my post.

Wiring diagram below. I think I did ok for draft one. Messy, but I don't feel like cleaning it up after 4 beers. I still need to add the safe start interlock.

Price wise, I'm at around $400 not counting the incoming cable and gfci. That is $100 less compared to high gravity's SV controller, and more feature packed IMO.

(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/09/19/69452c8d424059c5e72933d4f2e09c67.jpg)
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 19, 2015, 11:13:53 pm
I would price shop on eBay before committing to purchasing everything from Auber.  I purchased a lot of parts from Auber that I could have purchased for much cheaper on eBay, and we are talking about the same exact part, not a substitution.  Additionally, you can find NOS Crydom SSRs for the same price as made in China specials if you are patient.   You want a Crydom model D2425 or D2440 SSR depending on what wattage (the letter D means that it accepts a control voltage that is between 3 and 32 VDC).  I also found NOS made in Japan electromechanical relays for less than the price of the made in China specials sold by Auber.  I did pay more for my PID, but it is a American made Red Lion T48 that costs $200.00 retail.  It paid $69.00 shipping included, and the PID was truly new-in-box when it arrived at my doorstep. 
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 20, 2015, 06:30:59 am
I certainly will shop around. Always do.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: AmandaK on September 20, 2015, 10:12:06 am
Steve/Mark, I am following every post in this thread. I may just end up giving this whole "build the control system myself" thing a go. As always, thank you guys. You are both helping me see that maybe this electric thing isn't really that hard.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 20, 2015, 10:37:18 am
Honestly, I was nervous at first. Mark's help has been immensely valuable. I am also taking individual sections from Kal's build and simplifying where I can (illuminated switches).

I do wish I could go smaller on the enclosure, but auber sells one with the two PID holes factory cut for $82.50 with a heat sink. I think the extra size and cost is worth not needing to cut those two holes. I'm planning on keeping everything else round where I can.
Title: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 20, 2015, 07:33:11 pm
I cleaned up the wiring by making the sheet size 8.5x14 and landscape. Much easier to read and all of the traces are tidier.

Mark, everything look ok to you but for the possible issue with the neutral control leads? I will most likely order an extra pair of blocks and use them if I have the space. I think I will be ok if I arrange the relays lower in the enclosure behind the power and pump switches. That would leave the center wide open. I could also just switch the power to the controllers, but I like the idea of having them powered.

(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/09/20/5cc56c5a26f2e53962ce965f4793964e.jpg)
Title: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 22, 2015, 10:10:37 pm
Mark, I think I came up with a solution to opening the control leads with the three position controller selector. I imagine the control signal is sent out over the positive and received by the negative. If I open the negative with the three position switch, the inactive controller can send all the signals it wants over the positive with no ill effects.

Am I right or am I crazy?

EDIT - I think I figured it out myself. If the positive leads are bridged and controller A is sending a signal, controller B might get confused. I guess the only way is to use three block pairs. 1 for the positive control, one for the negative control, and one for the 120v coil. I should have enough room to accommodate the depth.

I made some small revisions as well. I took your advise regarding splitting the 120v items across the two legs. I am wiring one pump to one leg and the hot bus with the other pump to the other leg.

Thanks again for the assistance.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: AmandaK on September 23, 2015, 05:39:09 am
Can I ask you two a newbie question?

What is the main advantage of the DPDT relay? I've been talking about this project with our lead electrical engineer here at work and he seems to think that having a breaker(s) is the simpler way to go.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: mabrungard on September 23, 2015, 06:55:35 am
I just use 2 regular SSRs to control both legs of my 240v heating circuits. The control wiring is just piggybacked  to both SSRs for control. Using a breaker is too manual for me.

By the way, I use the big 30a and 50a dryer plugs and receptacles on each of my heating circuits and on the connection between the spa panel and the brewery control panel so that I can always have a true disconnection to meet my lock-out, tag-out mentality. I find there is no need for the more expensive twist-lock plugs and receptacles since the dryer plugs are pretty hard to separate as they are. If you can easily pull one of those plugs out, you are more of a man than I am.

Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 23, 2015, 07:09:06 am
Good call to have a few bucks Martin.

The first really controls power to the whole box. The second relay controls power to the element and the ssr control how much power that is (or how often power is on.

Some of my brew buddies are recommending adding additional breakers in the control panel. Won't the 30A breaker in the electric panel coupled with the gfci in the spa panel be sufficient? I have fuses wired to protect the 120 items.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 23, 2015, 07:56:28 am
Can I ask you two a newbie question?

What is the main advantage of the DPDT relay? I've been talking about this project with our lead electrical engineer here at work and he seems to think that having a breaker(s) is the simpler way to go.

