Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Electric Brew Kettle

I decided that I really hate the stove that is my apartment. It is one of those coil electric ones (they suck don't get one if you don't have to).  So to remedy this I'm going to install an electric heating element inside my brew kettle.  I'm using this Homebrew Talk forum thread to base my design off of.

His is a much fancier system than I need right now. I'm brewing Extract so that means I'm only boiling 2.5-3 gallons of water. That requires much less power than boiling 5+ gallons of water. The design I'm going with will be 1 1650W 110v heating element with no controller. I'm not mashing, don't need to keep a constant temperature yet.  The water wont pass boiling point so I'm good there. I ordered all of my parts on Amazon today. the cost was about $60 and my brew kettle was originally $30, so a $90 electric brew kettle is pretty good. I might add a thermometer probe to it, I haven't decided, I'm going to see how this modification goes first.  Once I start building I will try and take some pictures and write a post to explain what I did.

I did some math to determine how long this new modification will take to boil water. This design should allow me to boil 2.5 gallons of water in 30 minutes coming from the hot water tap.  I don't know how long my stove takes now. I might experiment with that before the modification to see if I will get any time improvements. I suspect I will immersion heating is much more efficient than the stove would be. Either way this will be worth it because my brew kettle will not be tied to a stove! I will just need an outlet. I also plan on building a little enclosure with a GFCI outlet that can be in between an outlet and the brew kettle for safety. We are dealing with liquids here.

The last thing I still need to figure out is how to keep my wort chiller from sitting on the heating element when I use that. I'm thinking of stand off or something attached to the chiller, or possibly bending it over the edge of the kettle to have the weight supported there.

I will keep you posted on how this works.