Author Topic: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.  (Read 5085 times)

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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2011, 05:38:05 AM »
Interesting. Gonna have to look into that, thanks!

Keith, google "pulse width modulation". Neat scheme all around.

Just out of curiosity, what's your boil volume? Around a barrel, right?

The only reason I ask is that we boil 6 bbl using an electric element, maxing out a 50 A circuit, and it's a huge PITA. Averages about 80 minutes to get from mashout to a rolling boil. (And that's only 193°F!)

I start the boil off at around 50 gallons. It only takes about 60 minutes for me to bring 36 gallons or so to strike temp, and then after the mash I am usually boiling within 20 minutes.

As far as build up on the elements goes I clean them regularly. I didn't build the kettle (one of my business partners did) but in the BK we use low density elements that don't seem to collect a lot of build up. Normally I can hose them off but about every 3 brews I heat up some PBW in the kettle and soak over night.
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Offline ajk

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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2011, 06:59:06 AM »
A friend and I use single-unit induction stoves for the boil.  Well, he has used his; I'll be using mine as soon as I finish my basement brewery (I had been using propane outside).  I have tested mine, and I've seen his in action on brew day.  The model I have is the Thermador 15" CIT151DS, which requires a 20-A, 240-V circuit.  It's now discontinued, but you may be able to find one (or a newer model) on eBay for cheap.

Only ferromagnetic pots work with induction stoves.  Not all stainless steel is ferromagnetic; a good test is whether a refrigerator magnet sticks to it firmly.

The stove I have will boil at least 7.5 gallons at its maximum setting, so it's not for big batches.

Offline onthekeg

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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2011, 02:05:07 PM »
Last summer I stuck a 5500w ultra low density water heater element in my HLT.  This winter I have been brewing with just this keg, my cooler MT and a couple pails.  Its too cold to brew outside so I haven't used an ounce of gas since September.  I am able to get to mash in temp in about 20 minutes, and boil after sparge in about 15 minutes.  I won't ever go back to gas!  I just need to get the boil kettle electrified.

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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2011, 02:28:54 PM »
Last summer I stuck a 5500w ultra low density water heater element in my HLT.  This winter I have been brewing with just this keg, my cooler MT and a couple pails.  Its too cold to brew outside so I haven't used an ounce of gas since September.  I am able to get to mash in temp in about 20 minutes, and boil after sparge in about 15 minutes.  I won't ever go back to gas!  I just need to get the boil kettle electrified.

Is that operating at 120v or 240v?  I'm in the middle of a basement finish and it would be really easy to run a 30 amp cable over to my brew room at this point.  I'm liking the possibilities.  

How is electrical safety handled?  When working with 120v stuff, I just add a GFCI or AFCI.  Are there similar units for 240v?

Edit: I just checked on the web and see that there are such GFCI units.  
It looks like getting a GFCI unit that is intended for a Spa/Hot Tub is the way to go.  They have panels that have everything ready to go!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 03:47:40 PM by mabrungard »
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Offline onthekeg

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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2011, 04:21:33 PM »
Last summer I stuck a 5500w ultra low density water heater element in my HLT.  This winter I have been brewing with just this keg, my cooler MT and a couple pails.  Its too cold to brew outside so I haven't used an ounce of gas since September.  I am able to get to mash in temp in about 20 minutes, and boil after sparge in about 15 minutes.  I won't ever go back to gas!  I just need to get the boil kettle electrified.

Is that operating at 120v or 240v?  I'm in the middle of a basement finish and it would be really easy to run a 30 amp cable over to my brew room at this point.  I'm liking the possibilities.  

How is electrical safety handled?  When working with 120v stuff, I just add a GFCI or AFCI.  Are there similar units for 240v?

Edit: I just checked on the web and see that there are such GFCI units.  
It looks like getting a GFCI unit that is intended for a Spa/Hot Tub is the way to go.  They have panels that have everything ready to go!

I don't have my kettle hooked to a GFCI.  Its 240V, grounded back to the panel, (4 wire)  A GFCI won't necessarily save your life if you get shocked.  I don't know all the details, but there are ways that they won't trip if you indeed have an issue.  I haven't had any problems.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2011, 07:24:02 PM »
Interesting. Gonna have to look into that, thanks!

Keith, google "pulse width modulation". Neat scheme all around.

Just out of curiosity, what's your boil volume? Around a barrel, right?

The only reason I ask is that we boil 6 bbl using an electric element, maxing out a 50 A circuit, and it's a huge PITA. Averages about 80 minutes to get from mashout to a rolling boil. (And that's only 193°F!)

