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Old 02-10-2013, 03:49 AM   #1
Demus
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Forgive my ignorance electric brewers! I currently have a simple, 3 tier type setup with a propane burner on the lowest level for the kettle. I mash in coolers, generally single infusion and one batch sparge. I don't really want to complicate my system as it meets my needs but wouldn't mind getting rid of the propane burner. What's the most basic setup for heating just the kettle? Approximately how much would it cost? I have a 10 gallon kettle and generally do 5 to 6 gallon batches (6 to 8 gallon boils).
Thanks for the help!

 
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:38 AM   #2
tektonjp
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3 tier so you must be using a pump, right? 2 coolers, one as 'HLT'/water storage? Simplest set up would similar to my own set up. Volts in are different here, but basically my 200 volt element gives me about 3300 watts, I think. It's plugged into gfi box. That's it. Perfect boil with 5-6 gallon batches. Quick ramp up. Very happy with the simplicity. cost? Maybe 100 bucks with wiring and plugs.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:51 AM   #3
tyzippers
 
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Well, for a brew kettle, I would recommend a 5500 watt ULWD element. You'll need to have a way to screw that element into your kettle. The element will have a 1 inch straight thread which is relatively incompatible with the NPT fittings you will normally find in the big box stores. Although a search should find a suitable solution to install the element into your kettle. Now you need the electricity. You'll need at least 23 amps of 240V split single phase electricity to run the element. Make sure that the circuit is GFCI protected. Now you'll also need a way to control that element. You could use a switch to control a relay that will control your element. I would not recommend that option because you really don't need all that power all the time to boil your wort. So the answer is a PID running in manual mode that controls a Solid State Relay which allows you to vary the percentage of power you impart to your boil very much like the control on your stove, but uses a much different technology. A reasonably priced PID can be found at Auber Instruments. Just make sure it has a manual mode. So those are your minimums and options.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:12 AM   #4
Demus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tektonjp View Post
3 tier so you must be using a pump, right? 2 coolers, one as 'HLT'/water storage? Simplest set up would similar to my own set up. Volts in are different here, but basically my 200 volt element gives me about 3300 watts, I think. It's plugged into gfi box. That's it. Perfect boil with 5-6 gallon batches. Quick ramp up. Very happy with the simplicity. cost? Maybe 100 bucks with wiring and plugs.
Sounds pretty easy. Any chance you could post a picture? Can you vary the heat on your setup?

 
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
Demus
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Also wondering if you can "drop in" the element rather than build it in to your kettle...

 
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:21 PM   #6
orion7144
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyzippers View Post
You'll need at least 23 amps of 240V 2 phase electricity to run the element.
Just an FYI there is no such thing as 2 phase power. It is either single phase 220 or 3 phase 220. There are other variation when you use more power lke 480 Delta but no 2 phase.

 
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
P-J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orion7144 View Post
Just an FYI there is no such thing as 2 phase power. It is either single phase 220 or 3 phase 220. There are other variation when you use more power lke 480 Delta but no 2 phase.
I believe that you are mistaken. Please do a Google on "2 phase power".

P-J

 
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
whoaru99
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Yes, there is (or was, or can be) two phase power, but the typical residential delivery single, split-phase 240V is not two phase power.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:08 PM   #9
wilserbrewer
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http://beermaking1.infoandstuff.com/?p=1404

The example above is about as basic as you can get...if you only have 120v you will need two circuits, 20 amp for 2000w elements, or 15 amp for 1500w elements.

If you have 240v available, you can use one element, unless you build a controller, you will have to use a smaller element than 5500w, say 3-4000w, a 5500w will be too much power unless you can vary the output...USE GFCI's!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demus View Post
Also wondering if you can "drop in" the element rather than build it in to your kettle...
Yes! Search "heatstick", to boil 6 gallons you will want two sticks to speed things along, a little ghetto, but you can heat strike and sparge water directly in the MLT and HLT and avoid transfering all the water around the system.

 
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
orion7144
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-J View Post
I believe that you are mistaken. Please do a Google on "2 phase power".

P-J
Quoting the first link that pops up with your search criteria shows

Three-wire, 120/240 volt single phase power used in the United States and Canada is sometimes incorrectly called "two-phase". The proper term is split phase or 3-wire single-phase. The two live outputs of a 3-wire single phase transformer secondary winding are properly called "legs".

 
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