It is currently Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:37 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: What heating element for my electric brew kettle?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:23 pm 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 752
Location: Longmont, CO
I've pretty well decided I'm going to go electric to brew in my basement. I was considering NG, but the evacuation hood and make up air was going to be a major expense and production. I thought about electric induction heating, and still might do it some day, but again, a major expense for both the "burner" and a compatible brew pot. So now I'm trying to figure out what kind of heating element to put into a keggle, and I have questions:

1. 240V vs. 120V - O.k., no real question here, I'm going with 240, just for reference.
2. High density, low density, or extra-low density? I presume that a high density element might cause scorching. Is this true? This place has all three, and if you scroll to the bottom of the page it explains the difference (150, 75, and 50 watts/square inch, respectively).
3. Screw in thing or large coil? The screw in types are attractive because installation and replacement should be easy. But it looks like the big coils might have even lower density. FYI, here's a screw in type, and here's one of the big coil things.
4. What material? I think if is isn't specified, most of these are copper with nickel plating. Will that last long in a BK? How about incoloy? Or more interesting, what about teflon coated like this one?
5. What other things should I be considering? Will a heating element melt a hop bag? Might it have an impact on my hop containment/filtering, which I haven't decided on yet? Anything else?

-Eric

_________________
Aging: Gotlandsdrickå, Baltic Porter in Bourbon barrel, Olde Ale #2 in whiskey barrel
On Draft: Nothing. Building a walk-in cooler right now.


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: What heating element for my electric brew kettle?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:14 pm 
 Profile

Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:03 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Pennsylvania
i can't really answer any questions you have cause i'm pretty much in the same boat as you. but in all the electric builds i've looked at online, i've never seen someone pump water past a heating element before it even goes to the HLT. basically, it would work similar to an instahot, to raise the temp of the water right off the bat. seems like this would tremendously cut down on the heating time for strike/sparge water. just an idea you might want to work into your setup


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: What heating element for my electric brew kettle?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:55 am 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 30
Eric,

I have been moving to all grain and all electric. Here are the elements I am using:

In my HLT - 120volt, 2000 watt high density element (No reason to worry about scorching here - it'll raise 10 gallons of 70 degree water to 170 in about 1 hr 10 minutes or so.) Not the most efficient but I wanted to start using this setup sooner. Hence the use of the 120 volt element. It was just easier to produce. However, I am going to change to a 4,500 watt, 240 volt high density element here. It will greatly reduce to the time needed to get to temp.

Boil Kettle - 240 volt, 3500 watt low density element for 12.5 to 13 gallons wort. Low density works great in that it won't scorch the wort. I do want to change it to a 4500 watt low density element with an adjustable control (4,500 watt at full power would produce a major boil over). I have seen somewhere on the net a rheostat for sale for about $130 that would work. Just a matter of saving a bunch of brew bucks for the upgrades.

I am sure the any of the elements will melt a hop bag as they get very hot. I use a large 4 " CPVC coupling, drilled a hole through it slightly off set from center. Then I pushed a long aluminum tube (long enough to reach each side of my kettle. Then I just slip the hop bag through the center of the coupling and tie the bag around the outside of the coupling, add hops, adjust for depth into BK and well-ah, hop bag suspended in the BK above the element.

As for anything else, ground everything and GFI where you can!!!!!

Cheers,

Bill :pop


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: What heating element for my electric brew kettle?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:39 pm 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 752
Location: Longmont, CO
Thanks Bill! Did you go with a screw-in type or the large coil or something else? Also, if you find a good controller, I'd be interested in that. A rheostat isn't particularly efficient. I was going to look for or build a TRIAC based controller, but I'm open to ideas.

_________________
Aging: Gotlandsdrickå, Baltic Porter in Bourbon barrel, Olde Ale #2 in whiskey barrel
On Draft: Nothing. Building a walk-in cooler right now.


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: What heating element for my electric brew kettle?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:50 pm 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 30
Eric,

Screw in elements - you can get them pre-assembled here:

http://www.highgravitybrew.com/ProductC ... tegory=306

You could buy pool or spa heater elements but I had only seen one set of plans out there using one of those elements. Plus I am not sure they would be compatible i.e., low density for the boil kettle- might be OK for the HLT though. And ya, TRIAC was the word I was looking for when I mentioned rheostat. I have a link somewhere on my home computer for one that could be used. I am NOT an electrician but, the biggest issue I can gather is that the TRIAC's amperage has to be higher than the element will draw. Then I searched a little this afternoon and came up with this one:

http://www.heatersplus.biz/18tp.htm


Good luck with your project. I'll post some pictures when I get my system fully together and presentable. Now it's just in semi-usable sections.

Bill :jnj


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: What heating element for my electric brew kettle?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:22 pm 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 752
Location: Longmont, CO
BillfromOB wrote:
Then I searched a little this afternoon and came up with this one:
http://www.heatersplus.biz/18tp.htm

Interesting find, but that will just barely handle 3500 watts and comes in at $192.05. There has to be something cheaper, like an electric oven/stove part? I found this:
http://www.omega.com/ppt/pptsc.asp?ref= ... nav=AUTM01
But it too can barely handle 3500 watts.

_________________
Aging: Gotlandsdrickå, Baltic Porter in Bourbon barrel, Olde Ale #2 in whiskey barrel
On Draft: Nothing. Building a walk-in cooler right now.


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: What heating element for my electric brew kettle?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:22 am 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 30
Eric,

Did some serious web surfing last night. When I searched for the control I used the following requirements:

Variable voltage control 240 volts, 30 amps.

I used 30 amps because that should cover an element size to over 6000 watts with 5 amps to spare (assuming that's really enough amperage to spare - I may have to throw that out there to one of us who does electricity for a living).

I found this but it is expensive. http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/Produc ... =18D-2-30I

It might be the only way to go since I am not an electrical engineer and unwilling to test my building skills against 240 volts.

Now I really have to increase my brew bucks account. Let me know how your project turns out.

Cheers,

Bill :jnj


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: What heating element for my electric brew kettle?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:50 am 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 12:46 am
Posts: 1051
Location: Melbourne Australia
I vote for a handheld immersion element such as this
Image

Its 2400W and by itself more than sufficient for a 5G batch - perhaps a little underpowered for a 10G batch ... but thats when I tried it in my uninsulated kettle ... and if you are all electric, you can insulate your kettle and HLT up the wazoo. They dont have to be externally fireproof. I reckon you could do 10G with just one of these and an insulated kettle.

Use these things and you only need one element for both HLT and kettle, you don't have to do any wiring, you don't have to cut any holes in your pots, and you can use the elements like heat sticks to add heat directly to your mash for step mashing or fine adjustments.

If you go with two of them things happen a lot faster and you will have well and truly more grunt than you need for a 10G batch.

I have recently acquired one of these - and I am about to permanently retire my gas burner.

Also - why do you want a controller of any sort? If you are going with fixed elements - you will find that 2400W is basically ideal for a 5G batch. I have made and brewed on a 5G system that used an 1850W element with no trouble. In a pinch, I would go for 1 x 2400W (or thereabouts) element and 1 or 2 separately installed 1200W elements, then you control them by just turning them on and off. All three for heat up, The big plus one small for very vigarous boiling of 5G or perfect for 10G... just the big one for standard 5G. This also spreads your heat density out over three elements worth of area.

Thirsty


Top
 

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Powered by phpBB © 2009 phpBB Group