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Old 05-06-2009, 06:01 PM   #1
BradN
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Default Another Electric Question

I just got my keggle. I would like to add a water heater element some day.

I will only use this for boiling water/wort.

I will not be using AG (at least not for a long time)

95% of the batches will be 5 gallon / 5% maybe 10 gallon.

Do not want switches, PID's, SSR's, ect....

Do I use one 4500w +/- ultra low density 240V element with a GFCI (that runs at 100%, 100% of the time)?

Or, do I use two 120v 2000w high density elements (can unplug one if needed)?

What would be the best senerio for my situation?

Thanks in advance

Brad

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Old 05-06-2009, 07:17 PM   #2
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For five gallons, I think 2, 2000w elements would be best. Use both prior to boil, then just use one to maintain boil. 4500w will be a bit too much for 6.5 gallons boiling.

I use 2, 2000 w elements in a pot w/ good success for 5 and 7.75 gal batches, a keggle might rob more heat and need more watts?

What power do you have available?

For 5 gallon extract batches, one 2000w element might possibly work, might be painfully slow to get to boil though...up to you.

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Old 05-06-2009, 07:25 PM   #3
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I turn my 5500 down to 65% ( 3500 ) for a nice rolling boil. I'd look at two of those.

The power available is important. It will take a little to get there off of 120.

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Old 05-06-2009, 09:43 PM   #4
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I've brewed on a friend's electric RIG and when we reached boil, we only ran one 3000W element. It sure wasn't as vigorous as with gas but then... many member (me include) of our brewing club find his beer pretty good! Nobody complains... I believe he regularly brew 10 gallons batch and boil only with one 3000W element when he reach boil.

My idea on vigor of boil with electric elements is that you might be able to boil 12-13 gallons of wort with only a single 1000W 240V element but it may take long to reach that boil. On the other hand if you have a 10 gallons capable RIG with 3 4500W elements, you'll reach boiling temperature in minimal time and get a similar vigorous boil as with gas... and waisting a lot of electricity IMHO.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that for brewing, one only need the boil to be vigorous enough to mix the wort around the kettle... no?!

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Old 05-06-2009, 10:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradN View Post
I just got my keggle. I would like to add a water heater element some day.

I will only use this for boiling water/wort.

I will not be using AG (at least not for a long time)

95% of the batches will be 5 gallon / 5% maybe 10 gallon.

Do not want switches, PID's, SSR's, ect....

Do I use one 4500w +/- ultra low density 240V element with a GFCI (that runs at 100%, 100% of the time)?

Or, do I use two 120v 2000w high density elements (can unplug one if needed)?

What would be the best senerio for my situation?

Thanks in advance

Brad
When you say that don't want PIDs or SSRs, what are you losing is the ability to adjust the power output from the element. Is it the cost involved, or is just the complexity?

You can go with a big element, but then it may be too much at 100% for the small batches. A 2000 watt element (which is what I currently) have, works fine when you have the lid covered, but the second you remove the lid, the temp drops a few degrees.

If it were me, and you were deadset against using any type of automated control, get something like a 3500/240v element for your small batches and then a 4500 or even a 5500 for your larger batches. Assuming you are going weldless for the elements, you can simply put in which ever element suits the batch size.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HomebrewJeff View Post
When you say that don't want PIDs or SSRs, what are you losing is the ability to adjust the power output from the element. Is it the cost involved, or is just the complexity?

You can go with a big element, but then it may be too much at 100% for the small batches. A 2000 watt element (which is what I currently) have, works fine when you have the lid covered, but the second you remove the lid, the temp drops a few degrees.

If it were me, and you were deadset against using any type of automated control, get something like a 3500/240v element for your small batches and then a 4500 or even a 5500 for your larger batches. Assuming you are going weldless for the elements, you can simply put in which ever element suits the batch size.
Mostly the complexity. I think it would be different if there was a kit & all I had to do was drill a hole or two & plug in the components.

Everytime I try to read a thread on "how-to" my eyes glaze over & I give up.

I plan on using propane for a while. Maybe by the time I go electric I will have the patients & knowledge to go the "controlled" route. Don't get me wrong, I would prefer the 240v with controls, I have the power for it.

Thanks,

Brad
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