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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Another Temperature Control Question
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:53 PM   #1
Countrysquire
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Default Another Temperature Control Question

I'm sure that this has been discussed, but I can't seem to find anything with a search.

Is it advisable to use temperature controls from an electric cooktop to control the heating elements? It looks like the round 8" burner elements are 2600 watts, so it seems to me that if you stayed in that range per element in the HLT & BK that it should work just fine.

I ask this because I have a nice cooktop sitting in my attic that I can rob for parts, so it would only cost me for the new elements and wiring. What am I missing here?

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Old 04-21-2011, 05:44 PM   #2
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electric cook tops do not read any external temperature (like the temp of your mash).

it works something like this (numbers are for illustration of the point, and will vary by different makes)
setting an electric cook top to "high" means the element is on 100% of the time. "medium" means 50%- on for 5 seconds, off for 5 seconds. "low" might be on for 2 seconds, off for 8, giving you 20%.

its the same as choosing power levels in your microwave. "50% power" doesnt mean that the microwave is putting out 50% power. its putting out 100% when the emitter is on, but it cycles the emitter on and off.

so there is no "temperature controller" in that cook top. only blind PWM.

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Old 04-21-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Audger.

Right, I do get that it's not a true temperature control as there is no feedback loop. So it would essentially operate much like a manually operated gas burner that you adjust as you go through the brewing process.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is will it work electrically and why not use these instead of building a PWM device.

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Old 04-22-2011, 12:02 AM   #4
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If you have the parts it's worth trying, I don't see any reason it wouldn't work. The only problem is you have to use 110v elements and getting a boil will take a loooong time.

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Old 04-22-2011, 12:50 AM   #5
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Wait, wait, wait. I haven't looked at a schematic or how this cooktop is wired, but I assumed that the elements were 220v. If they're are 110v I agree, not worth jacking with.

Thanks.

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