Boil Config

Describe your system and processes, and post your config file.
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berrywise
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Boil Config

Post by berrywise » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:24 am

I'm curious to what everyone does to control their boil stage.

I have a a 5500 watt 240v element in a 20 gallon kettle and normally do 10 gallon batches. When I first started I figured I'd just use the PID mode and set my temp at 212 degrees. I found out quickly that would not work for me as, no matter where I put my temp probe, my boil wouldn't start until my temp probe registers somewhere around 225 degrees.

So I didn't spend too much time worrying about it and just switched to Direct Mode and put it to ON and let it rip. After a few batches I feel like leaving it fully on is actually TOO much of a rigorous boil and feel I may be boiling off more than I'd like and want to investigate other options.

Duty Cycle seems like a logical choice, and I've read the information in the wiki about it, but if I go that route do I just do trial and error to see how long I should be leaving it on before turning it off?

My current process is very simple

State One: Bring to a boil (direct mode = on, exit stage when temp gets to 225 degrees)
State Two: Maintain boil (direct mode = on, exit stage after 60/90 minutes)
State Three: Finish (turn off process, turn on process to get ready to whirlpool and chill)

FYI: I also run a boil additions process at the same time.

Anyone willing to share what works for them?

Thanks!

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Baron Ken
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Re: Boil Config

Post by Baron Ken » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:51 am

For my ekeggle with a 5500w 240v element, I use duty cycle around 60-65%.

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JonW
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Re: Boil Config

Post by JonW » Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:09 pm

Sounds like you might need to calibrate your temp probe if you don't hit boil until 225.

You can do as Baron Ken suggested and just set a fixed duty cycle. You might want two states where the first is bring to boil and you're at near full output, then the next is something like "boil timer start", where you drop it down to a lower duty cycle (and have it kick off your additions process at the same time).

You'll want to experiment and find what works best for you and stay with it. It's important to stay consistent so that you can accurately predict actual boil off rates. If you are using BeerSmith or other brewing software, you can configure the boil off rate in the software and accurately hit post-boil gravities and volumes.

I do my boil process similar to yours, but I use one process for all the boil/chill states. I also use a second process for all hop additions that automatically starts when I jump to my "Boil Timer Start" state.

berrywise
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Re: Boil Config

Post by berrywise » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:19 pm

Thanks for the responses guys. My probes were all purchased from brewershardware so I thought they were already configured but I think I may want to go back and double check them. In the meantime I'm going to try the Duty Cycle starting at 65 and boil some water to see how it goes.

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