Mix of electric and propane

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Murphys_Law

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I'd love to go to electric to better control mash temps but 240v isn't a strong option right now, and I don't particularly like the idea of having 2 elements, for what ever reason (probably just don't want to run too many extensions cords to where I brew).

I'm curious if others have used electric for mash and propane for boiling, and what type of experience they've had with this set-up. One worry that I have is the cord getting too hot with heat coming up and around the pot from the propane burner. I would have to use a heat shield for this, but any other pratfalls to be concerned with?

I usually boil between 7 and 9 gallons of water and do BIAB with a false bottom.
 

WI_Wino

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I am currently do a gas electric hybrid (while the parts for my panel gather dust) . I have a hot rod from brewhardware.com, opted for the 90 bend. That keeps the cord away from the heat, even with the burner on high.

My boil is mostly electric with the propane on really low. Heating element is a 5500 watt @ 240V. Currently it is wired for 120v so I get 1375 watts out of it. I do 6 gallon end of boil batches in a 15 gallon kettle. Burner is sq14. It's amazing how little propane I use now.
 

de3isit

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You can check out my builds to get some ideas. I use gas for the HLT and BK and an electric RIMS tube for the mash.
 

Nico93

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i use this type of setup, no problem with heat!
I like it alot and i don't see any reason to change that

as you can see in the photos, previously (now it' all more ordered) i was having all the cable free to move around (not so safe but never had problem!

the last one is only to show that now it is ordered

i use a rims sistem with a pump to heat the water before mash-in and for all the mash, finished the mash i pump the wort into the boil kettle (and i heat to the boil point immediately in order to archieve boil as soon as i finished the sparge, i use a burner (CH4) to boil the wort. during the mash i also use the burner to heat the sparge water

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Murphys_Law

Murphys_Law

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i use this type of setup, no problem with heat!
I like it alot and i don't see any reason to change that

as you can see in the photos, previously (now it' all more ordered) i was having all the cable free to move around (not so safe but never had problem!
Not sure if it's just on my end but the pictures aren't showing!
 

PeteNMA

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I have a hybrid setup using 240v for the RIMS tube and propane to boil. It works very well for me, although I'm tempted to go all electric now.

However if you don't have 240v available it's probably much simpler to stick with propane for boiling.
 

SpentBrains

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I built both into the boil side of my system and brewed yesterday (about my 5th batch). I no longer use the propane, because the electric is just so easy. I won't uninstall the propane anytime soon. It's a nice backup option for a power failure, or for that smaller volume/half batch that just won't settle down to a nice rolling boil using electricity.

Since I built my panel to be mutual exclusive with regard to either powering the mash element or the boil element but never both, I suppose I could shorten the brew process with propane by starting to boil the first runnings while I sparge. Total time saved however would be negligible as the 4500w boil element takes me from mid 150F temps to boiling in about 20 mins.

5500 watts for mash
4500 watts for boil (wish I could find a 4000w element)
typical HLT tank almost full 14-15 gallons
7-9 gallons in the MT for the first runnings
4-5 g. transfer from HLT for second runnings
Boiling 12 or 13 g. starting volume down to 11 or 10.5 depending on recipe.
PID without manual control for boil.

May swap out the boil PID in the future, if I do I'll replace the boil element with a 5500 w element for shortening the time between mashout and boil by a few nanoseconds, but I don't see spending any time or money unless something breaks.

FWIW My next build will be a complete knock off of Speidel's 500L Braumeister single vessel system.
 

mpmccann

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I use gas for HLT (middle), BK (left), and electric RIMS tube (lower right) for Mashing... The RIMS tube work great for maintaining mash temps...
With my setup I can not direct fire my mash tun (right) because I used a rubberized coated keg. The rubber coating adds insulation for holding the mash temp. I heat strike water in the HLT and pump it over to the mash tun. Set my PID temp and let the RIMS take over maintaining the set temp. After mashing I pump first running to to BK and batch sparge with the sparge water left in my HLT. I have also added a couple extra PIDs and temp probes. See Pics...



 

Thatinfidel

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Before I moved, I lacked 250v so I built s hybrid HERMS ghetto rig. I would heat my hlt with a 1500w heatstick, and maintain that throughout the mash. I just used a small PID based controller I had built into a plastic toolbox. Once sparging was complete I would transfer to a boil keggle and just move the heatstick over. The stick wasn't powerful enough to get a full boil going at 7 or so gallons, I'm guessing the mass of the keggle was eating some of the heat, so I used a bayou classic propane burner to supplement. Usually the propane was on really low, I would kick it up a bit to get the boil going and then turn it down to very low, so propane would last a long time.
It was a pretty shoddy rig, but it made great beer, and I never had a boil over. Now that I'm fully electric I have managed to make a huge mess at least once, gotta watch that boil!!
 
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