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Old 02-26-2009, 09:07 AM   #1
Dec 2008
Posts: 279
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I have built a brew kettle with a 220v - 5500w water heater element.

After my trial run with water for 90min rapid boil,
all goes well , boils rapidly I lost like 1 1/2 gal evaporation. (element was covered at all times)

I drain the pot and notice element has powered white stuff on it ... lots of it - and a residue on the bottom of the pot. - It's pure white

My first thoughts are its calcium / mineral deposits.

but I'm worried its electrolysis and its micro sized metal powder all over in my pot.

Any ideas? I'm going to go take a photo and post it.

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Old 02-26-2009, 09:34 AM   #2
Dec 2008
Posts: 279
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here's a photo.

here is the larger photo:

100_4539_copy - HomeBrewTalk Gallery

I cleaned a section of the element with a wash cloth to check it out the dark section on the element is where i removed the deposit.

Is this normal? I have never seen a water heater element outside of a water heater.
Will the powder affect the beer / is it safe to brew in?
any help would be greatly appreciated.

(also note: I'm using local water - pushed threw a 5 micron carbon house filter)

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Old 02-26-2009, 01:36 PM   #3
The Pol
Feb 2007
Posts: 11,454
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Mine does the same... the beer tastes great... Id not be too worried.

How would you get electrolysis... wouldnt you need to actually have CURRENT in your wort? There is no current or electrical charge in your wort just because you are using an electric heating element. I may be way off, but I dont think so.

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Old 02-26-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
Dec 2006
Hudson, WI
Posts: 747
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Those are calcium salts that precipitate out of solution when you boil your water. No worries.

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Old 02-26-2009, 02:30 PM   #5
illin8's Avatar
Apr 2008
South County, RI
Posts: 444
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How did you build the element? What did it cost you? How do you control it?
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
Jan 2009
Boise, ID
Posts: 728
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I imagine you'll need to clean those deposits off periodically or they might impact heat transfer. I know with dishwashers you can mix white vinegar and water and let it soak for a while and they will dissolve (we have hard water in my area).
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