Return to TheElectricBrewery.com
  [ Shop ]   [ Building ]   [ Using ]   [ Recipes ]   [ Testimonials ]   [ Gallery ]   [ FAQ ]   [ About Us ]   [ Contact Us ]   [ Newsletter ]

Log inLog in   RegisterRegister   User Control PanelUser Control Panel   Private MessagesPrivate Messages   MembershipClub Memberships   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   Photo AlbumsPhoto Albums   Forum FAQForum FAQ


Kettle Size

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer-friendly view    TheElectricBrewery.com Forum Index -> Building Your Brewery
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Pippicidal



Joined: 07 Jan 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Baja Sur


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:44 pm    Post subject: Kettle Size Reply with quote


        Register to remove this ad. It's free!
What's the smallest batch you could make with 50 gallon Blichmann kettles as an ElectricBrewery style setup? I ask because I would like to be able to do 12 gallon 'pilot' batches and 1 bbl standard batches in the same kettles if possible. I assume one of the limiting factors would be grain bed depth. Thanks for your feedback. Thumbs Up
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!

I would imagine that the height of the heating element(s) in the boil kettle would be your limiting factor. You'll need to figure out what you want installed in the boil kettle and how they'd fit in relation to the heating elements. For example, will you use a Hop Stopper or not? If yes, does it need to go under the heating element(s) which may raise the point where the heating element(s). Then you'll know your minimum batch size.

Good luck!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Pippicidal



Joined: 07 Jan 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Baja Sur


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick reply Kal. I'd like to do a virtual clone of your setup (except for maybe a plate chiller instead) so the Hop Stopper would be part of the setup as would two heating elements per kettle. If only using the lower heating element in a 50 gallon kettle with the HS below what do you think the smallest batch would be?
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure. I don't have access to a 55 gallon Blichmann kettle.

The Hop Stopper XL for Blichmann kettles is what you'd use: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/hop-stopper/products/hop-stopper-2-0-xl-with-custom-dip-tube-for-non-bme-ss-brewtech-kettles-larger-than-30-gallons

This XL version is 14.25" in diameter and 3" high, which happens to be the lowest height from the bottom of the kettle that you can install our heating elements. So I would confirm what the water (wort) level is 3" up from a Blichmann 55 gallon kettle. Maybe 3.5" just to be sure.

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Pippicidal



Joined: 07 Jan 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Baja Sur


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so based on the Blichmann site the 55 gallon kettle (G-2) has a circumference of 23.6 inches.

23.6 inches at 3.5 inches height is 1531 cubic inches. @ 231 cubic inches/gallon = 6.6 gallons. That get's me to the bottom of the element right? What do you think the measurement to the top of the element would be with the XL Hop Stopper etc?

TIA
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The element is here:

https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/heating-elements/products/heating-element-kit-pre-assembled

Looks like this:



The 4 heating element rods are about an inch thick or so when bundled this way. I say "about" as there's flexibility here. These are not machined to be a precise size (because they don't have to be).

In a 55 gallon kettle I'm not sure if you need to install the Hop Stopper XL underneath the element, or if there's enough room to put the element off to the side and lower a bit. You'd have to test this. That said, you can't install the center of the element much lower than 3" anyway since the heating element box will otherwise be lower than the kettle bottom.

So in the worst case scenario, assuming the heating element rod bundles are about 1" high and that you have to have the hop stopper underneath which needs 3" clearance, you'd be installing the heating element hole about 3.5" up the side to leave 3" free underneath for the hop stopper. While the heating element can touch the element, leaving a bit of room would probably make it easier to get the hop stopper in and out, so a hole 4" up is probably better. But again, wait until you have everything and dry fit before punching any holes.

All this is somewhat moot however given that the wort volume with the kettle filled to 3.5" comes up as only 6.6 gallons, nowhere near the 12 gallons you want to make. That means that you'd need to fill to almost 6.4" to reach 12 gallons. So I don't see any need to be overly precise here with any measuring here. What you want to do would appear to work without any concerns.

I always tell people too: If the worst case is that you have to make an extra gallon or two than the minimum you want to make occasionally, do that and just dump it if you have to. It's only a extra few dollars. It's usually not worth making a bunch of sacrifices (time/money) to keep the minimum batch size very small. For example, I've seen some have a completely separate smaller second boil kettle just for smaller batches. But the cost involved in doing that and the hassles of storing it and swapping between kettles doesn't make sense to me. You'd have to make many hundreds of smaller batches for this to even pay off as compared to just making a gallon or two more on the bigger kettle and then dumping some wort.

