I just bought a 5500W ULW ripple element.
I do BIAB and break down and store my brewing stuff every time I brew. I don't have a stand or semi-permanent place to brew. For this reason I'm seriously looking into mounting my element in a heat-stick. However, they look ghetto to me, with too much potential to leak (see what I did there).
If I just install the element permanently, then there has to be a 30 foot big cord hanging off my keggle all the time. I don't think I would like this for cleaning and since I break down my brewery and stash it in the shed every time I brew.
1) Install the element permanently with a short pigtail, or use a box with a receptacle, which means I have to buy 2 extra plugs. Also, I still have to deal with at least a pigtail or an outlet box hanging hanging off my keggle, which I would worry about getting when when I hose my stuff down.
2) Solder on a locknut, and manually screw the element into the keggle every time I brew. I imagine I will have to pre-twist the cord up so that when I screw the element in, the cord will be untwisted. Then when I'm done brewing, I can just screw it back out for cleaning. My question is, how hard is it to work these ripple elements out through the 1" fitting? And how many turns does it take to tighten one in? Is this something that is easy enough to do every time or am I creating more headaches?