Documenting my eBIAB 5.5kw build

For those who use electricity to fire their BIAB brews.
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Documenting my eBIAB 5.5kw build

Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

IT'S ALIVE !!!
young-frankenstein.jpeg

MS goes electric :argh:


I am 99% complete on my build, just need to re-locate my pulley and move a work bench. My PID parameters are locked in (see post #3 on the controller). I will be doing a test mash and mash-out this weekend.

The element and hot pod was purchased from Bobby @ BrewHardware dot com. I got the stainless steel 5500 watt RIPPLE (see post #2 on the mounting).

I can use the "BobBrews Method" for stabilizing the mash temps, that is, draw out several quarts/liters via the valve and pour over the top. I will have the element turned off during this process. ; http://www.stempski.com/biab.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The plan is to turn off the element during the mash, or if needed, run the PID in manual mode at 5% to maintain the mash temp with a stir every 20 minutes.

I plan to mash-out in automatic mode.
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Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 22 May 2015, 07:44, edited 9 times in total.

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

This is my handy work, first ever solder of this kind. I borrowed my neighbors map gas kit.

1.5" Tri-Clamp RADIUSED SOLDER FLANGE
ImageIMG_20150523_145202684_HDR by Mad Scientist Brewhaus, on Flickr

Detail of Hot Pod
ImageIMG_20150524_154729228_HDR by Mad Scientist Brewhaus, on Flickr
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 22 May 2015, 07:45, edited 6 times in total.

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

It took a lot of work to reorganize my garage to make room for my new brewing location, in the back of the garage. :smoke:

Click on the link at the very bottom to play a video showing my controller running in automatic mode during the mash cycle.

ImageIMG_20150524_155746446_HDR by Mad Scientist Brewhaus, on Flickr


ImageIMG_20150524_155726152_HDR by Mad Scientist Brewhaus, on Flickr


ImageIMG_20150524_155320427_HDR by Mad Scientist Brewhaus, on Flickr



>>> click link below to play video <<<
https://flic.kr/p/syZcWq" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 22 May 2015, 07:45, edited 5 times in total.


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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

MS, that Curly-Que 'Ultra Low Watt Density' heater coil never gets above 220F, so a bag never burns.

see http://www.amazon.com/Camco-02963-Screw ... B000BPG4LI
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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

Joshua raises a good point.

Something else to consider: With a fully loaded bag packed around that shield you will need to be careful when drawing off liquid for the bobbrews method. If the element is powered on and you drain liquid too quickly I see the combination of the grain bed + fine mesh bag + small holes in guard conspiring to slow liquid flowing back into the area around the element where your dip tube draws from....this may create a brief air space (cavitation) around the element allowing the element to burn the surrounding wort. This would be very similar to the problem I had when recirculating too quickly with my rig causing cavitation around the element and burning the wort. I'm not saying it will happen in your case I just see the possibility.......

Simply lifting the bag a bit when drawing to recirculate would eliminate any concerns.

---Todd
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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

BTW: You're going to love electric!
WWBBD?

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Thanks guys. So, what is my best practice with my rig? I want to mash and mash-out running in automatic mode with my PID. Forget the element guard, stir, BobBrews method, small 12v solar pump running during mash with slow volume?

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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

You won't be able automate the mash without coming up with a way to constantly stir or recirc the liquid. This is because of the proximity of the temp probe will measure the temp of liquid at the level it is installed in the keg but the temperature throughout the mash will not be consistent due to stratification. Not to worry though, I can assure you that once you reach your mash temp and stabilize you can throw the lid on, wrap it in a blanket, and go take a nap. You will not lose more than a couple of degrees over an hour or so. (This is the method I settled upon after much trial and error, taking my advice here will save you money, time, and burnt beer.)

If you like, you can simply check it every 30 minutes, if it needs heat just fire up the element and stir like crazy for a few minutes. Same procedure to get up to mashout temp.

K.I.S.S.

---Todd
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

So, no element guard? How do you get burnt beer?

