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Old 10-10-2010, 03:18 PM   #1
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Default Any 120V Setups for 10 Gal Batch?

So I've been lurking around various electric build posts for quite a while now, and I'm basically resigned to the fact that I would need 240V to go this route - which I do not have access to as I live in an old apartment building.

But, before I totally give up on this electric thing, I've got to at least ask:

Is there any reasonable way to boil 11-12 gallons on 120V?

- I'm not opposed to using multiple elements.
- I'm not opposed to waiting up to 60 minutes to get to boil from mash temps. I could spend that time cleaning equipment, etc
- I can wrap my keggle in reflectix insulation if that makes a difference
- I've got two dedicated 20amp circuits in the kitchen

The highest wattage 120V element I've been able to find online is this:
http://www.comfortgurus.com/product_...oducts_id/7096

Would one of these do the job (barely)? Is the super high density nature of this element a no no?

I don't know anything about electrical and I'm not interested in monkeying around with anything complex. I basically just want to electrically heat my BK so I can brew in the kitchen year round.

I would never dream of doing the complex electrical work some of you guys do, but it seems to me that the heating element piece is generally straightforward and safe if one follows a few key principles? (ie proper grounding, redundant GFCI protection, correct element installation, appropriate wire gauge, etc)

Thanks

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Old 10-10-2010, 03:28 PM   #2
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3000watts / 120v = 25 amps. No good. You can go with 2000 watt elements if you're sure that you can suspend any other usage on the 20a circuits. If your fridge is on one of them, you'll trip the breaker if you have the 2000 watt element running and the compressor kicks on.

I suspect even a single 2000w element used along with a stove burner would get a 10g boil going if you can fit the pot on there.

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Old 10-10-2010, 03:51 PM   #3
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yeah I can definitely dedicate the two 20a circuits. The fridge is on one, but I don't mind unplugging it for a few hours if I need to (just wont open it).

do you think that 4000 total watts (2x2000w elements) would be enough to get a good boil for 12gal?

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Old 10-10-2010, 03:55 PM   #4
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I just went out and looked at the breaker box - there is a 50a breaker in there as well. I have no idea what it is for... the service main is a 100a switch btw.

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Old 10-10-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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Here is a great spreadsheet that should answer all your questions about how much power and time to boil, time to temperature x, etc.

http://gnipsel.com/beer/software/cal...ctric-heat.xls

It used to be at a different site, but the guy built a new site.

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Old 10-10-2010, 04:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAleMaster View Post
Here is a great spreadsheet that should answer all your questions about how much power and time to boil, time to temperature x, etc.

http://gnipsel.com/beer/software/cal...ctric-heat.xls

It used to be at a different site, but the guy built a new site.
This is great thank you! Anyone know how accurate these calculations are? Is 95% a realistic efficiency?
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BargainFittings View Post
The 50 amp is most likely your electric stove if you have one.
No, I've got a gas stove. I pulled it out and there is no electrical hookup behind it at all.. maybe it is not actually hooked up to an outlet?

Here is another question: if I understand it correctly, it is ok to run a 240v element on 120, but you will only get 25% of the rated wattage?

So, if I want to "future-proof" my 120v boiler, should I look for a single 8000w 240v element? That way, it would run at 2kw on 120v and at 8kw on 240 if I ever get access to a 240v circuit?

Good idea, bad idea?
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJWP View Post
No, I've got a gas stove. I pulled it out and there is no electrical hookup behind it at all.. maybe it is not actually hooked up to an outlet?

Here is another question: if I understand it correctly, it is ok to run a 240v element on 120, but you will only get 25% of the rated wattage?

So, if I want to "future-proof" my 120v boiler, should I look for a single 8000w 240v element? That way, it would run at 2kw on 120v and at 8kw on 240 if I ever get access to a 240v circuit?

Good idea, bad idea?
It is perfectly OK to run that 240V element on 120.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:53 PM   #10
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For ten gallons you will need at least 3000w, or better yet 4000w. 2 elements at 120v 2000w works well if limited to 120v...if you can do 240, no problem w/ a 4500w or even a 5500w.

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