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Does anyone brew electric? How big of an element?
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    What is the "standard" size 240v element for a Keggle boil kettle? It really looks like I can make a spot in the basement for my brewery so gas is out. I will be rewiring my panel and changing the electric service to the house in the near future (unrelated project) so I can run any size drop to the brewery location.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350
    you are usually going to be better off with two elements in the boil kettle, plus one for heating the strike/sparge at minimum.

    of course this means a very serious service line if you want to be able to run 3 x 4000W heating elements at the same time.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350 Accepted Answer
    BTW- you can get higher wattage elements, but the price goes up very fast, and the risk of scorching goes up even faster.

    4KW element should be around $10 / ea.
    6KW element is about $40 /ea...
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350
    Personally, i would put a 125AMP sub panel in the brewery location. That should handle everything and have a bit of head room to spare for adding some auxiliary outlets and stuff.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    If the layout I'm thinking about works, I am going to use counterflow heat exchanger like you and I discussed to maintain mash temps and run in strike and sparge water. More on that later. But this means I'll only need the electric to ramp 12.5 gallons to boil and then throttle manually to control boil vigor. Service shouldn't be a problem unless I need something really stupid.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350

    If the layout I'm thinking about works, I am going to use counterflow heat exchanger like you and I discussed to maintain mash temps and run in strike and sparge water. More on that later. But this means I'll only need the electric to ramp 12.5 gallons to boil and then throttle manually to control boil vigor. Service shouldn't be a problem unless I need something really stupid.



    a single element in the heat exchanger system will hold temps fine. i'd still go two elements in the kettle otherwise you will be waiting a long time to reach a boil.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Lakewood said:

    Personally, i would put a 125AMP sub panel in the brewery location. That should handle everything and have a bit of head room to spare for adding some auxiliary outlets and stuff.


    That is more than I expected. I still don't think it'll be a problem. The panel I'm replacing is 100AMP. That may just get shuffled over to the brewery. I really need 100amps to boil 12 gallons? I do like the dual element idea though. Not sure why, but I like it. Lower heat on two elements vs high heat on one.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Lakewood said:

    If the layout I'm thinking about works, I am going to use counterflow heat exchanger like you and I discussed to maintain mash temps and run in strike and sparge water. More on that later. But this means I'll only need the electric to ramp 12.5 gallons to boil and then throttle manually to control boil vigor. Service shouldn't be a problem unless I need something really stupid.



    a single element in the heat exchanger system will hold temps fine. i'd still go two elements in the kettle otherwise you will be waiting a long time to reach a boil.

    The heat exchanger is water-to-water. The heating water is coming from the outdoor wood boiler that feeds the domestic hot water and the house's furnaces. The only heating elements will be in the kettle. I want them big enough that I don't have to wait all day for boiling.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350

    Lakewood said:

    Personally, i would put a 125AMP sub panel in the brewery location. That should handle everything and have a bit of head room to spare for adding some auxiliary outlets and stuff.


    That is more than I expected. I still don't think it'll be a problem. The panel I'm replacing is 100AMP. That may just get shuffled over to the brewery. I really need 100amps to boil 12 gallons? I do like the dual element idea though. Not sure why, but I like it. Lower heat on two elements vs high heat on one.


    running two 4KW elements at full bore will consume 40AMPs, add another element and you are at 60. that leaves you with 40Amps for pump, controllers and any other auxiliary equipment you may have in the area...

    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350

    Lakewood said:

    If the layout I'm thinking about works, I am going to use counterflow heat exchanger like you and I discussed to maintain mash temps and run in strike and sparge water. More on that later. But this means I'll only need the electric to ramp 12.5 gallons to boil and then throttle manually to control boil vigor. Service shouldn't be a problem unless I need something really stupid.



    a single element in the heat exchanger system will hold temps fine. i'd still go two elements in the kettle otherwise you will be waiting a long time to reach a boil.

    The heat exchanger is water-to-water. The heating water is coming from the outdoor wood boiler that feeds the domestic hot water and the house's furnaces. The only heating elements will be in the kettle. I want them big enough that I don't have to wait all day for boiling.


    oh, forgot about the wood boiler. you could probably get away with a smaller service then.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Lakewood said:

    BTW- you can get higher wattage elements, but the price goes up very fast, and the risk of scorching goes up even faster.

    4KW element should be around $10 / ea.
    6KW element is about $40 /ea...


    More importantly though, is the cost of everything to get power to the elements...
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Personally, i would put a 125AMP sub panel in the brewery location. That should handle everything and have a bit of head room to spare for adding some auxiliary outlets and stuff.


    That is more than I expected. I still don't think it'll be a problem. The panel I'm replacing is 100AMP. That may just get shuffled over to the brewery. I really need 100amps to boil 12 gallons? I do like the dual element idea though. Not sure why, but I like it. Lower heat on two elements vs high heat on one.


    running two 4KW elements at full bore will consume 40AMPs, add another element and you are at 60. that leaves you with 40Amps for pump, controllers and any other auxiliary equipment you may have in the area...


