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Old 10-01-2008, 01:22 PM   #1
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Default Mounting a heating element

How are people mounting heating elements in their keggles? I would like to add one to my HLT so I could keep a constant temperature for my HERM system. Is there a bulk head available or do you weld a piece to the keggle that the element will screw into or do you weld the element to the keggle. Any advice is appreciated.

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Old 10-01-2008, 03:02 PM   #2
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You don't weld the element to the keggle. They burn out too often for that to be anything other than a PITA. You really shouldn't need to weld a fitting, either; o-rings and washers should seal it fully.

Or you could build a couple of heatsticks and call it a day! No trying to drill through stainless steel, no welding - just a couple of hours and a trip to Lowe's!

See the latest "Gadgets" issue of Zymurgy or the following websites:

Cedar Creek Brewing Company - Homebrewing Electric Heatstick
Heatstick

Cheers,

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Old 10-01-2008, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
You really shouldn't need to weld a fitting, either; o-rings and washers should seal it fully.
Oh...so you drill a hole the same diameter as the element and thread it in?????
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:32 PM   #4
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The keggle is too thin to thread into besides not a flat surface unless your mounting from the bottom but this will make the element stick up higher in the keggle. Should you run the water low
and expose the element it will burn out thus a problem mounting vertically.
To have the element mounted without any possible future leak problems plus the ease of replacing the element I would have a 1" stainless steel coupling welded to the keggle and be done. Either way you mount the element weld or weldless you'll still need to drill a hole unless you have to pay for that also plus adding the cost of having the coupling welded unless you have your own Tig machine and can weld stainless. It's not like your paying to have 100 coupling welded just one so it must be in within your brewing budget if you can't drill and weld it yourself.

Read the 5th thread down in this topic section on keggle welding costs.

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Old 10-01-2008, 03:47 PM   #5
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The thread size is 1-11 1/2 NPT I welded (2) 1/2 couplings into my HLT and use a temp control. make sure you have someone weld it in that knows what they are doing or it will go all egg shape on ya. I also recomend buying a 1-11 1/2 tap to finish up the threads when the job is all said and done.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:12 PM   #6
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Electric brewing is definitely in my future. But as of now electric HLT'ing is my nearer future.

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Old 10-01-2008, 11:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
Electric brewing is definitely in my future. But as of now electric HLT'ing is my nearer future.
I LOVE my electric HLT its fast, accurate and always able to keep up w/ demand. I would never have a gas HLT ever again.
just my thoughts
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:43 PM   #8
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If you're using pumps, you could mount the element in a small heat exchanger and pump through it. Then your HLT is unmodified.

I have a brass reducer that my element screws into, the reducer has a 1 1/2 inch male thread that goes into a PVC collar. I then made a short tube of PVC so the water flows in one end and goes out as close to the element as I could get the T. My LOVE control measures the temp coming out of the exchanger. I do this for my mash tun as well. Works awesome.

Just for kicks I added a digital thermometer probe to the exit of my mash tun. It is always within 1 degree of my set temp. At mash out I adjust the LOVE up to 175 and wait for the wort exiting the tun to get to 165 or so, then I start sparging.

It has made brewing so much more stress free.

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Old 10-02-2008, 01:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybird View Post
I LOVE my electric HLT its fast, accurate and always able to keep up w/ demand. I would never have a gas HLT ever again.
This is exactly what I'm figuring on. having temps ready for me at different mash stages and being confident they are the right temps.

Quote:
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If you're using pumps, you could mount the element in a small heat exchanger and pump through it. Then your HLT is unmodified.

Where's the fun in not modifying? Are you on the right forum? haha j/k

I have a brass reducer that my element screws into, the reducer has a 1 1/2 inch male thread that goes into a PVC collar. I then made a short tube of PVC so the water flows in one end and goes out as close to the element as I could get the T. My LOVE control measures the temp coming out of the exchanger. I do this for my mash tun as well. Works awesome.

Any chance you have pics of this thermowell you made up
?

It has made brewing so much more stress free.
Thats what it's all about for me in my equipment planning/setup.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:17 PM   #10
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This is prior to going with 2 pumps. The contraption strapped to the leg of the saw horse is my heat exchanger.



Love control is in the black box. I have a switch that allows me to shut off power to the element but keep the love powered up, that way I can watch the temps as I am doing my sparge etc. The other switch in the box is for the pump. Switching the pump on and off seems to help with priming.

Linc

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