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Old 03-09-2006, 08:54 PM   #1
ian
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Default Electric Brewing

I've been reading quite a lot about using electricity on various aspects of homebrewing and am quite interested. I've read on this board and a couple of others as well as quite a few sites found through general Google searches.

I was wondering how many of you use electricity for some part of your brewing process and if so, how you use it. As someone who knows very little about electricity and how to safely build things that use it, I have a healthy fear/respect for it. But I'm interested to hear how you all use it.

I've found some cool sites but am also looking for links to howto's that you have found (or published).

Thanks,
Ian

EDIT - this was supposed to have a poll but I'm still a moron.

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Old 03-09-2006, 09:04 PM   #2
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I use it for pumps and themostats, that kind of thing. I do have a kettle that has a water heater heating coil in it that I had as a HLT in an old set-up. It was great. Electricity isn't anything to be scared of, just be respectful and don't be stupid. Better yet, make friends with an elctrician who likes beer.

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Old 03-09-2006, 09:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewpastor
I do have a kettle that has a water heater heating coil in it that I had as a HLT in an old set-up. It was great. Electricity isn't anything to be scared of, just be respectful and don't be stupid. Better yet, make friends with an elctrician who likes beer.
That's kind of what I was thinking. I found a site that shows you how to build "heatsticks" that the guy uses for everything from multi-step mashing to HLT to his boil. I was thinking of a lower wattage for an HLT, but to take it a step further and put a temp controller on it.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:22 PM   #4
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looks like a cool idea, probably work on cattle as well.

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Old 03-10-2006, 03:16 AM   #5
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yeah!

wow, I guess everyone else out there is exclusively propane . . . or stovetop

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Old 03-10-2006, 04:21 PM   #6
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Really?! No one?

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Old 03-10-2006, 05:14 PM   #7
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I don't, but I have thought about using a cartridge heater to do multi-step mashes. A cartridge heater is very similar to what that guy made. But an off-the-shelf cartridge heater will save you the hassle of making one and they aren't expensive - probably cheaper than it costs to make a homemade 'heat stick'.

I used to work for this company; take a look. In fact, we used to drop ship to a couple of breweries, including Goose Island and Big Horn (RAM) Brewing.

You can buy them here. Ask for Rikki or Michelle and tell them I sent ya! (I have no affiliation with either company.)

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Old 03-10-2006, 06:01 PM   #8
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those look interesting, but I don't see any pricing anywhere. Will they sell them in small lots of say 10 or less?

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Old 03-11-2006, 02:51 AM   #9
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Yes, they will - I think you can even buy just one piece. Prices are not much. IIRC, you'd be looking at the $20-$70 dollar range, depending on what size, wattage, etc. you wan't. Maybe less than that.

Go with one of Big Chief's stock heaters and you'll be okay. In fact, call them and describe the application and they'll steer you in the right direction. They've been at it much longer than I was!

Check these out. We sold a bunch of these to Goose Island. Our salesman went to help them install and set them up. In return for his help, he was given a case of their Summertime Ale to bring back to us in the office and he personally got to taste their 312 Urban Wheat ale about 9 months before it was released to the public!

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Old 03-11-2006, 03:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
I found a site that shows you how to build "heatsticks" that the guy uses for everything from multi-step mashing to HLT to his boil.
I started my Military career as an electronics tech.. I invented a neat device years ago that defeated copy protection on VCR tapes (DVD's did not exist then, I am old) Bottom line: make sure you know WTF you are doing building electrical devices that interact with water!! We know wort is 90% water.. buy one made by a pro.. if it never has contact go for it, but you are stupid if you build an electrical device that interacts with water and don't have years of experience! ....I use electric **** and I have an MS and decades of experience.. and still I am leary of mixing electricity with water.

Sorry having designed a heater for the jacuzzi that landed me in the hospital for 3 days 2 years ago I get anal on this subject.. I fixed the design and can now heat my jacuzzi (outside) in sub zero temp for about $30 a month before my mod it was $120 a month.
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