HLT electric test

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jfish63

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The HLT I purchased is a keg with the lid intact. It has a sight glass, a T fitting in the bottom one side to a circ pump with copper tubing running up the side and down into the top. There are 2 1400w 110v heating elements at different heights. The top one needs about 8 gallons of water to cover it enough to use it. It is insulated with a layer of the black pipe insulation all the way around and the top and bottom. In an ambient air temp of 35*, 9 gallons of water @ 48* it took 1 hour to get to 178*. That seems like a lot of electricity.
 

Jim Karr

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If you figure your electrical costs at about 6.3 cents per kwh, 2800 watts at one hour is 2.8 x .063, or just shy of eighteen cents of juice to heat your water.
 
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jfish63

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I agree 1400w is not that big but there are 2 of them so it should help. I never actually thought about doing the math. I was just anxious to see if everything worked without a leak. By the way no leaks I think if I insulate the copper tube going up the side and cover the sanke valve opening it might cut the time down a couple of minutes. Of course 80* weather would do that to. I bought this set up off of ebay so I am stuck with what I have for now.
 
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jfish63

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Bobby m,

That is what I need to find out. The only way I can think of is to fill it with sanitizer which is a big waste for something that large. I need advice, should I cut the top out for access? Is there any advantage to leaving the top intact? I don't really think so. An angle grinder seems to be in my future.
 

CodeRage

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You can get a 4 inch angle grinder at harborfreight for less than $20. a pack of cutting disks for another few bucks. I have had one for a few years and it has done me alright.
 

germanskyy

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I built a boil kettle with nearly the same setup. (2) 1500 watt 120 V elements attached to (2) half couplings that are also too high to get good liquid coverage. It takes about 5 gallons to cover both the elements (one is lower than the other), so I have to place at least 6.5 gallons in the keg to make it effective. Someone once suggested to me to displace some of the wort by placing something in the keg to raise the "water" level. Haven't tried that yet...just be damn sure it's something inert (Stainless pipe, with the ends capped?). You don't want funky flavors leeching out of a masonry brick that you would place in the tank of your toilet at home. I do not have a pump to circulate as I'm heating, so getting all the wort to actually boil is a bit of a problem. Please let me know if you find a good solution. Good luck!
 
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jfish63

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I purchased this one already set up. I wish the guy would have thought it out some more. I am only going to use this as a HLT for mash and sparge water. I just plan on putting in enough water to cover the elements so they can both heat. It has a sight glass installed so I should be able to moniter how much water I drain off close enough.
 

CodeRage

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Sounds like the guy must have been doing 10 gallon batches.

Are you not comfortable with plugging the upper hole and moving the element down? I am sure we can come up with the fittings you need for a weldless plug.
 

Bobby_M

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You obviously have to make darn sure you turn off the power before draining the water too low. If you plan on automating at all using a temp controller, you might also want to put a float switch in so that power to the elements is cut as soon as the level drops. I know, first things first....
 
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jfish63

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That is part of the plan. I plan on setting it up so two elements are used only for heating the water up and theupper one will shut off when maintaining temp. Or that is the thought of the day.
 

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