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Old 01-07-2011, 07:03 AM   #1
eric_pwb
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Mar 2009
Regina, Saskatchewan
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I have been kit brewing for about 4 years now, and I have decided to make the jump to all grain. I have been lurking around here for about a year reading up on all grain brewing, and have just recently decided to start looking into equipment.

I have decided to go with a cooler based mash tun and an electric brew kettle, as I consider propane to be a PITA for my situation. I am well versed in the field of combining electricity and water, as I build in-ground swimming pools and install spas for a living.

My question is, is there any reason that I should consider converting an actual kettle or stock pot, over converting a 1/2bbl keg, as I know that I can get a legally obtained keg decommissioned keg on the cheap, and have it cut and welded for a couple of cases of homebrew.

I intend on doing only 5 gallon batches, and there will likely be some big beers brewed with this equipment. Also I intend to be able to run on only 115V, likely 2 or 3 15A circuits, as I really don't think the landlord would like me to re-wire my apartment.

Thanks,
Eric

 
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:12 AM   #2
samc
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Aug 2008
Portland OR
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If you absolutely know you will never do more than 5 gallon batches I'd skip the keggle. They are heavy, cumbersome and harder to clean than a regular kettle. I curse every time I have to clean those beasts.

Pool spa heater, I remember the one I had for my pool, that would be an awesome set up for a HLT. That thing was a monster heater. I guess it wouldn't fly in an apartment however.

 
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:57 PM   #3
P-J
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Mar 2010
Charlotte, NC
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Eric,

Some questions for you. Do you have a washer/dryer setup in your apartment? Do you have an electric stove in your apartment? (Re: the stove - I'm referring to a free standing stove, not a cook top and a wall oven.) If you have either of these available you can easily go electric.

Let us know.

 
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
SweetSounds
 
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Jan 2010
Des Moines, Iowa
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+1 for finding a 240v circuit in the apartment. It allows you to be far more flexible in your design.

A 15 amp circuit limits you to 1500 watt elements, and even with just 5 gallon batches, that's going to be pretty slow with less than 2 or 3. Though I've never used a heat stick, I would imagine that 3 of them in a 10 gallon pot would be a pain to keep out of your way. You could, however, hard mount 2 or 3 in a single pot to get around that.

If you do have a 240v 30 amp circuit available you can go as high as 6000 watts at one time - This will shorten your brew day quite a bit.

If you do want to build for just 5 gallons, I would recommend a regular pot as 15 gallon kegs are going to have quite a bit of waste due to the shape of the bottom of the kettle and trub. It's more negligible in a 10 gallon batch.
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What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!

 
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:23 PM   #5
conpewter
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Depending on how you want to do the drain a keggle can be very nice. My plan for the next brewery is a bottom drain using the Tri-Clamp valve on the top of the keg, will be cutting the bottom out flush with the sides.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:15 PM   #6
XXguy
 
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Dec 2008
Southeastern PA
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I'll just throw this in - if you're convinced you want to stick with 110V - consider taking a peek at Jkarp's countertop setup. You might not get 5 gallon batches out of it, but I think for an apartment sized 110V setup, it's about as slick as it gets.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/coun...1/#post1476569

 
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:12 AM   #7
bf514921
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Dec 2009
Central City
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mine is plugged into the dryer outlet, runs my 5500 watt element and pid just fine.

 
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:54 AM   #8
eric_pwb
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Mar 2009
Regina, Saskatchewan
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Thanks for the input everyone.

I had previously considered 240v, as I do have an electric range on a 40A breaker(not GFCI), but the thought of ultimate mobility somehow ended up in my mind where I could travel and use to separate 15A circuits to do the job. However after considering the advice from here I will likely go with 240v from my range plug, as I want to build everything to have the ability to do 10 gallon batches when and if the mood strikes. In which case it seems that the keg is a pretty cost effective way to start.

Thanks again,

Eric

 
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:47 AM   #9
milldoggy
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Mar 2008
Pottstown, Pa
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If you have a 30amp, you can use one of these power cables, it has the GFCI built in and it is 17', not a bad deal. I made an offer of 60 and got it for 66.

http://cgi.ebay.com/30A-Ground-Fault...item5196f7b278
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:41 AM   #10
samc
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Aug 2008
Portland OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milldoggy View Post
If you have a 30amp, you can use one of these power cables, it has the GFCI built in and it is 17', not a bad deal. I made an offer of 60 and got it for 66.

http://cgi.ebay.com/30A-Ground-Fault...item5196f7b278
I'd be curious to know if these things a really a quality item. Not an area where I want to save a few $$$ and find out it didn't work. Did this item trip and save anybody from frying? We need a tester!

 
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