Note: This is one post in a series of posts on how to build a Brutus 10.
Time for another installment in the Brutus Saga.
Last time it was the gas system, and now we’re talking the Brutus 10 wiring.
Speaking as someone who is really not an electronics guy, this part was fairly straightforward. I say this because people see the control panel and think that I just built an R2-D2.
I actually followed the original Brutus 10 wiring plans very closely, so be sure to pick those up in you haven’t already. Here are the major changes I made:
- Used Honeywell solenoid valves that run on 24V instead of the ASCO valves that run on 120V. This means I had to use a transformer to get the right voltage.
- Instead of hardwiring the control panel to the stand, I use plugs so I can easily disconnect the control panel. Right now, the control box sits on a utility cart next to the stand during brew day.
- I ran the wires along the outside of the stand using clips instead of drilling holes and running them through the stand.
The Love controllers really run the show. You program your desired temperature into them and then they control the gas. The pumps are also controlled on the panel, but they are not automated. I simply flip their switches when I want them to turn on and off.
The rest is best explained with pictures and the video at the top. I’ve never been much for wiring diagrams, probably because I’m terrible at reading them.
Here is the front of the control panel.
This next picture is good because it shows the holes that are in bottom of the control panel for the different components. Each cord ends in a plug because like I said, the control panel plugs into the stand. The main power plugs into a wall outlet.
Below you can see the plugs at the end of the cords for the Honeywell valves. These come out of the black, ribbed cord above which just keeps everything nice and tidy. They are coming out the transformers at 24V, and because of the lower voltage I went with these compact audio plugs. They work great.
These are the ends of the cords that power the pumps. They run on 120V and are the standard 3-prong variety.
Update: I wound up switching the plugs for safety reasons and suggest you do the same. Now, the cords coming out of the control panel have female ends on them. The outlets on the stand have male ends (i.e. the prongs). This way, if you accidentally touch the end of the cord coming out of the control panel while it’s live (although highly unlikely), you won’t be zapped.
And below you can see where everything plugs into the stand. I got some electrical boxes and the appropriate face plates and then just attached them to the stand with zip ties. The zip ties were meant to be a temporary solution, but I really like them and am not fond of the idea of drilling holes in the stand.
The wires from the pumps and gas valves enter the electrical boxes through the back. My March pumps came with 6′ cords. I cut their plugs off and wired them to the receptacle in the box.
These are the thermocouples coming out of the top of the control box. One runs to the hot liquor tank and the other to the mash tun to read their temperatures.
Finally, here is a shot of the transformers because this part is different from the original plans. They take the 120V coming into the control box (which is needed for the Love controllers, switches, and pumps) and step it down to 24V which is required for the Honeywell gas valves.
I’ve seen some configurations where people were able to use one transformer and fancy switches. Like I said, I’m not an electronics guy and I’d rather spend a few extra bucks on another transformer than try to figure all of that out. Using one transformer for each valve just made sense in my head – the K.I.S.S. philosophy.
And one more for good measure in case someone wants to see the inside of the front panel. It’s pretty difficult to make sense of things though without having your hands on it.
Writing Diagram from an Academy Reader
An awesome reader of ours named Steve created a wiring diagram for the Brutus 10. I’ll share it below with his note. Thanks, Steve!
I have finished my wiring and tested everything. It works perfect. I made a few changes to your design. Instead of having chords running from the box, I wired mine where everything plugs into the box. Please feel free to post this on your site as it might cut down on questions you are asked. Just a few references T1 and T2 stands for temperature H1 and H2 stands for heat. I use the term heat for activation of the gas valve. P1 and P2 are the pumps. I hope this helps.
The liquid system. Most likely the last post in the build series.
- Love controller x 2 (Davis.com; part # DO-93520-00) – $190
- Control panel box (Home Depot; SKU 693878) – $34
- 24VAC Transformers x 2 (PexSupply.com; SKU AT175A1008) – $56
- Phone plug x 2 (Radio Shack; part # 274-1539) – $8
- Audio jack x 2 (Radio Shack; part # 274-255) – $8
- Heat shrink tubing (Radio Shack; part # 278-1627) – $7
- Wall plate x 2 (Ace Hardware) – $10
- Receptacle (Ace Hardware) – $12
- Electrical box x 2 (Ace Hardware) – $14
- 25′ Extension cord (Lowe’s) – $10
- Dual-row barrier strips x 3 (Radio Shack; part # 274-659) – $9
- Kwik clips x x (Home Depot SKU 853838) – $6
- 16 gauge wire x 3 (Home Depot SKU 710914) – $15
- Fudge factor for various wires, connectors, switches, and all the other little things I didn’t keep good track of – $40
- Total cost: $419
As I mentioned, there is a ton of little “stuff” involved in this part of the build. If I missed something you’re curious about just ask me in the comments.