Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > HLT w/Electric Element Assist?
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:06 AM   #1
jpalarchio
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Default HLT w/Electric Element Assist?

Currently I brew with two 10 gallons coolers and a propane-fired converted keg.

I heat up the water for my mash in the brew kettle, pump it to the MLT as I stir in the grains. During the mash, I heat my sparge water in the kettle and pump to the HLT and then pump to the MLT as I fly sparge.

This works okay as long as I compensate for the temperature drop when I pump (about 20 degrees). I generally try to error on the high side as I can cool the water down but raising the temperature is obviously not as easy.

I'm considering adding an electric element to my HLT so I can bring up the temperature a bit if needed. I would like to stay 120v which I hope will work as I probably don't need that large of an element.

Would something as simple as this "bucket heater" work?

I've seen a few people mention this product but no one seems to have commented on it's use.

I have concern about melting the cooler and if I don't have to worry about making sure I shut off the element when the HLT is empty, even better. Ideally I would want something mounted permanently so I could keep the lid on the HLT.


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Old 05-11-2009, 03:45 AM   #2
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I think you'd do better with a water heater element installed directly into the wall of the cooler because it's going to be at least $100 less than a portable bucket heater. It will help the heating along and you can run it on a controller to hold your temps once you hit them.


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Old 05-11-2009, 03:46 AM   #3
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Do it with a water heater element for like $25.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:12 PM   #4
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A simple 10 dollar water heater element will heat your strike and mash water. Put it on a timer and it will be ready when you are.

If you are looking for simple plug and play, the bucket heater will work great. I think they are only 1000 watts, but given time it will work fine. Again a timer might be nice as it will take 2-3 (guess) hours for 8-10 gallons tap - strike temp.

yes i realize you're only looking to maintain sparge temp., but i'm guessing once you see how easy and simple an electric HLT is, you won't look back..

Yes, I think that is fine for use in a cooler. Very simple and inexpensive at 40 bucks.

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Old 05-11-2009, 12:22 PM   #5
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If you use a 1500W element, in a 10 gallon cooler. You will get 1F per minute rise in temp. If you need to get 110F rise for strike, it will take 110 minutes.

When using these elements, it is imperative to create a SOLID and WATER TIGHT INSULATED seal around the connections at the cooler. Id pot it in a dielectric epoxy if I were you.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
Id pot it in a dielectric epoxy if I were you.

Do you have an example of the type of stuff you would use?
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxdcmast View Post
Do you have an example of the type of stuff you would use?
This is ONE way, this is how I built mine. Works great, lasts a long time.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/blin...version-93217/
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpalarchio View Post
Would something as simple as this "bucket heater" work?

I've seen a few people mention this product but no one seems to have commented on it's use.
I bought one at the tractor supply store; they are about ~$35 after tax.

Used it once, and returned it. I was using my stovetop with the heater to assist the cooktop. Even as an "assist" on ~6.5gallons it was painfully slow to go from 90F tap water to ~160 for strike water.

That was my experience, so I returned it. Buy a 1500-2000w water heater element and mount it yourself (while safely potting it as mentioned earlier) for the same price (or cheaper) than a bucket heater with much better performance.

...


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