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Old 03-29-2011, 07:34 PM   #1
Shane23
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Default Possible Electric build with silicone heat mats

I'm in the begining stages of planning a electric build and I got two Wattco Slicone rubber sheets that can reach 450 degrees for free. So I thought I would use one for the MLT and one for the boil kettle. The plan is to wrap the heaters around the keggles so the entire walls will be heated. I was thinking it would be more efficient then using regular elements and I wouldn't need a RIMS or HERMS to keep the mash at temp.

Has anyone seen a system like this or can think of any issues with this plan?

This is a link to the heaters I will be using:
http://www.wattco.com/silicone-heaters.html

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Old 03-29-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
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I used those in a former job. Never heard of them being used in brewing but it seems like it would work. Would be easy to test, so give it a go. Would love to hear the results.

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Old 03-30-2011, 12:48 PM   #3
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It can be done, I know a guy that has a 30qt kettle that uses 3 silicone heating pads from McMaster. If I remember correctly, it'll bring 5 gal to a boil in about 1/2 hour. He did have it listed on ebay, but IDK if its still there.

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Old 03-30-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
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I guess it depends on the voltage and wattage of the particular mats you have. The spec says up to 480V, which is not going to be available in your home. And if they are rated at 480V, running them at 240V will decrease the wattage by 75%. But like fifelee said, easy enough to test! Let us know.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:08 PM   #5
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If they don't work for the actual brew, they'd certainly make great warming belts for fermenters.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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Here's the link at Mcmaster Carr:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#heat-blankets/=bnozzp

These are interesting. The highest wattage is 2160W so you could use it to boil but only a small (possibly 5 gallon) kettle. $584 however which makes them somewhat expensive compared to $50-75 or so to integrate a 5500W hot water heater element (as is done by many electric brewers).

Since yours were free, why not try them of course.

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Old 03-30-2011, 02:50 PM   #7
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The guy I got the mats from uses them to heat a press that runs from 165 to 150 degrees 8 hours a day. He said if I ran them at 120v they could hit about 175 and at 220v they would easily go over 200.

Would the heat source coming from the sides change the physics of the boil?

Any ideas of what kind of insulation to put around the outside?
I'll wrap the heater around the kettle, then wrap a metal strip around the mat (completely covering the mat) to hold the mat tight against the kettle. Put insulation around that and seal it up. I need an insulation that can handle the direct heat without melting.

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane23 View Post
Would the heat source coming from the sides change the physics of the boil?
Possibly, but not in any bad way. Boiling in commercial boil kettles is often with steam jackets that provides heat through the sides in the same manner. Just make sure that the heat source has wort on the other side of the kettle wall instead of air (ie: place the heat mats low enough).

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Old 02-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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Seems like a bit of an old thread... Curious if you tried these out... If so how did they work out???

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Old 02-11-2012, 04:17 AM   #10
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Well unfortunately I haven't gotten to that stage of my brew stand build. Finding a keg for my mlt is next on the list so hopefully I will have it going soon.I've done some tests and I know the mat will work for the mlt running on just 120v. I don't think I'll end up trying it on a kettle for a while. As soon as I get it going I'll post soon pics tho

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