Controlling boil with simple heat sticks?

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Airborneguy

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I just finished the second of my 1500w sticks using the basic build plans all over the internet. Last week, I brewed using my first one and my burner. When I reached boil, I turned off the burner with the intention of using my stick to maintain the boil. It was WAY too strong! I ended up switching to the burner for the boil. This was a 6 gallon boil.

My intention is to use my two sticks from now on without the burner, so I'd like to be able to "turn down" one of them to keep the boil at a reasonable level. IS there anything simple out there that would work? My internet searches based on my VERY limited electrical knowledge are yielding me dimmers that cost over $200.
 

wilserbrewer

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3000w is way to strong for a 6 gallon boil?

I have used a router speed control on a 120v element with success, it did get warm but never failed, But that was with 2000w and a 20A Rockler controller.

The ghetto plug and play approach would be to try one of these...
http://www.harborfreight.com/router-speed-control-43060.html

Many other better options if you want to build a controller from parts, but my knowledge there is limited.

How big a kettle? With a larger kettle, the need to temper a boil is less if you have plenty of headroom.
cheers!
 
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Airborneguy

Airborneguy

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1500 was way too much! Maybe I'll try one more time and give the single stick more time to see if the boil calms slightly. I was using the burner to help it get to boil temp quicker.

I'm using an 8 gallon kettle. At this time, I don't have the space to delve into building a more complicated system. My two sticks basically replace my burner set up while everything else stays the same. I lost my "brewing room" to my second child. I'm trying to adapt so I don't have to give up the hobby until we move to a bigger house, which will probably not be for awhile.
 

alexnharvey

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Consider the kr2040ax from eBay. $17. It's basically an SSR with built in control circuitry, and come s with potentiometer to control it. You'll need a heat sink too.
 
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