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Valiantfarm

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So about a decade ago, this forum was a huge help in me making my electric brewery, which I got rid of many years ago for many reasons. However, now I'm trying to build a chicken scalder, which is basically the same thing as a boil kettle or a hot water tank. I'm hoping someone can help me source the parts, I know I need a heating element (240v), a pid controller, some kind of relay, and some switches, etc. I just don't know which ones exactly. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Edit: keep in mind, this doesn't need to boil, scalding happens around 150F
 
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sibelman

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So about a decade ago, this forum was a huge help in me making my electric brewery, which I got rid of many years ago for many reasons. However, now I'm trying to build a chicken scalder, which is basically the same thing as a boil kettle or a hot water tank. I'm hoping someone can help me source the parts, I know I need a heating element (240v), a pid controller, some kind of relay, and some switches, etc. I just don't know which ones exactly. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Edit: keep in mind, this doesn't need to boil, scalding happens around 150F
No need for a PID, just an electric kettle (many sources - I recommend a tri-clamp element for easy removal and cleaning) and a basic controller, such as the BrewBuilt™ "boil vigor controller" (should maintain temps like you need for scalding).
 
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Valiantfarm

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I'm trying to make this as inexpensive as possible. I could buy a scalder for around $300-400. It really doesn't have to be fancy, you just dip the chicken in a few times to loosen the feathers. My the temps need to be consistent. Which is why just a turkey fryer would be a pain in the ass.
 

marc1

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Have you considered a sous vide circulator?

The 1000W ones have good heating power, although it's faster of course if you start with hot tap water. You could use 2 on separate circuits if you really need to. Then, you'll also have them for other cooking purposes.

A nice insulated cooler would help it maintain temps. I notched out a corner of the lid of a cooler to let the machine stick out so I could run it with the lid closed.

Inkbird is a forum sponsor(@inkbird); I've got some of their products and they work well. (although I haven't tried their sous vide)
Currently $81, plus a 20% off coupon.

If a lot of feathers and detritus come off into the water, you might need to MacGyver some sort of screening for the end where the circulator is so that it doesn't get clogged up.
 
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Valiantfarm

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I don't think I need to circulate the water, it seems most pro setups don't. I don't mind using 240v either. I could either convert an old keg or a fiberglass basin. It really doesn't need to be fancy.
 

marc1

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I don't think I need to circulate the water, it seems most pro setups don't. I don't mind using 240v either. I could either convert an old keg or a fiberglass basin. It really doesn't need to be fancy.
It sounded like you were looking for cheap and easy. The sous vide cookers have the heater, thermometer, switches, etc. built in to them already.

I haven't seen a 240V one, if they exist they would probably be industrial and $$$.

How big do you need this to be (gallons)? What kind of throughput are you looking at?
 
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Valiantfarm

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Probably 15 gallons or more, if I still had my old electric brewery, the HLT would work fine. I just need to get a threaded heating element with a nut, a relay, and pid probably
 

marc1

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Probably 15 gallons or more, if I still had my old electric brewery, the HLT would work fine. I just need to get a threaded heating element with a nut, a relay, and pid probably
My understanding is that the controllers for 240V elements are spendy. I got a manual (no PID) kit for one from StillDragon for ~$50. I still had to buy the heavy wire and plugs separately.

Maybe reach out to BrewHardware? I got my element and fittings from them; they might know what kind of PID you could get for cheap to go with everything else.
 
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Another option, you could use a heat stick 120v and a simple controller.
Here is one built
Here is the controller I use with the above.

I use this for my hlt
 

jseyfert3

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I'm trying to make this as inexpensive as possible. I could buy a scalder for around $300-400. It really doesn't have to be fancy, you just dip the chicken in a few times to loosen the feathers. My the temps need to be consistent. Which is why just a turkey fryer would be a pain in the ass.
I’ve done the turkey fryer helping my brother with chickens. It’s certainly doable, but yes kind of a pain.

How much do you want to DIY and how much time do you want to spend on this? There’s lots of ways you could do this relatively cheaply, but do you want to spend hours and hours designing and building something that will likely cost $200-$300 when you can buy an off the shelf 240 volt, 5500 watt scalder for $450?

You definitely don’t need a PID here. You aren’t mashing, a simple on/off temp controller should work fine. This should be pretty off the shelf and cheap for a 1500-1800 watt 120 volt heater, you can get drop in heater rods don’t even need drill a hole in your kettle/container. But I’m not sure what chicken throughput rate you’re looking for. Is this like a one person situation where you are doing everything? In that case I’d see no issue with the 120 volt as it would have plenty of time to reheat in between chickens as you do the other steps (butcher/pluck/dress).

Do you have a defeather machine? If not I’d totally recommend your money go to one of those and do the scalding in a turkey fryer if you have to. Way easier to manually control temp on a pot of water than it is to manually defeather a chicken.
 
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