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Step by Step Electric Brewery

 
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3KyNoX



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
Posts: 7



PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:01 pm    Post subject: Step by Step Electric Brewery Reply with quote


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Hello Folks!

This topic will act as a presentation thread for my project and as well about my step by step DIY Electric Brewery.

My name is Thierry and I'm about to open at first a brewery in Portugal (yes!) near a small village called Monsanto (no, no, no, it's not the same than the Monsato company you know, it is a small village in the middle of Portugal that means "sacred montain"; and yes, we planned to call the beer "Beer of Monsanto" which will be at the end fully local and organic, and finally yes, I think it could be sold pretty well until people know it comes from the "Monsanto" village, not "Company", so ^^).

Me and my friends goal is to start with a small brewery, then to a decent one, then to a pro one and then open later a maltery where we will grow ourselves our local barley (and other cereals) and hops by the way (all organics). Big plans here !

Looking for the best brewing system ever, I naturally felt here. I want to start with a pretty limited budget (around 2000 - 2500 ). My idea about this is to start with a small system and then update it to a bigger one by reusing previous components.

I need your advices here guys about its feasibility and if you feel this doable.

Start: BIAB setup:

- 15 gallons Blichmann G2 (Electric modifications following TheElectricBrewery DIY)
- A simple controller (do not know what to use here yet) -- maybe you got an idea ? Budget matters... Brewtronix?
- Turkey frying basket and mesh voile
- Simple overhead pulley system
- Wort chiller from TheElectricBrewery

Process example: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/biab-brewing-with-pics.233289/

Making & Drinking some beers here and acquiring some more budget then evolve to ...

BrewEasy DIY system setup that requires in addition:

- 20 gallons Blichmann G2 (Electric modifications following TheElectricBrewery DIY)
- 15 Gallon False Bottom (as I got already the 15 gallons kettle from above)
- BrewEasy Adapter Lid Kit
- Same controller as above
- Thrumometer from Blichmann

When ready (budget acquired) evolve to TheElectricBrewery:

- Add 1 more 20 gallons Blichmann (Electric modifications following TheElectricBrewery DIY)
- All other steps and materials from TheElectricBrewery guide

It means at the end I will have 1x 15 gallons and 2x 20 gallons, any feelings about that ?

Later, I will sell this system to go pro with a 1BBL system (maybe more). Then the maltery.

What's your thoughts about this? About the cost and material evolution reusage?

Thanks for detailed incomes and I will update this thread oftenly to continue this little portuguese story Smile

Cheers!
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3KyNoX



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
Posts: 7



PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to mention I'm currently an engineer student in a computer science school with a robotics specialization and for my last year (in two years) I want to make the disertation on brewing subject that involves computers and automation.

I read a bit here about automation and computer control of all the electricbrewery process, which seems not so popular and mostly unneeded BUT I want to do this Smile

So at a final state, being able to control everything using raspberry & arduino (or other hardware), adding automation and building a solid concept is on the go; and TheElectricBrewery will be used as a base for this.
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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 Jul 10, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Step by Step Electric Brewery Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum!

If your goal is to reuse as much a possible (and not have to re-buy which makes it cheaper in the end), I'd recommend our 50A Electric Brewery Control Panel for 30+ gallons. See: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/control-panels

You can use it today with a single element in your single 15 gallon kettle. Then later on your 3-kettle setup that has a mix of 15/20 gallon kettles you can use it with a single element in both kettles. Then when you upgrade to a 1+ bbl setup simply add two more heating elements (2 per kettle). This way you're not re-buying any of the electrical products at all.

This panel will work perfectly in Portugal which has 230V mains. We have other brewers in Portual using this setup.

The kit you want is here and comes with everything you need: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/control-panels/products/50a-electric-brewery-control-panel-for-30-gallons-diy-kit-240v-only

Good luck!

Kal

EDIT: Saw your second follow up post too late. Our panels do not use raspberryPi or Arduino as you probably already realize. We do this purposely for long term serviceability and compatibility. You can read more here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25382
Either way, good luck!

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3KyNoX



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
Posts: 7



PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all this great useful informations!

