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Electric / No-Gas Equipment

Hey, fellow brewers.
I’ve been using a propane tank for all of my brewing and I recently came across an article about a guy who has a fully electric set up for brewing, but it didn’t mention any of his equipment or how he set things up.

I’m assuming a set up like this is crazy expensive, but I don’t know anything about this.
Do any of you use a fully electric / No-gas system to brew?
Any thoughts or advice?

Have you done any searching on this board or the internet in general?

Several threads on all the brewing boards. And some personal web sites with parts lists on them.

I installed a 5,000 watt water heater element in my boiling kettle following the instructions on http://theelectricbrewery.com/

I use the BK as the hot water bath for a heat exchanger (my immersion chiller) and pump the wort from the mash tun (a 10-gallon cooler with a bazooka screen) through the chiller/heat exchanger and back to the mash tun.

You don’t have to have the control system shown on Electric Brewery. I use 240 volts to get the bath close to the target temp, then switch to 110 V controlled by a Johnson digital controller.

When the mash is complete, drain the first runnings into a pot, then heat the water bath to use as your sparge water. Drain the second runnings into the BK, pour the first runnings in, plug in the BK and boil.

The advantages are that I can brew inside, don’t have to get propane tanks refilled, and can read or watch football while the Johnson controller holds my temps. There’s also a lot to be said for just using the BK to heat the water for Denny Conn’s quick and easy system.

yep, electric brewing is great. I have a water heater element in my mash tun (so I can step mash),an element in another cooler so I can heat up my sparge water and one more element in my boil kettle. I just plug the controller into what needs to be heated.

Be aware that you’ll need a 220V outlet to run a 5000W element. You can try to use a 2000W heater (or two 1000W stock tank heaters) using a 20amp 110V line but it runs close to the limit and the breaker may occasionally pop. Plus 2000W is going to be really slow for a 5gal batch.

That’s really great, but wow, I did not realize how expensive this route was until now.
I’ll save that idea for way, way later

A 5,000 W element at 240 V draws 21 amps. Ohms law says that element has a resistance of 11.4 Ohms.

At 240 V you can get seven gallons to a boil in about 15 minutes. Running the same element at 120 V draws 10.5 amps and produces 1,260 Watts. With some insulation (beach towels under and around the BK) 120 V will maintain a decent boil.

Wiring the element to switch between 120 V and 240 V requires some knowledge of electricity; if you are not very familiar with electrical wiring, you can probably find an electrician who will trade beer for a few minutes of work.

This is not a difficult or expensive project. You don’t have to use the outrageously expensive hole punch specified by The Electric Brewery; you can use a hole saw (carefully). The parts listed for installing the element are not expensive. You don’t need The Electric Brewery’s expensive control system; use a calibrated thermometer and practice with a pot of water before brewing the first time.

Here is a pretty darn cool and inexpensive induction top. I know a standard induction top on a home stovetop can boil a standard pot of water in 90 seconds. My research says that induction cooking is even more efficient than gas. And it runs on 120v.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6896268058

I have a 2000w induction hotplate too. Barely enough to get 6gal to a boil with an insulated pot. Plus you have to use a magnetic pot, some stainless doesnt work.

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