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Going Electric in Winter

Just purchased a 2200W, 115V electric drop-in heating element. It is L-shaped with the heating part in the horizontal lart of the L, and comes with temp controller and GFCI. Since our new electric glass-top stove won’t do the job like the old coil stove did, I thought this was a good alternative to having to open the garage door to use propane in the winter months. The garage is below two bedrooms (including mine) so losing heat in that area has negative consequences (wife cold, no hanky panky- 'nuff said). I had seen this element once online and then happened across it at The Homebrew Shop in St Charles IL and purchased it on a whim. I haven’t tried boiling with it yet but the kid at the shop said he was getting 5gal batches to boiling in 45min, thats good enough for me. It can also be used for regulating mash temp even in plastic containers, so I may drop it in my cooler MLT as well.

I’m excited to have this new weapon in my brewing arsenal.

Use it in conjunction with your stove, should get it boiling a lot sooner than 45 minutes. I was thinking about getting an element at some point since I, like you, do smaller batches. But my glass top electric stove is a beast and can boil 5 1/2 gallons no problem.

I am looking far something like that, do you have the brand name or a web site I can find it at.

I picked up a Induction Surface and use it with my SS Kettle, it is a 250V 3000W beast and boils 5 gals in about 37 minutes. Getting a new kettle this week to up my boil to a full boil at 6.5 gallons.

Induction surface= high dollar stuff.

Beersk, I was considering using it in conjunction with the stove, I’m going to see how it flies solo first.

Its a Brewers Best product, by LD Carlson. Midwest Brewing has the identical unit for sale but they don’t show the brand name.

What I only saw after buying this thing, is that I could have installed a larger heating element in my pot using a weldless fitting. High Gravity sells a 3500W element for something like $70. Of course it doesn’t have a controller and its 220V, but that is an alternative. I just bought a step bit and drilled a hole in my stainless pot for a weldless ball valve and that was an easy job.

I got the chance to test out the element this morning. I used my 8gal SS kettle, sitting on a cast iron trivet of sorts. I started with 6.5gal of warm water, 110F. This is s common preboil volume for a 5gal AG batch. I took the following measurements:
20min = 155F
30min = 175F
40min = 185F
50min = 195F
60min = 205F
70min = 212F

The 155F is the average temp of a mash runoff so that might be considered time zero for purposes of boiling. It therefore took about 50minutes to bring this to a boil. The boil was moderately vigorous, I would have liked it to be stronger but I’ll have to judge that with wort rather than water. It was adequate though.

One thing that did concern me, was that right at the end of the test the unit tripped the 20amp breaker. The outlet is in the kitchen and the breaker serves the kitchen and den. Its not where I’m wanting to use this, so I suppose I’ll just have to watch what items are on the circuit I’m wanting to use.

I really like my induction surface, I got it for $170 and I don’t have to worry about cutting a hole in my pot or wiring something that can kill me. I understand that it can be cheaper, but a controller in conjunction with the one posted above, you’re still looking over a hundred dollars.

You can get an 1800W induction cook top that is 110 volts that will heat water from 110-212 in 46 minutes (theoretically) for about $60. They are a little pricey but when we are looking for high efficiency and high wattage, that is your best bet.

A lot of the induction cook tops also allow to set temperatures that you want to keep your wort boiling at as well as wattage you can set at. Not to mention they are %20 more efficient than you common electrical burner.

Don’t knock it until you research it.

One more thing, since I can’t find the edit button. My induction burner will do your experiment in 28 minutes, the 1800W one in 46. That is all alone without anything introduced to the wort. The time saved is great. It’s really not that high dollar stuff if you’re already buying an immersion heater you’re going to spend at least 50 bucks.

If you’re building your own. I hope you didn’t do what this guy did.

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=107333

This element is a commercial job and seems safe enough. I was just made aware of the fact that a 2200W element on 110v is pulling 20 amps, therefore it is at the limit of a 20amp breaker and I need to turn off other items on that circuit. Also the gauge of wire is important and if it is getting hot this will increase resistance and caus eit to trip, not to mention being unsafe as far as running through wooden walls.

