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Old 02-19-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
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Default 2000w element BK

Hi everybody,

Last night I tested a prototype BK built with a 7gal AL pot and 2000w HD element on a 20A dedicated circuit. I brought 6.25 gal to a boil in 35 min, and measured the evaporation rate after 60 min to be at 5.75 gal.

My next test will be to increase the gravity of water by mixing the appropriate amount of table sugar and repeating the same test. I will be measuring time to boil, evap rate and carmalization at the element.

I am very close to concluding that 5 gallon batches can be boiled with 120VAC.

Am I missing anything? Thanks!

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Old 02-19-2011, 02:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCuckerson View Post
I am very close to concluding that 5 gallon batches can be boiled with 120VAC.

Am I missing anything? Thanks!
Nope, your not missing anything. I wouldn't even bother wasting the sugar. Lots of folks build powerful kettles w/ controllers because they can and they work well, but I have brewed w/ 120VAC simply for years. I think a lot of people will follow... How about a few pics?

You may be able to increase the boil and boiloff by insulating the outside of the pot, simply wraping a towel around the kettle might help a bit, or there are fancier materials to use if you wnt something more permanent.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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Nope, your not missing anything. I wouldn't even bother wasting the sugar. Lots of folks build powerful kettles w/ controllers because they can and they work well, but I have brewed w/ 120VAC simply for years. I think a lot of people will follow... How about a few pics?

You may be able to increase the boil and boiloff by insulating the outside of the pot, simply wraping a towel around the kettle might help a bit, or there are fancier materials to use if you wnt something more permanent.
My concern was with the phantom wort-scorching-high-density element myth. I have read of the concern, but have never witnessed credible evidence supporting that it actually occurs. I have also read several reports that state it is 100% myth (like most other things in the HB craft)..... I thought the sugar water, albeit different starches entirely, would test the scorch issue.

For the insulation, I was thinking of wood-clad. I know its not the best in terms of R-value, but man is it cool looking!

Thoughts?
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Last edited by McCuckerson; 02-19-2011 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Forgot something, as usual
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:27 PM   #4
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You can boil with 1 watt if you have enough insulation. As heat energy accumulates, the temperature will rise. The other side of the equation is the heat loss through conduction (pot) and convection (steam). So, insulate your pot (mineral wool?) and cover pot until you reach boil (you want it uncovered during boil).

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Old 02-19-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
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For the insulation, I was thinking of wood-clad. I know its not the best in terms of R-value, but man is it cool looking!

Thoughts?
Agreed, wood-clad would look cool, might make the pot a little heavy and bulky to move clean etc...up to you. I put function over form, but that's just my choice.

Oh, never had any scorching problems w/ 2000w HD elements. Don't ever dry fire or you'll soon hear a loud bang-pop noise.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:35 PM   #6
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..... cover pot until you reach boil (you want it uncovered during boil).
Agreed, I have boiled with the lid on and off-flavors were definitely present! That HB myth I beleive.

Insulation is the key. Do you guys use that futuristic bubble wrap that they sell at the BB stores?
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:49 PM   #7
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Is that 1/2 gallon boil off amount typical of a small electric brew system?

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Old 02-19-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
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Is that 1/2 gallon boil off amount typical of a small electric brew system?
I don't know just yet. I am testing it right now with the kettle wrapped in my carhart jacket. I want to see if boil off changes with insulation. What I really like is that this size element brought 6gal to a nice rolling boil and kept it there. If this works properly, there will be no need for PIDs or PWM in a BK.

If I can plan on 1/2 gallon boil off per batch, then I will be very happy with that.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCuckerson View Post
Agreed, I have boiled with the lid on and off-flavors were definitely present! That HB myth I beleive.

Insulation is the key. Do you guys use that futuristic bubble wrap that they sell at the BB stores?
I use it (the insulation, Relflectix I think it's called). It's great stuff, but I only use it on my mash tun. I am under the impression that it's like a lot of other plastics that can't handle boiling temps. That would be the ideal solution, though. Try it!
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:48 PM   #10
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I see .75 gal/hr on my CB20 system

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