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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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The SSR , when they cut down power do they just clip the wave a variable % from crossover?

Is that something the software can control Guy? That's impressive if so, I thought PWM required a hardware solution.

My 2c worth on controlling the boil - a cheap PID in manual mode provides a totally workable PWM solution. I manage total control over my boil and the intensity using this method. I walk away and leave it for most of boil knowing it's fully in control.

It allows you to specify the percentage of a time period that the element is on - the max frequency is low but with the thermal mass of 25-30 litres of boiling liquid, it doesn't have to be fast.

Depending on the power of it though you potentially need control. And the best place for that to happen is in the one control box. My new 4500W element is going to be way to strong to leave at 100% for ~30L of wort.

I have 2 x 2.2kw on diff extension leads, I have no power control, so leave on full during entire boil

I found the simmerstat didn't offer the right cycle time for a 30L boil and full power is like a volcano. The PID works perfectly maintains nice rolling boil at 70% with the 5.5kw elements.

Hey @Scott H, what PIDs are you using?

@mattd2 has put the shits up me that the Sestos I ordered won't have a short enough control period for manual boil control (issue with the one he has goes higher when you set it below 8 seconds – see here).

I have 2 Sestos D1S-VR-220s on the way bundled with SSRs (which I need anyway) but I have to place another order with Auber, I'm thinking I might just say fuck it and get 2 SYL-2352s.

@Druid you're using Aubers eh, not Sestos?

I use both Sestos and Auber and I believe they both support the manual % mode.  

I use the Auber for the HLT in just auto mode and for the boil kettle, I use the Sestos in both auto and manual modes (4s period I think - in any case, the lowest it goes to).  I use it as follows to reduce the waiting times in my brew days: 

1. When the sparge has just covered the element, I set it to target and hold 95*C - this takes the wait out of bringing the wort to the boil when the sparge has finished.  

2. When I am 5 minutes out from finishing the sparge, it's usually at about 92-93 and I set it to 100% manual so that it comes to the boil just as the sparge finished.  

3. Once the hot break starts, I leave it at manual @ 100% and watch and control the hot break using an isolation switch that controls a physical relay to hold the boil just below a boilover.

4. When the hot break has finished, I use it in manual mode at anywhere between 70% and 95% to control the intensity of the boil in conjunction with partially covering the kettle with the lid.  

I have a 4kW element which is good for fast ramping but  I also need to be able to dial it back.

 

<Edit>

This is the Sestos unit I use:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-PID-Temperature-controller-25A-SSR-...

Sorry again for puttin the shits up you Barry on the Sestos! I am hoping (for your sake) that I am just one of the unlucky ones that got one from a bad batch.

Just uploading a vid to youtube that I took showing the Sestos with a 75% duty cycle and a 4s period.  Sounds like some are having issues though - and I'm not sure an 8s period would be fast enough....

Not at all mate, I'd rather be armed with the knowledge!

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