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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > anyone consider installing an electric heating element to their BK?
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default anyone consider installing an electric heating element to their BK?

mcmaster makes some nice stainless models for a couple hundred dollars, going into the 1000W range. I only ask because I was reading threads where people where complaining about the cost of propane, the potential for CO production, etc.

A proper strength heating element should bring the wort to a boil as fast as any propane burner, and the whole BK unit is self contained. Also, no ventilation needed.

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Old 05-10-2009, 04:41 PM   #2
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i think quite a lot of people do this, not sure about the "stainless models"

i for one have two 5,500W low density heating elements in my boil kettle.

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Old 05-10-2009, 04:46 PM   #3
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Lots of people are installing elements in their kettles/hlt's lately. Doesn't even have to cost a couple hundred bucks.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/cold...action-118232/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/blin...version-93217/

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Old 05-10-2009, 04:57 PM   #4
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You're looking at stainless immersion heaters, which are extremely expensive. Take a look at replacement water heater elements. You can get nearly 6,000W for under $30. For a 5-7 gallon boil kettle, you're going to want somewhere around 4,000W or more.

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Old 05-10-2009, 10:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
You're looking at stainless immersion heaters, which are extremely expensive. Take a look at replacement water heater elements. You can get nearly 6,000W for under $30. For a 5-7 gallon boil kettle, you're going to want somewhere around 4,000W or more.
after posting, i did a little searching and found people saying that a 120VAC heater (regardless of wattage) is not powerful enough to boil 5-7gal. Is this true, would I need a 240VAC?
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:22 PM   #6
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You will need about 3000-3500W... that means 240VAC.

MANY people mount these in thier BKs, I have a thread on installing mine.

My HERMS will run an entire brew session for $1.18 in electricity.

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Old 05-11-2009, 12:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
You will need about 3000-3500W... that means 240VAC.

.
2, 2000w, 120v elements work pretty well for me? Sure you need 2, 20 amp 120 v circuits.

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Old 05-11-2009, 12:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
You will need about 3000-3500W... that means 240VAC.

MANY people mount these in thier BKs, I have a thread on installing mine.

My HERMS will run an entire brew session for $1.18 in electricity.
How long does it take to get 6gal to a boil (from sparge temp).
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krausenmustache View Post
How long does it take to get 6gal to a boil (from sparge temp).
Okay, well you can use (2) 2000W elements... I use 5500W ULWD elements. You are looking to use 2000W elements. With 4000W it will take 14 minutes to reach a boil. With 5500W I can get 8 gallons to a boil in 13 minutes.

Keep in mind that 4000W is plenty, and it is always good to have a way to throttle the element to a lower setting. This is why people use PIDs with a manual output mode.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krausenmustache View Post
How long does it take to get 6gal to a boil (from sparge temp).
5gal (the absolute max starting volume in my small batch system) takes about 20 minutes to go from sparge to boil with a single 2KW 120V element in the boil kettle.
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