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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Bucket Heater for Elec HLT
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:41 PM   #11
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It does not work. It warmed my water to around 140,
limulus...Just curious, what type of container were you heating in? lid?
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:18 PM   #12
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FYI, I just bought one and use it to heat my HLT. The HLT is a 50 qt Marine Ice Cube cooler. I have it on a timer and fill the HLT the night before I brew.

Here's some data:

1. I initially tested it out with 10 gallons of 44 F tap water in the cooler. The power cord kept the lid from closing completely during the test. I wanted to do some testing before boring a hole through the lid for the power cord. I could heat the water at a rate of 30 deg per hour which isn't very fast, but I don't care as that's what the timer is for. It got to 185 F and I shut it down, but it was continuing to heat. I think it would make it to boiling if given more time. It may be able to heat at a faster rate with the lid fully closed. A lot of heat was escaping that could have been retained. This could make a significant difference. I will test again and report back.

2. Next I used it for an actual brew session and it worked just fine. I heated another 10 gallons in the HLT and used part of this as my strike water cooling it some by blending with cold tap water. I had set the timer for 4:30 AM and I started brewing at about 10:00 AM. I need to do another test now that I have the hole bored in the lid and can close it fully. This will give me a better handle on how fast I can heat the water.

3. The automatic shut off feature is intended to shut the heater off should it run dry. The shutoff is above the boiling point of water, so as long as you have a well insulated vessel, you should be able to reach boiling temperatures if you allow enough time.

4. The Bucket Heater is rated at 1,000 watts which IIRC would draw about 10 amps. The point is that you will need a heavy duty three-prong type timer that can handle the high amperage. An ordinary two-prong lamp timer won't cut it. Home Depot has the heavy duty timers for about $11.00, so they are not very expensive or hard to find.

Bottom line is that it works very well so long as you allow enough time and the key to that is planning ahead and using a timer. Keep in mind that you will want to use a heavy duty extension cord for this also.

I give the Bucket Heater a thumbs up.

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Old 02-18-2010, 11:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for the feedback catt22! I think I've got some b-day cash headed my way, and I'm trying to figure out how to best use some of it for brewery upgrades!

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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
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What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:02 AM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback catt22! I think I've got some b-day cash headed my way, and I'm trying to figure out how to best use some of it for brewery upgrades!
Glad to be of some assistance. I just filled the HLT with 44 F tap water for another test run. I am monitoring the temp with a digital thermocouple thermometer and I started a timer to keep track of the heating rate. I need this info myself for future brews. I have a hole bored through the lid for the power cord and a thermowell installed for the temp probe. I probably won't take it all the way to boiling as I am mostly interested in the rate. I'll let it go for three or four hours and see where it's at. That should yield an approximate rate per hour capability in the insulated HLT.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:22 AM   #15
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By all means Catt22, let us know the time it takes for you.

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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:42 AM   #16
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So, what does this thing cost?

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Hey, knock that shvt off. We're drinkin' here.

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Old 02-19-2010, 12:44 AM   #17
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By all means Catt22, let us know the time it takes for you.
You can easily calculate the time using a simple formula as well.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:45 AM   #18
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arturo7, about 30 bucks. Pol, got a link to the formula?

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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:45 AM   #19
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So, what does this thing cost?
Typically $40
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
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arturo7, about 30 bucks. Pol, got a link to the formula?
Well 1BTU will raise a pound of water 1F in one hour. 1kW is 3412 BTUs if memory serves. I use a simple spreadsheet. Give me start and end temp and quantity in gallons and I can tell you in a matter of seconds how long.
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