Blichmann Electric Boilermaker

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stylus1274

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I'm looking to switch from propane to electric. I've read about 120V just not being enough to produce a good boil for a 5 gallon batch.

Curious if anyone has used the Blichmann 120v?

Any other suggestions on getting a good boil with a 120 or is 240 inevitable lol...
 

Arbe0

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I made an electric pot like the 3 gallon one on brausupply that is 120v. 2000watt and am very happy with it. With an 8 gallon pot I can do almost 4 gallons. it is simple to use and keeps the temps. the boil is effortless, I keep it at 70% after it gets to a boil.
 
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stylus1274

stylus1274

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My brother is an electrician so I would install an outlet to push 240. That's not an issue. Problem now is I'm not seeing anyone selling 240s in the US. Any suggestions on where to get one? I prefer in all in one unit. Meaning I am not trying to build my own.
 

TexasWine

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I'm one of the folks who will go against the grain here and say that enough wattage at 120v is more than sufficient for a 5-6 gallon batch. If that were not true, the Grainfather would not have sold a single unit.
 
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stylus1274

stylus1274

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I'm one of the folks who will go against the grain here and say that enough wattage at 120v is more than sufficient for a 5-6 gallon batch. If that were not true, the Grainfather would not have sold a single unit.
Maybe. But I have read plenty of reviews, forums and articles saying it takes an eternity to reach a boil and barely boils at that.

So what happens when you buy one, get it home and that is true after a test run?
 

DarkNoonBrewer

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My brother is an electrician so I would install an outlet to push 240. That's not an issue. Problem now is I'm not seeing anyone selling 240s in the US. Any suggestions on where to get one? I prefer in all in one unit. Meaning I am not trying to build my own.
No heating systems in the US?

Kettle:
http://shop.greatfermentations.com/...maker-7-5-gal/blichmann-boilermaker-brew-pots

Heater:
http://shop.greatfermentations.com/product/blichmann-boilcoil-7-5-gal/blichmann-electric-brewing

Power Controller:
http://shop.greatfermentations.com/product/blichmann-power-controller/blichmann-electric-brewing

Discount stuff from web page:
http://parts.blichmannengineering.c...r-Brew-Pot-7-5-p/ag2bm-7.5-elec-120v-f-sd.htm
 

TexasWine

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Maybe. But I have read plenty of reviews, forums and articles saying it takes an eternity to reach a boil and barely boils at that.

So what happens when you buy one, get it home and that is true after a test run?
I don't own a GF, but I've heard the same on the time to boil. But it's only wasted time if you sit there watching it, tapping your foot, asking the wort "For the love of all that's good and holy in this world, WHEN WILL YOU BOIL?!?!?", and half expecting a response. There's always something else to do, either in the brewery, the home (laundry?), or in the yard. Personally, I've always got kegs that need cleaning or a batch that needs bottling.

Concerning boil vigor, there's no need to boil off any more than 6-10% of the starting volume. I personally hit about 10% on smaller batches of 6 gallons and closer to 7% on the larger batches. These volcanic eruption boils that some utilize just aren't necessary.

I'm a 120v brewer and have no desire to go to 240v. It's an unnecessary expense for my needs. I run 2 circuits with 2x1500 watt elements, one in the kettle and the other a Hot Rod. I actually own two Hot Rods for maximum flexibility in my little garage brewery. I have the ability to run three elements on three circuits, but rarely have the need for that.
 
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stylus1274

stylus1274

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stylus1274

stylus1274

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I don't own a GF, but I've heard the same on the time to boil. But it's only wasted time if you sit there watching it, tapping your foot, asking the wort "For the love of all that's good and holy in this world, WHEN WILL YOU BOIL?!?!?", and half expecting a response. There's always something else to do, either in the brewery, the home (laundry?), or in the yard. Personally, I've always got kegs that need cleaning or a batch that needs bottling.

Concerning boil vigor, there's no need to boil off any more than 6-10% of the starting volume. I personally hit about 10% on smaller batches of 6 gallons and closer to 7% on the larger batches. These volcanic eruption boils that some utilize just aren't necessary.

I'm a 120v brewer and have no desire to go to 240v. It's an unnecessary expense for my needs. I run 2 circuits with 2x1500 watt elements, one in the kettle and the other a Hot Rod. I actually own two Hot Rods for maximum flexibility in my little garage brewery. I have the ability to run three elements on three circuits, but rarely have the need for that.
Believe me I get you can do other things such as cleaning and ect. But brew day time is a factor. I have a family so I am trying to cut time from brew day not add to it. I can't leave the house until I'm done. So that is important.

Also I prefer a vigorous boil. It helps with beer clarity, with alpha acid extraction of hops and coagulates proteins. So a nice boil is important to me.
 

TexasWine

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Believe me I get you can do other things such as cleaning and ect. But brew day time is a factor. I have a family so I am trying to cut time from brew day not add to it. I can't leave the house until I'm done. So that is important.

