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Old 11-16-2012, 11:35 PM   #1
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Can anyone tell me how big of an element I need to use to boil 8-9 gallons in a keggle is 4500 Watts big enough

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Old 11-16-2012, 11:39 PM   #2
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Oh, yes, that is big enough. I boil 12 gallons (for a 10.5 gallon batch) with a 4500w element. I have to turn it down once it gets boiling, to about 70% also!

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Old 11-16-2012, 11:50 PM   #3
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How long does it take for you to get to a boil

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Old 11-16-2012, 11:56 PM   #4
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How long does it take for you to get to a boil
I never timed it, but it's boiling by the time I finish sparging, so I turn it down a bit while I finish up the sparge. So, maybe 20 minutes?
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:17 AM   #5
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I've done up to 16 gallons with a 4500W element, but that's about maxed out. It's at 100% most of the boil. I have a 5500W element to put in to speed things up, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

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Old 11-17-2012, 02:40 AM   #6
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I'm only planning on 5 gallon batches so do you think a 3500-3000 watt element would be sufficient

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Old 11-17-2012, 03:12 AM   #7
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I'm sure the 3500W would work for 5 gallons, but if you aren't constrained on amps then I'd go with a 4500W. Faster heating times are always good. I've used one for 5 gallons and it's not an issue to be able to control it.

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Old 11-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #8
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I'm only planning on 5 gallon batches so do you think a 3500-3000 watt element would be sufficient
Up to you...I think either a 3500 or a 4500 will work. A 4500 will give you a more rapid boil and more boiloff...perhaps a bit too much??? A lesser element will give a more reasonable boil but be slower to heat and reach boil...herein lies the advantage of having a controller to use high wattage to reach boil and then temper down...but what you are proposing will work fine just not very glamorous.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html

elements are cheap...how vigorous a boil do you like?
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:31 PM   #9
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...the advantage of having a controller to use high wattage to reach boil and then temper down...
A very simple controller can be had from a diode in series with a switch across it. When the switch is closed the diode is not in the circuit and you get full power. With the switch open the diode is in the circuit and conduction only takes place half the time. The power delivered by the heater is 1/2 that delivered when the switch is closed.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:30 PM   #10
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I am planning to use a PID temp control and a ssr to regulate the temps for mash and boil. This will be incorporated in a biab brew stand with a control panel

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