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Old 02-09-2011, 08:37 PM   #1
joelshults
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Default Contact with Element

I haven't done anything with electric brewing but am planning on going electric when I step up from doing partial boils on my stove.

My question has to do with the electric element coming into contact with different things inside the kettle. Not contact with wort, I don't want to start another thread on caramelizing wort with an element.

Specifically, is it ok for metal to touch the heating element? Will this cause the element to burn out or short or anything like that?

Also, I've heard that direct contact with the element can melt the bags people use for BIAB. Besides ruining your beer with melted plastic and not being able to separate the grain from the wort, can this cause any damage to the element?

If you are using a heat stick, is it ok for it to touch the side of the pot or rest on the bottom?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 02-09-2011, 08:46 PM   #2
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the element is simply a resistor, and there shouldn't be an issue with it touching other than scorching the bag. its electrically insulated, or the water (wort) would be able to short it to the kettle walls.

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Old 02-09-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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Unless you let the element run dry, the wort is carrying away heat just as fast as the element can generate it. In other words, the element temp isn't much above 212F and far below the melting point of hop or grain bags, spoons, or anything else you'd normally put in a kettle.

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Old 02-09-2011, 11:05 PM   #4
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It will melt nylon hop bags. Speaking from experience...

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Old 02-10-2011, 12:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAleMaster View Post
It will melt nylon hop bags. Speaking from experience...
Also speaking from experience - I must have uber-atomic-magical-extra-special hop bags. Mine sit right on top the element for 90 minutes. Never, ever, ever had one melt.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAleMaster View Post
It will melt nylon hop bags. Speaking from experience...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkarp View Post
Also speaking from experience - I must have uber-atomic-magical-extra-special hop bags. Mine sit right on top the element for 90 minutes. Never, ever, ever had one melt.
I'm with jkarp on this. I was worried about the bags when I was building my system. When I did my first wet-test, I decided to see what happened. I weighted a bag down with stainless steel measuring cups and draped it directly over the heating element. I had a LOT of the bag in direct contact with a 5500W element.

Boiled it for 30 minutes and the bag came out completely unharmed.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:44 AM   #7
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Nylon has a melting point of 509F. Something's seriously wrong with TheAleMaster's system if he's hitting this...

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Old 02-10-2011, 01:25 AM   #8
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Very interesting...I'm in the process of converting my keggle to electric and have been racking my brain about how to keep the bag off of the element. Mine is a 5500w ULWD, so from what you all are saying it looks like I don't even have to worry about it....good to know.

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Old 02-10-2011, 01:07 PM   #9
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A 32 quart Bayou Classic stainless steamer basket is roughly (11.5" D X 11" H) the same size as a 5 gallon paint strainer bag. Just sayin That's what I'm doing to keep er off the elements. And it holds the hops up so that they drain.

Contact with metal is fine. In fact, you increase the surface area of the heating element. My brewmation's false bottom is directly attached to the mash element, turning the whole false bottom basically into the the element itself.

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Old 02-10-2011, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkarp
Nylon has a melting point of 509F. Something's seriously wrong with TheAleMaster's system if he's hitting this...
If he is running his PID on manual, could the element get to that melting temp if left alone at 100%?
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