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Old 08-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
Hangman
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Default Heating element

Hi I need some help with plans for a heating element.

Read somewhere about enclosing the element in a liquid filled cilinder. (Glycol?) That would distribute the heat over a bigger surface area.

Anybody have experience with this?

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
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I've seen plans for something like that. It's a compact HERMs setup: the element sits in an enclosed tube of glycol, and then there is a coil of tubing that carries the wort through the glycol. It's certainly possible if you're handy, but definitely more complicated than just running a coil of tube in a hot water bath inside your HLT.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:33 PM   #3
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A coil in the HLT to control the mash temp is in the making, but I want to use the enclosed element in my kettle to boil the wort. Can then use bigger elements without worries of scorching the wort.

Full idea is to weld in a second bottom in the kettle. Fill the new space with glycol or other fluid with boiling temp higher than water and put a few elements in that. The element would heat the fluid and inturn spread the heat across the whole bottom for transfer to the wort. This will be in a 300litre system.

Why the complicated idea? I have easier access to a good steel welder than gas or other direct fire method. Safer also. And I have lost 2 batches to burnt wort when I increase the element capacity on my 40liter system.

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:58 PM   #4
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If you're sealing the elements in the chamber with the glycol, then just be sure you have a pressure release that vents someplace safe. Using glycol doesn't prevent the explosion, it just means it's hotter when it happens.

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:57 PM   #5
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glycol has significantly less heat transfer capacity than water. actually, short of mercury or low-melting point metals, there is no other liquid material that will beat water when it comes to transfering heat (near atmospheric pressure). the only reason glycol is used in heat exchangers like car radiators and such, is because it resists freezing and prevents corrosion.

if freezing and corrosion arent a concern, use pure distilled water. however if you need to heat the liquid above ~220*F, you can sacrifice some heat carrying capacity for something like mineral oil, which will let you heat it to a much higher temperature and drive the temperature delta.

and yes, you will need a pressure vent on that thing.

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Old 08-14-2012, 03:27 AM   #6
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I'm not sure I understand the impetus behind this. A typical LWD element of 4500-5500W is pretty large. It runs almost the length of a keggle. Not sure what you're boiling in, but isn't that distributed well enough? Just wondering.

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