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Old 07-30-2008, 02:52 AM   #1
CircleC-Brewer
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Default Electric Drum heaters

Hello I am new to the forum and I will probably be asking many questions.

I am trying to decide how best to heat my hot Liquor tank. I am leaning towards drilling a hole in my stainless pot and installing a heating element. However, my neighbor suggested an electric drum heater. They can heat up five or ten gallons up to 250F and they have a thermostat control. You can just wrap the pot and plug it in. Has anyone tried this approach before? Sure beats having to drill a hole in a pot.

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Old 07-30-2008, 03:10 AM   #2
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you can use them, but I would think it would take too long to get to temp.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:16 AM   #3
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Thats pretty cool. Never seen one before. My only major question is would it fit the HLT. I would use a seperate thermostat like a love controller though.

Probably would need a mash stirrer as well. Edit- NM, HLT DUH!

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Old 07-30-2008, 03:26 AM   #4
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I plan on calling the drum heater manufacturer to see how long it would take to heat 10 gallons of water. My neighbor says they are pretty fast.

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Old 07-30-2008, 04:35 AM   #5
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I'm familiar with the idea although have never used them. Heating blankets are used all the time in cold weather climes to warm viscous fluids like gear oil. Surface area of the heater would be a plus, wattage of heater would probably be a minus. What watts are we looking at? If they are high enough wattage, then they should be able to transfer enough heat through the surface area to effectively heat a HLT. If the blanket was designed for a 55 gallon drum and you effectively wrapped it around a 15 gallon tun. You see where I'm going. Heat rises wrap the bottom too. I guess it's just a matter of if you can get all the material around a smaller barrel. 250* sounds a bit high for a barrel heater, but I live in phx, what do I know.

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Old 07-30-2008, 01:52 PM   #6
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A 120 volt heater would probably take a long time. As long as you turned it on early enough and insulated the tun, it would work. With a built-in thermostat, you could let it heat overnight if necessary.

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Old 07-30-2008, 04:17 PM   #7
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Something like this?
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:31 PM   #8
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I think the issues here are cost and time. The ones I see are fairly expensive (around $100) and 1000-1200 watts which would take quite a while to heat up the water for a 10 gallon batch. Also given the fact that a element inside the HLT would transfer more heat than one outside (since the one outside will also give heat off directly to the air) Either way you'll want to insulate your HLT. It could work, but the question is will it work with your budge and process? If it was free I'd give it a try (turn it on the night before?)

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Old 07-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #9
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I looked at the link. You would need 240 volt service as the 120 volt models are 17 amps which is more than the standard 15 amp house circuit. They do have a 3000 watt model which would probably heat fairly quickly( I'm thinking as a comparison about hot water heater elements) but they wouldn't heat as fast as the heater element which is actually in the water and not transferring through the tun. The tun would need to be the same diameter as a barrel for good heat transfer. You would need more than one. At $320 each I would say that there are better, cheaper ways of heating and boiling. I'm not trying to shoot you down, I could buy a lot of grain to brew with for that $600-$900.

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