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Old 02-21-2011, 06:06 PM   #1
May 2009
Posts: 100

In planning my second eBrewery, I've looked at some of the handywork of members building heatsticks. Some of the newer designs (tri-clamp elbow type) have some real merit. Rather than discuss differing designs, I am interested to hear pro/cons and experience-based opinions between 240V heatsticks to the tradiditional thru-the-wall (TTW) element design.

Right now I'm using TTW for both my BK and HLT. The biggest annoyance I have is the pig-tail and it's propensity to get in the way when a thorough cleaning requires me to move and/or wash the kettle down. I'm using a 2" gray PVC endcap over my element connections with a 5/8" hole for the cord to pass through. The cap is sealed to the kettle using hi-temp silicone, so it's fairly small considering. The connector ends are water resistand twist-lok. (see attached) But, it's still a pain. I've thought about having a recepticle in a box mounted directly to the keg, but this would get fairly large and add potential for water intrusion.

I was thinking of using a 240V heatstick for my new 20g kettles - figuring I can always drill holes, mount and re-sell the heatstick if I did not like it.

Then there's also the question of why i need to move/hose off my kettles - probably because that's they way I've always done it. Clean in place sounds nice, but inevitably, drips dribbles, condensation the possibility of a boilover have me thinking of convenience.

So, do you love 'em or hate 'em, and why?
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
Budzu's Avatar
Mar 2009
Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 747
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts

I'm using both designs on my current 2 bbl kettle. 2 through-wall triclamp elements, and 2 heatsticks, all 6000 watt. You should also consider the tri-clamp bulkhead method. This would allow you to easily and completely remove the element and electrical box or housing and clean more freely. I used Kal's method of mounting the element in an outdoor box (I used a single gang box), and just used triclamp to connect the box and element to the kettle. You would need to weld or solder a 1.5" triclamp ferrule to your kettle.

Forget the option for permanent installation. You've already found out its drawbacks right?

I love my sticks too, but they are bulky. If I only needed one element, I'd say the best solution is the triclamp/gangbox.

Another argument for heatsticks is the ability to remove them and whirlpool.
Countertop Brutus Budzu-style

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