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We spoke about creating a discussion so people who have or people who are thinking about and/or building can share pic's info and pitfalls to avoid.

Just about finished building my bench and hopefully will have a chance to start wiring it up this weekend. Pics to follow shortly.

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Hi Barry (and everyone else who knows what they're talking about) :o)

I've got a Camco 5.5kW element that I'm going to put in a 100 litre pot.

Which of these two items would be best to control it with?

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Digital-PID-Temperature-controller-m...

or

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=806734978

I'm looking at doing 90 litre (ish) BIAB's in it.

Firstly, 5500W for 90l is possibly a touch underpowered. Your sacrifice will be time which is perfectly acceptable if you're prepared to part with it ;)

Then, if you were boiling only the trademe gadget would be fine. Given you also need to maintain mash temps you're probably better off going with a PID.
However, I wouldn't personally go with that combo. The K-type thermocouple is unsuitable, and because that PID is paired with it there's a chance it won't take other types.
You need a PT100 temp sensor. Make sure the PID you get will accept a PT100 as input.

With the PID option you'll need a few extra bits - switches etc. Plan it all out before you buy so you have a good understanding of how it will all work together (here to help if you need).

I've just finished my own low rent controller using one of those Rex C100 controllers and it has worked great for controlling my HLT. You might want to look into one that also does manual mode for your boil - I'm sure someone else here can comment on how useful it is.

Barry is right about the sensor not being suitable - the pic is misleading as the probe isn't actually waterproof. The threaded bit actually moves freely around the probe.

I bought my controller from the same seller on Aliexpress - although didn't end up using the heat sink & standard probe.

I bought this pre-wired PT100 probe instead, just make sure you get a C100 w/ the PT100 probe support.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/RTD-Pt100-ohm-Probe-Sensor-L-50mm-PT...

Thanks for the reply.

Something more like this?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/240V-Digital-PID-Temperature-Controller-D1S...

That looks like it would work although it is only a 25a SSR which isn't a lot of headroom for a 5kw element. It is however a nicer better controller.

You would need a thermowell to mount the sensor which is why I went with the more expensive 1/2" threaded one above.

Yeah Brett's onto it – you need to think about plumbing and where the PT100 will sit. If it needs to sit on the inlet or outlet of the pot you'd be better off getting a 1/2" threaded one, which if you take into account the cost of an additional thermowell probably stacks up well price-wise.

BTW I have 2 of those Sestos units, not that I've used my system in anger yet but in setting them up they seem pretty good.

Thanks for the feedback Barry & Brett.
I've brought the above mentioned PID and also one of those 1/2" threaded pre-wired PT100's you linked above Brett. That'll work with the PID aye?

Yeah mate, that'll work. Nice one!

The sestos's work mint as Barry have had no issues with mine.

Will be doing my 7th brew on my system this weekend. Only thing I can fault on the electreic brewery setup is that maybe using the hose on top of the mash method might create a small amount of channeling with the lower volume of grist (ie vs a 40L batch) am going to jerry rig a recirc plate this weekend and see if it effects mash eff at all.

Nice, I'm really happy with that PT100 probe.

My final blog post about my own electric brewery build:

http://www.forum.realbeer.co.nz/profiles/blogs/kauri-road-brewery-2...

So stoked with it, works amazingly well. At long last it's making beer.

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