Author Topic: eKettle Countertop Brutus 20 Build - Help with future-proofing control panel  (Read 1062 times)

Offline Dropabeet

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Hi Guys,

I'm new to the forum and I'm in the process of building a Countertop Brutus 20 (As seen in BYO magazine:http://byo.com/malt/item/1933-countertop-brewing-system) except mine will support 5 gallon batches.

Here's my predicament: I only have access to 120V power in my apartment. I do have access to a new gas stove that I will boil and heat water on which justifies the 5 gallon batch sizes. I'll utilize the element to support recirculating mash temps.

I'm brewing with a 10 gallon kettle and 10 gallon MLT.

I want to future-proof my build so that I can easily convert to 240V when I'm at a new place. I'm think about using one 5500W element (at 1/4 power) running it at 120V now and building my control panel equipped to handle the switch to 240V in the future. I'm no electrician and have almost zero experience in wiring so I need some wisdom.

My question is, what do I need to change from jkarp's original build (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=131411) in order to run it at 120V while building all components in the panel so that it's easy to switch to 240v? I've searched a ton of these threads and haven't found a solution yet, maybe I'm missing something obvious?

Another dumb question, if I built a 240V control panel could one easily run it at 120V?

Appreciate your help!

Offline GS

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I think you should call an electrician.

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Offline Stevie

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Many of the parts will be usable in both builds, but the wiring will be different. I'd just build it to be usable now, and adjust later. Elements are cheap enough that I would buy one built for 110 and switch later.

As mentioned above, consult an electrician.

Offline JJeffers09

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Do you have a drier hookup? That should get you the V you need.  But you have to brew there...

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Offline Dropabeet

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Many of the parts will be usable in both builds, but the wiring will be different. I'd just build it to be usable now, and adjust later. Elements are cheap enough that I would buy one built for 110 and switch later.

As mentioned above, consult an electrician.

Thanks for the response! I'm trying to make it easiest to switch to 240V later, I'll consult an electrician to see what I need to do. Running a 5500W element on 120V would produce 1375W and would achieve a goal for future upgrading. Appreciate your input!

Offline Dropabeet

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Do you have a drier hookup? That should get you the V you need.  But you have to brew there...

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Negative,

I don't have access to any 240V sources. Where I live I go to a laundromat, down the street and my stove is Gas.
Thanks for your input!

Offline JJeffers09

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I'd say use 2 120v bent setup then.

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Offline Dropabeet

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I'd say use 2 120v bent setup then.

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What do you mean by "bent setup"?

Offline 69franx

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2 elements that are each bent so as to not interfere with each other. Likely through opposite sides of kettle
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline JJeffers09

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Kinda like this, but you want ulwd elements.

And I would say this Google search came up with a bad pic, element should turn another 90° and be a ultra low watt density to prevent scorching.
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« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 07:48:23 PM by JJeffers09 »
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Offline 69franx

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Kinda like this, but you want ulwd elements.

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Just like i pictured it
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline Stevie

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If you do the above, you need to ensure both elements are on separate circuits. If your are brewing in the kitchen, that may mean running a power cable out to another room. If your kitchen has been updated, you may have multiple circuits. For example, my kitchen has six circuits. Fridge, dishwasher, disposal, microwave and two counter top circuits. All 20amp

Offline JJeffers09

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1 gfi and 1 strip with surge protection is over compensation.  It will work but a strip in gfi makes sense to me.

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Offline Stevie

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Not if he's pulling over 2000w on an a 15a circuit or over 2500w on a 20a circuit.

Offline GS

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I still think he should call an electrician.

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