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Old 02-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
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Default mounting heater element driectly into brew kettle?

Would it be possible to install an electric hot water heating element through the side of my brew kettle? I have a slightly under-powered propane burner, but I'd like to avoid all the sealing issues associated with a heatstick. Could I install the element through the kettle wall, similar to the way it is installed in a water heater? Then the waterproof seal would be on the inner wall of the kettle, with the electrical connections on the outside. It would be nice to have a short pigtail electrical cord to plug/unplug so I can wash the kettle.


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Old 02-20-2011, 05:28 PM   #2
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Yes it is possible. Lots of people use utility boxes on the outside to keep the electrical connections un-exposed.

Do a search for E-kettle or "element" and you will find many threads on this. Heres a good example: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/e-ke...lement-181266/


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Old 02-21-2011, 06:57 PM   #3
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I see references to a pass-through fitting sold at BargianFittings.com, but I can't find anything for a heater element on their website. What connection do I need to seal through the wall of my kettle?
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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I would be very wary of doing it for use with a burner. Having the electric wire that far down on the pot is asking for melting.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:27 PM   #5
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also is there a cheap PID controller I can wire into this element to set a desired water temperature?
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnio View Post
I would be very wary of doing it for use with a burner. Having the electric wire that far down on the pot is asking for melting.
is there some fire-proof insulation I could use to keep heat in the kettle, as well as protecting the electrical wire? Kaowool is used in wood-fired ovens and kiln applications...
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:25 PM   #7
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Here's how mine was done. I had a welder put a 1" half couple through the side of the kettle. I can then thread the element through that with a steel box around it. Very easy to take apart too if you ever need to replace it.



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Old 02-22-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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I'd normally say go for it, but it sounds like you still want to use the propane heater as well?

If so, I'd say just sell the propane heater on Craigslist and get yourself a better burner. You'd save yourself a lot of hassles of heat shielding and such.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:05 PM   #9
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^ that is a nice clean build. I'd prefer to not do any welding - is there a weldless bulkhead that I could screw the element into?

The propane burner I'm using is the side-burner of my grill, so I'm not getting rid of it. It gets a full 5-gallon batch to a boil, just takes too long to get there.

I'm wondering is an over-the-side bucket heater would be easier to protect:

http://www.amazon.com/Marshalltown-7.../dp/B000BDB4UG

Would this work with a PID controller to set mash water temps?
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:13 PM   #10
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I'm trying 2 do sumting similar to this exept I want to use an old pub beer legs with the top cut off
It's alluminum is there any reason this won't work either with a fixed eliment or over the side one


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