Also I prefer a vigorous boil. It helps with beer clarity, with alpha acid extraction of hops and coagulates proteins. So a nice boil is important to me.
Totally get the speed of brew day thing. I just ran some numbers through an online calculator with various wattage and with no heat lost to the environment. Heating 7.5 gallons of water from 150°F to boiling...

1600 watts = 43 minutes
3000 watts = 23 minutes
4000 watts = 17 minutes
5500 watts = 12 minutes

So yeah, the Grainfather is going to take forever and a day to start boiling. But brew day on my 3000 watt 120v system should take about 11 minutes longer than someone with a 5500 watt 240v, assuming that I preheat my water before brew day begins, such as overnight, which is simple with an electric system.

Concerning boil vigor, different strokes I guess. I have yet to see someone's clarity suffer if they're boiling off in the range of 6-10% in an hour. You should venture over to the German Brewing forum and see if their clarity is suffering by doing a gentle boil :)

http://forum.germanbrewing.net/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=11&start=170

I had always thought AA extraction was a function of temperature. Not entirely sure how or why a vigorous boil would result in more extraction that a calm one. Got any links to papers or articles I can read that speak to this? Something more than a list of instructions by a well known brewer.
 

DarkNoonBrewer

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I didn't say there is not any heating systems. I said I'm only finding 120v. Which is what you just gave links for. I'm trying to find 240v.
Did you find the 240V models? There isn't one for the 7.5 gallon kettle, but starting with the 10 gallon, your set for MORE POWER!
 
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stylus1274

stylus1274

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Totally get the speed of brew day thing. I just ran some numbers through an online calculator with various wattage and with no heat lost to the environment. Heating 7.5 gallons of water from 150°F to boiling...

1600 watts = 43 minutes
3000 watts = 23 minutes
4000 watts = 17 minutes
5500 watts = 12 minutes

So yeah, the Grainfather is going to take forever and a day to start boiling. But brew day on my 3000 watt 120v system should take about 11 minutes longer than someone with a 5500 watt 240v, assuming that I preheat my water before brew day begins, such as overnight, which is simple with an electric system.

Concerning boil vigor, different strokes I guess. I have yet to see someone's clarity suffer if they're boiling off in the range of 6-10% in an hour. You should venture over to the German Brewing forum and see if their clarity is suffering by doing a gentle boil :)

http://forum.germanbrewing.net/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=11&start=170

I had always thought AA extraction was a function of temperature. Not entirely sure how or why a vigorous boil would result in more extraction that a calm one. Got any links to papers or articles I can read that speak to this? Something more than a list of instructions by a well known brewer.
For the gentle boil and clarity thing it's not a 'guess' or 'theory' on my part. I personally can attest to it as I did my own tests over time. And I'm definitely not saying the beer is better or worse. Just the fact I like a clear beer unless I'm doing a Hefe or something similar.

For the alpha/hops item: I use a hop spider which means a bag in the boil. So I want those hops bouncing around in there. Sacks definitely play a roll in alpha acid and flavor. So I compensate for that with a nice hard boil.

What set up do you have? I'm interested. Do you have pictures, specs or links?

Definitely prefer to not install a 240v outlet if I can avoid it.
 

TexasWine

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For the gentle boil and clarity thing it's not a 'guess' or 'theory' on my part. I personally can attest to it as I did my own tests over time. And I'm definitely not saying the beer is better or worse. Just the fact I like a clear beer unless I'm doing a Hefe or something similar.

For the alpha/hops item: I use a hop spider which means a bag in the boil. So I want those hops bouncing around in there. Sacks definitely play a roll in alpha acid and flavor. So I compensate for that with a nice hard boil.

What set up do you have? I'm interested. Do you have pictures, specs or links?

Definitely prefer to not install a 240v outlet if I can avoid it.
Thanks for the additional data point on the clarify issue. Curious, do you know what your boil off % was when you were doing a gentle boil?

After a lot of research I went with a Brau Supply system. The offering linked below is the closest they currently have to the system I bought 18 months ago.

https://brausupply.com/collections/...biab-electric-brew-system?variant=21981198341

The system I bought was a little different than this one. They've since stopped carrying my exact setup, but the basics are there: 2x1500 watt elements, PID controller, pump, BIAB.

I've customized mine a tad: bigger kettle with a sight glass, single element in kettle and another element on a Hot Rod (makes things more flexible), ditched the basket concept and got a BIAB false bottom from Brew Hardware. Those are the big changes.

A few other considerations with 120V. GFCI protection is much cheaper. Just buy one of those nifty portable GFCI plugs. LINK

Another is the price of extension cords. Much cheaper at 120v. And you can essentially brew anywhere you have electricity. It's pretty nice for brew ins and the like.

Hope I haven't completely derailed your thread! And let me know if you have any specific questions
 
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stylus1274

stylus1274

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Thanks for the info. You have definitely not derailed the thread lol. Info is what I need and that is what you gave :)
 
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