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North Wall Brewing (working title) Build Thread
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-MG-



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 204



PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Not the magical blue smoke! My old drill let that magic away.

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SookeBrewing



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 69
Location: Sooke, BC, Canada


PostLink    Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I finished wiring up the PIDs, timer, alarm (buzzer, lights and switches).

Here is a pic of the panel powered up. The volt meter does work, I just knocked a wire loose and didn't bother to hook it back up. Still waiting on a replacement ammeter/voltage converter.



Here, the alarm is going off after the timer counted down - it's awesome to see it working!

I also received the stainless lock nuts and shims and the high-temp O-rings for my elements. I had one keggle punched and ready so I attached it (unbelievably simple, by the way). I filled it up with water and there are no leaks after a few hours.



If I can figure out how to use my PIDs without a temperature probe (still waiting to order those) I will be able to use my panel to fire my boil and HLT as early as next week!

I will still have to mash in the cooler, since I don't have the HERMS coil/pumps/fittings yet, but it will be fun to brew without that loud propane burner.

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AtlasHopped



Joined: 26 Dec 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Reading, PA

Drinking: Heinlein's Red Planet Alt

Working on: Bierce's ESB


PostLink    Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good so far, and yeah, I can tell you that I'm not missing outdoor February brew days.

SookeBrewing wrote:
.... Still waiting on a replacement ammeter/voltage converter.


I just noticed your earlier post about the ammeter. Mine has been acting weird from day 1. It usually displays correctly, but occassionally starts increasing to wildly impossible values (higher than the 30amp circuit breaker would allow). If I tap the face of the ammeter, the values immediately drop back down into a realistic and apparently accurate range. I've checked both ends of each connection and everything is solid.

I've noticed multiple posts about flakey ammeter behavior, maybe more failures than any other component. I suspect we're probably all getting these from the same seller on eBay, or at least they are coming off the same assembly line. I'd like to get proactive and find an alternate replacement. Anyone have any suggestions for a replacement with the same dimensions that might be a notch up in quality/reliability?

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SookeBrewing



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 69
Location: Sooke, BC, Canada


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big day today! I completed the wiring of the panel and everything checks out! I also polished, punched and secured the second kettle and heating element.







I finished the element housing and cord with the expandable braided sleeving.



I set up the other kettle, but I ran out of ring terminals so I couldn't finish it completely.

I tested the completed kettle - it worked quickly and with no leaks. Very exciting!

We have boil!




The ammeter I thought was fried seems to work fine, although I'm unsure of the readings. Powered up, according to the meter, the panel draws about 4 or 5 amps. With the element on, it draws about 19. Do these sound right to you guys? The replacement ammeter came today and it had identical readings.

I believe my volt meter was a DC unit, so I've ordered a new one.

I think I'm going to do a brew tomorrow on the new system - can't wait until it's totally complete, but for now I'm just glad that I can heat and boil with electricity instead of propane!

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AtlasHopped



Joined: 26 Dec 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Reading, PA

Drinking: Heinlein's Red Planet Alt

Working on: Bierce's ESB


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SookeBrewing wrote:
.... according to the meter, the panel draws about 4 or 5 amps. With the element on, it draws about 19. Do these sound right to you guys?


Mine draws well under 1 amp with nothing running. Or, at least my flakey ammeter reports less than an amp. I think 4 or 5 amps sounds way too high for a panel with no pumps or elements running. I don't trust these ammeters. I think I'm going to pull mine out and replace it with one of these Magic 8 Balls...



At this point I'd trust the display on the Magic 8 Ball slightly more than my ammeter.

Kyle

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Castermmt



Joined: 03 Jan 2011
Posts: 748
Location: Lowell, In

Drinking: Steelhead Porter, Alt-Toids, Hefty-Weizen, Terry's Kolsch, African Amber, Pumpkin Ale, Double Dog Ale

Working on: Janet's Brown Ale, Terry's Kolsch, Pilsner


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kettle looks sweet. I like when the builder takes a picture of the kettle and they did such a good job polishing it we can see the person in the reflection.

I'm brewing this morning so I was able to check the amp meter readings I'm getting. I get 0 amps with panel on & nothing running, 22.6 with the HLT element and one pump running and 21.6 with just the element on. For what it's worth, there is a setting adjustment under the cover plate in the amp meter. I never messed with it but its what they use to calibrate the meter. LED's are very energy efficient and should draw very little power the PID's I'm not sure what the power draw is, but it's got to be very low, so I'm thinking 0 amps with nothing running is pretty close to what it should be.

