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Old 04-18-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
kpr121
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Default Will 2000 watts maintain a boil of 12+gallons?

Here I go, already thinking of the next upgrade in my brewery. I just finished my control panel to use 5500 watts on either the HLT or BK, only one at a time. My build can be found HERE.

Here’s my upgrade thoughts:

I’ve been thinking about how I will want to operate in the event that I have a long enough day away from SWMBO and I want to do a double batch.

First option is to just throw my HLT on my old propane burner to run the strike/sparge up to temps.

Second option is installing a separately run 110v 2000w element with manually controlled on/off in my HLT in order to assist in heat times of first batch as well as augment some heating of a second batch.

I wouldn’t have to buy anything for either of these options since I've used a rendition of each in my previous brew setups. Of course the second option would take a little more work.


Then this got me thinking I could put a separate 110 2000w element in each the HLT and BK.

This is the general process I think I could use (Naming convention for both HLT and BK: Element 1 = 5500w 220V, Element 2 = 2000w 110V):

1. Fire HLT Elements 1 and 2 for strike.
2. Mash In, Fire HLT Elements 1 and 2 for sparge (run a recirculation during a portion/all of the mash through a HERMS heat exchanger)
3. Drain first runnings, turn off HLT Element 1, Fire BK Element 1 to begin heating to boil. HLT Element 2 continues to heat sparge water while first runnings are draining.
4. Batch Sparge into MLT.
5. Fill HLT for second batch. Fire HLT Element 2 to augment heating.
6. Drain sparge to BK, fire BK Elements 1 and 2 to get to boil.
7. Once a boil is started, BK Element 2 to maintain boil (SEE QUESTION BELOW). HLT Elements 1 and 2 is used to continue heating strike water, or for mash recirculation of second batch.
8. When first batch is complete, focus all power into second batch wherever I am at in the process.
9. Profit!

So the big question is if 2000 watts would maintain a boil on 12+ gallons?

If it can’t, than I could still use the 110 elements to augment heating (at least have something heating up the ‘off’ vessel while it can). There might be some additional lag time between Batch 1 boil and Batch 2 mash, but I think I could heat the strike water to 170 in an hour. It would also speed up single brew days as well.

If the 2000w isnt enough to maintain a boil, I would be less likely to install the seperate element in the BK.

Thoughts?

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Old 04-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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I use two 2000 watt elements. For about 13 gallons, both elements will give a jumping boil, one will give a "slight hump with small bubbles" boil.

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Old 04-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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Theoretically, if you insulated good, it would... but you will find that ~3-4000W is what people use to boil... which is more effort, insulating and maintaining the insulation, or doing a PID w/ manual control and an SSR on a single 5500W element?...

optionally, you could try running the 5500W/240V and the 2000W/120V both at 120V, and get an extra 1375W, which is 3375W and would boil nicely..


-mike

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Old 04-18-2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
I use two 2000 watt elements. For about 13 gallons, both elements will give a jumping boil, one will give a "slight hump with small bubbles" boil.
What kind of insulation (if any) are you using? Is this in a keggle or other vessel?
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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I had a 2000W element in a 9G kettle....it was barely capable of boiling 7G, even with an insulating jacket (reflectix)

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Old 04-18-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwaterbrewer View Post
Theoretically, if you insulated good, it would... but you will find that ~3-4000W is what people use to boil... which is more effort, insulating and maintaining the insulation, or doing a PID w/ manual control and an SSR on a single 5500W element?...

optionally, you could try running the 5500W/240V and the 2000W/120V both at 120V, and get an extra 1375W, which is 3375W and would boil nicely..


-mike
Thanks for the input. At first thought I don’t think that bumping the 5500 watt elements at 110 would be a good idea, but I guess I could hook up a switch to shut off one hot leg of the element and push it to neutral so that it only sees 110v. Hmm, might be an idea but it sounds like a pain for something I wont be doing all that often.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
Thanks for the input. At first thought I don’t think that bumping the 5500 watt elements at 110 would be a good idea, but I guess I could hook up a switch to shut off one hot leg of the element and push it to neutral so that it only sees 110v. Hmm, might be an idea but it sounds like a pain for something I wont be doing all that often.
yes, it starts to get complicated compared to a single 5500W element and a Auber PID with manual control and a SSR...
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
What kind of insulation (if any) are you using? Is this in a keggle or other vessel?
Uninsulated keggle.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwaterbrewer View Post
yes, it starts to get complicated compared to a single 5500W element and a Auber PID with manual control and a SSR...
The evil, ghetto-brewer in me keeps whispering "heat stick," but I dont know if I want to go down that route either...
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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I guess now that my controlled 5500watters work, I could do some testing. Would a manually set PID at 36% (2000/5500) be an accurate test?

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