I just had a 200amp service installed at the house and I’m pretty sure I have extra slots, I am maybe going to run a line to a dedicated breaker and use some heavy gauge wire. I may run it next to the stove so I can boil there and use the cooktop as a booster. Or I may go to the garage and get my brewery set up there. I’m also considering buying a 3500watt element that you can install in a kettle with a weldless fitting, and plug it into the dryer outlet. Not sure the wife would be happy sharing the outlet but she does enjoy a good beer.

I guess I assumed you were talking about the induction cooktops on a stove, which was many hundreds of bucks higher than the glass top we bought. Do you have a link to the type of burner you’re using?

I have 220V service in the kitchen so that is why I got this one:

http://www.amazon.com/6530-ProChef-3000 ... B0037Z7HQ0

I got one on amazon that the package was damaged, or the product was returned. Got it for $170.

Here is the 110V 1800W variety:

http://www.amazon.com/Max-Burton-6000-1 ... pd_sim_k_3

The 1800watt top has a smaller surface, and only supports 30lbs. So in order to use it you need to put two 2x2 on the sides to support it. Since the device uses induction it will heat the kettle up to 1/2 inch above the surface of the cook top.

Also:

YOU NEED INDUCTION COOKWARE TO USE IT! Don’t forget that.

There are other models and prices. They are nice with options about boil temp and work well with additions, as the cook top does not stay hot like normal electrical if you get a boil over starting, just shut it off. No need to spritz it or move it like conventional heat.

On my next brew day I will take pictures and post pros of induction. It was well worth it.

Also, is it a problem that your pot hangs over the side/front of the induction burner? Does this not heat up the control panel on the front? An 1800W/110v=16.4amp burner would certainly be more compatible with a 20amp circuit. I could always use this element as a drop-in for maintaining mash temp in my MLT, at the lower temps it wouldn’t be pulling the full 20amps.

One more added thing about your electrical situation:

It is highly recommended not to use more than 75% of the circuit amperage for any extended period of time. As the more electricity flows through the circuit it will heat up the breaker, as well as heat up the wires in the wall as these heat up,

Two things can go wrong:

  1. You blow the breaker because it gets too hot. (New ones have heat elements on them) Usually you have to replace the breaker then, but not always.

  2. You melt through the insulation on your wire in your wall causing a pole to ground short, or worse yet, a fire! Then the cheapest solution is having to rewire your circuit, or part of it.

This is the main reason that your stove is on a 50 amp dedicated breaker.

This is why I am against the immersion sticks as yes they are cheap, but there are a lot of things the people that sell them don’t tell you. And even more dangerous is building them yourself without understanding the potential consequences.

So an 1800W induction burner would run over 75% of a 20amp circuit too wouldn’t it? But your advice is extremely good, and I will be looking into installing a separate circuit preferably 30amp and properly wired.

Yes, on mine it hangs over a bit, but does not heat up much, and the elements on the burner are made to withstand heat and are waterproof. Mine also support 60 lbs which is enough to hold a 6.5gal boil.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbbJRyha ... re=related

Above is a video using the 1800 version (model 6200 I believe) of the induction burner. You can see that on the right side of the left burner he has it supported.

With induction the element heats the clad bottom on the pot, causing only the clad bottom to heat, the glass surface is not a good conductor, but will get hot. There is usually a fan on the unit that will keep the internals cool. Also the efficiency on these is ~90%.

In the manuals they recommend that you have a dedicated 20 amp circuit for each of them, when you say 110V you probably mean 120V unless you live in Europe. The 1800W model pulls 15Amps (there is a reason for that) the 3000W 240V model pulls 12.5Amps.

With my 3000W burner I don’t have anything else plugged in to the circuit at the time except for the fridge which only pulls a max of 3.6 amps giving me 16.1amps max when the fridge is running. This is safe for my 250V 20Amp service as the fridge only runs for a little while.

Also the induction tops max out time at 170 mins of use, no matter what it will auto shut off after that.

How long before it can be started again?

Immediately.

Thanks for the info, I wish I’d found this out before buying the $200 stick but I’ll find other uses for it. I guess this all hinges on whether my pot is magnetic, its a triple sandwich bottom so I’m fairly sure it is. My 5gal aluminum pot is out though.

True, the aluminum is out. If you take a magnet to the bottom of the pot and it sticks it will work. The chefmate 20qt pot from Target works on mine, but I am upgrading to a 32 qt pot from a cookware store. Blichmann pots are induction compatible too. I am not sure about the polar ware pots though, but it is easy to find out.

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