My Two Cent's hope it Helps, Castermmt

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perogi



Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 697
Location: NH

Drinking: Perogi's Pale Ale, Edwort's Apfelwein, Black Pumpkin (Shipyard Pumpkin and Guinness Layered)

Working on: Rebuilding my brewery during a major renovation


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job on the polishing of the kettle! Gotta love the "Labatt" Very Happy

Castermmt's readings are pretty close to mine iirc - something sounds off with your setup.
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Castermmt



Joined: 03 Jan 2011
Posts: 748
Location: Lowell, In

Drinking: Steelhead Porter, Alt-Toids, Hefty-Weizen, Terry's Kolsch, African Amber, Pumpkin Ale, Double Dog Ale

Working on: Janet's Brown Ale, Terry's Kolsch, Pilsner


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You also need to ensure you have the correct voltage going to the meters with meter hooked up under load before considering any other adjustments to the meter with. Castermmt
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Castermmt



Joined: 03 Jan 2011
Posts: 748
Location: Lowell, In

Drinking: Steelhead Porter, Alt-Toids, Hefty-Weizen, Terry's Kolsch, African Amber, Pumpkin Ale, Double Dog Ale

Working on: Janet's Brown Ale, Terry's Kolsch, Pilsner


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You also need to ensure you have the correct voltage going to the meters with meter hooked up under load before considering any other adjustments to the meter. Castermmt
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SookeBrewing



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 69
Location: Sooke, BC, Canada


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brewed using my e-kettles and panel today!

All went pretty well, but I can't wait until I have the rest of the system together. Those keggles are heavy and wort is hot.

However, I left the brewery alone for a few minutes, and I came back to a horrifying stench of burnt electronics - the remaining voltage converter had evidently shorted/grounded out and burnt up good.

No damage to the rest of the components, thankfully, just charring around the affected part.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a different way to supply the voltage and ammeters with 5VDC? I was about to swap out the metal screws for plastic motherboard stand-offs as some have suggested, but now I am wondering if I can just get rid of it.

Thanks!

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huaco



Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1281
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SookeBrewing wrote:
I was about to swap out the metal screws for plastic motherboard stand-offs as some have suggested, but now I am wondering if I can just get rid of it.



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
THIS!

I like having the voltage and amp meters... After brewing several batches, I am now familiar with what the numbers should read while doing certain phases of brewing. They will be a good tool to let me know if something is flaking out and needs attention.

Just replace the charcoal meter and make sure to mount the new one with ATX motherboard standoffs.
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SookeBrewing



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 69
Location: Sooke, BC, Canada


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE!

I have brewed 3 or 4 batches using my e-keggles without any pumps or fittings. I love brewing with electricity, it's so quiet and awesome! I brewed my first ten gallon batch last week:




I thanked Kal for recommending the ULWD elements because I accidentally dry-fired one of them the other day (plugs were mis-plugged).

Anyway - I have been ordering more parts like it's going out of style:
- Fan for ventilation
- Valves
- Bulkheads
- Fittings
- Dip tubes
- Sight glasses
- Camlock quick-disconnects
- Silicone hosing (OBK here in Canada had it on for $2/ft yesterday)
- HERMS Coil (StainlessBrewing had a great sale on these too)
- Temperature probes (nice surprise, it was only $1 more to ship these directly to me in Canada over Point Roberts WA).

Basically all I need now are my HopStopper, pumps, false bottom and chiller (I am leaning towards the plate chillers that DudaDiesel sells)

I also bought the tile to do my backsplash behind the keggles, and sourced some Fibreglass panel to line my wooden exhaust hood.

I can't wait to finish this project and start brewing in control!

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SookeBrewing



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 69
Location: Sooke, BC, Canada


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick update.

I've been busily putting together stainless steel bits and pieces and finishing the ventilation hood. I built it out of wood and lined it with fibreglass panel, caulked at the seams. My fan and pumps arrived also.

No issues punching holes in my kegs and all my weldless fittings (BargainFittings and BrewHardware) have been easy to install and leak free.

Here's a pic of the completed HLT:





Just a note about the HERMS coil - I had to spend an hour or so cutting the opening to the keggle wider since the coil I ordered (12.5" with 2 90 degree bends) was too big to fit in. However, I think the additional effort was worth it since the coil is already tall enough as it is.

My panel is now mounted on the wall and it looks great. Just missing those panel tags.



And I mounted the pumps to the brew stand:



Next up - complete the boil kettle and mount the hood and ventilation fan.

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foomench



Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 491
Location: Longmont, CO


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SookeBrewing wrote:
Just a note about the HERMS coil - I had to spend an hour or so cutting the opening to the keggle wider since the coil I ordered (12.5" with 2 90 degree bends) was too big to fit in.

Ummm, did you try spiraling it in?

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SookeBrewing



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 69
Location: Sooke, BC, Canada


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

foomench wrote:
SookeBrewing wrote:
Just a note about the HERMS coil - I had to spend an hour or so cutting the opening to the keggle wider since the coil I ordered (12.5" with 2 90 degree bends) was too big to fit in.

Ummm, did you try spiraling it in?


Well yeah of course! The coil was very, very springy and hard to coil any tighter, and with the 90 degree bends on the ends it made it impossible to spiral into the opening.