    Sounds like the 100amp box will work since I'll only have two elements. My original question though, two 4KW elements is enough to bring 12.5 gallons to a boil in a reasonable amount of time?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350

    Lakewood said:

    BTW- you can get higher wattage elements, but the price goes up very fast, and the risk of scorching goes up even faster.

    4KW element should be around $10 / ea.
    6KW element is about $40 /ea...


    More importantly though, is the cost of everything to get power to the elements...


    you can put both of the element on the same controller. i would use two SSRs.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350

    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Personally, i would put a 125AMP sub panel in the brewery location. That should handle everything and have a bit of head room to spare for adding some auxiliary outlets and stuff.


    That is more than I expected. I still don't think it'll be a problem. The panel I'm replacing is 100AMP. That may just get shuffled over to the brewery. I really need 100amps to boil 12 gallons? I do like the dual element idea though. Not sure why, but I like it. Lower heat on two elements vs high heat on one.


    running two 4KW elements at full bore will consume 40AMPs, add another element and you are at 60. that leaves you with 40Amps for pump, controllers and any other auxiliary equipment you may have in the area...


    Sounds like the 100amp box will work since I'll only have two elements. My original question though, two 4KW elements is enough to bring 12.5 gallons to a boil in a reasonable amount of time?


    yes. doing the math right now, i'll give you an idea of how long it will take
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Personally, i would put a 125AMP sub panel in the brewery location. That should handle everything and have a bit of head room to spare for adding some auxiliary outlets and stuff.


    That is more than I expected. I still don't think it'll be a problem. The panel I'm replacing is 100AMP. That may just get shuffled over to the brewery. I really need 100amps to boil 12 gallons? I do like the dual element idea though. Not sure why, but I like it. Lower heat on two elements vs high heat on one.


    running two 4KW elements at full bore will consume 40AMPs, add another element and you are at 60. that leaves you with 40Amps for pump, controllers and any other auxiliary equipment you may have in the area...


    Sounds like the 100amp box will work since I'll only have two elements. My original question though, two 4KW elements is enough to bring 12.5 gallons to a boil in a reasonable amount of time?


    yes. doing the math right now, i'll give you an idea of how long it will take

    Well hot dog.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350
    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Personally, i would put a 125AMP sub panel in the brewery location. That should handle everything and have a bit of head room to spare for adding some auxiliary outlets and stuff.


    That is more than I expected. I still don't think it'll be a problem. The panel I'm replacing is 100AMP. That may just get shuffled over to the brewery. I really need 100amps to boil 12 gallons? I do like the dual element idea though. Not sure why, but I like it. Lower heat on two elements vs high heat on one.


    running two 4KW elements at full bore will consume 40AMPs, add another element and you are at 60. that leaves you with 40Amps for pump, controllers and any other auxiliary equipment you may have in the area...


    Sounds like the 100amp box will work since I'll only have two elements. My original question though, two 4KW elements is enough to bring 12.5 gallons to a boil in a reasonable amount of time?


    yes. doing the math right now, i'll give you an idea of how long it will take

    14 minutes to go from 150degF to boiling with two 4000W elements.
    10 minutes from 170 with two elements.

    double both times for a single element.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    That's reasonable.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350
    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Personally, i would put a 125AMP sub panel in the brewery location. That should handle everything and have a bit of head room to spare for adding some auxiliary outlets and stuff.


    That is more than I expected. I still don't think it'll be a problem. The panel I'm replacing is 100AMP. That may just get shuffled over to the brewery. I really need 100amps to boil 12 gallons? I do like the dual element idea though. Not sure why, but I like it. Lower heat on two elements vs high heat on one.


    running two 4KW elements at full bore will consume 40AMPs, add another element and you are at 60. that leaves you with 40Amps for pump, controllers and any other auxiliary equipment you may have in the area...


    Sounds like the 100amp box will work since I'll only have two elements. My original question though, two 4KW elements is enough to bring 12.5 gallons to a boil in a reasonable amount of time?


    yes. doing the math right now, i'll give you an idea of how long it will take

    14 minutes to go from 150degF to boiling with two 4000W elements.
    10 minutes from 170 with two elements.

    double both times for a single element.


    this is slightly under-estimated since the wort will have both a greater mass and greater specific heat than pure water.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Especially since I can start to heat the first runnings early. And if it hacks me off I can swap one for a 6KW element.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350

    Especially since I can start to heat the first runnings early. And if it hacks me off I can swap one for a 6KW element.



    applying correction for wort gravity and specific heat adds only a couple minutes.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350
    you are avoiding the long ramp of the initial strike... lucky you.

    i just ran my numbers to confirm the calcs.

    ramping 12 gallons of water from 70degF to 165degF with a single 4500W element... 40 minutes.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Lakewood said:

    you are avoiding the long ramp of the initial strike... lucky you.

    i just ran my numbers to confirm the calcs.

    ramping 12 gallons of water from 70degF to 165degF with a single 4500W element... 40 minutes.


    Ouch. Totally worth the extra couple valves and fitting to make the counterflow chiller into a counterflow heat exchanger.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Now to control the heat exchanger so i get the right temp at the output.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants