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Old 01-05-2012, 01:55 PM   #1
Lancer033
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Default hybrid electric brew kettle

I've got an idea...tell me if I'm being stupid....

I'm currently doing extract brewing in my kitchen. I started out with a smaller pot boiling 3 gallons and adding 2 gallons to make a 5 gallon batch, but my girlfriend got me a 32qt brew kettle for Christmas so i could do full 5 gallon boils. Here's the problem, my stove is old, and it take forever to get 5 gallons of water boiling.

I had the idea of adding an electric heating element to my brew kettle like This, but I live in an apartment and don't have a 240v circuit and don't really want to go through that much trouble, so i'm stuck with normal 120V outlets. I'm assuming that a 120V electric heating element wouldn't pack the punch to get things boiling, so there's no point in that......but what about together?

Rig up a 120V heating element to use as a boost to my crappy stove top?

picture of crappy stove

-------------------------------------------------------

Finally get to follow up on this post

I completed the modifications yesterday and brewed 2 batches with it. Everything went great

here she is in action


inside


outside


Basics
-Brewer's Edge 32-Quart Brewkettle
-Kettlevalve
-3/8" Kettlescreen for Kettlevalve
-Brewer's Edge Weldless Thermometer
Camco 02963 5500W 240V 14-Inch Screw in Lime Life Ripple Element Water Heater

-various other parts listed at The Electric Brewery

I basically followed the instructions from The Electric Brewery except i used a 120V GFCI plug. The only complaint i have is that the cord is too stiff. I'm going to have to replace that. I also want to put some high-temp paint on the outlet box to make it look better

as far as brewing technique, the only issue is that i don't think dumping LME into the pot would work to well, so what i do is heat up 2 gallons in my old kettle and mix in the LME with that and dump it into this pot and brew as normal. Without the heating element, my stove struggled to barely hold a boil. With it, I had the stove turned down to medium.

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Old 01-05-2012, 02:03 PM   #2
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I use a 120V 1500W heatstick to assist my stove. It works great for full boils.

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Old 01-05-2012, 02:30 PM   #3
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i should have done some more reading and searching 1st

How to make a Heat SitckLove Brewing Company
I think I'll modify this design a bit, but that should do it for me.

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Old 01-05-2012, 03:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancer033 View Post
i should have done some more reading and searching 1st

How to make a Heat SitckLove Brewing Company
I think I'll modify this design a bit, but that should do it for me.

Im glad you enjoy, that is my website.

I've actually since modified the design in that i changed the element. The smaller element worked fine for about a year or so, then when i went to make a pumpkin ale the pumpkin during the boil seemed to scorch and adhere itself to the element, thus burning up the element. I've since upgraded to a 240v 5500w ulwd(ultra low watt density) element. It is exactly the same wattage when run on 110v, but since it has a much larger surface area it is much gentler.

Prost!
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:29 PM   #5
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thank you for posting it.

I'm looking at this Camco heating element from amazon

and i was thinking about using a GFI plug instead of having to install a GFI outlet in the kitchen.

have any thoughts on that?

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Old 01-05-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancer033 View Post
thank you for posting it.

I'm looking at this Camco heating element from amazon

and i was thinking about using a GFI plug instead of having to install a GFI outlet in the kitchen.

have any thoughts on that?
Your Kitchen should already be on a GFCI, either at an outlet (just because the outlet your plugging into doesn't look like a GFCI, doesn't mean that the circuit isn't on a GFCI), or at the panel. If it isn't, I'd install a GFCI receptacle just for peace of mind when using other appliances in the Kitchen.

And I'm assuming since you've read other threads, the 220v element you listed won't run at 5,500w on 110.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:28 PM   #7
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I'll double check to be sure about the kitchen, but i'd just like to be extra safe

correct, if i understand correctly it should be 1/4 of the watts at 1/2 the voltage so ~1375w

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Old 01-05-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjncoguyx View Post
Im glad you enjoy, that is my website.

I've actually since modified the design in that i changed the element. I've since upgraded to a 240v 5500w ulwd(ultra low watt density) element. It is exactly the same wattage when run on 110v, but since it has a much larger surface area it is much gentler.

Prost!
To clarify, you can run 240v on a 110v outlet?
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:21 PM   #9
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No, but you are ran a 240v heating element off 120volts, it just produces less watts and less heat.

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Old 01-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #10
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Running a 240V element on 120V puts out 1/4 the wattage. So a 5500W element puts out 1125W. Better to run a 120V 1500W element, as you get more power!

Also, that camco ripp element is frigging huge...sure it'll even fit in your pot?

For ease of handling and use, I'd suggest much smaller.
Amazon High density element: http://www.amazon.com/Camco-2143-150...5795153&sr=1-2

Plumbing Supply Elements, including Low Density and Extra Low Density Incoly: Electric water heater elements, thermostats and faq's - PlumbingSupply.com

Get one of those, much better.

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