thermostat control?

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wilfh
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thermostat control?

Post by wilfh » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:56 pm

Hello all,
I want to utilise my brew kettle for another purpose and would like to be able to hold temperature at about 85C/ simmer

I currently have a 2.3kw element. My first plan was to use an inkbird but understand that it only rated to 2kw. So what can I use? There are plug in dimmer switches that are 13a but I have no idea whether that would be ok. Any suggestions gratefully received.
Cheers
Wilf

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thepatchworkdoll
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Re: thermostat control?

Post by thepatchworkdoll » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:40 pm

Hi Wil
What about your Inkbird with a Solid State Relay (SSR) to whatever rating you require.
Regards
Patch

wilfh
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Re: thermostat control?

Post by wilfh » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:45 pm

Sounds great but unfortunately I have very basic electrical knowledge. In very beginner term that means...?

I don’t have an inkbird yet as I was going to buy for the job ( which is likely to be repeated) so can buy as appropriate ( whatever that may be)
Appreciate the help
Wilf

guypettigrew
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Re: thermostat control?

Post by guypettigrew » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:07 pm

If you can afford it, this from Brewbuilder would do the job perfectly.


Plug and use.

Guy

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Kev888
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Re: thermostat control?

Post by Kev888 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:06 am

Controllers you see in homebrew circles are often specified up to about 10amps, which on a nominal UK mains supply will theoretically run an element rated up to 2.2kw@220v or 2.4kw@240v. But in practice our supply voltage varies and so there'll be times when an element draws more than its rated current, also when it is first switched on it will draw more. So my preference is to allow a margin of safety; I guess that (or similar) may be where inkbird's 2kw comes from.

There aren't so many (especially pre-built ones) rated higher than that. However, that one linked to by Guy will easily handle up to 3kw@240v, which is the most you should run off a domestic socket.

Of course, some people go the DIY route, and this isn't massively complicated if they've some ability with electrics. BUT it does need to be done well and safely, and fiddling with electrics certainly isn't for everyone. If you aren't comfortable with the idea then perhaps best avoided; there have been some quite worrying attempts over the years!
Kev

guypettigrew
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Re: thermostat control?

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:19 am

guypettigrew wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:07 pm
If you can afford it, this from Brewbuilder would do the job perfectly.


Plug and use.

Guy
Forgot to mention; I use one for my HLT. It's plugged into a suitably rated timer and the water starts heating up about 5.00am. The controller gets the water up to about 83°C, and keeps it there, ready to run into my MT when I want to start brewing about 8.00am.

Or, to put it another way, I'm perfectly happy to have it working away while I'm asleep. No worry about it being unsafe.

Guy

wilfh
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Re: thermostat control?

Post by wilfh » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:39 pm

Thanks Both. Looks like the thing I am after.
I am assuming that I will also need a probe but pt100 or NTC?

I am also assuming that I will need a thermowell?

Would I be able to detach the probe from the thermowell/ pan for storage?

Thanks
Wilf

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Kev888
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Re: thermostat control?

Post by Kev888 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:34 am

I'd suggest dropping brewbuilder a message, this is simply a guess but I'd expect the controller could/would be functionally complete - including a probe. But what that may be, or if you have a choice, I've no idea.

Some probes are water-proof and so can just be dangled into the water/liquor. They're then easy to remove and re-position (unless you agitate the liquid you'll likely find a temperature difference between top and bottom, maybe even near the edge, so testing different places can be useful). It also means theres nothing poking into the vessel that might interfere with other uses, like filters, grain bags, stirring paddles etc.

Or some people prefer a long slim tube as a thermowell, sealed at the lower end and lowered through the lid or hooked over the side, no chance of water leaks and (as a water-tight seal isn't needed) the whole thing can be made easily removable.

Then there is the through-the-wall type of thermowell, sealed into the vessel wall. You can use connectors, although it introduces a weakness so high quality ones are worthwhile. Or if the probe isn't too tight a fit, you can just withdraw the sensor from inside the thermowell to remove it; use a bit of foam or something squidged in around the cable to stop it falling out accidentally. (Though sometimes the probe is permanently built into a thermowell, which may dictate your choice)
Kev

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