After a few PM's about my setup, I am creating this thread to help people like me who 3 months ago had no idea where to get started on a simple, cost effective method of brewing 5 gallons of beer with an electric DIY kettle.
There are numerous threads on HBT that cover similar builds, and of course there is Kal’s website that is perfect for 3 vessel, 220v systems, but this covers a simple setup that you can use almost anywhere in your house.
Either BIAB or you can heat strike water in it and mash in a cooler, and transfer back for boil if you'd like to.
You will need to use 2 separate circuits (good extension cord) and they both need to be GFCI. I am not getting into GFCI, you can do it at the breaker, plug, or inline that is up to you.
Parts required for Kettle:
42 qt or larger turkey pot with basket strainer:
42 qt aluminum http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-4042-42-Quart-All-Purpose/dp/B0000BXHL3/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1329414911&sr=8-5
44 qt stainless http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-1144-44-Quart-Stainless/dp/B000FTLY1K/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1329414911&sr=8-4
I am using (2) 1,650 watt elements because I wanted to use existing 20A circuits, and 1,650 watts on 110 volts draws 15 amps allowing me a little room to spare.
(2) total 18-8 Stainless Steel Wide-Rim Shim .075" Thick, 1-1/2" ID, 2-1/4" OD
(2) total Type 304 Stainless STL Locknut 1” NPS
(4) total Silicone O-Ring AS568A Dash Number 217
(2) total 1” threaded pvc coupling
(2) total 1” threaded pvc plug
JB Weld-JB Quick
Clear Silicone sealant
110v 3 wire/3 prong appliance cord at least 15A rating
Step Bit for holes in kettle
Kettle drain parts:
Weldless bulkhead (note you need to add SS valve and valve end, I used a barbed hose adapter for mine)
Now since my kettle is already built, I can only give you a few build pictures. Also, this covers the 44qt stainless kettle from Bayou Classic. You will want to verify any and all dimensions if you buy a different brand or size kettle.
First thing you need to do is drill 3 holes in your kettle. 2 for the elements and 1 for the drain. Element holes are 1-1/4” and the valve hole is 7/8”. Go slow and use lots of cutting oil on the bit, because it will only last one hole if you burn it up.
Mount the valve as seen here: http://www.bargainfittings.com/image/cache/data/kegwedlesskit1-500x500.jpg
You will need to put a slight bend in the elements sideways so that they don’t hit each other when you put them in the kettle. I simply put one on the corner of a piece of lumber and bent it slowly with my hands. They are soft and bend easily. Careful not to go to fast or far because they will break.
Install the elements in the kettle as shown:
(I used bulk wire and extension cord ends for my kettle, but an already made appliance cord works just as well)
This setup allows ~7.5 gallons of boil volume w/o getting scary.
I boil off at exactly 1 gallon per hour with both elements wide open.
1 element will not maintain a rapid boil.
It takes 28 minutes to get 7 gallons of 68 deg water to 160, and 53 to get to rolling boil.
So for $200.00 you can be brewing in an aluminum kettle. $250.00 for SS, and add another $100.00 and you can control mash temps.
My controller is a PID based on jkarp's Countertop Brutus 20 located here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/countertop-brutus-20-a-131411/
This is what I used to build mine. If you can't figure it out I can post some pics.
Here is a link to a picture thread I posted the other day that is a complete all grain brew day. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/pictorial-my-brew-day-5-gal-ebiab-303827/