Kettle element regulator

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Equipment Discussion' started by jonnymorris, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Jun 24, 2013 #1

    jonnymorris

    jonnymorris

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    HI,

    I'm in the middle of brewing an American Honey Pale Ale. I have two 2.4kW kettle elements in my lagged 50L SS boiler but only use one when the boil is reached. The boil is on... and then some. The wort is nearly climbing out of the pot and I'm thinking it would be useful to be able to regulate the element, i.e. turn it down a bit.

    I'm guessing the electrics are pretty basic but I could do with a steer as to what such a regulator might be called or how I might go about building one. A potentiometer? Does this work for AC too? My DIY is good but I'm no electrician. Anyone?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jun 24, 2013 #2

    Swift Pint

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    Have you tired / are you able to turn one of the elements off once you've reached a boil?
     
  3. Jun 24, 2013 #3

    Vossy1

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    IIRC you can use something called a burst fire rectifier to control the power input to the element, I believe Aleman used/may use one :thumb:
     
  4. Jun 24, 2013 #4

    jonnymorris

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    Yep, I do this but since I've been boiling with the lid mostly on (as opposed to no lid at all) the boils are particularly vigorous.

    That sounds suitably technical. I'll look into it, thanks.
     
  5. Jun 24, 2013 #5

    hairybiker

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    There was a post on here about someone who made a power controller & meter, recently.
    You have to build it rather than buy it, but it isn't too expensive to make. (2 units pre-made in a box)

    I have one I am in the process of boxing - once I decide on the box.
    It will control an element and show the power used (Voltage & Amps used)
     
  6. Jun 24, 2013 #6

    theboytony

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  7. Jun 24, 2013 #7

    LeithR

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    @hairybiker,
    Are you planning a "how to" when you have completed your exercise? I'm certainly interested in something similar for my 60L Mango kettle currently in build.

    @theboytony,
    Had a quick look at this on ebay, slightly concerned in that it talks about controlling light and speed but not Power. Did you get a spec sheet for it? What is its power rating? your set up takes about 12.5 Amps
     
  8. Jun 24, 2013 #8

    theboytony

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    The power rating is 3800w or 3.8kw. Can't remember if I got a spec sheet but it was a while ago. It does say in the description that it can be used for water heaters, electric furnace, electric iron, etc all things that basically use an element for heating. I've used it for 20+ 90min boils so far and its worked great.
     
  9. Jun 24, 2013 #9

    chastuck

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    Why don't you use a PID controller? You can turn down the boiling like you turn down the gas.
     
  10. Jun 26, 2013 #10

    TRXnMe

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    Be careful using the dimmer switch, lighting circuits are typically rated at much lower amperages than the ring mains with your 13 Amp sockets on them, run 13 amps through one for long and it could start to get hot.
     
  11. Jun 26, 2013 #11

    graysalchemy

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    Have a look Here aleman gives a good answer as ever :thumb:
     
  12. Jun 29, 2013 #12

    thedrayman

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  13. Jun 29, 2013 #13

    theboytony

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  14. Jun 29, 2013 #14

    hairybiker

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    The Cyclops one is the one I was thinking off.
    He has already done a how to, linked in the above post.

    I am still looking for a box, I thought a box I had would work, but once I fitted the reg to it it was bumping the back of the box :nono:
    So still looking for a cheap box, might go with a clip lock box from £land.
     
  15. Jun 29, 2013 #15

    thedrayman

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    Slightly off-topic but could I use one of these controllers for regulating my Solar pump?
     
  16. Jul 1, 2013 #16

    jonnymorris

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