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Old 01-09-2010, 05:59 AM   #1
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Default F the BS! HD 5500 BK element Myth Busting

So, another thread had brought up the high density high wattage elements may cause scorching. Well, I was at home depot and found a 5500W HD element for $13. I figured screw it, let's try it.

So, I replaced my 4500 ULWD element with it. Testing the system for leaks now. What I can tell you is this thing is much louder than my old element and heats pretty damn fast. 6.75 gallons from 100 to boiling just at a half hour.

Back to the experiment. I think I am going to brew a batch of Ed's Pale Ale and see how it turns out.

attached is the 4.5kW element next to the 5.5kW element and a pic of the 5.5kW installed. I kind of like the smaller one, the ULWD just touched my pick up at the bottom of the BK.

s5034226.jpg   s5034237.jpg  
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:06 AM   #2
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Get it done CR and you avatar is amazing. every time i look at it all i think is.....

Don't Tell Me Devil Woman!!!!!!!

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Old 01-09-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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Good job Code Rage! I know you and I both have participated in threads where the scortching issue with a High Density Element came up. It is cool to see a real world experiment finally test the myth. You are a home brewing myth buster.

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Old 01-09-2010, 02:49 PM   #4
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Maybe you should start with a porter...
I have only had scorching once. I did two 35 gallon batches of IPA back to back and did not clean the elements in between batches. I sprayed them down with a garden hose and that was it. I got a small amount of scorching during the second batch. You can't taste it in the beer - there was just some scorch on the elements. I have used both LWD and ULWD incoloy heating elements. No problems with either. I even make a single malt pilsener that is paler than pale.
I am anxious to see if you have any scorching. Personally, I am betting that you will not.
What is the HWD element made of? I like the incoloy because there is nothing to flake off into the wort. Chrome plated would worry me a bit.

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:08 PM   #5
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Why do you suggest a porter? I thought something fairly light and not bitter would expose any problems with scorching or extra caramelization.

I usually CIP with some oxyclean at 170 and give it a good rinse. The chrome element in my RIMS seemed to fair okay. I replaced that element with a 1500W element last night. The original element wasn't pretty but I had never noticed any off flavors in the final product.

So my personal prediction will be that everything will be okay.

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:13 PM   #6
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+1 to doing something light, like a blonde. Did you replace your RIMS element with a HD one as well? The 5500w one in the BK looks like it's chrome plated, so cleanup should be pretty easy...and scorching of "residuals" should be minimal, right?

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:29 PM   #7
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Yeah, the RIMS got a 1500W HWD 240v element too.

Before I was running a 4500 LWD 240v element at 120V which made it 4xLWD. Not sure about cleaning the element. I am going to do what I was doing before except trade oxyclean for PBW.

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:44 PM   #8
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If it DOES scorch the wort, would this find a place in a dedicated Scottish Shilling boil kettle...

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:47 PM   #9
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I was joking. If you scorched a porter, it would still be drinkable. Get it? ;-)
Seriously, if you scorch, you will find it on the elements when you are cleaning them but you will likely not see or taste it in the beer. I clearly had scorched protein on my elements but never tasted it in the beer.

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Old 01-09-2010, 04:45 PM   #10
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gotcha! A little tired this morning and slow on the uptake.

I noticed the same thing on my RIMS element.

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"self, going to work on Monday is like knowing you're going to get kicked in the nuts. You just don't know when or by who"
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