The BREWHA Tabletop Power Controller
The Digital Power Box ('Brewing Power Controller') is a reliable, precise, safe, portable and flexible means of controlling 230V electrical power in your home or commercial beer brewing system.
This video describes its structure and function and provides some useful tips for the safe brewing of beer.
Click here to go to the Brewing Power Controller ('Power Box') product page
Full transcript of the video:
Hi and welcome to another BREWHA video. In this video we will be looking at the BREWHA Digital Power Box.
The Digital Power Box is a reliable, precise, safe, portable and flexible means of controlling 230V power in your brewing system.
It is reliable because it is made with top quality parts, and there are no Bluetooth, or internet connectivity issues; no programming or display problems; just plug it in, and it is immediately ready to work—everytime. And when used with brewing software such as the Beersmith program you are able to replicate your favorite brews, time and after time.
It is precise, because there won’t be any program crashes mid brew and it allows you to know exactly how much power is going into your vessel. By turning this dial at the front, the amount of power going to the heating element can be specified precisely. If just 50% of output is needed, for example, during mashing or distillation, or 2% during fermentation, the knob is turned to that percentage and you can be 100% confident that the heating element will be putting out the exact amount of needed power.
It is safe, and is third-party safety certified by one of the world’s largest and most respected safety evaluation and testing companies.
Let’s look briefly at its design and functionality.
It is housed in a rugged and light-weight aluminum body. It has rubber feet on the bottom so it is non-marking and won’t slide on a smooth countertop. And it has two pivoting feet than can be used to elevate the front of the box for ease of use.
The main cable is designated SOOW which is an industrial service cable that has a 600volt rating. This kind of cable is more expensive, but has excellent resistance to oils, acids, chemicals, water, ozone, extreme temperatures, cuts, tears, abrasion, and sunlight—basically any and everything it might encounter in your basement, garage, restaurant, or brewery. It is also flame retardant, has an indoor and outdoor rating and is highly flexible so it is easy to move around. The high quality Hubbel cord grips are made of aluminum so they are attractive and durable. And the GFI 115V switch receptacles that are available in the North American model, provide convenient power for small 115V appliances such as a pump.
Inside the Power Box is a contactor. The contactor is like a gate, that opens and closes to safely control the flow of 230V power into the Power Box. With 230V power, if you were to unplug from a receptacle each time you need to turn the power off, it would likely arc in the receptacle, which could damage the receptacle, or even start a fire. What determines whether the contactor or gate is open or closed, is this second smaller cord which provides a signal to open or close the contactor. When this cord has power (the power could come directly from a wall receptacle, or via the ETC during mashing) it closes the contactor and lets 230V power through to the element. When this line doesn’t have power, and therefore there is no signal, the contactor is open, and the main power cannot get through to the element.
You will have noticed that while the 115V receptacles have a GFI built in, the main 230V line does not. It is recommended that brewers have a GFI installed prior to the Power Box as a GFI responds much quicker to electrical irregularities than a breaker or fuse will, ensuring that you are even better protected in the event of a short.
The Power Box is designed to be portable, maximizing its convenience and utility. It is extremely easy to set up and take down, which is especially very attractive when space must be shared for other purposes.
The Power Box is also designed to be flexible. Temperature control (which for BREWHA can be achieved through the ETC) has been intentionally kept external to the main power control device, which provides the brewer with the greatest amount of convenience, cost-savings, and utility. Most brew systems use a built in PID or similar temperature sensor that is tied to the main 230V control apparatus. But this is not always convenient, especially when using a multi-purpose area, or when needing to control multiple brewing systems at the same time (for example, when one has two or more vessels and is brewing and fermenting at the same time). By keeping the temperature control external to the Power Box, the brewer is able to continue to maintain precise control of temperature regulation throughout fermentation, without needing access to 230V power that might be being used elsewhere. The fermenter can be moved away from the main 230V power source and still have the temperature monitored and controlled by the ETC. Or in the situation where multiple fermenters are needed, only one Power Box is necessary for brewing, and much less costly ETCs can be purchased to monitor the additional tanks.
So that is a brief overview of the BREWHA Digital Power Box. We have designed it with the brewer in mind, to make it reliable, precise, safe, portable, flexible and most of all, a pleasure to use.
Thank you for watching!