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Black Acre
02-03-2011, 12:37 PM
We are in the process of purchasing a 3 BBL nano system (http://conical-fermenter.com/products/3-bbl-systems/) from Stout tanks and kettles and were looking into the feasibility of heating it with immersion electric elements. Stout recommended working with brewmation (http://brewmation.com) who generally specializes in higher end electric homebrew setups. However, their largest "off the shelf" solution is only 18KW (3 6KW elements). That means it would take over 2 hours to heat our mash water from 65 to 170.

Does anyone have any experience or advise for heating a system of this size? Thanks!

Justin Miller
blackacrebrewing.com

banjolawyer
02-03-2011, 12:41 PM
Try also Embedded Control Concepts (http://www.embeddedcontrolconcepts.com/).

uptown brothers
02-03-2011, 12:47 PM
no help for your particular question, but I have one for you...do you anticipate any difficulty with local building code enforcement re your immersion heaters, even if you can get the juice you need to get your boil time down to a reasonable range?

I have a 1 bbl Stout system and am preparing a brewpub application pursuant to which I propose to brew OUTSIDE (under an open-sided shed roof) in a courtyard area of my restaurant, using propane...if that doesn't fly I'll also be trying to get approval for an electric immersion heater set-up indoors. What people do in their (unregulated) backyards may not pass muster for a commercial establishment, is my fear, for either my outdoor propane set up or my indoor electric fall-back...

Black Acre
02-03-2011, 01:04 PM
I know of quite a few small breweries that use immersion elements, albeit usually larger ones such as the 30KW monster that NABS uses in their 3.5 barrel electric. I have called our local code enforcement officer who seems to think it would be ok, depending on the setup, but have got nothing in writing yet.

Banjolawyer, thanks for the suggestion. We have looked at them, but they only provide the monitoring software, right? It was my understaning that you would still need another contractor to build your electrical box that your elements attach to with the SSRs etc.

ParishBrewingCo
02-03-2011, 01:10 PM
I use a brewmation panel to control my 1.5 bbl brewery (stainless 55 gal drums). It works great now that I've figured out a few things. Kevin (Brewmation) is great and will make sure you have what you need and nothing that you dont. Now for the particulars so you can compare:

My HLT uses 2 x 4500W elements = 9000 W and I can heat 35 gals room temp water to 180F in under an hour. Usually it takes about 45 minutes.

I also use 9000W to boil 50 gals in the kettle. it takes about 40 minutes to an hour to get the kettle to boiling.

If you're doing 100 gallons in the kettle and 70 gallons in the HLT (double my volumes) and you are using 18,000W instead of my 9,000W (double the power) I dont see why the heat-up times would be any different.

Andrew

burcher
02-03-2011, 01:49 PM
I don't know if this helps, but Pub Brewing Company produced several (at least one, anyway) 3.5 bbl electric systems. If you could find one and check it out that may help. PM me if you like and i can direct you.

Black Acre
02-03-2011, 01:49 PM
Thanks Andrew. I am glad to hear the brewmation system is working for you. I got the 2 hr number from Kevin, but I had him quote filling the HLT to the brim (120) which in practice is probably rarely going to be the case.


For the 18K watt system it would take 2hrs to heat 120 gallons from 65 to 170. We use 3ea. 6000 watt elements in the HLT and 3ea. 6000 watt elements in the kettle. This is for 240V single phase.

banjolawyer
02-03-2011, 04:39 PM
Banjolawyer, thanks for the suggestion. We have looked at them, but they only provide the monitoring software, right? It was my understaning that you would still need another contractor to build your electrical box that your elements attach to with the SSRs etc.

The BCS-462 is ECC's controller, and the software comes with it. You can either do-it-yourself with building the electrical box, or you can hire ECC to do something custom for you. I paid for all the parts, and they drew up a wiring diagram for my system (http://www.bluto555.com/2010/12/electrical-system-diagram.html) and built the main control box (http://picasaweb.google.com/banjolawyer/Bluto555Electrical#) for a very reasonable price. If I had put it together myself, there would be an electrocution in my future for sure. I'm using electronically controlled gas valves, not elements, but the control process would be similar I guess.

I can't say enough good things about Adam at ECC. He was very patient with me and really knows his stuff.