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Is anyone using a hot plate to boil???

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totalbuzzkill

Posts: 9

Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:46 pm

Location: Clovis, Ca.

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:42 pm

Is anyone using a hot plate to boil???

Hello brew buddies.

Is anyone using a hot plate for their boils? If so, what is the most efficient one to use? I'm doing 5 gallon batches. I obviously don't want to wait hours upon hours to get up to temp.

As I mentioned in another post, I do HVAC controls for a living and just scored a few PID controllers. I have aspirations of building an automated brew setup and wanted to control the hot leg on an electric hot plate through a relay based upon water temp. I want a 2 burner setup. 1 for sparge water and 1 for the wort.

Cheers!
:cheers:
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Nighthawk

Master Brewer

Posts: 4686

Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:22 pm

Location: SE SD

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: Is anyone using a hot plate to boil???

For a partial boil, it might work. For boiling 6+ gallons, I doubt a commercially available home hot plate will have enough capacity to bring it to boil. I should have a duel burner 1500w unit in the rafters. If I find the time I may be able to do an experiment for you.

A PID system should not matter on a boil pot. Boiling is boiling. Although there is a "rolling boil" and there is "jump out of the pot" boil. It should still be 212* (adj for your elevation).
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alphastanley

Master Brewer

Posts: 101

Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:27 pm

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:56 pm

Re: Is anyone using a hot plate to boil???

I started brewing with a hot plate eons ago. We did partial boils for the exact reason Nighthawk indicates below - not enough power to get a boil. I think our first brew took 4+ hours from tap water to extract to a full hour boil.

Cheers.
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totalbuzzkill

Posts: 9

Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:46 pm

Location: Clovis, Ca.

Post Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:57 am

Re: Is anyone using a hot plate to boil???

Nighthawk wrote:For a partial boil, it might work. For boiling 6+ gallons, I doubt a commercially available home hot plate will have enough capacity to bring it to boil. I should have a duel burner 1500w unit in the rafters. If I find the time I may be able to do an experiment for you.

A PID system should not matter on a boil pot. Boiling is boiling. Although there is a "rolling boil" and there is "jump out of the pot" boil. It should still be 212* (adj for your elevation).

That's what I was thinking. I only wanted to automate it "because I can" lol. I was thinking it was a possibility it wouldn't be very efficient...I just wanted to make sure before I tried it.
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sonex

Master Brewer

Posts: 1520

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:12 pm

Location: dillsburg pa

Post Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:41 am

Re: Is anyone using a hot plate to boil???

I built a electric system you will want to get a pot, 15 gal is a nice flexible size for 5-10 gal batches. Cut a hole and fit a hot water tank element i used a 4500 watt element. Then build a control box with a PID (I used a auber PID). This is the only easy way to bring 7 gal or more to a boil. The 4500 watt element does my 10 gal batches (13 gal in boil) easily. There are many electric systems at homebrewtalk that will take you step by step.

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