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Old 11-05-2010, 11:36 AM   #1
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Default I've been using HWD Elements for a while now.

I've been using HWD Elements for a while now. I have a 5500 watt element in my RIMS heater and a 4500 watt in my boil kettle. I purchased both elements because they are stainless elements. I think I purchased one at Lowes and one at Home Depot. I also wanted to see if it was possible to scorch the wort using these HWD elements under normal conditions. So far I have run about 15 batches through my system. Mostly APAs, IPAs, and Koelschs. I have not noticed any scorching at all. Just thought I would share this since everyone seems to be so fearful of these elements.

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Old 11-05-2010, 12:04 PM   #2
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This whole thing about scortching with High Watt Density elements sounds like a good suggestion for a Myth Busters episode.

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Old 11-05-2010, 12:28 PM   #3
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I think the idea of Jamie and Adam making beer is a great idea - They could have a Mythbusters Brew Fest and invite all of us with our electric rigs!

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Old 11-05-2010, 01:42 PM   #4
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High Density elements will scorch malt in the mash, and they will melt spots in coolers. I've had both happen trying to use a heatstick in my MLT.

However, the wort scorching is a myth. I have brewed light lagers that were as light colored as water (Light Lager = Gross, but the ladies got plastered ) with no noticeable carmelization.

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Old 11-05-2010, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
High Density elements will scorch malt in the mash, and they will melt spots in coolers. I've had both happen trying to use a heatstick in my MLT.

However, the wort scorching is a myth. I have brewed light lagers that were as light colored as water (Light Lager = Gross, but the ladies got plastered ) with no noticeable carmelization.

I think the discussion is based around RIMS heaters.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:20 PM   #6
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I think the discussion is based around RIMS heaters.
My RIMS is based on the one you built. I don't think I could go back to gas now. If I were going to change something I would like to mount an element using a Tri-clover fitting. Would the gasket hold up to the heat?
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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Silicone is good to at least 450F.....

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Old 11-09-2010, 07:40 PM   #8
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Agreed that it's more of a myth than anything else.

There is however one very good reason to use ULWD elements over regular elements: They won't break if fired up "dry" (not immersed in water). When a regular element is fired up "dry" the element will pop fairly quickly (usually before you notice your mistake!) as there is no water to dissipate the heat. While nobody means to fire up an element by mistake, mistakes do happen. Using ULWD elements provides you with a little bit of insurance against these human errors.

Brew long enough and one day you will forget that you have your element switch in the on position when you first fire up your controlling system. Popping an element is about the last thing you want given that you've likely already milled your grain and have everything ready to go.

You can add insurance to avoid making this myself however... I have a couple of parts on order now and I'm going to retrofit my control panel such that it can't be turned on if either element is in the ON position. One extra safety precaution...

Kal

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Old 11-09-2010, 08:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kal View Post
Agreed that it's more of a myth than anything else.

There is however one very good reason to use ULWD elements over regular elements: They won't break if fired up "dry" (not immersed in water). When a regular element is fired up "dry" the element will pop fairly quickly (usually before you notice your mistake!) as there is no water to dissipate the heat. While nobody means to fire up an element by mistake, mistakes do happen. Using ULWD elements provides you with a little bit of insurance against these human errors.

Brew long enough and one day you will forget that you have your element switch in the on position when you first fire up your controlling system. Popping an element is about the last thing you want given that you've likely already milled your grain and have everything ready to go.

You can add insurance to avoid making this myself however... I have a couple of parts on order now and I'm going to retrofit my control panel such that it can't be turned on if either element is in the ON position. One extra safety precaution...

Kal
I have already smoked one element. I have two safeties on the element now. I am using a current switch on the pump. If the pump isn't running the element will turn off. The other is a manual high limit set to trip at 180 degrees. The only time I dry fired the element was when I plugged a lamp into the outlet for the pump. This showed I had pump status and turned the element on. The current switch has saved me numerous times since I installed it. That was over 20 batches ago when I first started using the system. I am not as worried about the BK element because I am usually watching the water level to see when to turn it on.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p-nut View Post
My RIMS is based on the one you built. I don't think I could go back to gas now. If I were going to change something I would like to mount an element using a Tri-clover fitting. Would the gasket hold up to the heat?
I've got my element on a tri-clover in a Sawdustguy RIMS design, so far 3 brews and no issues.
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