Designing every piece of our electric brewing equipment from scratch has enabled us to introduce a new level of process control, flexibility, and performance. Every detail has been carefully thought through and refined.
Every component of our new eControllers were designed in house or selected to enhance the ebrewing experience. Beginning with the custom extruded 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum housing, which is CNC machined, and then coated in a durable black anodized finish. Using this approach allowed us to keep the system compact, portable, and functional. The housing includes an integrated carry handle for easy setup and take down, a tee-slot for alternative mounting options, along with a heatsink to keep the internal electrical components cool.
The eController is driven by a fully proportional PID controller, which doesn't rely on high speed switching to modulate heat. Instead, voltage is modulated through an internal SSVR, this means element wattage is proportional. A switch located just above the PID allows the user to operate the controller in manual or automatic modes.
In manual mode, the proportional output can be fine-tuned on a scale of 0-100% of total element output which is ideal for dialing in a perfect rolling boil. Alternatively, in automatic mode, the PID algorithm manages the proportional output relative to process temperature, to hold a steady HLT or mash temp for instance. The eController quickly finds equilibrium with environmental heat loss characteristics, and can maintain a high degree of accuracy during each brewing process.
The heater button allows the user to cycle the element on or off without shutting down the power to the entire unit, or adjusting the PID output setting, which is especially helpful during the occasional boil-over. This feature also allows the controller to be used to monitor a process temperature, such as during runoff or latter stages of the sparge process without the risk of dry firing the element. Lastly, the controller features two accessory outputs, which would commonly be used for pumps, but could also be used for a mill, lighting, or even a phone charger.
Connectivity was an important consideration for our eControllers, we wanted the flexibility and familiarity of a plug that could be adapted to an existing customer supplied kettle or element, and the reliability of a UL approved connector type. For 240VAC main power and element connectors, we settled on the common NEMA L6-30 standard, which is a 3-wire twist-lock plug type, capable of delivering 30 amps of current. For the accessory connections, we settled on using a NEMA 5-15 standard, which is just a standard residential 120 VAC outlet. Finally, for the PT100 temperature probes we opted for the 3.5 mm mini jack connector standard, commonly used for headphones, which is both durable and easy to use.