Homebrew kegging and draft beer tapping equipment including aluminum CO2 tanks, CO2 regulators, quick disconnects, Cornelius kegs, beer taps, pony taps, beer hardware, hoses and fittings.

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50 Amp Home Brewery Controller Build

When we started building a 50 Amp controller for a customer I decided to document the process from start to finish. This controller is designed to run a HERMS system or a RIMS tube and boil pot and when complete. Our 50 Amp controller will support up to two 5500 watt elements at the same time. One or two pumps can be switched on independent of each other and independent of the elements, giving you plenty of flexibility over your home brewery design..

 All of our controllers are GFCI ready and all uave been tested on a GFCI circuit. This controller will have a 4 prong 50 Amp range style plug because to be GFCI compliant, a mixed voltage home brewery controller has to be a 4 wire system.

All of our controllers are manufactured using a process similar to this one. Every controller we build starts with a all aluminum housing because plastic it too dangerous to build with. The problem with a plastic housing is a failing SSR can easily melt any plastic housing down into a molten firey goo!

Note:  We recently started selling this same controller on www.amazon.com. (5/2015)

Bottom Housing Machining

We start with a Bud Industries AN-2858-B chassis that measures 8.75" X 5.75" X 3.25". Some would say that $46.20 is too much to spend on a housing but the alternative is plastic and we won't go there because plastic is a fire hazard.

Unmodified Closed Housing
Unmodified Open Housing

Drill the mounting holes for the relays and main contactor. The main contactor switches incoming power on and off.

Bottom Drilled

Drill he openings for incoming power, plug cable glands and safety ground.

Cable gland openings

Test fit cable gland fittings.

Test fit cable gland openings

Machine the openings for the heat sink assemblies.

Machine heat sink assembly openings

 

 

 

 

Heatsink Assembly

Our larger controllers have fan assisted heat sinks. Testing shows the fans aren't needed but a little extra insurance never hurts!

We start with a 4" length of heat sink cut off a longer extrusion.

Unmodified heat sink

We drill the mounting holes and power feed hole in each one.

Drilled heat sinks

We machine the insets where the fans will mount.

Machined heat sinks

We mount the fans then add some extra tubing to the wires where they will pass through the housing to the inside.

Fans mounted in heatsinks
Fan wires

Then we mount the heat sink assemblies to the lower housing.

Mount heat sink assemblies

Top Housing Machining

Machine all of the mounting holes in the top cover.

Machined top cover

Initial Assembly

Mount all of the relays and main power contactor in the bottom housing. The main contactor turns incoming power on and off.

Relays and contactor

Install the incoming power cable clamp.

Main Power clamp

Mount and pre-wire the SSRs

Mount the SSRs

Install the internal power supply

Install the internal power supply

Pre-wire the Relays

Prewire the Relays

Pre-wire the Outlet Pigtails

Prewire the outlet pigtails

Install the Outlet Cable Glands

Install the Outlet Cable Glands

Install and wire the Outlets - the ground wires are all connected later

Install the outlets

Assemble Hardware to the Faceplate

The two left switches turn pumps 1 & 2 on/off.
The two outlets below the switches are for pumps 1 & 2.
The center top knob is for rate of boil & will control up to two 5500 watt elements in tandem.
The switch below the knob switches between mash and boil.
The PID to the right controls your mash temperature & can control up to two 5500 watt elements in tandem.
    Most will use two 5500 watt elements for HERMS or a single 5500 watt element for RIMS tube.
The red mushroom button is main power on/off and also serves as a panic stop switch.
    Twisting this button clockwise turns on the main controller power.
    Pushing this button in turns off all power to the controller.
The connector to the right is for the K type thermocouple - used to monitor your mash temperature.

Assemble hardware to the faceplate

We pre-wire the faceplate

Pre-wire the faceplate

We use Hydraulic Crimpers to attach terminals to the #6 wire that will be feeding power to the panel.

We need hydraulic crimpers forthe incoming power

All of the wiring is done except for the neutral and safety ground

The box looks very busy but everything was done in layers. No single layer was overly complicated.
We still need to slip some heat shring tubing over the open crimp connector tying all of the safety ground wires together.

Wiring is almost done

One more crimp with the hydraulic crimper.

This one's the two neutral wires for the pump control circuits
We protect the connection with heat shrink tubing.

Another hydraulic crimp

Cover crimp with heat shrink tubing

Cover ground with heat shrink tubing

One completed 50 Amp control panel.

Complete control panel

Panel front during test.

Outlet Plugs

 

 

This site is owned and operated by Tom Hargrave Sales 12021 South Memorial Parkway, Suite N-4
Huntsville, AL  35803
sales@kegkits.com