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Old 12-02-2008, 02:03 AM   #1
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Default Jamil's 2 cents about Electric Heating Elements

Hey Guys,

A week ago on here we were talking about the impact of using electric heating elements vs. gas in your boil kettle. I emailed Jamil Zainasheff (most awarded homebrewer) about it and this is what he said in response:


"Steve,
There will be some additional melanoidin formation using the heater elements. It works for many people. I know you need to make sure you find the elements with the lowest heat density per inch, yet with enough total wattage to do the heating necessary. You will most likely find that you'll need to tweak your recipes a bit to compensate for the additional melanoidins. Recipes that worked fine before might be a bit off now. Of course, that applies to any major change in brewing equipment.

The only other con that I know of is the possibility of electrocution. Anytime you mix liquids and electricity, you're running the risk. The more ways you integrate electricity, the more opportunities there are for a deadly outcome. There are people who have done it safely for years, but you'll want to keep that in mind.

JZ"

For me personally, Jamil's word is as good as it gets regarding homebrewing. Hopefully this will help others as well!

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Old 12-02-2008, 02:47 AM   #2
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Live life on the edge you can only die once, no just a bad joke.
With a GFI in your system and everything bonded and grounded
together your safe with electric heating. I have stood in salt water while splicing 480 volt hot plus worked 12KV hot but then a electrician by trade. The fear of not knowing electricity is worse than what it is and how to work around it daily.

Here's that heating chart I was looking for as Kevin at Bremation at the time I wanted to post it was reworking his forum it was down for a while. He is upgrading with new products. Take his wattage, gallons heated and time it takes and decide what fits your needs or the available power you have for your brewing system. Undersized elements with long waiting times are a lesson in slow torture during every brew day. You want a happy to use brewing system not one you hate everytime you use it that low wattage units produce. Look at all your money, time and labor building it, you want it to come out right the first time. I would as the wife (AKA War Department) would be pissed if I spent more money building another unit with the flaws of the first removed.
Yes i'm power or wattage hungry person as it takes a lot compared to the high output BTU's propane burners put out. I want a system that will heat fast and make me happy within reason and the only way is with high wattage heating elements.

http://www.brewmation.com/Elements.html

Hit the "Home" and then their "Electric Brewery" button to see more about this stainless system.

Notice they added stainless tanks besides plastic?
Stainless fully insulated would greatly help that brew system instead
of having the elements running more often.

Hope this adds to what your looking for, I still do not agree on
direct element heating in the MLT and boil pot. Just me and I will not change my thinking on this matter.

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Last edited by BrewBeemer; 12-02-2008 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:04 AM   #3
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Yes. JZ is an authority on beer styles for certain but, I do NOT consider him an authority on brewing systems by any means. I am sure he has used a LOT of different system methods until he got comfy with what he is doing now.

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Old 12-02-2008, 03:13 AM   #4
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Look at those elements that Brewmation shows inside their pots be it plastic or stainless, they do not look like ULD elements.

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Old 12-02-2008, 03:55 AM   #5
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Disclaimer - we all still need to be careful, and I am not an electrician.

Whats the difference between boiling with an element in the pot, from a safety standpoint, and boiling something on an electric stove. I looked at mine an the ratty element plugs into a dual socket with some insulated wires. When I boil over some pasta or something I do not worry about getting shocked when I grab the pot or the stove...What safety systems do our electric stoves have that we would not have with a grounded kettle, and a GFCI, which my stove does not have.

Again - not saying go do anything stupid, just asking why no one gets killed boiling water on a stove?

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Old 12-02-2008, 03:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Yes. JZ is an authority on beer styles for certain but, I do NOT consider him an authority on brewing systems by any means. I am sure he has used a LOT of different system methods until he got comfy with what he is doing now.
I wonder what he does brew on?
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:36 AM   #7
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soooo burning your house down isn't a worry with propane?

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Old 12-02-2008, 04:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybird View Post
I wonder what he does brew on?
I think it's a Morebeer 1550.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuateBrewer View Post
Disclaimer - we all still need to be careful, and I am not an electrician.

Whats the difference between boiling with an element in the pot, from a safety standpoint, and boiling something on an electric stove. I looked at mine an the ratty element plugs into a dual socket with some insulated wires. When I boil over some pasta or something I do not worry about getting shocked when I grab the pot or the stove...What safety systems do our electric stoves have that we would not have with a grounded kettle, and a GFCI, which my stove does not have.

Again - not saying go do anything stupid, just asking why no one gets killed boiling water on a stove?
The frame of the stove should be connected to the grounding conductor your safe that is if it is connected at all.

You would be "SHOCKED" at the crap I've seen over the years in my town with houses dated from the 1880's and newer hashed and rehashed by many different homeowners. I will not touch or get involved in their fire traps. I'm retired I don't want to work on residential crap. I finished rewiring the last two rentals houses, mine is next hence tired of residential. Give me industrial piping and big wire pulls any day.
I was into the commercial and the industrial part of the field not residential that sucked even as an apprentice a long long time ago.
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Last edited by BrewBeemer; 12-02-2008 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:08 AM   #10
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The moral of the story is that there are risks in everything you do so do what you can to reduce those risks and be smart.

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