New electric build planned-questions

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gwaugh

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I posted this over on Kal's forum as well but thought I would post here too for more input


Hi everyone. I am in the planning stages of an electric build after the bitter cold Midwest winter we just had and I have a few questions.

I brew 5 gallon batches. I know every comment and every article states that you will always end up wanting bigger down the road but, I have yet to have any desire for more volume after 3 years. The majority of my friends here are BMC drinkers, my wife does like beer but drinks far less volume than I do, and I like both variety and the process of brewing. I simply don't see myself going any larger in batch size.

The questions I have are regarding the kettle sizes. I currently have 1 Blichmann 10 gal and batch sparge with a cooler and an old 8 gallon HLT on propane. I was going to purchase 2 more Blichmann 10's but I am concerned about the following:

1) Having enough room and clearance in the HLT for both the HERMS coil and the element.

2) Having enough room and clearance in the boil kettle for the Stainless rippled elements at BrewHardware combined with the hopblocker Kal offers

3) If I was to go larger on pot size to alleviate the above two concerns then will I have any issues doing 5 gallon batches in a 20 gallon kettle. I usually end with 6 gallons post boil. Of course there is the added expense of buying 3- $450.00 kettles, which my wife would not really like too much.

Has anyone built Kals system using 10 gallon pots? I would love to hear their experiences and any tips.

Cheers
 

Roadliner

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http://www.blichmannengineering.com/products/boilermaker

If you click the sizing guide it gives you all of their recommended sizes for different batch amounts. They reccomend 10 Gal kettles for 5 gallon batches to accomnodate high gravity beers and the like.

The problem I've read that you run into with going with larger pots (the 20 gallon ones) to run smaller batches is maintaining the liquid level on your heating elements and/or keeping your HERMS coil submerged for proper heat exchange.

This is at least what I've come up with.. I know there are more experienced folks that might add or correct my information.
 
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iijakii

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10 gallon pots are perfectly fine for 5gal batches, no matter what HERMS stuff is in there.
 
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gwaugh

gwaugh

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I understand 10 gallon pots are fine for 5 gallon batches. I'm asking if anyone has put together an electric setup like this and what their experiences are with fitting the HERMS coil and an element in a 10 gallon pot.
 

iijakii

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I just finished building an electric etup in 9gal pots. I haven't done the maiden brew yet, but everything fits fine. Do you have any specific questions?
 
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gwaugh

gwaugh

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I just finished building an electric etup in 9gal pots. I haven't done the maiden brew yet, but everything fits fine. Do you have any specific questions?
What size HERMS coil and elements did you use? I am planning to use the stainless rippled elements from Brewhardware but I'm not sure if they will fit in the 10 gallon Blichmann I have.
 

iijakii

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I went with a dual 120v setup, so not sure about the ripple elements. I used to have a 240v setup and seem to recall my ripple being about 12-13" long. I'm sure you could ask Bobby how long his are, then you can compare that to your pot's diameter - I doubt you'll have issues.

As for the coil, I did 25' and it was coiled to only be 10" deep.
 

hunter306

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PS. I'd skip the hop blocker that the electric brewery suggests. I've been entirely underwhelmed with it's performance for the price. Don't get me wrong, it filters hops just fine-- it just seems to clog way more often than I'd like... then I end up with 3 gallons of wort that I can't pump and end up manually racking.

I went back to using blichmann version which seems to work well and is of easier to clean.
 

Rivenin

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I just finished building an electric etup in 9gal pots. I haven't done the maiden brew yet, but everything fits fine. Do you have any specific questions?
do you have build pics? i'm curious as i run dual 120v as well and have been debating herms.
 

sensortech

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I'm gonna do an electric build too. I'm pretty happy with the 15 gallon tall boy kettle I have so I'm planning on getting 2 more and silver soldering the fittings on. You won't get the bling of the blichmann (I have the fermenator for that) but it will comfortably do 5 gallon or 10 gallon batches in the future, at a fraction of the cost.
 
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