Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Pimp My System => Topic started by: kal on April 13, 2011, 09:47:35 PM

Title: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: kal on April 13, 2011, 09:47:35 PM
Hi everyone!

My Electric Brewery uses 20 gallon Blichman kettles, a HERMS coil in the HLT to maintain heat, and a control panel I custom built myself to run the show. 

My build criteria for system:

- 100% electric for indoor brewing
- Safe, easy, and enjoyable to use
- Not limit the brewer in any way
- Provide for extremely repeatable and consistent results
- Use industrial quality parts that last (all stainless steel, limit the use of plastics)

I also have complete instructions on how to built it from scratch available for free on my website: TheElectricBrewery.com (http://www.TheElectricBrewery.com)

Some pictures:

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/IMG_3575.jpg)

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/IMG_5206.jpg)

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/IMG_8009.jpg)

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/HLT.jpg)

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/IMG_7339.jpg)

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/IMG_6638.jpg)

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/IMG_6681.jpg)

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/IMG_6717.jpg)

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/IMG_1553.jpg)

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/IMG_5332new.jpg)

Happy brewing!

Kal
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: weithman5 on April 13, 2011, 10:00:03 PM
looks cool with the exception of that wine stuff in the background ;D
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: kal on April 13, 2011, 10:23:31 PM
looks cool with the exception of that wine stuff in the background ;D
If it's any consolation, I don't make wine anymore... :) The bottles are slowly being consumed and then that's it!

Brewing's much more creative/interesting. In winemaking 99% of the work is in growing good grapes. Once you have those the work is basically done.

Kal
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: BarleynYeast on April 13, 2011, 10:29:48 PM
I heard you on the BN last week and checked your site after hearing the interview. Wow that is one fantastic site! I am in the process of adding temp control to my brewery and I am going to incorporate some of your ideas. The detail on your brewery is incredible, I am sure it will save me a lot of headaches!
Thanks for taking the time to document your setup!!!
Matt
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: kal on April 13, 2011, 11:27:02 PM
Thanks Matt. Took me a long time to design my setup so I figured the I should document it all so that others that were interested could follow and built the exact same thing. People think I'm crazy giving it all away for free but charging for information wasn't really something I felt was right. It's not the right spirit.

That said, had I known how many 100's of hours it was going to take to document it all, I probably never would have started. It was a crazy amount of work. Once I haad started however I couldn't stop... I was getting emails every day asking when the "next section" would be up.

Kal
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: EHall on April 13, 2011, 11:59:40 PM
I came across your site a couple years ago, I'm surprised you're just now coming here to show it off... very impressive.
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: tonyp on April 14, 2011, 01:56:59 AM
that control panel is ridiculously awesome, nice work!

cheers!
Tony
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: resto3 on April 14, 2011, 01:25:35 PM
Very impressed!!  I love your setup. 

Question.  Does the heating element in you kettle scorch or caramelize or whatever the term I am looking for you wort to any difference than say a direct fire  kettle operation does?

Richie
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: kal on April 14, 2011, 01:35:22 PM
Question.  Does the heating element in you kettle scorch or caramelize or whatever the term I am looking for you wort to any difference than say a direct fire  kettle operation does?
Hi Richie,

No, not at all.The wort is in constant movement from the boil and the elements don't get hot enough in one spot to caramelize sugars.

Kal
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: bluesman on April 14, 2011, 01:49:00 PM
Very nice setup. Very clean and practical looking. Congrats!  8)
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: resto3 on April 14, 2011, 04:15:50 PM
That's really good to know.  That was my concern with electrical systems.  Never thought of the fact that as the wort boils it is in constant movement.  I've always wanted to move my set up to the basement and I think this is totally the way to go.  Thanks for posting.  Spectacular job, really!!

And thanks for posting!!

Richie
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: kal on April 14, 2011, 05:02:45 PM
That's really good to know.  That was my concern with electrical systems.  Never thought of the fact that as the wort boils it is in constant movement.  I've always wanted to move my set up to the basement and I think this is totally the way to go.  Thanks for posting.  Spectacular job, really!!
Ask other electric brewers too and you'll find that there's really no issue that anyone has reported. I've made the lightest of lagers (basically bud/miller/coors clones) and have zero issues.

Kal
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: beersk on April 15, 2011, 03:24:30 PM
Absolutely amazing.  I'd love to have a setup like that someday, but man, I don't think I'll ever have the money for that kind of equipment.
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: pyrite on April 16, 2011, 04:04:55 AM
Faaaaaaaaak :o..WOW!
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: resto3 on April 19, 2011, 11:12:36 AM
Kal,

is it practicle to have a similar system when the volumes get bigger?  For example the Blichmann 55 gal Boilermakers.  Would those require 2 heating element?

Richie
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: kal on April 19, 2011, 12:57:19 PM
Kal,

is it practicle to have a similar system when the volumes get bigger?  For example the Blichmann 55 gal Boilermakers.  Would those require 2 heating element?

Richie
The jury's still out on 1 bbl (31 gallon) batches using the 55 gallon pots. I've had some people say that one 5500W element is enough to boil that amount but I would probably go with two elements (either 4500W or 5500W each). I've never tried it myself. There are a lot of factors involved.

Kal
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: blatz on April 19, 2011, 01:20:32 PM
Kal's system is suhweet.

I'm putting his system up in my new brewhouse at the end of the year - can't wait!...still working on getting the brewhouse part up  ;) 
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: thirsty on April 19, 2011, 02:53:32 PM
Wow. That is a really nice setup ya got there.
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: oscarvan on May 13, 2011, 10:57:08 PM
Very nice.... uh, what does the red ALARM do?
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: kal on May 13, 2011, 11:19:44 PM
Very nice.... uh, what does the red ALARM do?
It's an audible and visual alarm that can be used to notify you when:

- Hot liquor has reached strike temperature,
- Mash is complete,
- Mash-out is complete/Hot liquor has reached sparge temperature,
- Wort is nearing boiling temperature,
- Hop additions required,
- Boil is complete
- Wort chill temp reached (for immersion chiller users)

Each PID has an alarm on/off switch as does the timer, so it's flexible as to how you use it.

Kal
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: a10t2 on May 13, 2011, 11:32:40 PM
The jury's still out on 1 bbl (31 gallon) batches using the 55 gallon pots. I've had some people say that one 5500W element is enough to boil that amount but I would probably go with two elements (either 4500W or 5500W each). I've never tried it myself. There are a lot of factors involved.

Setting aside all those factors, I think it would be doable, but only barely. We use an 18 kW element for 6 bbl boils, and that's less power than I'd like, but not by a whole lot. I'd say 4-5 kW per barrel of boil volume would be acceptable.

You have me seriously considering putting in a fume hood and maybe going electric at the same time, BTW. It would be nice to be able to brew more than 5 months a year.
Title: Re: My setup: TheElectricBrewery.com
Post by: rizomee on June 24, 2011, 04:20:26 AM
Dude, the only thing that board is missing are "The" 2 keys:))