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Old 09-27-2011, 11:26 PM   #1
bribo179
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Default Need help with an electric hlt

I am looking to make a hlt just to heat mash water. I only have 120v available. I don't need anything fancy. I will even do temps by thermometer.

I have seen people put an element thru the bottom of a 5 gallon igloo cooler. I have a spare cooler and would be willing to use this ...or a 5 gallon brew pot.

What would I need for this?

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Old 09-27-2011, 11:33 PM   #2
slakwhere
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if you build a heat stick you'll have what you need and it will be portable from vessel to vessel. it's just a heater element and some pipe that you can dunk in a vessel for electric heating.

http://www.cedarcreeknetworks.com/heatstick.htm (or search here for builds).

if you install the element into the side of the pot you'll need a weldless kit from someplace like bargainfittings.com. this has also been done a lot but requires drilling holes, finding appropriate fittings to make things water tight, covering the electrical connectors, etc.

either way, step 1 is to find out how much electrical service you have at your disposal (15 vs 20 amps @ 120v) and make sure there is a GFCI in the circuit for safety (and that it's properly installed).

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Old 09-28-2011, 02:41 AM   #3
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I'd rather have one mounted in a vessel with a ball valve attached

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Old 09-28-2011, 02:53 AM   #4
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low tech: Drill a hole, install a weldless kit from bargain fittings. wire to a cord with a house plug on the end. cover the electrical connections. turn on/off manually by unplugging or install a switch.

medium tech: drill and install a welded / soldered fitting. wire to a cord with a house plug on the end. cover the electrical connections. turn on/off manually by unplugging or install a switch.

high tech: install welded/soldered fitting. wire to control panel with quick disconnects/plugs. connect to SSR with PID for precise temperature control.

same goes for the ball valve. weldless vs welded/soldered. probably want a pick up tube in it so you have minimal losses.

and if you're going to be drilling holes you might want another for a sightglass/thermo combo like brewers hardware (bobby_m) or bargainfittings sells. they're helpful.

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Old 09-28-2011, 03:13 AM   #5
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Are you talking about there roadless bulkhead kits? How would my element connect to that?

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Old 09-28-2011, 03:18 AM   #6
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You need the 1 inch nut with o ring seal for the element. Just drill the hole and thread the nut on. Wire it up however you need to. Use a gfci outlet or breaker. It's that easy.

I have two heatsticks as well, I think they are more work than mounting in the kettle.

Edit: the nut with o ring comes from bargain fittings.

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Old 09-28-2011, 03:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slakwhere View Post
low tech: Drill a hole, install a weldless kit from bargain fittings. wire to a cord with a house plug on the end. cover the electrical connections. turn on/off manually by unplugging or install a switch.
this. IMHO for just a hot liquor tank a PID is overkill.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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I made a keggle HLT. Two 120v 2000w water heater elements mounted in the keggle (the elements plug into two separate 20A circuits), ball valve, sight glass with thermometer. All weldless fittings.

Works great. I still need to add a lid and some insulation before winter.

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