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Old 08-15-2011, 06:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dgonza9

Regarding the zinc plating, I have two Home Depot elements in my keggle. Are these zinc plated? Can anyone chime in regarding the level of danger here?
The zinc plated ones from home depot were the first ones that I tested when looking for elements. I used a simple bucket and filled it up. Never dry fired it.
I had millions of sparkles in my bucket from the plating coming off. Along with some kind if film floating along the top of the water. I ditched that element for an all copper one that I found at Menards.
I have a post on here detailing it along with a part number I believe.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:46 PM   #12
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I am 100% positive the breaker is 20A. My concern is running a 2000W element on a 15A outlet with a 15A plug. If it is a problem I can put in a 20A outlet but since I am in an apartment I would prefer not to rewire anything.

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Old 08-15-2011, 06:57 PM   #13
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I am 100% positive the breaker is 20A. My concern is running a 2000W element on a 15A outlet with a 15A plug. If it is a problem I can put in a 20A outlet but since I am in an apartment I would prefer not to rewire anything.
It's fine. The code allows it. I know loads of CB20 builders who run on standard 20A circuits with 15A plugs.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:21 PM   #14
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I am 100% positive the breaker is 20A. My concern is running a 2000W element on a 15A outlet with a 15A plug. If it is a problem I can put in a 20A outlet but since I am in an apartment I would prefer not to rewire anything.
I was just cautioning against wiring a 20A plug and then finding it didn't fit the receptacle. Some of us didn't know that the first time around (meaning me) Sounds like you're all good. I still say 1500W is plenty for a stove top boil aid if you're less than 10 gallons. But hey, to each his own.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:30 PM   #15
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Yeah the more I think about it the better I feel using 1500W. They are only 5 gallon batches so 7.5 gallons max volume. Thanks for all the help

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Old 08-16-2011, 04:35 AM   #16
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I recently built two heatsticks for my 10 gal setup (12 gal boils). You can use a 240 volt element but run it at 120 and get 1/4 the wattage and a much cooler element. I did this for the stick for warming the mash to prevent scorching. So my 5500 watt element is really 1375 watts.

I also have a high density short 1500 watt 120v element. I ended up using both in the mash and for the boil on a very light cream ale. No scorching, carmelizing, or burning of the mash - everything came out fine so I tend to agree that the HD elements will not burn the wort or even the mash (but I did have a thin mash and I stirred constantly with the stick).

It took a bit but I got a very respectable boil going with 12.5 gal using both elements (total wattage=2875). I expect a single 1500 watt element would get a good boil going on a 5 gal batch. Might not be the quickest but hey, have a beer and rest, that's what I do. If the stove is helping then you'd be fine for sure.

As to the zinc debate, I don't see the problem
1. zinc is a mineral that the body needs (in small doses)
2. these go in hot water that's intended to be potable so why would you think they'd be dangerous in beer that's also intended to be potable?

Granted, the beer is slightly acidic but so too is very soft water which some households have. I don't think the elements shed toxic amounts of zinc or anything else into the water or the wort. My beer certainly does not taste metallic. I think the beer is probably a greater threat to my health than both the zinc elements and the plastic cooler that so many worry about.

Lastly, I would do heatsticks instead of mounting them in the vessel. Much more versatile and easier to clean. If you do want to do a heatstick then I'd propose a few minor modifications to the instructions floating around.. but I'm getting ahead of myself..

Oh and I think the wiring will be fine. If you can run a hair dryer safely then you should be able to run an element, right?

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Old 08-16-2011, 04:07 PM   #17
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A while back I started a thread to gather opinions on heatsticks vs. mounting in the kettle.

HERE'S THE THREAD

Thought it might help you to decide. I started with heat sticks but then mounted in the keggle. Safety was a concern as after about a year I had a heat stick trip the gfci. I never really worried about it much before that. Plus, I had a few bad experiences stirring the mash with a heat stick. It created hot spots in the mash.

But that's just me. There are also many wonderful things about them.

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