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Old 10-26-2012, 05:32 PM   #21
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the only limitations i see for my electric system:
1) cannot do back to back batches. this is mostly due to the fact that i only have 40a 240v service to the garage and run 5500w elements in my BK and HLT. i don't do this often (barely ever), but i could downsize my elements if this was a major issue for me. as it stands i want water hot as fast as i can get it. it's more important than back to back to me.
2) decoctions. again, i don't do these, but i didn't identify this was an issue. i could always use a little banjo burner when i wanted to, but electric isn't conducive to this.
3) my immersion chiller no longer gets nearly as deep as it used to. this means cooling 5 gal batches is harder. this just occurred to me as i usually run 10gal, but bought a 5 gal recipe to try a few weeks back. considering going to a CounterFlow Chiller as that won't matter as much, and just using the IC for a herms coil (right now it's herms coil and IC double duty)

all in all i love my electric over my propane setup. quiet, automated temp control means it's more accurate, i actually get my water up to temp faster from cold to mash temp, mash to masth out, runnings to boiling. i can sous vide with it, the brew stand isn't 500 degrees anymore, no carbon monoxide so i can brew with the garage closed.

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Old 10-26-2012, 05:37 PM   #22
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Single vessel eBIAB, two 1500 elements running off 120 with a pair of simple switches. Easy to build, clean and store and low cost. I'm very happ with it and would recommend that others try it too.
I have the same setup in each of my kettles except I'm 3-tier gravity, mash tun, etc. Only thing I wish I had was more power circuits run to my brewing area. That way I could do back-to-back batches. I can certainly change that. Hell, my whole house needs to be re-wired at some point (1940's house, "updated" in the 70's)
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:53 PM   #23
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Portability is my only gripe. We have a homebrew club at work, but there isn't a 30A, let alone 50A like I use at home, receptacle available to power my system. So I can't bring it in to show off or to brew on. We have to rely on those propane folks.

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Old 10-29-2012, 01:38 PM   #24
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No regrets at all.

In fact, I simply would not be able to brew if it wasn't for the fact that I went electric and am able to brew indoors. Doing the same with gas would have been a nightmare.

Kal

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Old 10-29-2012, 02:18 PM   #25
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I guess I can agree with the portability issue. Hard to load up the rig and find a power source at your destination.

But back to back batches all depends on your situation. I had to run the power to my garage specifically for my system, so I ran 60a 240v and used 4500W elements. So I can use both the HLT and BK at the same time. I can do two 10gal batches in 6 hours. Thats 20gal beer in 6 hours!!!

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Old 10-29-2012, 03:20 PM   #26
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No regrets. 8 batches through my HERMS so far, beats the heck out of my previous Top Tier system in every way. Especially now that I'm brewing in my basement with winter fast approaching.

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Old 10-29-2012, 10:54 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by brrman View Post
I guess I can agree with the portability issue. Hard to load up the rig and find a power source at your destination.

But back to back batches all depends on your situation. I had to run the power to my garage specifically for my system, so I ran 60a 240v and used 4500W elements. So I can use both the HLT and BK at the same time. I can do two 10gal batches in 6 hours. Thats 20gal beer in 6 hours!!!
I do single vessel BIAB and if I want to do two batches I will mash in an unmodified cooler while I heat strike water for the second brew.

I transfer strike water to buckets at a higher temp than normal (185 or so) then empty cooler contents into kettle with bag in place to mash-out. I then mash second batch while boiling and chilling first batch. Takes about 6 hours start to finish including cleanup.

I've been doing this for about 5 months now and hardly do a single brew anymore because it is so easy to do a double.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:24 AM   #28
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The only downside I noticed was a general increase in chill haze. After brewing all electric for the past 4 years, I am going back to a gas-powered boil kettle for the next year. My goal is to see if the chill haze was related to an under-powered boil (or perhaps "dead space" below the element) or some other process step. If it turns out electric brewing was completely unrelated to the problem, I'll probably go back.

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:04 AM   #29
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The only downside I noticed was a general increase in chill haze. After brewing all electric for the past 4 years, I am going back to a gas-powered boil kettle for the next year. My goal is to see if the chill haze was related to an under-powered boil (or perhaps "dead space" below the element) or some other process step. If it turns out electric brewing was completely unrelated to the problem, I'll probably go back.
How many gallons were you boiling with what sized element?

Dead space below the element doesn't matter. Boiling wort is in constant churn.

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:21 AM   #30
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I typically do 5.5 gallon batches (~7 gallons of boiling wort) and occasionally do 11 gallon batches. I've been using a 4500W element. I can't say precisely with what duty cycle the element is run b/c I wired up a 555-timer-based PWM controller instead of using a PID, but I typically average 1 gallon of boil-off per hour. If I had to guess, I'd say I run it at a 75-80% duty cycle.

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