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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Adding "volume" to boil kettle
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default Adding "volume" to boil kettle

So Ive recently finished my electric keggle. I have made two batches with it so far. I messed up and mounted the element a little high I think so that when I have almost finished my boil and have around 5 gallons its barely below the water. This caused major scorching on the element since air was getting to it and makes it difficult to get a good boil for the entire volume. Other than scaling up the sizes of my recipes since I dont have the fermentation equipment to handle the added volume, I was wondering if I could put something in the kettle to raise the level. I originally though about terra cotta block, but then thought it my be porous. Other than buying a block of SS does anyone have an idea?

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Old 02-03-2012, 12:22 AM   #2
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Some here have had success bending their elements for various reasons. Maybe that would work for you?

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Old 02-03-2012, 12:37 AM   #3
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I like your block idea. It's simple and you don't have to risk messing up your element. I just can't think of what else I would trust using other than some kind of metal. Stainless would be kind of pricey. All that being said, as the previous post mentions, many here have successfully bent their elements.

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Old 02-03-2012, 01:02 AM   #4
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Why is the element mounted so high?

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Old 02-03-2012, 01:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Why is the element mounted so high?
hehe ...Im guessing I messed up when initially measuring and putting water in the keg trying to get a feel for where the level for 5 gallons would be.

I just went out measured the center of the element on the outside of the keg to be 2 5/8 inches from the weld for the bottom ring of the keg (does that make sense?). When looking at pictures of other ekeggles mine cant be far off from them mounting wise. Its just when I get down to 5 gallons the level of the water is less than an inch from the element.

After rethinking, i dont think a block would fit at all and make it a nightmare trying to properly drain. Ill see if I can grab a picture tomorrow...camera is at work.

I have triple checked the markings on my sight glass. Maybe after I post a picture a fresh set of eyes can help me out.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:23 AM   #6
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I guess you could throw a few handfulla of marbles in there. Sounds to me like a good excuse to upgrade fermentation space and go 10gal.

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Old 02-03-2012, 01:34 AM   #7
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Rather than mess with your gear I would suggest brewing an extra gallon or two. How much extra could it possibly cost? Worst case scenario you have to toss some wort. Best case scenario you take that extra gallon and throw it in a growler and pitch some of your yeast into it. Add some adjuncts to it to experiment with favors, or even try a different yeast to see if you like it better. Think of that initial mistake as a blessing to experiment!

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Old 02-03-2012, 02:29 AM   #8
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Don't you really want over 6 gallons in the kettle after your done the boil? Putting 6 in the fermenter means having even more than 6 gallons in the kettle at flame out to make up for hop debris, hot break, etc.

But, if it's still a problem, why not just move the element?

Edit- what size is your fermenter?

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Old 02-03-2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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Don't you really want over 6 gallons in the kettle after your done the boil? Putting 6 in the fermenter means having even more than 6 gallons in the kettle at flame out to make up for hop debris, hot break, etc.
+1.

If you want to end up with 5 gallons of beer packaged, you should probably end up with about 6 gallons in the boil kettle after the boil is done.

You're going to lose wort to:

- Boil trub/hot break
- Boil hops
- Yeast trub in the fermenters
- racking
- dry hopping (if applicable)
- etc

I always target 12 gallons post boil in the boil kettle and end up with 2 completely full 5 gallon cornies at the end of fermentation after all is said and done.

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Old 02-03-2012, 03:59 PM   #10
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For fun, if you were to use a chunk of stainless steel to displace 1 gallon of wort, it would have to be a 10" diameter cylinder 3" in length. That might fit under your element. It would weigh 67 pounds. McMaster doesn't have that large of a piece, but they do have a 304ss cylinder that's 8" diameter and 3" long. It's $337.00 not including shipping.

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