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Old 03-23-2012, 05:06 PM   #1
GregKelley
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Default Installing heating element

How far from the bottom do you typically install your heating element for the BK? I know you have to consider that the element will need to be fully submerged so it has to be low enough to handle one's smallest batch. It also has to be high enough to be above any tubes or false bottoms as well as allow for the outside box to be attached. Any other considerations?

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Old 03-23-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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Kal (theelectricbrewery.com) went for 4". From his site:

"In our Boil Kettle (BK) the center of the element is 4" from the bottom and on the right side. In our Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) the center of the element is 3" from the bottom and on the left side. The Boil Kettle element is installed slightly higher than the one in the Hot liquor tank as we have a large hop strainer installed in the boil kettle which sits on the bottom so the element could not be installed any lower. This places the element just below the 5 gallon marker in the boil kettle so 5 gallons is the minimum volume of beer we can produce with this setup. We typically brew 10-13 gallons."

He's referring to position in a 20 gallon blichmann kettle.

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Old 03-23-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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If using a keggle... as low as you can get it, which will be about 4"

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Old 03-23-2012, 06:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregKelley View Post
How far from the bottom do you typically install your heating element for the BK? I know you have to consider that the element will need to be fully submerged so it has to be low enough to handle one's smallest batch. It also has to be high enough to be above any tubes or false bottoms as well as allow for the outside box to be attached. Any other considerations?
I mounted both of mine @4.5" from the bottom as measured from the outside of the kegs, it basically boils down to the type of kegs you have so that the gang box is mounted on the flat surface on the outside and allow for the curve inside the kegs. Best of luck.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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I did read Kal's write-up, thanks. I have either a 30 or 40 qt pot, not a keggle. Can't remember right now, it's at home. Anyway, I'm thinking that I can get it lower than 4" with the limit being 1/2 the size of the gang box. Do I want it that low? Is it more efficient to be a little higher up?

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Old 03-23-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
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As long as it is fully submerged, I can't imagine height having any effect on efficiency.

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Old 03-23-2012, 07:42 PM   #7
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Mine is 4.5" up... er... the second time around. The first time I put it a bit low and the hop stopper I have wouldn't fit under it. That was not a fun few minutes to be in the basement while I cursed up a storm. In the end, I plugged the first hole with a 1" bushing and added a sacrificial anode for the element... if anyone ever asks, I can say that was *always* the plan

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Old 03-24-2012, 12:18 PM   #8
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If you are planning on welding a nut on the BK for the element to thread into and are using a ripple element, be sure to factor in the room necessary for the element to rotate as you install it.

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Old 03-24-2012, 12:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ChuckO View Post
If you are planning on welding a nut on the BK for the element to thread into and are using a ripple element, be sure to factor in the room necessary for the element to rotate as you install it.
That is an excellent point.

Also, the final rotational position of the element should be considered once it is screwed in place. When the nut is welded it cannot be changed.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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That is an excellent point.

Also, the final rotational position of the element should be considered once it is screwed in place. When the nut is welded it cannot be changed.
P-J,
How important is it to control the rotational position of the element? I've never figured that out, as elements from different vendors (and possibly from the same vendor) do not have the threads timed to the bends in the element. That means that I don't know the position of the element in my water heater either. Gasket thickness will also come into play.

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