Safe/recommended to use heat stick??

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gorobrew

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I was wondering if it was safe and or recommended to use a heat stick like:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BDB4UG/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

or

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FO8FY68/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

I have a grainfather (US 120V) but live in Japan (110V) so the grainfather will be a bit underpowered for the boil. If I were to add a heat stick like the ones above during the boil, what could be possible problems (off flavors, scorching the wort, electrical, etc…) Is there any other work around?

Thanks!

:mug:
 
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jtratcliff

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I use a similar one to supplement my stove top boil... You should be fine... Might have to plug into an outlet on a separate circuit, though... Probably won't be able to drive both the stick and the GF on the same circuit.

ETA:

Just checked my Amazon order history... The 2nd link you posted is the exact one I use. Shortens the length of time it takes to get to a boil and makes my stove top boil more vigorous. I've had no trouble with it.
 

tektonjp

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Actually, it is usually 100 volts here. An extra heat stick might help (plugged into another circuit). Don't go with the big one. Mine died within a year. And for the small ones, read the reviews! Some look to be death traps!
I have been experimenting with a 2000 watt/120 volt element doing half batches, and I have found it helpful to use a voltage booster/transformer. Also, if you do a good job of insulating your GF, it will help immensely.
 

thunderwagn

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Have you checked out the HotRod? For sure one of my better investments. The build and quality is top notch, and more importantly...built with brewer safety in mind.
I use mine to supplement my weak, glass top electric stove that could barely boil 2 gallons. Now, I can easily boil over 8 in less than an hour.
Shows out of stock, but are frequently available.
Worth every penny.

http://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/hotrod.htm
 

Jhenjum

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I use the one in your second link to supplement an 1800 watt induction plate and to heat sparge liquor in a cooler. Be sure to use it on a separate circuit. Have used it on over a dozen batches with no problems.
 
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gorobrew

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tektonjp - oppps yeah, 100V, and some of those reviews are scary, definitely don't want to cause a fire. Once the grainfather actually arrives I'll wrap it with some sort of reflectix insulation available here and see what the boil looks like- I suspect it will not be vigorous enough. I'm guessing I should look for a heat stick that is just copper without any sort of chrome coating yeah?

Thanks for all of the input!
 

tektonjp

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tektonjp - oppps yeah, 100V, and some of those reviews are scary, definitely don't want to cause a fire. Once the grainfather actually arrives I'll wrap it with some sort of reflectix insulation available here and see what the boil looks like- I suspect it will not be vigorous enough. I'm guessing I should look for a heat stick that is just copper without any sort of chrome coating yeah?

Thanks for all of the input!
Chrome coating is okay, BUT, what you need to do is use it in some plain water first to get the chrome to come off. Then you'll have copper. Don't put a brand new chrome element in your beer. "Burn" it off first. And keep us posted on the boil with 100v. GF is pretty cool, and if it works here, I might want to import some.
 

tektonjp

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BTW, you're importing the GF from the States? How's the shipping on that? I finally heard from Mangrove Jack & Co on retailing their stuff. Good wholesale prices, but, they want the initial order to be 5,000 NZD which is out of range for my start up capital. Maybe down the road, especially if the GF plays nice with the 100v here. Keep me posted, please!
 

pricelessbrewing

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While I was a big proponent of these initially, used them for awhile with no issues, they both ended up melting a bit, exposing their internal wiring, and blowing my gtci repeatedly. I can no longer recommend these at all. When I was looking up info on these, the internal wiring gauge is incredibly thin and so that's one of the reasons they overheat so much. The plastic used is a known carcinogen and is not food safe whatsoever, it's banned for sale in europe I believe as well.

It's a shame, because if they fixed those two issues, got rid of the stupid chrome covering that flakes off, and added a grounded third plug, I would probably buy another one at 2-3 the price.

As it stands I can only recommend the above mentioned allied precision 1000w unit, or one of the "hot rods" from @Bobby_M
 
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gorobrew

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tektonjp: Actually shipping was very reasonable, I thought, I bought a ton of gear from Morebeer (conical fermenter + GF + mill + Kegging stuff-no kegs, odds and ends) it was only about $250, but almost 85 lbs of gear…about 10% of total cost. Morebeer was by far the cheapest place to ship from, and it just arrived in Kansai kuko - 1 week, but I guess I'll have to declare and pay some tax on it. Hopefully the GF will make a good boil, and if not will just have to figure out a good way to supplement.

Tektonjp: Was wondering if you happen to have any whole grains that you would be willing to part with :D

:mug:
 
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