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Old 08-23-2013, 03:43 AM   #31
Dgonza9
 
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I think I did note in this thread that you were against immersing elements in the wort. But if you do reconsider this route, all you would need to do for the boil is size the wattage correctly for your batches. For a long time I used two 2000w elements to boil 10 gallon batches. It was about the perfect amount of power. I just plugged them in to separate circuits with gfci outlets and a switch to turn them on and off. Doesn't get much cheaper.

I can't speak to the aluminum risk of boiling with an element, but in terms of carmelization, I don't have any issues and I've done lagers with my system. There is some some protein that collects on the element, but a quick scrub after boiling takes it right off.

Most people who are using a PID, infinite switch or other type of controller with the boil are using 5500 watt elements to reach a boil faster. If you want to go into this cheaply, sizing the wattage properly and using gfci outlets and switches are about as cheap as you can get.

That said, I went from five gallons to ten, from one vessel to two, added pumps, ventilation, etc. and before long I had like ten switches and six circuits. Added a RIMS tube and made a control box with a PID, then eventually went to a control panel.

So you may find you will outgrow the first solution.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:42 PM   #32
runningweird
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cheapest option:
build a pwm and use a simple plastic box.

easier and still cheap
http://www.stilldragon.com/diy-controller.html

it won't be set and forget, for that you would need at least a PID or a johnson controller and the wiring. you could however bring water up to temp, add grist, and mash then use the pwm for boil.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:11 PM   #33
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This is what I use to brew in the basement, you can't get much simpler than this. Dual 1800 watt induction cook tops and a 30 qt. sauce pan.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:26 PM   #34
BadNewsBrewery
 
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That thing looks like it would boil-over if you looked at it funny - you don't have any issues with having so little pan-space above wort level?
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:03 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNewsBrewery View Post
That thing looks like it would boil-over if you looked at it funny - you don't have any issues with having so little pan-space above wort level?
I get a nice rolling boil and have no issues with boil overs. I batch sparge so my first runnings fills it up to about the 1/3 level. To get the temps up more quickly I put put the lid on and monitor it closely, then remove it as it starts to boil. I do my second running for another 1/3 wait for it to return to a rolling boil, then the final running. I stir very gently of course I have always used the induction cook tops since I wanted to brew downstairs on the bar, plus keeps me close to the Keezer for a few on brew days. Initially I was using just one 22 qt. pot with a single 1800W unit, but it took too long to get a good boil, I was just thinking it would be cool if I could find a large diameter pot so I could use two 1800W units. The pan is 20" in diameter and fits perfectly covering both units. I now use the 22qt. pot and another 1800W unit to heat my sparge water.

 
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:10 PM   #36
Britinusa
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Well my wife bought me a Blichmann burner for my Birthday, so I cant really shelve it and go electric now!.
On a side note, now I have been brewing a while on the new burner I enjoy it more, and I am happy to stay on Propane.
Thanks for all the replies though in=m sure they have helped others and if I ever do go electric I will be using the advice here.
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