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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > 55 gallon electric brew kettle
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:43 AM   #1
Brewvy
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Default 55 gallon electric brew kettle

What would be the cheapest best way to set up an electric brew kettle for a 55 gallon stainless steel drum?Most likely 240v ,how many watts to do this fast and efficient?I don't need this all auto controlled to start off.I don't mind flipping a few switches when it gets to temp.I would like to heat mash in water in BK then heat sparge water that would be pumped into a HDPE drum for HLT.Then collect runnings back into BK for boil.Is this possible or would I need too much wattage to do this?Thanks in advance-Brewvy

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Old 10-28-2010, 01:47 PM   #2
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Some general ideas...

40 gallons from 60f to 180 in 45 minutes using 16,500 watts at 95% efficiency.

40 gallons from 150 to boiling (212) in 23 minutes using 16,500 watts at 95% effciency.

(16500 watts = 3, 5500watt elements)

That alone is 70amps+ at 240v...

Can it be done, sure... are those times in line and what size service do you have available?

Ed

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Old 10-28-2010, 02:41 PM   #3
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Thank you Ed ,times are good ,but I'll have to check on available AMP's

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Old 10-29-2010, 07:29 PM   #4
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I have a 55 gallon BK and make 35 gallon batches. I use two 4500 watt elements. I have a 50 amp, 240 vac breaker. It takes about 100 min to get 50 gallons from 50F to 170F. From sparge to boil is not bad because you are only going from 160F to 212F and you can start heating wort as soon as the elements are covered.

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Old 04-08-2011, 02:21 PM   #5
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I am using 2-5500w elements in my 55g HLT and 55g BK. You definitely don't need 3 elements. I'm doing 35g batches just fine and it's taking about an hour or so longer to do 35g batches vs 5-10g batches.

Once a boil is achieved I run one element at 100% and the other at 70% and that maintains a very vigorous boil. Ohio-Ed's times seem a little high to me but on par with what I've experienced.

My drums are non-insulated right now and once I insulate them I would expect to see a lot of improvement.

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Old 04-08-2011, 02:30 PM   #6
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I've done electric boils in 55g blichmann, now I do 75 gallon boils with TWO 5500 watt elements at my pub. I too was expecting to need much more power.

Heating times don't scale up like you would think.. its not just an equation. There are many other factors.

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Old 04-08-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budzu View Post
I've done electric boils in 55g blichmann, now I do 75 gallon boils with TWO 5500 watt elements at my pub. I too was expecting to need much more power.

Heating times don't scale up like you would think.. its not just an equation. There are many other factors.
Well, if you insulate your BK, start with 150*F wort, and keep a lid on the BK until the boil is going, you save a lot of time.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger9913 View Post
I am using 2-5500w elements in my 55g HLT and 55g BK. You definitely don't need 3 elements. I'm doing 35g batches just fine and it's taking about an hour or so longer to do 35g batches vs 5-10g batches.

Once a boil is achieved I run one element at 100% and the other at 70% and that maintains a very vigorous boil. Ohio-Ed's times seem a little high to me but on par with what I've experienced.
Have you ever tried running just the one 5500W element at 100%? Not a vigorous enough of a boil with a ~35 gallon (pre-boil) batch?

Kal
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:49 PM   #9
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I have tried it and it definitely needs the second element. Maybe once I insulate the kettle I will be able to low the duty cycle down to 50% or 60%.

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Old 04-16-2011, 09:02 PM   #10
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Good to know - thanks!

Kal

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