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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Electric Boil Kettle with Hop Sack and Chiller
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:53 PM   #1
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Default Electric Boil Kettle with Hop Sack and Chiller

I am 95% sure i want to make an electric BK using a 5500W Ripple stick.

my bk is wider than it is tall, 24" diameter by 22" tall, meaning i need all the depth i can get.

However, before i go drilling a hole in my BK, I have a couple issues:

1) How will having a heating element impact my hop sack. I use a 5 gallon nylon paint strainer to contain my hops during the boil... something tells me that having nylon draped over a hot rod will create a problem.

2) I have an immersion chiller that i put in with 15 minutes to go, the way i figure it, i would have to spread two of the coils and slide the element between them..... not ideal given my aversion to burning my hands.

What do you guys think, am i misssing something here?

oh... I don't want to just dump my hops in, and i like my chiller and don't particularly want a counterflow chiller.

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Old 06-17-2009, 06:46 PM   #2
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2) I have an immersion chiller that i put in with 15 minutes to go, the way i figure it, i would have to spread two of the coils and slide the element between them..... not ideal given my aversion to burning my hands.
I'm trying to figure that one out, too. My chiller is only 20', I may just break down and do a longer one, with a bend to accommodate the element.

Though, I have to get around to adding the element, first.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:12 PM   #3
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False bottom over element? Sets a base for chiller and protects hop filter sack.

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Old 06-17-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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False bottom over element? Sets a base for chiller and protects hop filter sack.
That will likely result in scorched wort since the heat dispersion rate will be reduced above the false bottom.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
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That will likely result in scorched wort since the heat dispersion rate will be reduced above the false bottom.
How about a false bottom with very large holes, which would basically just be a platform for the chiller to sit on? That would allow wort to flow freely. And use an ULD element.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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I am 95% sure i want to make an electric BK using a 5500W Ripple stick.
Good choice.

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Originally Posted by sjlammer View Post
1) How will having a heating element impact my hop sack. I use a 5 gallon nylon paint strainer to contain my hops during the boil... something tells me that having nylon draped over a hot rod will create a problem.
It won't cause a problem unless the nylon somehow becomes entangled in the heating element. The heat current coming from the element will tend to push the bag away from the element.

If you're still worried about it, build a small frame from CPVC to suspend the bag above the heating element.

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2) I have an immersion chiller that i put in with 15 minutes to go, the way i figure it, i would have to spread two of the coils and slide the element between them..... not ideal given my aversion to burning my hands.
Build a counterflow or buy a plate heat exchanger. Sounds like you already have the copper, just wrap it in a garden hose and solder the fittings. And, despite your aversion (for whatever reason), a plate/counterflow chiller is the most practical solution to your problem.

Edit: You can buy a SS 304 25 plate heat exchanger for $67. Way more efficient than an immersion chiller.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:49 PM   #7
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I've wrestled with the same issues. I wanted to continue to use the hop sack (PVC Coupling/hanging kind) but instead I put the hops in the boil and filter on the way out. I do use a CFC which I'm OK with.

I may try an experiment with water only and the hop sack, if it doesn't get melted in a 60 minute water boil, it probably will work with beer. Just need something to approximate hops that doesn't cost as much as hops.

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:17 AM   #8
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I currently use a pvc thingy (its a 4" diameter pvc toiliet flange to be exact) to suspend the bag, but i subscribe to muphys law... if something can go wrong, it will. My luck, the bag will be loaded with 20 dollars in hops for a magnificent IPA, and will get roasted by the element.

I think i already know the answer to this because it will f-up the normal convection in the pot, but could i bend the ripple stick to go around teh edge of the pot, leaving a nice fat spot in the middle of the pot to put the chiller and hop sack?

I know im just being a baby about it, but i just finished making my chiller and hop sock holder, and i am both proud of them, and i like the way my system works (albeit, not the part where it takes 2 hours to reach a pittance of a boil on the stove)

I am not opposed to trying to bend a horseshoe chiller...

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjlammer View Post
I am 95% sure i want to make an electric BK using a 5500W Ripple stick.

my bk is wider than it is tall, 24" diameter by 22" tall, meaning i need all the depth i can get.

However, before i go drilling a hole in my BK, I have a couple issues:

1) How will having a heating element impact my hop sack. I use a 5 gallon nylon paint strainer to contain my hops during the boil... something tells me that having nylon draped over a hot rod will create a problem.

2) I have an immersion chiller that i put in with 15 minutes to go, the way i figure it, i would have to spread two of the coils and slide the element between them..... not ideal given my aversion to burning my hands.

What do you guys think, am i misssing something here?

oh... I don't want to just dump my hops in, and i like my chiller and don't particularly want a counterflow chiller.

That's a HUGE brew kettle - according to my calculations*, it has a capacity of 43 gallons! I don't know what size boils you are doing, but if you're only making 5 or 10 gallon batches, the obvious solution is to use a smaller kettle to avoid losing so much heat due to the surface area of the kettle - or at least find a way to insulate your kettle.

*Somebody check my math - volume of a cylinder 24 inches in diameter and 22 inches tall is 9953 cubic inches = 5.76 cubic feet. At 7.5 gallons per cubic foot, that's 43.2 gallons
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:56 PM   #10
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I can't remember the exact dimensions.... maybe 22 x 18.... all I know is it is big! 16.25 gallons.

I hope to be able to do about 12 gallons finished volume when im all set and done, that way i can brew with my dad, and have him just take a bucket of pitched wort home with him.

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On Deck: Spruce APA, Chambord Fortified Chocolate Porter, Imperial IPA

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Primary:
Secondary: Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Conical:
Lagering: None
Kegged/Drinking: Cascade, Cent., Amarillo Pale Ale
Kegged/Drinking: Belgian Pale Ale (HG yeast for yeast cropping see above)
Bottled: ESB
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