I did considered already having the electric control panel at first (even with back to back 100A - about this, if you got any documentation for the 100A, I'm interested) but the counterpart here is it is pricey to go in the begining with a single kettle BIAB setup) . As I want to go further above the BIAB system, I think I'll go with BrewTronix HoseHead controller at first (using CraftBeerPi software) then jump to the 50A/100A 240v ElectricBrewery controller when I'll use my ElectricBrewery setup.

Thanks about that, you just conforted me about my plans and was pretty quick to answer.

About Arduino automation and control, I read your link already a few weeks ago, but this do not prevent me to still planning doing something like this.
I mean, this is a school project, I'm already a developer, got some study in robotics, with some ease in all of this subjects. I understand fully why it can be a problem for long term serviceability and compatibility BUT it looks like fun to do Smile
I trully think something good could happen out about this, I'm willing to share everything I do here, open source I mean, like you does already and will complete the necessary tasks to maitain the compatibility. If something commercial goes out from my study and work here (which is not sure yet today), I'll follow your existing model.

Thanks again Smile
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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 Jul 10, 2019 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3KyNoX wrote:
I did considered already having the electric control panel at first (even with back to back 100A - about this, if you got any documentation for the 100A, I'm interested)

Principles would be the same. If you have access to 3-phase you may want to consider that given the more efficient power usage.

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'll be bringing it to market soon but are taking orders privately if you are interested (email me at kal@theelectricbrewery.com). 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).

Quote:
I mean, this is a school project, I'm already a developer, got some study in robotics, with some ease in all of this subjects.

Completely understand! You don't need to explain or make excuses. Everyone has different needs.

Kal

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My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
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3KyNoX



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
Posts: 7



PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kal.

There should be answers already around (I think I've read a post here about this) but what's about the idea having 15/20/20 kettle which I'm forced to use here if I want to upgrade in the middle to a BrewEasy DIY? Is there any cons?

Thanks again !=)
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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 Jul 10, 2019 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3KyNoX wrote:
There should be answers already around (I think I've read a post here about this) but what's about the idea having 15/20/20 kettle which I'm forced to use here if I want to upgrade in the middle to a BrewEasy DIY? Is there any cons?

Possibly, yes. See this FAQ question:

https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/faq#Why_do_all_three_kettles_need_to_be_the_same_size__Couldn_t_I_use_a_smaller_Mash_Lauter_Tun_or_Hot_Liquor_Tank_

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
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3KyNoX



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
Posts: 7



PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again.

As said before, I want to re-use most of the elements with my "3-upgrade setup" (see above).

The step 2 will be a BrewEasy system, and advantage of the 30 gallons BrewEasy kit, is it uses the same kettle size (2 x 30 gallons kettles) which is not the case for smaller kits.

My additional question here is, is it ok with one heater element to go with 30 gallons kettles?

Using your formula Kal, it makes an hour or so to get to boil temp:

(30 x (212 - 140) x 1000) / (375 x 5500) = 2 160 000 / 2 046 000 = 1.055~

In the case I got 30 gallons to boil, which will be surely a bit less. I think 1 hour make things still comfortable.

ps: when I'll got a full 30 gallons ElectricBrewery (with 50A panel) I plan to update to 2 heaters. One heater is just for the start of my BIAB / BrewEasy systems, with lowest possible cost. And yes, for a future upgrade, I'll need to replace the kettles (no existing 55 gallons BrewEasy system yet).

Thanks again for lights Smile
and I want to upgrade
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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 Jul 16, 2019 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3KyNoX wrote:
My additional question here is, is it ok with one heater element to go with 30 gallons kettles?

Not a problem. I'd recommend our 5500W elements here for brewing up to 20 gallons of beer (packaged): https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/heating-elements/products/heating-element-kit-pre-assembled

Making more than 20 gallons per batch is sort of the turning point where people tend to go with 2 heating elements instead of 1. You can certainly make a whole barrel (1 bbl / 31 gallons) with a 5500W element per kettle too, it'll just take longer to heat.

See our control panel breakdown here as it explains how many heating elements are recommended per batch size:

https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/control-panels

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
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3KyNoX



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
Posts: 7



PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kal for quick answer (as usual ^^).

I consider too multi-step temperature mashing and time to achieve required temperatures.

I suppose this should be ok as well.
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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 Jul 16, 2019 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3KyNoX wrote:
I consider too multi-step temperature mashing and time to achieve required temperatures.
I suppose this should be ok as well.

Correct. You can certainly step mash. I do it all the time.

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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