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Old 08-17-2012, 12:21 AM   #1
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Default Question about how elements should act

I am using camco 5500w elements and keggles for my HLT and boil kettle. I was doing a test run of my system with just water since I recently finished putting it all together. I noticed when the water is heating up there are tons of little bubbles all over the elements. As the water gets hotter, these bubbles get bigger. I assume this isn't good for the element as those bubbles are obviously air pockets and would not allow the element to transfer heat effectively thus heating up more than it should.

Are my elements working as intended or should I try some new elements?

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Old 08-17-2012, 12:32 AM   #2
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I am no expert on hot water elements but I am going to cast my vote in by saying this is normal. I say this for a few reasons, for one I have a 5500W element in my set up and I see the same thing. I suspect that what is happening is the extreme heat from the element is flashboiling the water that is making direct contact which causes it to bubble up. This is the same thing you see in a pot when you bring water to a boil.

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Old 08-17-2012, 12:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by patrck17 View Post
I am no expert on hot water elements but I am going to cast my vote in by saying this is normal. I say this for a few reasons, for one I have a 5500W element in my set up and I see the same thing. I suspect that what is happening is the extreme heat from the element is flashboiling the water that is making direct contact which causes it to bubble up. This is the same thing you see in a pot when you bring water to a boil.
EXCELLENT.! Your observation and conclusion is right on the money.

I salute you.!

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Old 08-17-2012, 01:16 AM   #4
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OK then! I assume you also have zero issues with scorching the wort?

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Old 08-17-2012, 01:51 AM   #5
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OK then! I assume you also have zero issues with scorching the wort?
Well I cannot speak to the scorched wort. I only use the heating element for my HLT. I boil with gas over a tri-clad bottom stainless pot. BUT I think that you are fine. I'll list a few reasons again. Firstly the camco 5500w is ultra low density. Now I am too lazy to go and find exact numbers but what that essentially means is that the heat outputted from the element is spread out over more surface area (then a higher density element) which means the wort is coming in direct contact to high temperatures, but not so high that it would scorch it.

And perhaps an even better explaination is that similar heating elements are used in most electric brew rigs and I have never heard anyone complain about scorching any wort.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:22 AM   #6
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Its called boiling...

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Old 08-17-2012, 04:30 PM   #7
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Its called boiling...
REALLY? I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful information. You sir are are scholar and a gentleman!

I was merely making sure what I was observing was normal and OK. I've never watched a element boil before. I should know better than to have a questioning attitude.

/rant


Thank you patrck17 for the information.
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