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Going in Stages - Where to Start

 
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sasky7777



Joined: 28 Jan 2011
Posts: 23
Location: Saskatchewan


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:03 pm    Post subject: Going in Stages - Where to Start Reply with quote


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Well, I've finally convinced myself to go for it and attempt this build. I plan on following Kal's recipe almost to the letter. Instead of the awesome and mighty Blichmans, I plan on doing bottom drain keggles. I have no experience in electricity beyond changing light bulbs, so this site has been great.
My question to Kal and the others who have finished the build is where to start. I can only afford the time, space, and mostly cash to build this in stages. I am not brewing now, but would like to get started, even with some extract brews. I know that I could spend money on a 5 gallon pot and a heatstick and stove-top and get by, but I'd rather put my time and investment in this build.
So, for the first step, and major cash outlay, is the Control Panel the way to go, or is there a way I can use the BK keggle and start brewing now since I can put it together cost effectively.

Not to sound stupid, but I have the control panel on my mind and wonder if the following three changes are possible?
1) Since I have read that the amp/volt meters aren't truly necessary, would it be feasible to add something like this http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Analog-Volt-Panel-Meter-Gauge-AC-0-250V-85L1-/370482631148?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56427c51ec instead?
2) How would I wire in a clock?
3) A friend of mine is skilled at metal work, is there any special things I need to know if I were to build my own enclosure for the control panel?

Thanks
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milldoggy



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 570
Location: Pottstown, PA


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would start with drinking Smile

You could build your keggles with all the fittings, minus the element and use propane. Then build the stand, get the pumps, even use the pumps with propane, than the control panel. Keggles with all the fittings, coils, hoses, connects, might cost more than the panel. I am using two keggles and a cooler and I think they were about a third of the costs.

Control panel is definitely the most time consuming.
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Burglar



Joined: 11 Feb 2011
Posts: 56
Location: Detroit


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd start brewing extract first and see if home brewing is for you. A 5 gallon pot on the stove is cheap and simple, and you can make excellent beer with it.

Besides Kal's setup, you'll also need at least one fermenter, a bottling bucket and capper or kegging system, a siphon, and a bunch of other stuff - all of which will transfer to the new system if you decide to go whole hog with the all grain.

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milldoggy



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 570
Location: Pottstown, PA


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, go get a starter kit for you LHBS and a turkey fryer. That will be everything you need to do extract. Not sure how well extract will work with the electric bk. When I dump in extract, it has a tendacy to not mix easily and you need to stir it to dissolve it. I would hate to see a glob land on the element and burn.
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sasky7777



Joined: 28 Jan 2011
Posts: 23
Location: Saskatchewan


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burglar wrote:
I'd start brewing extract first and see if home brewing is for you. A 5 gallon pot on the stove is cheap and simple, and you can make excellent beer with it.

Besides Kal's setup, you'll also need at least one fermenter, a bottling bucket and capper or kegging system, a siphon, and a bunch of other stuff - all of which will transfer to the new system if you decide to go whole hog with the all grain.


I've already got that stuff factored in, I got some corney kegs for cheap and plan on using those as my fermenters as well, and then setting up a kegerator.
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Spartan



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 22



PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burglar wrote:
I'd start brewing extract first and see if home brewing is for you. A 5 gallon pot on the stove is cheap and simple, and you can make excellent beer with it.

Besides Kal's setup, you'll also need at least one fermenter, a bottling bucket and capper or kegging system, a siphon, and a bunch of other stuff - all of which will transfer to the new system if you decide to go whole hog with the all grain.


I'd second this. The Electric Brewery is a pretty extravagant way to get started. It would be like buying a backhoe to dig a hole for a small tree. A shovel will do quite well.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10195
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: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Going in Stages - Where to Start Reply with quote

sasky7777 wrote:
My question to Kal and the others who have finished the build is where to start.

The build guide's been written to be followed from top to bottom, start to end (generally speaking) but you can do it in any order you like really.

Quote:
Not to sound stupid, but I have the control panel on my mind and wonder if the following three changes are possible?
1) Since I have read that the amp/volt meters aren't truly necessary, would it be feasible to add something like this http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Analog-Volt-Panel-Meter-Gauge-AC-0-250V-85L1-/370482631148?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56427c51ec instead?

