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Thread: DYI Control Panel for 7 bbl Brewery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    5

    DYI Control Panel for 7 bbl Brewery

    Hello All, I am in-process of putting a new brewery together with a couple partners. This will be a 7 bbl brewhouse, not a turnkey setup but will be 3-vessel, HLT, MT & BK, the HLT & BK will be direct fire using propane, midco burners. We will also have two 1.5hp centrifugal pumps. I am a homebrewer and have built all of my own controls in the past for this. I am wanting to do the same for the new brewery but am having trouble finding information on how you would go about doing this. I'm guessing it is not dissimilar to what I did for homebrewing but thought I would ask for feedback here or potentially some resources for where I could get info on how to do this correctly. I have a current control panel similar to what you would see at "theelectricbrewery.com". I also do all electric at home so this is obviously a lot different than that.

    Any advice or suggestions you might have would be fantastic. If applicable I would love to use a BCS-482 system and have everything through touchscreen and also accessible remotely. I'd like to monitor temperatures in all three vessels, control pumps and potentially even add flow meters, automate valves and control my cellar temps as well.

    Thanks for any help. RP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    323
    Quote Originally Posted by PorterBrewingCo View Post
    Hello All, I am in-process of putting a new brewery together with a couple partners. This will be a 7 bbl brewhouse, not a turnkey setup but will be 3-vessel, HLT, MT & BK, the HLT & BK will be direct fire using propane, midco burners. We will also have two 1.5hp centrifugal pumps. I am a homebrewer and have built all of my own controls in the past for this. I am wanting to do the same for the new brewery but am having trouble finding information on how you would go about doing this. I'm guessing it is not dissimilar to what I did for homebrewing but thought I would ask for feedback here or potentially some resources for where I could get info on how to do this correctly. I have a current control panel similar to what you would see at "theelectricbrewery.com". I also do all electric at home so this is obviously a lot different than that.

    Any advice or suggestions you might have would be fantastic. If applicable I would love to use a BCS-482 system and have everything through touchscreen and also accessible remotely. I'd like to monitor temperatures in all three vessels, control pumps and potentially even add flow meters, automate valves and control my cellar temps as well.

    Thanks for any help. RP
    Before you invest a lot of time and money in this, make sure your local jurisdiction will allow you to do this work. Washington can be kind of picky about this. You can get your panel built by a panel shop that will label it (e.g. UL or ETL), which may be required to satisfy the inspector.

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by rdcpro View Post
    Before you invest a lot of time and money in this, make sure your local jurisdiction will allow you to do this work. Washington can be kind of picky about this. You can get your panel built by a panel shop that will label it (e.g. UL or ETL), which may be required to satisfy the inspector.

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp
    Thanks Mike,

    I guess I was thinking they were only going to have issue with this on initial install and inspection and then I could set things up the way I wanted. I assume I don't have to have someone come inspect every time I make a change in the brewery? Not trying to be devious or anything, just assumed I'd have more flexibility once I was in operation to save some money by DIY work.

    Ryan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    323
    Quote Originally Posted by PorterBrewingCo View Post
    Thanks Mike,

    I guess I was thinking they were only going to have issue with this on initial install and inspection and then I could set things up the way I wanted. I assume I don't have to have someone come inspect every time I make a change in the brewery? Not trying to be devious or anything, just assumed I'd have more flexibility once I was in operation to save some money by DIY work.

    Ryan
    There's always some formula that defines what type of change needs an inspection and what doesn't, and it really varies a lot by jurisdiction. Yours might turn a blind eye, or not even care, if it's cord-and-plug connected, and sign off with nothing but wall mounted receptacles. But they may also decide they want to see the equipment being used, and expect it to be listed.

    Try to find out before you commit to a plan, because it can be really costly to go the listing-in-place route if you have to. This is where the inspector wants the installation labeled, which means a testing lab has to come out and inspect, and then label the installation. Not trying to scare you, but you need to know whether this is required going in.

    Also, it's really your insurance company that you want to appease. Assuming you're planning on carrying insurance, they may also have requirements about this. If an electrical fire is involved...you get the picture.

    Washington can be picky. For example, years ago when I moved here, and even though I was a licensed C10 electrical contractor in California, I could not legally help a friend build out his brewery--not even just the pipe and wire.

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