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Old 08-17-2012, 07:06 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by jma99 View Post
Sorry guys, but between kids, demanding job with travel, I'd rather brew than build!

I have a very simple system from High Gravity:
Electric Kettle Controller - High Gravity
and this:
Heating Element - 5500 Watt SS - High Gravity

I mash single infusion in a cooler, and batch sparge.
I crank out 10 gal of very good AG brew in about 4 hours.

Cost was more than worth it to me.

BTW the folks at High Gravity are great to work with! Highly recommended!
This is what I want to do. Do you have any pictures of how your setup is put together? I am thinking I would need to add a pump and eventually a CF chiller or plate chiller, have you added these things?


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Old 08-17-2012, 07:29 PM   #32
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You don't need no stinkin pumps!

Here is how my setup works:

One 15 gal ss pot with the high gravity element and a ball valve installed.
The element is plugged into the high gravity controller.

1 Fill pot with mash water, heat to strike temp.
2 Drain, via gravity, into a cooler mash-tun, mash / nap for an hour.
3 Drain, via gravity, into 5 gal buckets until cooler is empty.
4 Fill pot up with sparge water, heat it up.
5 Drain, via gravity, sparge water into cooler for batch sparge
6 Drain, via gravity, cooler into more 5 gal buckets
7 Empty your 5 gal buckets back into the empty pot, start boil
8 boil, boil, boil, don't forget the fermcap!
9 Drain, via gravity, from pot into plate chiller (Duda Diesel Rocks!)
then into a better bottle (6 gal)
10 Pitch yeast, don't forget the fermcap!

(The 15 gal pot, and the Coleman extreme cooler let me mash up to 35 lbs of grain!)

This is my chiller:
http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=HX1220BWC
Best $60 you will spend!

Four weeks later you have great AG beer on tap!

This is a one pot, one cooler, simple setup.
The high gravity controller is acting just like the flame control on your propane burner.

I now laugh at the snow when I brew in the winter! Ha!


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Old 08-18-2012, 02:49 AM   #33
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Default Your controller and element

Quote:
Originally Posted by jma99 View Post
Sorry guys, but between kids, demanding job with travel, I'd rather brew than build!

I have a very simple system from High Gravity:
Electric Kettle Controller - High Gravity
and this:
Heating Element - 5500 Watt SS - High Gravity

Cost was more than worth it to me.

BTW the folks at High Gravity are great to work with! Highly recommended!
I'm considering the same thing. JMA99, I've posted a question twice about the very element you're using, and no one has addressed my question directly. How satisfied are you with the element from highgravity? It appears that you simply cut a 1.25" hole in your kettle/keggle, insert the element, and attach the o-ring and the $15 special nut to the inside. It looks very easy. I'm wondering if the 5500W element would be too much for a 10 gal kettle. Surprisingly, it appears that the 4500W element is longer than the 5500W. I sent them a question about it but have received no response yet.

I, too, am to the point in my life that I'm willing to outsource some of my DIY-ing. I'm trying to keep things simply by using BIAB.

I'd appreciate hearing about your experience with this element and your controller. Perhaps the OP will gain some useful info as well.

Thanks,
Keith
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:42 PM   #34
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The element works great in my system.
I get a strong boil in about half an hour.

These are low density elements and I have never scorched my wort.
My blondes come out as light as Stella!
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:02 PM   #35
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The controller I can see buying, since it is more work, but for the element, it is such a minimal amount of work.

You can buy http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...S-306p2669.htm for $70
+
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...-Kit-p2652.htm $19.95

Plus tax and $10 shipping

or

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-02963-He...ensity+element $20.85
+
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...TF8&psc=1&s=hi $11.99
+
http://www.bargainfittings.com/index...&product_id=95
+ tax and $5 shipping on the nut.

You wind up saving $60 and all you have to do is screw the wires to the element. The controller is amore complicated job, so I don't mind paying a premium for assembly, but that's kind of a rip for the element. If it included the nut, then it wouldn't be so bad.

Then again, the controller isn't GFCI protected, so you have to do some work anyway.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:45 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Dert View Post
I just plug my 5500 HLT into a GFCI spa panel and heat her up to about 200 degrees. I use my herims to keep mash temps and to mashout.

I switch it over to a 3800 boil kettle and let it rip- my system uses converted sankes without insulation.

No controls other than the 50a breaker... Haven't got around to building a control panel yet (although I've had the parts for > 7 years). I've made about 20 all grain 12 gallon batches this year using the electric system.

I had been planning to go electric for quite some time- finally stumbled on the soldering SS thread. My delay was welding the fittings, finally just soldered them...works great.

Especially sine I was brewing w/ LP indoors for the last 12 years! I love the electric!
Look ma, no controller Just figured it was worth repeating...
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:56 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekkydave View Post
The controller I can see buying, since it is more work, but for the element, it is such a minimal amount of work.

You can buy http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...S-306p2669.htm for $70
+
http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...-Kit-p2652.htm $19.95

Plus tax and $10 shipping

or

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-02963-He...ensity+element $20.85
+
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...TF8&psc=1&s=hi $11.99
+
http://www.bargainfittings.com/index...&product_id=95
+ tax and $5 shipping on the nut.

You wind up saving $60 and all you have to do is screw the wires to the element. The controller is amore complicated job, so I don't mind paying a premium for assembly, but that's kind of a rip for the element. If it included the nut, then it wouldn't be so bad.

Then again, the controller isn't GFCI protected, so you have to do some work anyway.
Tekkydave,

In your 2nd example, true, you've saved $60, but you have naked 220VAC contacts on the outside of your kettle in a potentially wet environment. The element from Highgravity at least has some kind of covering over the contacts. Please describe for me how you cover the contacts on the outside of the kettle in your less expensive solution.

Thanks,
Keith
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:23 PM   #38
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Keith,

The plan that I am in the process of doing involves jb welding a metal gang box around the exposed elements, and afixing that to the side of the kettle.

Here's what I am basing it on:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Elec...rewing-system/
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:27 PM   #39
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Guys, if you want a cheap controller, they are available if you look in the right place (not referring to the controllers I build). However, I'm a guy that builds controllers on the side, and I can say that most of these vendors aren't really overcharging, they just don't want to work for free. If you want to buy it at parts cost, you'll have to build it yourself.

A controller like Kal builds is not cheap, parts wise or time/labor wise. High Gravity controllers are WAY cheaper, but the simplicity and lack of bling factor reflect that. It really boils down to what you are willing to spend, and if you have the skills and time to do it yourself.


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