The first DPDT relay allows the brewer to control 240VAC up to the relay current rating on a multi-element unit using a 120VAC 10A switch.  It's effectively a relay-based 240VAC power switch for the unit.   The element DPDT relays are a safeguard against dry firing and shorted SSRs.  Neither are necessary on a single element 120VAC controller as long as the power switch is capable of carrying 20A, and one is careful to not energize the unit before filling the heated vessel above the height of the element.  While the DPDT 240VAC power relay may appear to be superfluous component on a multi-element 240VAC controller, it allows one to use a master magnetic kill switch as an operator safety device.
 
With that said, a lot of Kal's design is based on the premise that the unit needs that be "washdown" safe.  If one looks at Kal's brewery, it designed so that he can hose the place down.  Most home brewers do not need this level of industrialization because their home breweries are a secondary use of a space within their homes.

Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 23, 2015, 09:31:49 am
For those who may be looking for a high-quality 240VAC SSR for a reasonable price, the eBay seller linked below is selling new Crydom 240VAC 75A SSRs with a control input voltage of 3-32VDC for $14.99 + shipping. 


http://www.ebay.com/itm/CRYDOM-SOLID-STATE-RELAY-D2475-240-VAC-75A-NEW-/131597913845?hash=item1ea3d8cef5


A Crydom SSR is a huge step up in quality from a Chinese SSR.  Mouser sells this SSR for $77.38.

www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Crydom/D2475/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtq49AUx5G3778uEJUSSwFqGIGUKB5xmyo%3d
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 23, 2015, 09:49:26 am
I've been looking for Crydom based on your recommendation and saw his listing. Too bad he doesn't have the 40A model for a few bucks less.

What is the main benefit? Longer life/reliability?
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 23, 2015, 10:57:59 am
I've been looking for Crydom based on your recommendation and saw his listing. Too bad he doesn't have the 40A model for a few bucks less.

What is the main benefit? Longer life/reliability?

The main benefits are guaranteed performance at the specified ratings and higher reliability (a lot of Chinese SSRs that are rated for a 3-32 VDC control signal will not turn on at 3.3 volts, which makes driving them directly from a GPIO pin on a modern single board computer or microcontroller board impossible without a logic level converter).  A 75A SSR can be used in place of a 25A or 40A SSR.  The current rating is the maximum current that the SSR can handle, not the minimum current that it can handle.  The current rating of a semi-conductor is based on the amount of heat that it can dissipate.  An SSR is based on silicon-controlled rectifiers, which are a type of diode.    All diodes have what is known as a forward voltage drop (Vf).  The forward voltage drop multiplied by the current rating is the amount of heat in watts that an SSR can dissipate.


Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 23, 2015, 11:14:11 am
I get that it would work, would just be nice to save a few bucks with a 30A. The PID leads seem to be 12v mostly, so I shouldn't need to worry about that, but buying a cheap ssr with a backup is basically the same price as the Crydom from that seller.
Title: Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 23, 2015, 11:48:22 am
I get that it would work, would just be nice to save a few bucks with a 30A. The PID leads seem to be 12v mostly, so I shouldn't need to worry about that, but buying a cheap ssr with a backup is basically the same price as the Crydom from that seller.

I was raised by a man who spent over forty years of his life repairing and calibrating electronic devices (I also spent the early part of my career in the MIL-SPEC world).  I learned a lot about real world versus textbook engineering from him.  One of the things that I learned was to buy the best quality components that I can afford at the best price at which they can be acquired.  The quality of Chinese components leaves a lot to be desired because quality control only happens if the company placing the order demands it.  The average Chinese-made SSR with a backup is still not as reliable as the average North American or Japanese-manufactured SSR, and we are dealing with a device that is carrying mains electricity.  The same thing can be said about electromechanical relays.


By the way, if I manage to complete the project that I am planning to work on in the winter, you are going to wish that you had purchased an SSR that was guaranteed to turn on at 3.3 VDC. :)


Title: K-RIMS / Breweasy
Post by: Stevie on September 23, 2015, 12:06:25 pm
I have a new idea regarding the controller switching. Hopefully I can explain it properly.

Two switches with 3 NO blocks and 1 NC block each. The NO blocks will provide the power to the coil and switch both control leads while the NC block will be used to cut power to the ssr if both switches are in the on position. Essentially the left switch will only energize if the right switch is in the closed position and vice versa. This would add an additional switch, but eliminates two indicators if I use illuminated switches. So the net number of components on the panel goes down by own.

The idea is to avoid needing a switch with three block pairs which could cause issues if with clearance.