I'm not a very good technical writer so I didn't think about doing a build thread. Also I'm not a very good planner, I usually design as I go. Also I apologize these pics are not very good, like I said I didn't intend on doing a build thread.
I'm hoping this thread may give some people some ideas.
My problem was my stove top limited me to a 3.5 gallon batch at best. It took over an hour to get 5 gallons to boil and by the time it did I was down to less than 4 gallons.
My solutions was to build a electric assist Brew Kettle.
I started out with a 40 quart aluminum Winware kettle I got from Amazon for $40.
Next I drilled out some holes for a Camco Element,Sight Tube and 2, 3 piece valves. Im a hobby welder so I tig welded a aluminum nut 1 1/2 to the kettle. I got the nut from McMaster Carr. Youll see that I drilled and tapped a 6/32 hole in the nut. That's to ground the kettle.
I then took a 1500 watt, 120v Camco heater element I got from lowes for about $9 and wired it up like this below.
Then I got some vinyl hose from Lowes that was 1.5 in diameter and cut it down to 3" long. I slid it over the element. I have seen some of the other ways people attach and protect the element but didn't like them that much. This was easy and real cheap.
Then I used a SS hose clamp(Lowes) to keep it in place. I made sure the ground wire was long enough and came out the top.
Here it is attached to the kettle...though I wasn't done.
I then filled the tube with silicone caulk(Lowes).
Here it is...a little messy but Ill clean it up later.
Here it is attached. I added another hose clamp to keep shape. The way its built its strong enough to hand tighten the element to the kettle and it wont leak. Its nice to be able to tighten it without tools.
Added a cord cap...I had this one kicking around the shop.
Heres how the element sits inside the kettle...
Here you can see my whirlpool tube. Works great. I whirlpool a few minutes and let the hops settle in the middle. Then when it goes through my plate chiller it doesn't plug up.
Water comes out of my tap at about 49 degrees...
Heres how the setup looks on the stovetop...
So with the 49 degree water coming out of the tap I can get a violent boil in 39 mins.
Hope this helps...if anyone has any questions just ask.