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Old 03-06-2012, 07:35 AM   #1
firstRWD
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Nov 2011
Madison, WI
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Do I need to look for anything specific? I have an acquaintance that works in the industry(replaces boilers, furnaces, water heaters, etc) and I'm thinking I could ask him to keep an eye out for something in the 3500-5000W range for me out of an old water heater or something and get a heating element for free. Then I could use the plug for my stove and build a control panel to brew without the propane. Will that work or is this idea a no go?

I'm young, poor, and live in an apartment, so I'm trying to go electric for as cheap as possible...

 
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
tator2k
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Aug 2011
Savage, MN
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A normal element would only cost you in the $10-$30 range. Any type of control panel will setup back a few hundred bucks. Look at the Higher Gravity products if that's the way you want to go.

 
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
kal
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Nov 2006
Ottawa, Canada
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I would look for an ULWD (ultra-low-watt-density) heating element like the Camco 5500W that most of us use. Of the benefits is that if you turn it on by mistake when it's not in water or wort, you won't fry it.

Kal

 
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
yjfun
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Jun 2010
Arlington, Washington
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PWM $13
SSR W/ Heatsink $17
Camco ULWD 5500watt Element $25
TOTAL $55

Cheap Electric Brewing $Priceless

 
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
KitB
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Dec 2011
Maple Grove, MN
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The copper wire is probably the most expensive portion, if you're going that cheap.

 
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:27 PM   #6
firstRWD
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Nov 2011
Madison, WI
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OK, what does PMW stand for? You can't search for it because it's too short and the search function refuses the term. I've found that term in several places now, but no one uses whatever it stands for so I never figured out what it is. Judging from what you said, yjfun, it looks like it would take the place of the control panel, but only cost $13?

EDIT: Oops. That explains why I got no results searching around for PMW...

 
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:38 PM   #7
lud
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Oct 2011
Billings, Montana
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PWM...not pmw.

 
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:08 AM   #8
Airplanedoc
 
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Sep 2011
Illinois, Outside the peoples Republic of Madigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstRWD View Post
Do I need to look for anything specific? I have an acquaintance that works in the industry(replaces boilers, furnaces, water heaters, etc) and I'm thinking I could ask him to keep an eye out for something in the 3500-5000W range for me out of an old water heater or something and get a heating element for free. Then I could use the plug for my stove and build a control panel to brew without the propane. Will that work or is this idea a no go?

I'm young, poor, and live in an apartment, so I'm trying to go electric for as cheap as possible...
I picked up my element 5500W ULWD at Farm and Fleet ( or Fleet and farm) for $23. You should have one in or near Madison.

 
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:18 AM   #9
thargrav
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Dec 2009
Huntsville, Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstRWD View Post
OK, what does PMW stand for? You can't search for it because it's too short and the search function refuses the term. I've found that term in several places now, but no one uses whatever it stands for so I never figured out what it is. Judging from what you said, yjfun, it looks like it would take the place of the control panel, but only cost $13?

EDIT: Oops. That explains why I got no results searching around for PMW...
PWM = Pulse Width Modulation.

The circuit switched on and off and you vary the percent on, usually with a variable resistor or potentiometer.

 
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:02 AM   #10
firstRWD
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Nov 2011
Madison, WI
Posts: 39

So looking at the Camco ULWD 5500watt heating element they have on Amazon, it says it's a 14". Is that just the heating element part or the whole thing? I'm going to be using a keg(keggle) and just want to make sure that's not gonna be too long for my brew pot before I order one.

 
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