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Old 11-19-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
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Default Dancing tamale pot!

Here is a good reason to get quality, heavy-bottom brew pots. When you can afford them.

I put my thin aluminum 30 liter tamale steamer on the electric range, poured in 2 gallons of water, and turned the element to high. One minute later it was rocking from left to right and bouncing all over the place. Whoo-yeah I had to put 2 full gallon jugs on the lid to hold it down.

The thin bottom expanded with the heat and bowed outwards, pushing it up. The water cooled the bottom irregularly and it would shrink and settle back to one side or the other. Rinse and repeat.

It stopped bouncing around when the water heated up, but for a while there it looked pretty silly.

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:13 AM   #2
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I had a nice-looking pot, which did the same thing until one day the bouncing pressures warped something in between layers, and the pot suddenly became permanently bulged.

Now we plant flowers in it, but not so much boil wort...

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:21 AM   #3
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I'm in the process of converting my 8 gallon tamale pot to electric. Never noticed it when it was on the propane burner but now that it sits on a flat surface I can see the bottom is bulged outward. I wonder if it will become a dancing pot with the electric set up?

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:48 AM   #4
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A quality pot is a must. A heavy bottom important for even heat.
I personally wouldn't convert a cheap pot to electric, unless it was easy to take the components and move them to a quality pot later.

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:53 AM   #5
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It will be easy to remove the element and it only cost about 15 dollars to build. It's also only 1500 watts so this will be more of a trial run. If it works well as an HLT I'll probably invest in a nicer pot. For bling factor as much as anything.

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Old 11-19-2012, 05:23 AM   #6
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I may look into electric brewing some time. Seems like a good method. It could bring my brewing indoors.
Since I'm a divorced single dad, I can even option to put a range hood in my bar / brew room! Boiling that much wort certainly makes more steam than I want to vent into my house.

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Old 11-19-2012, 05:35 AM   #7
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I'd love to go full electric but for now just wanted a way to cut down on the propane expense. I don't expect it to heat 5-6 gallons to 165-170 as quickly as my propane burner does but the cost savings should be substantial and now I'll always have an extra propane tank at the ready. (currently have two burners two tanks)

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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Dan, I am a real newbie and did not want to commit right away to propane and working outside. So I use the glasstop electric range. I will probably spend more as I get into the hobby. As in other hobbies, I see no reason to spend much up front except for the critical items, an accurate hydrometer and thermometer.

I think the largest element on my electric range is 2000W. It heats water sufficiently fast. Four gallons rises from 70F to 160 F in about 30 to 40 minutes. That time does not matter because there is no grain. A second pot contains a gallon or so of boiling water to dump in and quickly attain mashout of 170F. Then it crawls up to a boil.

I tested the range and it can heat 30 quarts from 70F to 212F in over an hour. Snore. But, if I can maintain mash temp, it is not important to quickly reach that temperature

A quality pot is not a must-have. It is nice, but I think one can create fine product without it. I make no apologies for not spending bucks on equipment like pots and burners.

-- edit --
Somewhere there is a calculator for how many watts to heat water. It predicted my heating times fairly well.

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