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Old 12-05-2009, 12:10 AM   #1
sanch
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Default gas + electric elements ?

I am building my rig for all grain and have been thinking of adding some electric water heater elements to my boil pot and hlt, i would like to use a pid controller as a thermostat but would not mind an on/off switch depending on the cost and difficulty. i am mainly looking to cut down on bringing to boil times so on/off is is ok in my book i can add a controller later. can you add an element to a gas fired keggle? i plan on two 5500w elements per pot + the existing 170,000 btu burners. the elements will be parallel to each other about 6 in apart coupled in from the back of the keggle i have commercial three phase power to my house and shop so i can run all at once if i need to, though i dont think i will need to. I want to leave the gas burners in place mainly for portability reasons, it seems electric is more efficient and cheaper to run and if i have to turn the gas on to speed things up I have that option. i dont have much experience with the electric stuff so i thought id ask you guys before i start experimenting.

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Old 12-05-2009, 02:11 AM   #2
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The electrical connections on the elements will not likely hold up to the heat of the gas burner that escapes around the pot. You might be able to create a skirt/shield... I am building an electric rig and plan on making the elements removable so I can use gas if I want.

Ed

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Old 12-05-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Assuming you shield the wires from the flame are you sure you have 240 available? That's not terribly common with 3-phase. If you have 208 that works but your 5500 watts becomes 4100 watts. If you have 277 you'll want to choose an appropriate element.

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Old 12-05-2009, 02:30 PM   #4
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two of the three hot wires required for three phase become 240v i will test it to check the exact voltage but it works fine on all my 240v machines

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Old 12-05-2009, 03:51 PM   #5
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This doesn't make sense at all. You are using 170K BTU burners and want to get to at boil faster? Why? I think the 170K BTU burners will just melt the insulation off of the wires going to the element.

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Old 12-05-2009, 03:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanch View Post
i am mainly looking to cut down on bringing to boil times... i plan on two 5500w elements per pot + the existing 170,000 btu burners.
Good lord thats a lot of power to one keggle. I would think one element would suffice, unless you need to go from sparge to boil in 5 minutes. To gas fire an electric keggle you would have to shield the electric components on the outside of the keg.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:18 AM   #7
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how long does one 5500 w element take to boil 10 gal i have seen a calculation somewhere and cant find it now? i would like to be able to use only electric but keep the gas if i want to be portable or when i am especially impatient. electric rigs just seem more efficient and cost effective.

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Old 12-11-2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
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how long does one 5500 w element take to boil 10 gal i have seen a calculation somewhere and cant find it now?
Using electric:

from 70 -> boil = 40 minutes
from 170 (mash-out) -> boil = 12 minutes

I'm moving up to 10 gallon batches (13 gallon pre-boil) using a 4500W element -- just over 20 minutes from mash-out to boil. Only tested with water, but wort shouldn't be much different.

BTW: I have a spreadsheet, but can't find the original source of it for the calculations.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:29 PM   #9
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i'm just about done my electric assist kettle.

i've got a 10 gallon pot which strattles two burners on my stove and has about 2-3 inches over hang past the cage surrounding the burner.

i can easily hold my hand next to the pot here for as long as the pot is boiling without getting any heat from the burners below (the 212 degree pot on the other hand is monkeyloving hot).

so i'm mounting the element at the 3.5 gallon point on the pot -- since i only need the element to assist on 5 gallon batches, i can still do half batches easily in this pot as well without worrying about the element being uncovered.

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Old 12-11-2009, 09:53 PM   #10
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Dude, I go up 5+ degrees a minute with one 5500 watt element. If you want it quicker than that buy a six pack!

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