Tag Archives: electric brewing

Playing catch up!

I think one of these days I’ll start one of these posts without apologizing for it being so long since my last one but it is what it is! I’ve had the opportunity to brew a couple of times now but for the sake of documenting the journey I want to get some pictures and words up on the steps that I’ve taken so far.

After getting the panel setup and I wanted to run all the equipment through its paces with water before the actual brew day. Also it gave us a good opportunity to mark up the sight glass.  Additionally before using the equipment we passivated the stainless steel as per the recommendations from Stout Tanks. We used a citric acid solution and barkeepers friend to get the job done. This removes any contaminants on the outer layer of the vessels and allows the chromium to re-oxidize and provides a protective layer for the stainless steel.

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After that it was pulling out fittings, hoses and pumps to see if what the brew day might look like.

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Didn’t get the pumps hooked up to the control panel properly but we made do!

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Took some fenageling to get the pumps figured out and in all honesty still something I’m working on.

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Get to see the sparge arm in action finally!

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Had to check to make sure we have fittings for all the things that we need, so excited to ferment in stainless steel and in a conical fermentor.

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Held on to this beer for awhile and decided it was time to celebrate with something memorable. Ale Apothecary makes phenomenally complex and delicious beer.  Everything from their location to their process is unique and they have something special going on up there. If you get the chance to try anything form there don’t pass it up!

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Eureka!

Okay, I’m really bad at this and I’m several months behind but dammit I’m not giving up!  Finishing up wiring everything in the control panel was a pain but hey I took some pictures along the way!

The big picture

The big picture

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So easy a child could do it!
PIDs wired up
PIDs wired up
More slow progress
More slow progress
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Beautiful organized wires
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Look at the right angles

After getting the inside all wired up, a big shout out to my Dad who finished up wiring all the 3 way switches and temp probes solo, we mounted it to the wall in the garage next to the 50 amp service and plugged it in!

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Hanging out in its new home
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Houston we are go for launch
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Look it reads temperatures!
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Next stop water test

Nothing blew up and no one got electrocuted so I call it a success! Everything powered up and seemed to function as intended which was a great surprise.  After getting some labels stuck to the control panel, hoses cut and drinking water hoses purchased it will be time for a trial water run!

The Going ons…

“Hello, world!”

It has been another few (6) months but I wanted to give you guys an update on whats been happening around the farm. Mostly its been shopping which is pretty exciting!  So far I’ve picked up a whole host of additional stainless steel fittings, tubing, a sparge arm, pumps and electrical elements for heating the hot liquor tank and the boil kettle.  I also spent a lot of time researching different electrical control panel options and ended up settling on a kit from ebrewsupply.com.

Boxes of boxes!
Boxes of boxes!
Brew Hardware Heating Elements and enclosures
Brew Hardware Heating Elements and enclosures
Center line Chugger pump
Center line Chugger pump
Silicone 3/4" hose
Silicone 3/4″ hose
Its new home
Its new home

I ended up deciding on going with a 50amp 4 element PID control panel.  The panel will be able to select between having both elements on in the HLT or the BK and then single element in both vessels in case I decide to do back to back batches and need to heat water in the HLT while maintaining the boil in the BK.  The panel will also control the two center inlet chugger pumps.  After some shipping delays we have all the pieces and have started wiring up the control panel which has been quite the endeavor so far.

For the time being the plan is to get things setup for finally brewing some beer in the garage and as such we now have a 50amp service ran and will be ready to go when the control panel finally gets finished.

Things to ponder
Things to ponder
Still pondering
Still pondering
So many goodies
So many goodies
Wires!
Wires!
Big Wires!
Big Wires!
Colorful buttons!
Colorful buttons!

Getting all of the things pulled out and laid out was a task within itself.  These pictures are a couple of months old as of finishing this post so I will post another update soon as the wiring is getting close to completion. Some of the customizing that I asked for has made this panel build a little bit more challenging.  After several long weekends of my hands deep in wires I have often cursed the decision to not have the panel pre-assembled but I am hoping that this increased knowledge of electrical components and inner workings of my own control panel will be valuable in the future.   Stay tuned for some additional control panel updates in the near future!