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Old 10-11-2010, 08:38 AM   #1
mattd2
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Default Do elements HAVE to be LD/ULD?

I got a cheap kettle, 4.5 gallons, that I was going to use on my kitchen stove. But it is pretty thin and the bottom is not completely flat so that when it is on the glass cooktop only the outer rim of the pot is touching and this is killing the heat transfer from the element to the pot!
Now I have read post that say "oh no.... you HAVE to use a ULD element or you'll scorce you wort!" And it seems most poeple use only LD elements for the 3000 W range.
Now I have a electric jug that was destine for the bin but I saved it, ripped it apart and now have a small(ish) 2400 W element that would fit the bill for this pot and get me off the BBQ (which is not really the best solution to the concave bottom issue). My concerns are all the "must have a ULD" posts. has anyone ever use a electric kettle/jug element to boil wort before?
I just ran a water test (in a 1 litre tin bofore I hack up my pot I wanted to make sure it would seal/work) and the when turned on bubble apair on the element pretty quickly, is this the norm for LD/ULD elements aswell?
Any info would be great.
Cheers

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Old 10-11-2010, 11:52 AM   #2
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There are plenty that use HD elements and haven't had any issues with scorching, FWIW I think you'll be just fine.

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:34 PM   #3
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Thanks Wyzazz. Now I just got to work out how I am going to mount it all because the element will need to come through the bottom of the pot so I need to figure out how to stand the pot up so the wires don't bend and break!
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:55 PM   #4
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I wouldn't do anything permanent to that pot. You may find one bigger or flatter down the road. Make a heatstick out of that element.....

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Old 10-11-2010, 09:05 PM   #5
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Yeah I have thought about a heatstick Sizz, but what would I do with the not-so-good pot then, it really doesn't get much heat on the stove because of the concave. When I get a bigger pot I could still use the 4.5G as a pre-coverted E-HLT.
Example pic of the element

Not really usable in a heat stick due to the mounting. Actually it might be quite good in a heat stick due to the mounting -> Element - pipe cap with holes drilled for element - pipe -> done.
Any suggestions welcome.

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Old 10-12-2010, 02:25 AM   #6
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The whole idea of scorching or caramelization seems to be mostly internet folklore. I haven't come across one concrete example where this has happened but I still use ULWD elements as the cost difference is minimal compared to 'standard' elements.

There is however one very good reason to use ULWD elements over regular elements: They won't break if fired up "dry" (not immersed in water). When a regular element is fired up "dry" the element will pop fairly quickly (usually before you notice your mistake!) as there is no water to dissipate the heat. While nobody means to fire up an element by mistake, mistakes do happen.

Using ULWD elements provides you with a little bit of insurance against these human errors. Brew long enough and one day you will forget that you have your element switch in the on position when you first fire it up.

Popping an element is about the last thing you want given that you've likely already milled your grain and have everything ready to go.

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Old 10-12-2010, 03:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the reassurance as to not "needing" ULD/LD. Yeah this element was going in the trash anyway so I won't be to sad if I do fry it (although I will be because of the lost brewday). And that is another +1 for Sizz as if I do wreck it, I don't want to have to spend $$ on a kettle to tear apart to get the element when I could get a hot water element for probably the same price
Thanks guys, I think I am leaning more towards the heat stick path with this one

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Old 10-12-2010, 05:51 AM   #8
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OK, so I went and check out some prices to build a heat stick. Basically it would cost less to buy another pot than it would to buy just a 1m length of pvc pipe and a pipe cap.
ow that just depresses me

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Old 10-12-2010, 11:16 AM   #9
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Boy, sounds like I need to smuggle PVC Pipe in to New Zealand!

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:35 PM   #10
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My heatsticks all use HD 120v elements. They get a trub coating in the boil, but I have never had any scorching issues in the boil kettle.

I tried using one to bump up the heat in my MLT once. That time, I had some grain stick to the element and some scorching.

So, I would say HD elements are fine for the boil, but not for the mash.


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