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Old 10-03-2012, 01:23 AM   #1
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Default Heating Element Mounting Igloo?

Ok, I have an 10 gallon Igloo cooler that I picked up for the purpose of converting into an electric HLT. I typically brew 5-6 gallon batches at time with no intention in the near future of doing 10 gal. most of the designs I have seen up till now have the hot water element mounted vertical in the round coolers which is fine for anything above say 5-6 gallons of water. My initially infusions are usually in the 3ish gallon range, so what that would mean is is that I would have less water in the HLT than that would reach the top of the element. My initially thought is to mount is horizontal and that would Ideally take car of the issue. Has anyone done this this or experienced this same dilemma?

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:26 AM   #2
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Ok, I have an 10 gallon Igloo cooler that I picked up for the purpose of converting into an electric HLT. I typically brew 5-6 gallon batches at time with no intention in the near future of doing 10 gal. most of the designs I have seen up till now have the hot water element mounted vertical in the round coolers which is fine for anything above say 5-6 gallons of water. My initially infusions are usually in the 3ish gallon range, so what that would mean is is that I would have less water in the HLT than that would reach the top of the element. My initially thought is to mount is horizontal and that would Ideally take car of the issue. Has anyone done this this or experienced this same dilemma?
Yes, but I still mounted my vertically because of the rounded sides and the weird way the cooler is wavy. I didn't think it would sit right, and seal. And it'd still be a bit above the bottom, so mounting it vertically wasn't much higher up at the tip.

Remember that you put all of your water in the HLT at the beginning, so you may have 9 gallons of water for a 5 gallon batch.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:30 AM   #3
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Yeah thought about staging all of my water upfront but was unsure if after a 90min mash I would still have the temp where I would need it. I suppose worst case I waste some filtered water.

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:35 AM   #4
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Yeah thought about staging all of my water upfront but was unsure if after a 90min mash I would still have the temp where I would need it. I suppose worst case I waste some filtered water.
I"m not sure I understand what you're thinking here.

You add the water, get it to strike temps (or hotter, as I preheated my MLT which was an Igloo cooler as well). Then, move the strike water to the MLT, leaving, say, 6 gallons in the HLT. You can add more if you need it, say a bigger batch. I think my element was covered with 3.5 gallons of sparge water, but I can't remember right now (I changed out that system last year).

You keep the temperature with the element, so it doesn't get hotter or cooler. If you run a HERMS, it also holds the mash temperature, but it's not needed with a cooler as an MLT, really.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:51 AM   #5
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May I ask what element you were using, Camco? Do you recall the height of the element?

Thanks

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Old 10-03-2012, 02:28 AM   #6
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May I ask what element you were using, Camco? Do you recall the height of the element?

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It's in the basement, and I can look at it tomorrow. I still have it all, I just never use it anymore.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:33 AM   #7
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Well let me ask you this, Since I didn't build it yet, should I? Am I better off going in a different direction? What are the drawbacks of this design? I brew currently every 1 to 2 weeks, so it will get used a lot. And being that I'm in the midwest the more I can do without the garage door open in the winter the better.

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Old 10-03-2012, 02:37 AM   #8
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Well let me ask you this, Since I didn't build it yet, should I? Am I better off going in a different direction? What are the drawbacks of this design? I brew currently every 1 to 2 weeks, so it will get used a lot. And being that I'm in the midwest the more I can do without the garage door open in the winter the better.
I brew indoors, that's why going all electric was important to me.

I had only a 1500 watt element, so that's why I upgraded. It was good, in that it worked on my regular electric outlet, so no 240 was needed. It worked well for me for several years. I ended up finding out that ramping was too slow for what I wanted, and I wanted a bigger HLT than 10 gallons when I moved up to 10 gallon batches.

The only drawback I can think of is if you need more than about, say, 11 gallons total. You can put 9ish in the HLT, but if you add more for sparging it'll bring the temperature down too much if you add more than 1-2 gallons. For most 5 gallon batches, that wouldn't be an issue.
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