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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

Mad_Scientist wrote:How do you get burnt beer?
By drawing to quickly with your recirculating pump thereby not allowing the liquid to drain quickly enough back through the grain bag which causes a vacuum to be created under the bag allowing the liquid to come out of contact with the element long enough for the element to get very hot (which it will when not immersed) and then burn the wort when it comes back in contact with the element.

---Todd
Last edited by thughes on 23 May 2015, 05:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by lonetexan » 2 years ago

thughes wrote:
Mad_Scientist wrote:How do you get burnt beer?
By drawing to quickly with your recirculating pump thereby not allowing the liquid to drain quickly enough back through the grain bag which causes a vacuum to be created under the bag allowing the liquid to come out of contact with the element long enough for the element to get very hot (which it will when not immersed) and then burn the wort when it comes back in contact with the element.

---Todd
Ditto to what Todd says here. Using the pump during mashing to "control" the temp is a recipe for burnt beer UNLESS you are VERY CAREFULL on your wort flow. This is from experience. If you want to maintain a little heat in the mash, then just set the pid at a low manual setting, say 5%, come back and stir every 20-30 min and you will be good.

By the way, any possibility you can turn that element on its side or flat? It would give you more room.
Last edited by lonetexan on 23 May 2015, 06:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Thank you Todd and lonetexan. :salute:


The element is mounted using a tri-clamp, so I will rotate it flat. I will set the PID at 5% when it's stabilized, start the timer and see how that works. I will try this out this weekend with some 4 year old Carapils.
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 22 Mar 2016, 01:13, edited 1 time in total.


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Documenting my ekeggle 5.5kw build

Post by grantmichaels » 2 years ago

You've got a new subscriber. I'm keenly interested in watching this project come together!

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Updated post #2 and #3.

I did my trial run late this afternoon, without that element guard, it went real well ... :) , I forgot to do a mash-out though :argh: . I will have to try a mash-out another day, but don't see a problem with that vis-à-vis 'burnt wort' discussion.

I mashed 4650 grams of Carapils into 33.35 L of TWN, making a liquor to grain ratio of 7.23 l/kg, these figures were based on making a 1.050 OG.

My initial PID settings that worked great during two different water tests, didn't seem to be working out during the mashing process, so much time was spent on trying different paramaters.

Settings of P=35, I=360, D=0 seemed to work okay. [EDIT: Meant to say P=360, I=35, D= 0]

The controller video shows the PID running in automatic mode. In theory, this could be left on, the lid on, and take a nap.

Being a test, I doughed-in at 150 degrees (my Set Value) and noticed the temperature dropped about 5 degrees. I ran that through the BIABacus later and came up with a new strike factor of 4.5. No more propane burner to help retain that heat.

My window fan now makes more noise. :lol:

MS
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 25 May 2015, 10:13, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

Thanks for the update MS. As far as the PID setting not working during the mash process....I'm confused: To set the power to 5% you first need to switch to manual mode, is that what you did? In manual mode, the P/I/D settings have no effect. Or did you mean that when you actually did a mash instead of just a water test that the settings for automatic didn't work correctly? Why didn't you just use the "auto-tune" feature at initial setup when you built the rig? I chased my tail with PID settings for days when I built my rig before I decided to use the auto-tune; after getting the auto-tune to run correctly I haven't had to tweak anything since. (That was a few years ago).

One very important tip: auto-tune and/or using the PID in manual mode with not work properly unless you change the default "Hy" setting from 3 to 1.

From another thread: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2516

The Hysteresis Band (HY setting) needs adjusting from the default of 3 down to 1. With the default setting of 3, in manual mode, there is way too much delay in cycling the element and you need to have it set to 100% to boil. After adjusting the HY value to 1, you should be able to use the manual mode effectively and will find that 65-70% should give you a good rolling boil.

---Todd
Last edited by thughes on 26 May 2015, 19:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

I'm sorry Todd I wasn't clear. I actually tried both manual and auto during a 2 hour test mash.

What I now believe was going on in my case was that the bag sagged between the element and the sensor causing the temperature to rise. If I can isolate both underneath a screen, would that be the way to go?
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 28 Apr 2017, 06:11, edited 2 times in total.


