After much research, design effort and work, my electric brew system is up and running! Here's the breakdown; all pics are clickable thumbnails:
A WORD OF CAUTION ! THIS SYSTEM DEALS WITH ELECTRICITY AND WATER, AS WELL AS SOMEWHAT COMPLICATED WIRING DESIGNS. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS TYPE OF BREWING UNLESS YOU ARE VERY, VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE IN AC CIRCUITS, ELECTRICAL LOADS, AMPERAGE CALCULATIONS, AND ASSOCIATED WIRING REQUIREMENTS.
Basic gravity set up: Coleman Extreme for the HLT, Igloo 10 Gallon for the mash tun, and a 15 gal aluminum stock pot for the boil kettle:
The heart of the system: heatsticks! The top two are 1500W, and the bottom is my 2000W monster:
A tighter shot of the heat stick. A huge thanks to Pete Calinski of Buffalo, New York who published his heatsicks article in the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Zymurgy. It's how I learned how to build these things:
One of the great things about this system: I can heat the strike water directly in the Igloo Cooler mash tun. Here's the strike water being heated by 2 1500W heat sticks. Also seen is the false bottom and the temp. probe: