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Old 01-09-2012, 10:55 PM   #31
voltin
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I'm confused how is the element sealed without the O-ring? Did you silcone or jb Weld up the crap of joint? Also did your element have short threads, and thus could not accommodate the oring and washer?
Sorry for the confusion. My element is mounted through the electrical box and electrical cover. The cover has a small hole (large enough for the threads to fit through, but small enough for the locking nut at the end of the threads doesn't), and box has a larger one (this one doesn't matter as much.) The cover and box are JB-welded together, nothing holds the element to the box. The element is then feed through the hole in the kettle, where it is secured from the inside with an o-ring and a stainless steel locking nut. (The o-ring is on the inside between the wall of the kettle and the nut.)

I attempted to use the black o-ring (?) that comes with the element on the outside of the kettle, but I could only use on or the other and the black one alone leaked. I am thinking that my element's threads are shorter. I picked up my element from Home Depot, and they did not have the one he recommends.

Hope that helps.
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My eBIAB Build | Texas Blues and Brews Festival

On Deck: Motor Oil Barleywine, Cider Trials, Vanilla Cream Ale, California Blonde
Primary: Cotton Blossom Traditional Mead, 1744 Porter (Ale-ian Society Club Brew), Old Ale
Secondary: Peach Wine, Cranberry Cider
Kegged: Nothing :(
On Tap: Nothing :(
Bottled: Yup still nothing...
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:55 PM   #32
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The element is mounted almost exactly like Kal's. The only differences are that I do not have a washer or o-ring between the kettle and electrical box (didn't have the room), and I used a single gang (rather than a double) weather-proof electrical box. I still need to silicone the inside of the box, I just wanted to make sure everything worked properly first.
Pics?

What Kal has done is just incredible so I hope people (especially him) don't take this the wrong way, but that method of mounting a heating element sucks. Really there is no good way to mount an element. If only the threads came off the back of the element and were about an inch long we would be in fantastic shape. The Kal method is just one of the many crappy ways to do it. Again, thank you Kal for everything you have done here, not your fault as an unorthodox use for a heating element requires and unorthodox method to mount it.

I think I may use the Kal method for now, that is until I find a better way to do this.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:02 PM   #33
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Pics?

What Kal has done is just incredible so I hope people (especially him) don't take this the wrong way, but that method of mounting a heating element sucks. Really there is no good way to mount an element. If only the threads came off the back of the element and were about an inch long we would be in fantastic shape. The Kal method is just one of the many crappy ways to do it. Again, thank you Kal for everything you have done here, not your fault as an unorthodox use for a heating element requires and unorthodox method to mount it.

I think I may use the Kal method for now, that is until I find a better way to do this.
I will get some for you tonight. Of the methods I have seen, his seems to be the cleanest. It also makes it easy to replace the element, in the inevitable case that is dry fires, etc. It does take a little trickery to get it working properly though.

The only way I think that could be better is if you welded a threaded connector to the kettle so that you could screw the element in and then secure it from the inside. But this was the easy (relatively....), and protects the electrical connections. Overall I am pleased with it.
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My eBIAB Build | Texas Blues and Brews Festival

On Deck: Motor Oil Barleywine, Cider Trials, Vanilla Cream Ale, California Blonde
Primary: Cotton Blossom Traditional Mead, 1744 Porter (Ale-ian Society Club Brew), Old Ale
Secondary: Peach Wine, Cranberry Cider
Kegged: Nothing :(
On Tap: Nothing :(
Bottled: Yup still nothing...
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:40 PM   #34
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I will get some for you tonight. Of the methods I have seen, his seems to be the cleanest. It also makes it easy to replace the element, in the inevitable case that is dry fires, etc. It does take a little trickery to get it working properly though.

The only way I think that could be better is if you welded a threaded connector to the kettle so that you could screw the element in and then secure it from the inside. But this was the easy (relatively....), and protects the electrical connections. Overall I am pleased with it.
There are so many problems with all methods.

The Kal method, and those like it require silicone to prevent leakage. Not a reliable seal by any means. Plus it does not at all guarantee a good ground. This is the most troubling part about the method. In my opinion it is a must to verify a good ground path with a multimeter. Plus you have to redo the silicone every time you take the element out.

Welding a fitting to the keg is a much better solution except it requires that a ground be welded or bolted on the kettle. This method is very easy with keggles but much more difficult for us with Blichmann's or turkey fryer pots. It also requires that the wires are potted or covered in some reliable manner.

I just wish someone made elements with threads going toward the rear. Man would that make things easy.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:14 AM   #35
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There are so many problems with all methods.

The Kal method, and those like it require silicone to prevent leakage. Not a reliable seal by any means. Plus it does not at all guarantee a good ground. This is the most troubling part about the method. In my opinion it is a must to verify a good ground path with a multimeter. Plus you have to redo the silicone every time you take the element out.

Welding a fitting to the keg is a much better solution except it requires that a ground be welded or bolted on the kettle. This method is very easy with keggles but much more difficult for us with Blichmann's or turkey fryer pots. It also requires that the wires are potted or covered in some reliable manner.

I just wish someone made elements with threads going toward the rear. Man would that make things easy.
I actually haven't put the silicone on my element yet, and it has not leaked at all. I think the silicone is just there for insurance. I did verify that I had a ground on the kettle before powering up the system. I will verify that again when I pull it back out. I do agree, however, that not having a ground attached directly attached to the kettle is a little bit disconcerting.
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My eBIAB Build | Texas Blues and Brews Festival

On Deck: Motor Oil Barleywine, Cider Trials, Vanilla Cream Ale, California Blonde
Primary: Cotton Blossom Traditional Mead, 1744 Porter (Ale-ian Society Club Brew), Old Ale
Secondary: Peach Wine, Cranberry Cider
Kegged: Nothing :(
On Tap: Nothing :(
Bottled: Yup still nothing...
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:39 PM   #36
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I actually haven't put the silicone on my element yet, and it has not leaked at all. I think the silicone is just there for insurance. I did verify that I had a ground on the kettle before powering up the system. I will verify that again when I pull it back out. I do agree, however, that not having a ground attached directly attached to the kettle is a little bit disconcerting.
I agree that silicone is just there for insurance. I have used the Kal method without the silicone for about 20 batches. No leaks. The silicone is not required for a good seal. I test the ground prong on the cord for continuity with the kettle before each batch.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #37
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Also, nice build!

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Old 01-15-2012, 03:53 AM   #38
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I agree that silicone is just there for insurance. I have used the Kal method without the silicone for about 20 batches. No leaks. The silicone is not required for a good seal. I test the ground prong on the cord for continuity with the kettle before each batch.
I have not noticed any leaks in the two brew sessions, I have already done. However, I did notice, during my pre-brew checklist, that this time I did not have a good ground on the pot, even though I did last time. I am not sure what caused the change. For this session I temporarily ran a ground wire to a screw on the box cover. I will have to remedy this for the future though.

Today's bew was a big beer with 17 lbs of grain and a 1.083 OG. All of the grain fit nicely in the kettle, I probably could have gotten an even 20 lbs in their. I had some issues with hitting my numbers this time around, though. I ended up boiling off about 1-1.25 gallons more than estimated, so I ended up with only ~4 gallons in the fermenter. I hit the estimated OG though, which means my mash efficiency sucked.

All things considered though it was a successful brew day. Much better than last week's. I also tried my steamer basket + big grain bag "hop stopper". It does not work very well for pellet hops, because the boil causes the bag to bubble up. I think this would probably work better for whole hops since they will soak up more wort and weigh down the bag. I will test it the next time I use whole hops.
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My eBIAB Build | Texas Blues and Brews Festival

On Deck: Motor Oil Barleywine, Cider Trials, Vanilla Cream Ale, California Blonde
Primary: Cotton Blossom Traditional Mead, 1744 Porter (Ale-ian Society Club Brew), Old Ale
Secondary: Peach Wine, Cranberry Cider
Kegged: Nothing :(
On Tap: Nothing :(
Bottled: Yup still nothing...
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:46 AM   #39
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So after my last brew session, I decided it was time to get a pump. I had been eying the Chuggers for a while, and when they came back in stock I snagged one.

Along with the pump I also ordered a whole new set of fittings and a custom pickup tube from Bargain Fittings. The pickup tube is removable and sits over the side of the kettle. I got the idea from another thread here. Here are some pics:

Outside Portion of the Whirlpool Fitting (I bought the wrong camlock so I have to stretch the tube over the threads of the elbow.)


Whirlpool Fitting inside of the Kettle (Sorry for the crappy pic, the steam kept fogging the lens.)

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My eBIAB Build | Texas Blues and Brews Festival

On Deck: Motor Oil Barleywine, Cider Trials, Vanilla Cream Ale, California Blonde
Primary: Cotton Blossom Traditional Mead, 1744 Porter (Ale-ian Society Club Brew), Old Ale
Secondary: Peach Wine, Cranberry Cider
Kegged: Nothing :(
On Tap: Nothing :(
Bottled: Yup still nothing...
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:28 AM   #40
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All things considered though it was a successful brew day. Much better than last week's. I also tried my steamer basket + big grain bag "hop stopper". It does not work very well for pellet hops, because the boil causes the bag to bubble up. I think this would probably work better for whole hops since they will soak up more wort and weigh down the bag. I will test it the next time I use whole hops.
Grab a couple all stainless nuts or something and toss 'em in the bag.
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