Going electric has it’s advantages. For one, the portability is nice. Brewers can make their favorite beer right in their own kitchen or anywhere there is an electrical outlet.
However, getting into all electric home brewing can be a challange. There a number of ‘commercial’ products for electrical home brewing such as the PicoBrew or Kal Walner’s excellent Electric Brewery at electricBrewery.com but because of the price of these units, they are beyond the reach of the beginning home brewer. Plus, as of recently, Kal’s panel is so popular, the manufacturer has had trouble matching demand, and they’ve cut international sales. That leaves us to find alternatives.
Tim Cadieux, a homebrewer in Ottawa, Ontario, has created an electric brewing setup that cost about $254.30.
- Enclosure – This enclosure already has a cutout for the PID and for an extra $20 comes with the heat sink preinstalled (Wall Mount Box for Single Controller)
- PID – Straightforward enough (1/16 DIN PID Temperature Controller (SSR control output))
- Temp. Sensor – Probe (Liquid Tight RTD Sensor, 2” Probe, Weldless Fitting)
- Solid State Relay – 1 Per Element (Solid State Relay SSR-40DA 40A /250V W I/O 3-32VDC/24-380VAC & Heat Sink)
- 2x 1500w Heating Element (Camco 02852/02853 1500W 120V Screw-In Lime Life Foldback Water Heater Element – Ultra Low Watt Density )
- 2 Position Switch to Enable/Disable Heating Elements Pack of 3 SPST On-Off Toggle Switch 20 Amp K101-3
- Interpower 8301213 IEC – 1 Per Element – (120V 15A Receptacle, Panel Mount, IEC 320-C14)
- 15ft Universal Power Cord – 1 per element (Ctrl Panel to Wall Outlet) SF Cable, 15ft 14 AWG Universal Power Cord
- 6ft Universal Power Cord – 1 per element (Kettle to Ctrl Panel) 6 ft. Computer AC Power Cable
- Portable GFCI Outlet Adapter – 1 per element Tower Manufacturing Corporation 3 Wire GFCI Outlet Adapter
Special note that the Portable GFCI Outlet Adapter is not sold in Canada…anywhere.
All of the parts cost $254.30 USD. Not bad. You will have to assemble the part’s yourself or you can get an electrically inclined friend to do it for you. The assembly diagram is attached to his article.
If you want additional information and diagrams on how to build electric brewing panels, see this link.