Anything is possible, but I have to ask why? Is it to save the $5? You'd have to figure out how to panel mount it too but I'm assuming that's possible since it's meant for panel mounting.

Quote:
2) How would I wire in a clock?

That would depend on the clock. Wink I would imagine that all it would need is power. You have 240V and 120V available. Most likely 120V would be useful. If you find a panel mount clock that uses 120V AC you could wire it in to the HOT and NEUTRAL buses.

Make sure the clock retains time when power is cut too.

I myself use my watch to tell time. I don't need another in the house that I have to remember to reset for daylight savings. Wink

Quote:
3) A friend of mine is skilled at metal work, is there any special things I need to know if I were to build my own enclosure for the control panel?

I don't really understand why you'd go to the trouble of building your own enclosure when you can buy one premade for about $80 that comes with a lock, gasketed door, hanging mounts, a backplate, etc.

If you want to build your own and follow my instructions then I'd suggest it be built exactly like the one in my instructions but without the removable cable plate. Also pay attention to where the grounding posts go to not get the way of the components.

Good luck with the build!

Kal

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sasky7777



Joined: 28 Jan 2011
Posts: 23
Location: Saskatchewan


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Going in Stages - Where to Start Reply with quote

kal wrote:
sasky7777 wrote:
My question to Kal and the others who have finished the build is where to start.

The build guide's been written to be followed from top to bottom, start to end (generally speaking) but you can do it in any order you like really.

Quote:
Not to sound stupid, but I have the control panel on my mind and wonder if the following three changes are possible?
1) Since I have read that the amp/volt meters aren't truly necessary, would it be feasible to add something like this http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Analog-Volt-Panel-Meter-Gauge-AC-0-250V-85L1-/370482631148?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56427c51ec instead?

Anything is possible, but I have to ask why? Is it to save the $5? You'd have to figure out how to panel mount it too but I'm assuming that's possible since it's meant for panel mounting.

Quote:
2) How would I wire in a clock?

That would depend on the clock. Wink I would imagine that all it would need is power. You have 240V and 120V available. Most likely 120V would be useful. If you find a panel mount clock that uses 120V AC you could wire it in to the HOT and NEUTRAL buses.

Make sure the clock retains time when power is cut too.

I myself use my watch to tell time. I don't need another in the house that I have to remember to reset for daylight savings. Wink

Quote:
3) A friend of mine is skilled at metal work, is there any special things I need to know if I were to build my own enclosure for the control panel?

I don't really understand why you'd go to the trouble of building your own enclosure when you can buy one premade for about $80 that comes with a lock, gasketed door, hanging mounts, a backplate, etc.

If you want to build your own and follow my instructions then I'd suggest it be built exactly like the one in my instructions but without the removable cable plate. Also pay attention to where the grounding posts go to not get the way of the components.

Good luck with the build!

Kal


Thanks for the suggestions Kal, they were all just pie in the sky ideas. I know that your system is well thought out and constructed and any of the changes I asked about would be purely for aesthetics/uniqueness. I've had a lot of time to "dream" as I waited for some funds to come in. For example on the box, I have seen toolbox enclosures and things like that. I can get some sheet metal from some old combines for cheap/free, and thought it might be a good project for my friend to attempt.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10195
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: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds interesting! Take lots of pictures! I'm sure people will be interested in seeing the results!

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
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Sparky



Joined: 17 Dec 2010
Posts: 221
Location: Muir Beach, California


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Going in Stages - Where to Start Reply with quote

sasky7777 wrote:

2) How would I wire in a clock?


Here is the clock I will be using for my panel:
http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24523
It also has a battery backup if you do not want to re-set it.

Now, regarding the big picture. I highly, HIGHLY suggest you first brew some beer and see how it works out. I see a lot of people get gung-ho and after the first year, lose interest. I would hate to see you spend $$, only to have it go by the wayside.

I have been brewing for 11 years with the last 8 years all grain and 2 years kegging. I am now moving up to all electric. Just want to make sure it is right for you.
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