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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

MS, have you thought about Plastic Screen???

Stretchable Molded Polypropylene Mesh is good to 194F, so, you can Mash with it and Pull the Bag and Mesh, at mash out.

see http://www.mcmaster.com/#9265t47/=xonu43

Or Maybe Moisture-Resistant Polyester Mesh good to 302F.

see http://www.mcmaster.com/#9218t61/=xonxul

JMHO.
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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

Mad_Scientist wrote:I'm sorry Todd I wasn't clear. I actually tried both manual and auto during a 2 hour test mash.

What I now believe was going on in my case was that the bag sagged between the element and the sensor causing the temperature to rise.

If I can isolate both underneath a screen like this, would that be the way to go?
Maybe. I have often considered rigging a probe up to float in the mash (using a chunk of foam maybe?) instead of being located in a static position so close to the heating element.

---Todd
Last edited by thughes on 19 Jun 2015, 19:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

The belief is that I should use a screen since I have a saggy bag. :lol: If I do a nip and tuck and have a high and tight bag, clipped up, allowing free flow of wort between the element and sensor, that would work also.

Generally it is recommended to have a thin and long probe (high length to diameter ratio). So, I am looking to exchange my 2" for an 8". :lol:

ImageIMG_20150524_154729228_HDR by Mad Scientist Brewhaus, on Flickr


ImageIMG_20150619_161829057_HDR by Mad Scientist Brewhaus, on Flickr
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 23 Jun 2015, 09:38, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Making my own screen.

ImageIMG_20150629_105528685_HDR~2 by Mad Scientist Brewhaus, on Flickr
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 30 Jun 2015, 03:24, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Bellybuster » 2 years ago

I think having the screen keep the bag away giving free flow will solve allot of your issues. You should be just fine with the 2" probe too.
As stated above, run Auto Tune on your PID and forget about ever making settings again.
I see no reason not to run your PID in auto for the entire mash, (with recirculation of course) they make minor power additions to maintain temp. Through out a 60 minute mash I never saw my power go above 30%. Mine has bars that you can see the element power.

nice build by the way

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Thank you Bellybuster for your support.

I do have a pump coming in the mail hopefully tomorrow and fittings.

The folks at Auber Instruments allowed me to exchange my sensor for one that fits in a 1/2" NPT tee.

By Friday or so, I should be ready to run an autotune, and with my first brew on this new electric setup the following weekend, July 12th, in memory of my Dad's birthday. I will be making a Rogue Dead Guy.

MS
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 22 Mar 2016, 01:30, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

MS, I have always had Troubles With AutoTune, because the Mass of the Water, And Then Again with the Mass of water and grain bill.

your PID numbers look ok "Settings of P=35, I=360, D=0 seemed to work okay."

I am concerned with the I=360, which in Some Setups mean 360 Minutes per Interval. My experience is try 8-12 and check if the Temperature over-Shoots your setting temperature.

You have enough power to get the Mash Boiling, so getting to any Temperature should take 30-40 minutes.

Todd(thughes) is correct about the Hysteresis being 1, you should check the Time ON/time OFF after the Temperature is Made, and set the Hysteresis smaller to hold the Temperature closer to the set-point,if you have a SSR ("Solid State relay").

Also, The D (derivative) can be 1-20 if your using a SSR, since the Time (on=off) relative to the Temperature, can be very small(fast) since SSR's prefer higher Frequency to average power passed thru the SSR.

JMHO YMMV
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

I reviewed my post, my post was wrong, my Auber SYL-2352 PID values are P 350, I 40 and D 2.

These numbers worked for me during the water only test. I will re-validate them again once I have the pump plumbed in. Those values were given to me by Auber Instruments, the maker of my control panel.

The hysteresis default is 0.3, I recall Todd saying to set it to 0.1
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 22 Mar 2016, 01:31, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

This is how I want to see it work ALL during the mash in automatic mode, with a pump.

https://flic.kr/p/syZcWq

MS
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 22 Mar 2016, 01:37, edited 1 time in total.

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