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Old 08-16-2011, 07:15 PM   #51
kal's Avatar
Nov 2006
Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 2,591
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Originally Posted by CanadianQuaffer View Post
I'm left wondering how much one of these costs now, lol! They sound pricey.
A PID's about $40. An SSR of the right amperage is around $20. There's all sorts of other "stuff" you may want as well. I suggest you start reading and figure out what you want and then start asking questions/reading.


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Old 08-16-2011, 07:19 PM   #52
Aug 2011
Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 390
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Originally Posted by kal View Post
If you heated and boiled your beer in the same way as you heat food on an electric stove, then possibly this comparison could be used. But there are differences. FWIW, I've owned both electric (corian cooktop) and gas ranges of various models. I find it's not possible to issue a blanket statement that for ranges gas is better than electric. It's all about how it's implemented. (My first 100% gas stove sucked as it was cheap piece of crap, my second all electric with corian cooktop was great and heated up fast, my current dual fuel [gas top, electric bottom] is too new to tell).

The "speed of response" also doesn't matter I don't think when you're heating 5-20 gallons of wort. There's so much thermal mass that it really doesn't make a difference if the electric element takes 10 seconds to heat up versus a gas element that has 100% heat in about 1 second.

Electric brewers have the element right in the liquid so that 100% of the heat goes into the liquid. Gas brewers probably lose 70-80% of the heat to the atmosphere (it goes around the pot).

Ah, that makes a lot of sense. As for electric vs gas, I was referring to those occasions where you you need to bring something down from a boil to a simmer ASAP. With gas all you do is crank the knob from high to low and bang, boil to simmer in seconds...with an electric stove it can take minutes for that boil to calm down to a simmer.

But the way you explained the superiority of an element (using 100% of its heat) vs gas makes all the sense in the world.

All I'm looking to do for now is modify my kettle only so I'm going to have to really pour through your website to see how to do this. Now that I've seen it, I actually remember one of my friends that I brew with found your site about a year ago and he couldn't stop talking about it...now I see why!

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Old 08-16-2011, 07:39 PM   #53
Dgonza9's Avatar
May 2010
Evanston, Illinois
Posts: 1,182
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Originally Posted by CanadianQuaffer View Post
I have a (maybe) stupid question about using heating elements, whether in a heat stick or mounted in your kettle.

How do you control the temeprature of your water? Right now I am forced to do concentrated wort boils on my gas stove in a 4 gallon pot because the stove lacks the power to boil 6 gallons for a full wort boil in my 10 gallon pot. But at least with gas I have *very* precise and immediate control over the temperature of my water.

Is it possible to get *some* sort of control (I'm assuming electric will always be inferior to gas/propane in this regard) with heating elements? I'm asking because I'm toying with the idea of making an all electric brewery in my basement, with elements mounted in my 10 gallon pot, so I can stay out of the kitchen.


I do not have a PID and SSR for my boil kettle. My estimate is that 2000W is about right to boil 6-7 gallons of total liquid for a 5.5 gallons batch. I mounted two of these in the keggle so I can do 10 gallons. This way no PID/SSR is needed. I just plug the mounted elements into a switched gfci and turn them on or off with the switch.

Works well, though the PID is also a great solution if you want more power for quickly heating liquids and then want to control the boil a bit more precisely.
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