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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: fishinjay on March 20, 2018, 07:02:27 PM

Title: Electric BIAB DIY Questions
Post by: fishinjay on March 20, 2018, 07:02:27 PM
I imagine most of my questions could be answered with a bunch of separate searches, but perhaps if we post links or info below, this post could become a "sticky" post for others looking to build their own Electric BIAB.

I have been considering the UniBrau V3, but I often see people saying you could build your own for far less. Trouble is, I have no idea what to even search for. DIY projects are typically no problem, but I know very little about electrical systems.

One thing I particularly like about the UniBrau is the ability to brew with 110v on two different circuits. Can anyone recommend a parts list to me, or maybe a good resource for learning how to build a single vessel electric brew system?

I brew 5.5 gallon batches and I'd like to build the system around a Spike 10 gallon kettle.

Specifically I'm trying to figure out:
Title: Electric BIAB DIY Questions
Post by: Stevie on March 20, 2018, 08:25:56 PM
First off, this is a complicated build, but doable. I can’t point you to a wiring diagram or plans.
 
You can try this kettle. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FTLY1K/ref=as_at/?creativeASIN=B000FTLY1K&imprToken=vX.FME0-KOCZefyl97Yomg&slotNum=2&ie=UTF8&linkCode=w61&tag=hombrefin-20&linkId=0d123432d211733caa93a614c33c19fb

[/quote]

Check the systems at High Gravity. They might be able to configure a dual element system.
Title: Electric BIAB DIY Questions
Post by: Stevie on March 20, 2018, 08:41:06 PM
And the electrician comment wasn’t a dig. At minimum have your plans inspected and then the build before firing it.
Title: Re: Electric BIAB DIY Questions
Post by: jpeets on March 20, 2018, 08:45:39 PM
 Check out short-circuit brewing its on YouTube it will answer most of your questions he just did a 1 gallon brew in the bag electric
Title: Re: Electric BIAB DIY Questions
Post by: Richard on March 20, 2018, 09:14:25 PM
Regarding the second heater, you don't really need it to be connected to your controller. You only need the extra power when heating water to strike temperature or from mash temperature to boiling, and the controller isn't doing any regulating at those times. The controller does the regulation during the mash, and a single element will have plenty of power for that. The second element just reduces the amount of time you spend while heating. I have a single 2000 W element for 5-gallon batches, and it runs at less than 10% power during the mash and less than 75% during the boil. Adding a second element would not be worth it for me.
Title: Re: Electric BIAB DIY Questions
Post by: Wilbur on March 20, 2018, 09:25:16 PM
I've been looking at this as well. Here's some good resources:

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/ (http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/)

https://ebrewsupply.com/ (https://ebrewsupply.com/)

https://www.highgravitybrew.com/store/pc/Electric-Brewing-Systems-d68.htm (https://www.highgravitybrew.com/store/pc/Electric-Brewing-Systems-d68.htm)

Kai has a really good writeup on thelectricbrewery.com. According to what I've read, if you get the ultra low watt density elements, it shouldn't be an issue to use a bag. Other options: use a false bottom and place the element under the false bottom, or use a RIMS setup. A RIMS setup places the heating element in a pipe outside of the kettle, and pumps the wort around it.

One question on it: Are you trying to keep it 120V for a specific reason? A 240V outlet is usually ~ $200 to install, and would allow much faster ramp times.

High gravity brewing has a turnkey 120V system for $900, they list a 30 minute mash>boil time.
https://www.highgravitybrew.com/store/pc/Brewing-System-Electric-Wort-Hog-5-Gallon-BIAB-120V-445p4647.htm (https://www.highgravitybrew.com/store/pc/Brewing-System-Electric-Wort-Hog-5-Gallon-BIAB-120V-445p4647.htm)

Here's a bunch of reviews of ready made systems:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/single-vessel-brewing-systems-overview-review-pt1.html (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/single-vessel-brewing-systems-overview-review-pt1.html)
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/single-vessel-brewing-systems-pt2-reviews.html (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/single-vessel-brewing-systems-pt2-reviews.html)

Any reason in particular you're not looking at a ready made system? My only complaint is either the cost, or most seem to require a sparge.
Title: Re: Electric BIAB DIY Questions
Post by: fishinjay on March 21, 2018, 01:47:21 PM
Thanks for all the replies so far, it's a huge help!

Quote
One question on it: Are you trying to keep it 120V for a specific reason? A 240V outlet is usually ~ $200 to install, and would allow much faster ramp times.

In my work I end up moving every 3-5 years, so having to re-install a 240v outlet every time would be a pain for me. If I go with the 120v then I know I can use it anywhere I move.

Quote
Any reason in particular you're not looking at a ready made system?
I really like the Unibrau V3 for it's mash insert and apparent quality, but the cost seems a bit much to me. I still might go that route, but I wanted to explore DIY possibilities first. I worked for many years as a an aircraft airframer, and I do a lot of home remodeling work myself, so I know I have the mechanical skills for DIY. But electrical work is something I've never attempted, so I am trying to learn as much as I can before i jump in - or abandon the idea for a ready-made system.
Title: Re: Electric BIAB DIY Questions
Post by: fishinjay on March 21, 2018, 01:49:47 PM
I have a single 2000 W element for 5-gallon batches, and it runs at less than 10% power during the mash and less than 75% during the boil. Adding a second element would not be worth it for me.

Good to know, thanks!
Title: Re: Electric BIAB DIY Questions
Post by: 802Chris on March 27, 2018, 04:21:35 PM
Thanks for all the replies so far, it's a huge help!

Quote
One question on it: Are you trying to keep it 120V for a specific reason? A 240V outlet is usually ~ $200 to install, and would allow much faster ramp times.

In my work I end up moving every 3-5 years, so having to re-install a 240v outlet every time would be a pain for me. If I go with the 120v then I know I can use it anywhere I move.

Quote
Any reason in particular you're not looking at a ready made system?
I really like the Unibrau V3 for it's mash insert and apparent quality, but the cost seems a bit much to me. I still might go that route, but I wanted to explore DIY possibilities first. I worked for many years as a an aircraft airframer, and I do a lot of home remodeling work myself, so I know I have the mechanical skills for DIY. But electrical work is something I've never attempted, so I am trying to learn as much as I can before i jump in - or abandon the idea for a ready-made system.

For what it's worth, I have similar background and skillset. I DIY almost everything that I can and always try to save money where I can. I looked into DIY for months and eventually settled on a ready made system. The brewers edge mash and boil, the robo-brew, among others all offer good value when you look at the features vs DIY. This especially holds true if you are sticking with 120V and would use the features such as a timer.