Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Minimum element wattage?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-11-2013, 11:56 PM   #1
cruizer8
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cruizer8's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Posts: 397
Liked 25 Times on 18 Posts

Default Minimum element wattage?

I am interested in moving to an electric brew kettle but I am having some trouble finding some info. Basically, I am trying to figure out the minimum wattage element I would need to boil about 7 gallons of water in my kettle from a 110V source. However, sometime in the future I plan to upgrade to a 220V system and would like to reuse the element so optimally I would get a 220V element and run it at 110V.

Thanks for any thoughts or info.

__________________
cruizer8 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
Wynne-R
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 889
Liked 94 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 74

Default

I’m a kitchen brewer, I use an electric stove. The big element is 5500W, the smaller is 4500W. The big one will boil two gallons of water in a three gallon pot in about 23 minutes, the little one, 28 minutes. Three gallons in a 4 gallon pot takes an hour or more, it just barely boils on the big burner.

About the voltage, for a given resistance, the power is the square of the voltage. Simply put, If you use a 240V element on 120V it will be at 25% of it’s rating.

The 110 thing is a pet peeve for me. I like to say if you have 110V service, call an electrician. US residential mains voltage is 120 (per leg) ± 5%. In my experience, measured RMS voltage is 120-123V. If you’re dropping 10 volts on house wiring, you could burn your house down.

I hope this helps, and gets you started. I'm sure somebody with with more direct experience with your situation will chime in.

__________________
Wynne-R is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2013, 02:09 AM   #3
danb35
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Hartsville, SC
Posts: 131
Liked 19 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

5500 watts in an immersible element is a different animal from 5500 watts in a cooktop. An element of that size in my keggle will readily boil 8 gallons of water within 20 minutes or so, starting from room temperature. But, as noted above, it will be 1/4 of that power (1375 watts) on 120 volts.

I don't think you're going to be able to boil 7 gallons using a single household 120-volt circuit, and even using two circuits to run two heaters (1800 watts each, maxing out a 15-amp circuit) is likely to take a long time.

__________________
danb35 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2013, 12:35 PM   #4
ChuckO
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChuckO's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Keyrock, WV
Posts: 870
Liked 71 Times on 65 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

I have been experimenting with a 44 quart Bayou Kettle put inside an old 10 gallon cooler http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/my-new-mash-tun-268370/ with a 1500 watt 120 volt element installed. So far I have had good success simulating 7 gallons for a BIAB setup. Took a little over 1 hour to get up to strike temperature of 162. I let it sit to drop the temperature for a while and then brought it to a boil in 45 minutes. It was able to maintain a rolling boil with the PID set in manual at about 90% uncovered.

That lets me know that it is marginal but doable with a pump for recirculation during the mash on a single 20 amp circuit. All I need now is a bag to put inside the Bayou steamer basket to do a single vessel BIAB run. Now I'll be able to do 5 gallon batches in the kitchen during the winter.

As a plus, it is now used as an HLT for my RIMS system and has been used many times for sous vide cooking.

__________________
ChuckO is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2013, 04:24 PM   #5
Wynne-R
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 889
Liked 94 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 74

Default

ChuckO, that’s brilliant. Interesting that even with an insulated kettle it takes 90% of 1500 watts to maintain a rolling boil.

Danb35 I’m sure putting the heat source in the kettle is more efficient, but something’s off here. 8 gallons is about 30 Liters. If we go from room temperature to boiling that’s 75 Celsius degrees. Multiply to get 2,271,000 calories or about 9,500,000 joules. Divide by 5500w and we get 1727 seconds or 28 minutes 47 seconds. If you can do that in twenty minutes that’s 140% efficiency, disregarding any heat loss.

A stovetop is supposed to be 60% according to the DOE. I’m getting 25% on my stove. I don’t know how much of that is heat loss and how much is lousy efficiency heating a cheap stainless pot.

__________________
Wynne-R is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2013, 07:34 PM   #6
Rivenin
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 2,488
Liked 163 Times on 130 Posts
Likes Given: 83

Default

i used 2 x 1500w elements in a keggle, i did 7 gallon boils without a problem... boils too a bit to achieve, but it got to a boil and was fine.

__________________
RAINYDAY BREWING AND WINERY
Southeast Portland, OR - EST 2010
Primary Straight lambic - Crooked stave dregs saison - NZ/USA IPA
Kegged Oktoberfest - Schwarzbier - Pale Mild
Coming up Cream ale - Bitter - Nelson Sauvin honey Blonde - Porter

Electric 120v Brutus 20

Quote:
Homebrewers are like drunk Rembrandt's... Painting the world with liquid love
Quote:
If you're getting into this hobby to save money... you have a great sense of humor
Rivenin is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
cruizer8
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cruizer8's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Posts: 397
Liked 25 Times on 18 Posts

Default

Thanks for the info. I was hoping to get away with the 5500W at 120V running at 1375W but it doesn't sound like that will cut it. With 2 1500W elements, would you have to run that on two separate 20A circuits? I want to make a 110 setup similar to www.theelectricbrewery.com but maybe I will see if there is another system style I could use.

__________________
cruizer8 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2013, 11:38 PM   #8
ChuckO
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChuckO's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Keyrock, WV
Posts: 870
Liked 71 Times on 65 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruizer8 View Post
Thanks for the info. I was hoping to get away with the 5500W at 120V running at 1375W but it doesn't sound like that will cut it. With 2 1500W elements, would you have to run that on two separate 20A circuits? I want to make a 110 setup similar to www.theelectricbrewery.com but maybe I will see if there is another system style I could use.
On the setup I described in the insulated kettle I first tried a 5500W at 120V and was able to achieve a boil with a lid on. As soon as I removed the lid the boil slowed down and finally stopped, but I had some slight cross ventilation to make things worse. Doesn't jibe with my 1500W running at 90% to hold a boil, but that's how it worked out.
__________________
ChuckO is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-13-2013, 02:12 AM   #9
wilserbrewer
Vendor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 9 reviews
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jersey Shore, Jersey
Posts: 6,568
Liked 394 Times on 337 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

IME a 2000w element will hold a boil for 5 gallon batches FWIW.

__________________
wilserbrewer
BIAB Bags, Hop Bags and Ratchet Pulleys for sale

Expert tailor and supplier of custom sized, top quality BIAB bags, hop bags and ratchet pulleys at reasonable pricing

http://biabbags.webs.com



CORONA MILL BUCKET SYSTEM V. 2.0
wilserbrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-14-2013, 11:49 AM   #10
danb35
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Hartsville, SC
Posts: 131
Liked 19 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wynne-R View Post
Danb35 I’m sure putting the heat source in the kettle is more efficient, but something’s off here.
Apparently what was off was my memory. I brewed yesterday and kept notes on time/temperature. It took 20 minutes to take 8 gallons from 74 F to 155 F, and another 15 minutes to take 7 gallons from 155 F to boiling.
__________________
danb35 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Max element wattage for my RIMS tube TinTurtle Electric Brewing 1 11-26-2013 11:58 PM
Minimum Watt Heating Element reuliss Electric Brewing 4 05-14-2013 03:17 AM
Heatstick wattage/requirements Homer Electric Brewing 6 02-28-2011 06:18 PM
Whats an appropriate wattage element for this RIMS vessel? pickles DIY Projects 21 01-27-2010 07:36 PM
Wattage requirements Hermit Equipment/Sanitation 28 11-13-2009 01:59 PM