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Old 06-10-2010, 12:44 AM   #1
Gwitz
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Default Electric brewing

I found some 4500 watt elements locally for 12.50. Iv done some rough calculations and the heating times for 10 gallon AG brewing is acceptable. Using hotwater from the tap, 10 minutes to get my mash water, 20 for sparge, 25 to go from 70C to boiling. Again its very rough, im figuring a 30% heat loss in there as well through stainless keg walls and evap. So my main issue is, will 4500 watts be to much for a rolling boil without any kind of controller? If its to much, Im considering installing two elements in the BK, one smaller and turning the bigger one off once iv reached a rolling boil.

Im hoping to get some advice from people with similar heating power to confirm my predictions. Thanks for your input.


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Old 06-10-2010, 12:47 AM   #2
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For boiling, I don't think a 4500 w element is too much but it might be on the cusp. I use a 5500 w element, and I do turn it down to 75% after the hot break but I have run it at full blast when I wanted to boil off more wort. The keggle is literally rocking a bit, and it boils off over 2 gallons in an hour, though.


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Old 06-10-2010, 01:02 AM   #3
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That's encouraging, thanks yoop. Am I pretty close on my heating times? That's assuming I have 81% the power of you.
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwitz View Post
That's encouraging, thanks yoop. Am I pretty close on my heating times? That's assuming I have 81% the power of you.
I don't know. I've never started with hot water, always with tap water. My HLT only has a 1500 W element, and it takes 90 minutes to take 9 gallons from 45 F to 180 F.

I know that my friend has a chart on his kegerator for this- he's an engineer, so I just ask him questions like yours! (You can shoot him a PM- lschiavo is his HBT name. He's great at helping me with stuff like this!)
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:30 AM   #5
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i have a 5500 in my hlt, i can bring 4-5 gallon to a boil in less than 15minutes. 4500 should be plenty
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:55 PM   #6
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4500W will do. It's been so long since I ran mine at 4500 I am having a hard time remembering the times exactly. But for 10 gal I want to say the numbers may be a little longer than you're working out. I would at least wrap the keg in something like reflectix (on the cheap) or some silicone foam mat from mcmaster. You'd be surprised (maybe not) how much difference a lid makes. I use a circle of reflectix when I need to heat things in a hurry. So You can squeeze a lot of performance out of a 4500W element if you wanted to.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:37 PM   #7
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I use two 2000 watt elements. It takes a little over 20 minutes to bring my wort to boil from about 150*F. I leave one element on during the boil, and cycle the other off and on as needed to keep the boil jumping.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:17 PM   #8
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There is a spread sheet in the thread linked below that should answer your questions on time. I'm building my rig now so can't comment on the times from experience but from what I've read this spread sheet seems to fall in line with what others have reported. I'm going with the 5500 element and a PID. Best of luck, hope to see some pics of your build.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ok-i...84/index2.html


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