Originally Posted by Antler
So the Ranco is not a good idea? I'm always there stirring during the mash. I figured the Ranco would be an increase over propane burner
If you want the element to automatically and accurately maintain mash temperature, you would need a PID and some type of recirculation or stirring.
The Ranco would work fine if you set the setpoint a few degrees below your desired mash temp (based upon your "learning" of how much it will overshoot), then turn off the element and insulate. You could manually turn on the element if you need a quick boost of heat, but again it would be up to you to make sure you don't overshoot. In my view that would still be an increase over propane.