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eric_pwb 01-07-2011 06:03 AM

New Electric Build
I have been kit brewing for about 4 years now, and I have decided to make the jump to all grain. I have been lurking around here for about a year reading up on all grain brewing, and have just recently decided to start looking into equipment.

I have decided to go with a cooler based mash tun and an electric brew kettle, as I consider propane to be a PITA for my situation. I am well versed in the field of combining electricity and water, as I build in-ground swimming pools and install spas for a living.

My question is, is there any reason that I should consider converting an actual kettle or stock pot, over converting a 1/2bbl keg, as I know that I can get a legally obtained keg decommissioned keg on the cheap, and have it cut and welded for a couple of cases of homebrew.

I intend on doing only 5 gallon batches, and there will likely be some big beers brewed with this equipment. Also I intend to be able to run on only 115V, likely 2 or 3 15A circuits, as I really don't think the landlord would like me to re-wire my apartment.


samc 01-07-2011 06:12 AM

If you absolutely know you will never do more than 5 gallon batches I'd skip the keggle. They are heavy, cumbersome and harder to clean than a regular kettle. I curse every time I have to clean those beasts.

Pool spa heater, I remember the one I had for my pool, that would be an awesome set up for a HLT. That thing was a monster heater. I guess it wouldn't fly in an apartment however.

P-J 01-07-2011 11:57 AM


Some questions for you. Do you have a washer/dryer setup in your apartment? Do you have an electric stove in your apartment? (Re: the stove - I'm referring to a free standing stove, not a cook top and a wall oven.) If you have either of these available you can easily go electric.

Let us know.

SweetSounds 01-07-2011 01:14 PM

+1 for finding a 240v circuit in the apartment. It allows you to be far more flexible in your design.

A 15 amp circuit limits you to 1500 watt elements, and even with just 5 gallon batches, that's going to be pretty slow with less than 2 or 3. Though I've never used a heat stick, I would imagine that 3 of them in a 10 gallon pot would be a pain to keep out of your way. You could, however, hard mount 2 or 3 in a single pot to get around that.

If you do have a 240v 30 amp circuit available you can go as high as 6000 watts at one time - This will shorten your brew day quite a bit.

If you do want to build for just 5 gallons, I would recommend a regular pot as 15 gallon kegs are going to have quite a bit of waste due to the shape of the bottom of the kettle and trub. It's more negligible in a 10 gallon batch.

conpewter 01-07-2011 02:23 PM

Depending on how you want to do the drain a keggle can be very nice. My plan for the next brewery is a bottom drain using the Tri-Clamp valve on the top of the keg, will be cutting the bottom out flush with the sides.

XXguy 01-07-2011 03:15 PM

I'll just throw this in - if you're convinced you want to stick with 110V - consider taking a peek at Jkarp's countertop setup. You might not get 5 gallon batches out of it, but I think for an apartment sized 110V setup, it's about as slick as it gets.


bf514921 01-08-2011 12:12 AM

mine is plugged into the dryer outlet, runs my 5500 watt element and pid just fine.

eric_pwb 01-08-2011 12:54 AM

Thanks for the input everyone.

I had previously considered 240v, as I do have an electric range on a 40A breaker(not GFCI), but the thought of ultimate mobility somehow ended up in my mind where I could travel and use to separate 15A circuits to do the job. However after considering the advice from here I will likely go with 240v from my range plug, as I want to build everything to have the ability to do 10 gallon batches when and if the mood strikes. In which case it seems that the keg is a pretty cost effective way to start.

Thanks again,


milldoggy 01-08-2011 01:47 AM

If you have a 30amp, you can use one of these power cables, it has the GFCI built in and it is 17', not a bad deal. I made an offer of 60 and got it for 66.


samc 01-08-2011 02:41 AM


Originally Posted by milldoggy (Post 2533087)
If you have a 30amp, you can use one of these power cables, it has the GFCI built in and it is 17', not a bad deal. I made an offer of 60 and got it for 66.


I'd be curious to know if these things a really a quality item. Not an area where I want to save a few $$$ and find out it didn't work. Did this item trip and save anybody from frying? We need a tester!

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