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Old 06-29-2009, 04:02 PM   #1
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Default E-HLT questions.

I am working on plans for a Electric HLT using a 2000W 120v element, and had a few questions before I start to order/purchase parts.

1. Is a PID really necessary if I am only going to heat sparge water? I will not be boiling, or recirculating mash or anything, just heating strike/sparge water. I know I will not be able to turn it on and walk away without some form of temperature control, but I am ok with that.

2. On the same note, with only heating water, will it make a differance whether I get a low or high density element?


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Old 06-29-2009, 04:35 PM   #2
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I guess technically it isn't necessary, but for an extra 50 bucks (johnson controls on ebay) your system becomes significantly better....

I made one based off this design, and absolutely love it...
Wort-O-Matic: The Electric HLT (or how I built a water heater in a cooler))


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Old 06-29-2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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Right. You could manually switch on and off but one of the biggest benefits to an E-HLT is the ability to set and hold a temp. Get yourself a controller and you'll love it. It doesn't have to be PID. Anything setup for heating (close on fall type contacts), an adequate amp rating, and a temp range that accepts 150-180ish temps will work for you.

High density is fine for water.
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:34 PM   #4
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Yeah the best thing about an E-HLT is the ability to set-it and forget it... I like to get up at like 6-7 am, set my water, go back to bed and when i get up, i can start up my mash... I have heard of some people using a timer, so it automatically turns on at a certain hour...
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
High density is fine for water.
Has the "high density will scorch your wort" idea been put to bed?

I thought it had. Wasn't there a write up about that?

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Old 06-30-2009, 03:24 PM   #6
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I don't know. Since the question was about an HLT, I hadn't considered wort at all. I know nothing about scorching with an element.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:44 PM   #7
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I made one and love it for maintaining temperature. Here's a link to my project. However, now I am leaning over to a flash boiler and doing away with the HLT altogether. Takes a while to get up to temperature just using the element, but keeps it constant once there. I mounted mine vertically, so I really have to watch my water level so I don't burn out the element.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input, I have gleaned over several different setups over the last few days, Wort-O-Matic, Wortmungers, Pols, etc. Tons of great info.

At this point I plan on using a Johnson A419 to control the HLT. I will be running it through a control panel, that will have master kill (maybe), pump and HLT switches and outlets.

I am also leaning on using a second cooler, for cost and efficiency purposes.

I already have a 20amp 120v dedicated outlet right at my brewing area and I built my 2 tier last week. So I'm thinking next month for this part of the build.


Thanks again for all the great info!
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:35 PM   #9
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Good thread with good to the point answers. I've been looking for similar answers but have been reading wrong threads and asking the wrong questions a apparently.
Good to know Low Density is not needed for water. I have my 10G cooler. Now just need Element, Ranco, and a GFCI Outlet.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:22 PM   #10
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The only other thing I think is a nice addition is a float switch if you can find one cheap. It should energize the circuit to the controller only when the water is at the height of the top of the element. That guarantees that you don't run it dry.


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