Has anyone built an automatic clock timer into starting their brewery? I was thinking if the HLT and MT are prefilled the night before and set to recirculate then they can start heating at a certain time (before I'm awake) and I can just get up and mash-in...
Joined: 03 Aug 2012 Posts: 1049 Location: Fort Collins, CO
Drinking: Imperial Brown Ale
Working on: Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Link Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 12:07 am Post subject:
I've thought about doing this to allow me to brew in the evening after work - just mash in when I get home. Some things to consider:
1) Add relays for both pumps to allow them to be switched on by the timer.
2) Add relay in series with HLT power relay to be switched on by the timer.
3) Pre-fill HLT and MLT, and pre-prime both pumps.
4) Preset switches for pumps and HLT element select.
I'm sure there's more to consider, but at first glance I'm thinking I'd add 3 more control relays that are turned on by the timer. And perhaps another switch to force those relays on for normal non-timed operation.
EDIT: Rather than 3 relays this 3PDT relay would do the trick for the pumps and HLT element relay. And for HLT just drive its power relay coil from this 3PDT relay.
2-pole (for both HOT lines), 30A, and 240V support.
The idea of doing something like this and bypassing the safe start interlock is kinda scary (IMHO). I'd never do it myself for fear of leaving it on by mistake and having the panel auto-start heating without me realizing. It would also happen if I made a timer programming mistake or if something glitched in the ET8000 timer. It only takes me 45 minutes to heat up 20 gallons of strike water from 70F to 155F so the time savings isn't massive. That 45 mins can be used to do prep work.
Another option that works surprisingly well and doesn't require any changes is to simply heat up the strike water the night before and then turn it all when you go to bed. Throw a couple of towels on the HLT lid and you'll be surprised how well it holds heat through the night. I've found that it only loses about 10 degrees Fahrenheit through the night so you can heat to above the night before and in the morning only be a few degrees below your target which means you're almost ready to add grain when you wake up in the morning.
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