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Old 05-10-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default It......LIVES!!! Stovezilla is born

I'm making the move to all-grain and trying to get my equipment together. I want to go electric, but I really wasn't happy with the idea of drilling a hole in my kettle and mounting an element, even though a number of people here seem to be perfectly happy with that method. I saw a post by Wayne at Bargain Fittings in which he showed how he had taken three coil elements from an electric stove and mounted them close together so he can get plenty of heat in a small area.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/alte...ml#post1665600

I liked the idea and decided to build my own version of it. I had mentioned this in an earlier post and got a few laughs - someone even called it "Stovezilla" (thanks to "diatonic" for the name). I'll admit that it is not the most efficient method in terms of either time or money, but based on initial testing, I think I'm going to be very happy with it.

I got an old drop-in range top cheap from CL. Whirlpool unit with stainless steel top - 2 2600 watt coils and 2 1500 watt coils.

stovezilla-002w.jpg

I could have built mine like Wayne, but I don't have a welder. I wanted to use the original reflector pans, hoping that would help to concentrate the heat - these pans are mounted in large holes in the top. I could have taken a large piece of steel plate and cut the holes in that, but I don't have a torch or plasma cutter. What I decided to do was to build a frame from one inch and 3/4 inch square steel tubing (screwed together, not welded), use my angle grinder to cut up the stainless top, and screw three of these pieces, containing one large hole and two small holes to the frame. Also, I wanted to use the original control panel and wiring.

stovezilla-004w.jpg
stovezilla-005w.jpg
stovezilla-006w.jpg
stovezilla-010w.jpg

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Old 05-10-2010, 08:08 PM   #2
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So here's the completed unit - I still have to build a stand for this and mount my GFCI panel and emergency stop switch box.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1273522529

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1273522529

stovezilla-011.jpg   stovezilla-014w.jpg  
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:09 PM   #3
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When I first hooked this up, the GFCI kept dropping out - I couldn't find the problem, but I was anxious to find out how well it would heat, so I isolated the frame and burners from ground so I could test it - that's why I have the frame up on bricks inside the box. Of course, I had to be damn sure not to touch anything during the test, as the frame, kettle, and water were all "hot".

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1273522694

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1273522694

Here's a bad out-of focus pic, but it shows how much of the coils extend beyond the edges of my 10 gallon Megapot.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1273522694

The test worked great - 8 gallons of water from 80 degrees F to boiling in 48 minutes, and I could maintain a good rolling boil with the power turned down a bit. The pot was uncovered during the entire heating process and ambient temp was probably about 75 degrees.

Interestingly enough, the next day I reconnected the frame to ground and turned it on and the GFCI did not trip (I only let it go for 10 or 15 minutes, but before the boil test I had only been able to go for a minute or less before the GFCI dropped out). I'm wondering if there was some grease or moisture in the wiring, the insulation internal to the elements, or in the connectors which the elements plug into that was conducting enough electricity to trip the GFCI and that got burned off or evaporated during the test.

Yet to do:

*Make sure the GFCI problem is solved
*Build a stand
*Add some sheet metal to extend further over the edges to help prevent a boilover from leaking into the box, and to cover up the area between the coils and the control knobs.

stovezilla-016w.jpg   stovezilla-017w.jpg   stovezilla-019w.jpg  
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:34 PM   #4
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Well, the pics didn't come out in-line - I couldn't figure how to do that in a Reply - anyone know how to do that?

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Old 05-11-2010, 03:30 AM   #5
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The start of this thread looks like a "Jeffery Dahmer serial killer" attacked that stove. Go for it Steve I bet you'll get some great results plus the price is right. Keep us posted. Carl.

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Old 05-11-2010, 03:56 AM   #6
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I like this.

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Old 05-11-2010, 04:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullenite View Post
I like this.
The added touch of the original stove controls adds "bling" to the project.
No slide was used or injured in this project just a hammer and saw with a vision.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:00 AM   #8
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Stovezilla is catchy, but its really more of a Stovenstein. Or Frankenstove. Or the Range of Frankenstein...

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Old 05-11-2010, 05:18 AM   #9
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I guess you could call it the "Texas Angle Grinder Massacre"

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Old 05-11-2010, 05:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewBeemer View Post
The added touch of the original stove controls adds "bling" to the project.
No slide was used or injured in this project just a hammer and saw with a vision.
Carl - I actually did use a slide rule to figure the angles for the support bars between the coils. Yeah, I'm old-school!
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