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foomench



Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 491
Location: Longmont, CO


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SookeBrewing wrote:
foomench wrote:
SookeBrewing wrote:
Just a note about the HERMS coil - I had to spend an hour or so cutting the opening to the keggle wider since the coil I ordered (12.5" with 2 90 degree bends) was too big to fit in.

Ummm, did you try spiraling it in?


Well yeah of course! The coil was very, very springy and hard to coil any tighter, and with the 90 degree bends on the ends it made it impossible to spiral into the opening.

Without coiling it any tighter, looking at those 90 degree bends, it seems to me you could spiral that into a 10" opening, perhaps even smaller. The first 90 degree bend would be trivial, but the end one at the top would seem to be the tough one and the ultimate determiner of the minimum opening needed, as the coil would be pushing against the inside of the keg on the opposite side from the 90 degree bend.

My immersion chiller used to be bigger than the opening of my boil kettle. It was a pain to get in, but by moving it around in circles ~20 times I could do it.

Maybe I'm missing something here.

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SookeBrewing



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 69
Location: Sooke, BC, Canada


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

foomench wrote:
SookeBrewing wrote:
foomench wrote:
SookeBrewing wrote:
Just a note about the HERMS coil - I had to spend an hour or so cutting the opening to the keggle wider since the coil I ordered (12.5" with 2 90 degree bends) was too big to fit in.

Ummm, did you try spiraling it in?


Well yeah of course! The coil was very, very springy and hard to coil any tighter, and with the 90 degree bends on the ends it made it impossible to spiral into the opening.

Without coiling it any tighter, looking at those 90 degree bends, it seems to me you could spiral that into a 10" opening, perhaps even smaller. The first 90 degree bend would be trivial, but the end one at the top would seem to be the tough one and the ultimate determiner of the minimum opening needed, as the coil would be pushing against the inside of the keg on the opposite side from the 90 degree bend.

My immersion chiller used to be bigger than the opening of my boil kettle. It was a pain to get in, but by moving it around in circles ~20 times I could do it.

Maybe I'm missing something here.


Trust me. Couldn't be done.

Moot now, since it's all in there and put together.

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foomench



Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 491
Location: Longmont, CO


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SookeBrewing wrote:
Trust me. Couldn't be done.
Moot now, since it's all in there and put together.

I believe you, but am just trying to figure out why. No worries though, I have other things to perplex my brain with.

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SookeBrewing



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 69
Location: Sooke, BC, Canada


PostLink    Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nearing completion now!

A member of my home brew club works for a local manufacturer and was able to score me some stainless steel mesh on the cheap so I thought I would try and fashion my own hop stopper. It turned out alright - it does work, but I still need to get my process dialed in (only 2 brews on the system so far). If you choose to make your own hop stopper, the one piece of advice I can give is to make sure there is some kind of fold/pinch in it to give it some depth to accommodate the dip tube. I thought the mesh would be flexible enough but it wasn't - this caused numerous problems.



I notched the dip tube for better flow:



Once it was installed in the kettle it was time to hook everything up and test it.



It's ALIIIIIVE!



Next up was the ventilation hood. I built it out of 2x8s (really should have tried harder to find 1x8s - thing is super heavy!) Once I got it into place it was a snap to install - I bolted it to the wall with some big-ass lag bolts into the studs.



I lined the hood with fibreglass panelling - similar to what you'd use in a commercial washroom or shower stall. I recessed the lag bolts beneath the surface of the back of the hood and covered them up with circles cut out of spare panelling, caulked into place.



Just yesterday I finally installed my ventilation system. Here is the fan I used. I found it on Amazon at about 1/3 the price that I could buy a Vortex locally. Apparently these are the choice of -ahem- other indoor production enthusiasts.



Because my run is especially short and 6" ventilation stuff was harder to find and more expensive, I reduced the fan to 4 inches from 6.



Here are the holes cut for the fan:





Then the fan was mounted, duct was measured and cut, and a hole cut through the wall of the garage. You can't really see it, but the fan is lag bolted to the hood using L-brackets and the fan's mounting bracket.





Right now it just plugs into the wall at high speed, but I will be building a speed control for it. My hardware store had all the parts but the cord grip for the electrical box.

It works!



Now all that is left to do is to prep and tile the wall behind it!

Brews number 1 and 2 are nearing completion - can't wait to try them!

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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 4120
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Amber Ale, West Coast IPA, Electric Pale Ale (session), Russian Imperial Stout, American Lager, Weizen, Irish Stout, Cream Ale

Working on: Kolsch, Pub Ale, Firestone Walker Double Jack


PostLink    Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great!

While it'll probably work just fine given the short duct run, normally you'd use the 6 -> 4 inch reducer right at the wall output so that you keep the duct as large as possible (6") as long as possible. That way airflow is reduced as little as possible. (A 4 inch duct impedes flow more than a 6" duct of the same length).

Kal

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