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Old 02-25-2011, 03:53 AM   #21
Dgonza9
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Guys, thanks for the advice. Since I'm brewing this weekend, I'm going with my heat stick and the element mounted in keggle for 10 gallons of English Brown.

Beyond that I keep bouncing back and forth. Any reason other than just neatness in the keggle and a kind of purist mentality for how to do this that a person shouldn't mount two elements in the keggle? 4000W is enough for the 10 gallon batches I brew. If I'm heating strike water I can always circulate thru my RIMS for even more power.

So although I'm likely to change my mind again tomorrow like a total tool, for now I think I'm settling on mounting a second element. I mean, I can't find a reason for all the extra expense and work of installing 240V given all the work and expense in the panel with rewiring four breakers to slim lines just to make room.

Anything I'm missing? Any real drawbacks to two 120v elements in the keggle?


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Old 02-25-2011, 03:55 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Gritsak View Post
There's no pouring of jb weld into the pipe at all. I outline the way i built mine here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/my-...tstick-220198/
Great method.


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Old 02-25-2011, 07:17 AM   #23
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If you go with 240v, I think the price of a heat stick vs. mounting in the kettle is pretty comparable.

I believe heat sticks can be safe, but I feel the potentially short lifespan makes them a poor investment in both my time and money. This is purely anecdotal evidence from what I've seen on the forums, however. I do know that a properly mounted element is less likely to fail due to electrical short at the terminals.

Plus, a mounted element is just cool, whereas a heat stick can be awkward and in the way. I also don't like the fact that the heat stick touches the side of the vessel (unless suspended). The only time I would recommend a heat stick is to heat in a plastic vessel. Even though I'm not keen on using plastic with hot liquids, it's probably easier to use a heat stick than to get an element to seal reliably to plastic.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:51 PM   #24
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I'm not to happy with the safety of my heat stick. I built a J bend heat stick and it worked great for about the first 3 batches. Now after about 30 minutes of use the GFCI pops off. I too encapsulated the hot and neutral wires before installing it within the drain pipe. Really the only thing exposed to a potential leak is the ground wire but I'm still not wild about the thing leaking and the gfci popping all the time. I recently sealed up part of the stick with more JB weld and I'll see how this works until I get my permanent brewstand completed. After doing both methods I think it's cheaper, cleaner, easier and more safe to mount it within the kettle. Although heatsticks give you more flexibility by allowing it to be passed to different kettles.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:38 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Scut_Monkey View Post
I'm not to happy with the safety of my heat stick. I built a J bend heat stick and it worked great for about the first 3 batches. Now after about 30 minutes of use the GFCI pops off. I too encapsulated the hot and neutral wires before installing it within the drain pipe. Really the only thing exposed to a potential leak is the ground wire but I'm still not wild about the thing leaking and the gfci popping all the time. I recently sealed up part of the stick with more JB weld and I'll see how this works until I get my permanent brewstand completed. After doing both methods I think it's cheaper, cleaner, easier and more safe to mount it within the kettle. Although heatsticks give you more flexibility by allowing it to be passed to different kettles.
I have issues like that with my sticks lately. The dang GFCI's are just too sensitive (which, I guess they need to be). I think it is an issue with steam somehow effecting the ground and setting it off.

My next order to BargainFittings will include some of those 1" hex nuts and washers. Time to start moving elements into keggles.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:55 PM   #26
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I prefer using heatsticks for a few reasons. I don't have to drill a hole in the side of a nice kettle. I think cleaning a heatstick is easier, not sure how you would be able to clean the bottom of the element when it is installed in a kettle. I also like to remove the heatstick at the end of the boil so that I can whirlpool.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:05 PM   #27
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I prefer using heatsticks for a few reasons. I don't have to drill a hole in the side of a nice kettle. I think cleaning a heatstick is easier, not sure how you would be able to clean the bottom of the element when it is installed in a kettle. I also like to remove the heatstick at the end of the boil so that I can whirlpool.
They definitely are more flexible in comparison to a mounted element. I just don't want to sacrifice safety for this flexibility and when my gfci is tripping consistently I get worried.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #28
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Daaaaang, elements require a BIG hole. I drilled until my arms got tired, and the hole is still a little too small.

I still have one more hole in my HLT, then I can start on the boil keggle.
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:23 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
I have issues like that with my sticks lately. The dang GFCI's are just too sensitive (which, I guess they need to be). I think it is an issue with steam somehow effecting the ground and setting it off.
It's not the ground causing you problems. The ground wire is litterally not connected to anything in a properly built system. You can bang on it with a hammer, piss on it, call it names, whatever you want, and it will never cause your GFI to pop.

The only reason the GFI would pop is because something is allowing current to escape from the hot-line of your power source. When the GFI sees that there is more current on the hot line than there is on the neutral line, it will kill the juice.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:40 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
Daaaaang, elements require a BIG hole. I drilled until my arms got tired, and the hole is still a little too small.

I still have one more hole in my HLT, then I can start on the boil keggle.
They are a pain to drill. By far the hardest part of my 3 keggle build was drilling for the elements. I finally ditched the step bit and bought a bimetal hole saw which made quick work of it and gave me a clean cut. It was worth the ~$12 for me.


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