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Old 12-10-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
Jps101
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Default Thoughts on Element Size - 5-10 gallon

All,

Like most of use here, I have been doing my homework and realize there are a number of differing opinions on this topic. My question is what has been your experience and what would you do? For discussion purposes, lets not concern ourselves with circuit size. That said if you would be doing mostly eBIAB 5 gallon batches, what size element do you think is enough? However, if you wanted to give yourself the ability to scale up to 10 gallon, would this change your mind? Now to bring in cost. 6g wire is 2x 10g wire, does that further change your thought process. Thank you in advance to any and all comments. I seem to learn (or at least have another thought) each time I read another build. Kal and P-J, you two have certainly been a great deal of assistance to many on this forum - thank you for your contributions.

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Old 12-10-2012, 04:32 PM   #2
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I would generally be inclined to max-out whatever circuit you have available for brewing. This will give you the fastest heat-up times and could offer flexibility to move to larger batches.
Since you refer to 10 ga wire, the most obvious solution would be to run on a 30 A circuit, use 10 ga wire, and use a 4500-5500 W element.

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Old 12-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #3
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Ryan,

Thanks for the input. I know I referenced 10g wire, that may have been a bit misleading. I have the ability to go to 50a, which would require 6g wire, but that stuff is expensive and I would need to run about 50 ft of the stuff to get close to where I am brewing now. Not to mention the additional plugs and an additional cord to the control panel. The other part being, seems if I am on 30a breaker, I cannot do much more than run a 5500 element...right?

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Old 12-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
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The highest wattage you can possibly afford and safely install in your brew room.

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Old 12-10-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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In your particular situation I would say to go with 30A. A 5500 watt element is more than enough for 10 gallons. And you will get 5 gallons to boil in no time while you are contemplating stepping up to 10 gallons.

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Old 12-10-2012, 05:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
In your particular situation I would say to go with 30A. A 5500 watt element is more than enough for 10 gallons. And you will get 5 gallons to boil in no time while you are contemplating stepping up to 10 gallons.
Yes, I agree!
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:14 AM   #7
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Thanks for the thoughts.

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Old 12-17-2012, 01:24 AM   #8
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1KW = 3450 BTU/Hour
1BTU = Raising 1 pound of water 1 degree F
now add time and heat loss from your vessel

easy

So a 5500 watt element is 5.5kwor 18,766 btu/hr

10 gal of water weighs 84 pounds, raise from 55F to 210F or a deltaT raise of 155F which is 13,020 BTU plus the weight of your vessel

So basically with a 5500 watt element you or about 42 minutes plus time to heat your pot, and the heat coming off the sides and loss of the top, or about 60 minutes total assuming a normal open pot.

clear as mud?

less WATTS = more time

I know guys using 2500 watt elements... but they are in no rush :-)

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Old 12-18-2012, 04:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skwieland View Post
1KW = 3450 BTU/Hour
1BTU = Raising 1 pound of water 1 degree F
now add time and heat loss from your vessel

easy

So a 5500 watt element is 5.5kwor 54,614 btu/hr

10 gal of water weighs 84 pounds, raise from 55F to 210F or a deltaT raise of 155F which is 13,020 BTU plus the weight of your vessel

So basically with a 5500 watt element you or about 15 minutes plus time to heat your pot, and the heat coming off the sides and loss of the top, or about 30 minutes total assuming a normal open pot.

clear as mud?

less WATTS = more time

I know guys using 2500 watt elements... but they are in no rush :-)
Steve,

Great explanation...thanks for having an opinion.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skwieland View Post
1KW = 3450 BTU/Hour
1BTU = Raising 1 pound of water 1 degree F
now add time and heat loss from your vessel

easy

So a 5500 watt element is 5.5kwor 54,614 btu/hr

10 gal of water weighs 84 pounds, raise from 55F to 210F or a deltaT raise of 155F which is 13,020 BTU plus the weight of your vessel

So basically with a 5500 watt element you or about 15 minutes plus time to heat your pot, and the heat coming off the sides and loss of the top, or about 30 minutes total assuming a normal open pot.

clear as mud?

less WATTS = more time

I know guys using 2500 watt elements... but they are in no rush :-)
Math's not adding up... 5.5kw x 3450btu/hr/kw = 18,975btu/hr so I'm not sure where ~55,000btu/hr is coming from
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