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Old 10-30-2011, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default size electric for brew kettle

was thinking about going to electric but was wondering about the size of element for a boil. didn't know if you could run a 2000 watt and be ok or if it need to be 4500 to 6000

thanks new to the forums

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Old 10-30-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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from what I have gleaned from the posts here:

a single 2000w element at 120v is not enough to do the job on a 5 gallon batch efficiently.
for that you would need two elements running at the same time, then once you reach a boil turn one off and leave one on to maintain a boil.

most people suggest a 4500w or 5500 w 240v element to do full sized batches. This is what I plan on doing providing I don't electrocute myself first.

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Old 10-30-2011, 07:42 PM   #3
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I use a 2000 w element in my boil kettle, no insulation, it takes some time to get a boil but a 20amp gfci is far cheaper and well I already have them installed. My setup has no control panned (yet) although I do have a switch mounted on the kettle. I boil so I have 5.5 gal in the fermenter, and that is volume above the ball valve ( I don't use a diptube) 2000w 110v IS enough for a full boil.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:52 PM   #4
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I only use 1 3500watt element @ 220.( only 20 amp breaker required)in my kettle. Then you don`t need any control but on/off as it will need to be going 100%. I always start with my water at room temp. and use my counterflow chiller with hot tap water to pre heat the water to 125F as it enters the kettle.This saves a lot of waiting.I can do a 14 gallon all grain in 6 hours and I fly sparge very slowly.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:54 PM   #5
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as ulrich says, 2000w will eventually do the job....but 4000w would be a lot more efficient as far as your time goes. If you only have 120v available you could put 2 switch-controlled 2000w elements in your kettle and cut one off when you get to a boil. Otherwise, lots of people here (including me) use much larger PID/SSR controlled 240v elements with great success, but it is obviously a bit more work and money to put that together. If you have any thought of going to 10 gallon batches, you might as well start out big.

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