Good luck!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0


Last edited by kal on Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In your initial post you mentioned grain bed being a possible concern. Yes, if using a very thin grain bed in the MLT your efficiency may suffer so you may have to use a bit more grain if making a low ABV 12 gallon pilot batch of beer. Again, we're talking a few dollars here. Nothing that should be a concern in the grand scheme of things when you factor in all other costs and time expenses.

Cheers!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Pippicidal



Joined: 07 Jan 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Baja Sur


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent reasoning. Thanks much Kal. I originally thought I would need a set of 20 gallon kettles and the 55s.

Another question. With the 50A control panel for 30+ gallon batches have you had clients use these for 2 bbl setups (IE the Blich 55s with the extensions)? Is there enough heating/power to efficiently boil that amount of wort?

Cheers
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes - we've had people use this panel for up to 3.5 bbl: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/control-panels/products/50a-electric-brewery-control-panel-for-30-gallons-pre-assembled

It's designed to handle up to 11000 watts of power, enough to effectively boil 2-3 bbl (31-93 gallons) and possibly more depending on kettle configuration/insulation, ambient temperature, use of a kettle chimney, etc. For some examples, take a look at our testimonials page where we show some running this panel on various sized setups up to and including 3.5 bbl. See: www.theelectricbrewery.com/testimonials

There have been many more posted in our Instagram feed here too: https://www.instagram.com/theelectricbrewery/

Some examples:

2 bbl setup: https://www.instagram.com/p/BoXA4_bhL97/
Another 2 bbl setup: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bnqov94BiWf/
A slightly different setup: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bobm6fMhxt1/
Some even use 2 panels to be able to go back to back: https://www.instagram.com/p/Br5QV3vnNyv/
A 3bbl setup: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkdPwvEhSY6/
Another 3bbl setup where they used our panel for 12 hours/day every day for the last 2 years: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkgCzqIhshN/

Cheers!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Pippicidal



Joined: 07 Jan 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Baja Sur


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kal

Mug
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck with your setup and let me know if you have any further questions!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot to mention:

While I think that our 50A Electric Brewery Control panel for 30+ gallons works well for a 2 bbl setup, sometimes people want to save time and heat faster.

To heat faster, a larger power control panel to drive more heating elements would be required. At this time custom orders such as this are simply not possible as we need to focus on our core products. You may of course use the links on our website to order some of the parts you need and build your own custom control panel based on our design if you like. Keep in mind that parts rated for more than 50A are considerably more expensive and harder to find as they are specialized (not standardized). For example, there is no NEMA standard for plugs/receptacles above 50A. So a control panel above 50A typically need to be hard-wired which itself introduces complexities and other concerns such as electrical permitting as now the control panel becomes part of the building wiring.

If you do decide you need more power for a substantially larger setup and/or faster heat times, one option that many brewers use is to use our 50A control panel to maintain hot liquor temperature and boil, but temporarily add extra power with one or two separate 5500W heating elements on a separate 30-50A circuit. All that is required is one or two 30A outlets and a breaker box located near the kettles to turn them on and off. Any electrician can wire this up. These breakers control the separate elements with the breaker box and turn them on to heat up the hot liquor tank water faster or to get to boil faster. Once close to target temperature, they're turned off and then the heating elements driven by our 50A control panel are used to maintain temperature/boil. While maybe not as elegant, this is a more cost effective solution than building one massive control panel to handle more than 50A of power.

We have also been working on is a 'booster' panel to control the other two extra elements in a more elegant manner if you're interested in such a product. We're currently taking orders privately if you are interested. It's a smaller, simplified panel with no PIDs, simple ON/OFF switches for controlling up to two additional elements manually. Depending on batch size, these either stay on throughout the whole brewing process if dealing with much larger batch sizes, or are turned on during ramp periods where faster heating is required. The main panel would handle maintaining temps and boil intensity. This booster box would require its own separate 50A GFCI circuit (200 - 240V AC). Let us know if interested.

To order our other standard products see here: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/

Cheers!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer-friendly view    TheElectricBrewery.com Forum Index -> Building Your Brewery All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Support our site by purchasing through this link. We thank you!

Forum powered by phpBB © phpBB Group