I start the boil off at around 50 gallons. It only takes about 60 minutes for me to bring 36 gallons or so to strike temp, and then after the mash I am usually boiling within 20 minutes.

As far as build up on the elements goes I clean them regularly. I didn't build the kettle (one of my business partners did) but in the BK we use low density elements that don't seem to collect a lot of build up. Normally I can hose them off but about every 3 brews I heat up some PBW in the kettle and soak over night.

50A circuit is not that much for 6BBL. Are we talking 3 phase or single phase? If it is single phase we are talking about 10,000W.
How many Watts your element has? I should have about 33,000W for 5-6 BBL system. I should know in a few weeks if it is enough.
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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2011, 08:03:59 PM »
50A circuit is not that much for 6BBL. Are we talking 3 phase or single phase? If it is single phase we are talking about 10,000W.

Yes, that was a typo. It's an 80 A circuit, 18 kW element. At 33 kW I think you'll have a great system.
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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2011, 09:39:20 PM »
50A circuit is not that much for 6BBL. Are we talking 3 phase or single phase? If it is single phase we are talking about 10,000W.

Yes, that was a typo. It's an 80 A circuit, 18 kW element. At 33 kW I think you'll have a great system.
Thank you.
I will sleep much better now.
I always worried if it will be enough.
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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2011, 04:23:13 PM »
Hi Folks,

Been a reader on the forums for a while now, but not terribly active.  This is, in fact, my first post.

I appreciated the comments from those who have used  / are thinking of using induction elements for cooking.  I'm seeing that they are coming down in price on Amazon.

We're going to be moving (hopefully) to a new place, where I will loose my lovely Natural Gas range, and will only have an electric stovetop.  We're in the Northeast, where brewing weather can be precarious in the winter.  I'd love to be able to brew indoors using an induction plate, as all of my pots will work on it.

For those who have used an induction plate, do the 120V elements work well?  Will they bring a full boil to 7.5 gal of wort?

Thanks!

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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2011, 08:34:03 PM »
I definitely think that installing the element into the kettle would be a great idea.
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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2011, 11:37:45 PM »
One 120v element can do 7.5 gallons slowly, but it is much better with two. I used to bring nearly 20 gallons to a boil with three but it took a while. YMMV
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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2011, 08:22:23 AM »
Regarding safety issues e.g. being electricuted, I found that when I was using my first heatsticks and moisture was getting in, the short was immediately triggering the circuit breaker.

For me the more basic issue was forgetting to keep them immersed while in use. Pulling them out and watching them immediately fry, has kept from working in haste and not drinking too much homebrew.

Also in terms of heating up water in the basement, I get a headstart by using the hot water from the tap.

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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2011, 08:49:21 AM »
Controlling a heating element is easy with a PID controller.  But when you're dealing with boiling water, I'm not sure that a PID could properly tell when to throttle the power since the temperature would build to 212F (@ sea-level) and not go any higher. 

I am currently building an all electric brewery following Kal (www.theelectricbrewery.com)'s build and advice.  He uses PIDs to control the elements and recommends once a boil is reached to actually lower the temp to around 209 or so as this will still keep enough heat to maintain a rolling boil.

I get this just from reading the site thus far - all my equipment is currently still 'virgin' and in boxes in the garage, so I could be mistaken.
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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2011, 09:36:43 AM »
I use a PID controller and I ended up setting it as a tight band proportional only controller. It's very difficult to get a consistent  rolling boil and not boil over.  Maybe I didn't have the parameters set right, but it works pretty well this way.

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Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2011, 12:56:13 PM »
Controlling a heating element is easy with a PID controller.  But when you're dealing with boiling water, I'm not sure that a PID could properly tell when to throttle the power since the temperature would build to 212F (@ sea-level) and not go any higher.

I am currently building an all electric brewery following Kal (www.theelectricbrewery.com)'s build and advice.  He uses PIDs to control the elements and recommends once a boil is reached to actually lower the temp to around 209 or so as this will still keep enough heat to maintain a rolling boil.

I get this just from reading the site thus far - all my equipment is currently still 'virgin' and in boxes in the garage, so I could be mistaken.

I see that using a PID with a manual mode allows you to set the amount of power applied during the boil and deleting the temperature sensor in the kettle.  I was also just noting on the Homebrew Talk forum that the issue of pulse width modulation (PWM) controllers is another relatively easy way to control power in the boil kettle.  A PWM controller is very cheap and it hooks right up to your SSR(s).  Pretty slick,...I'm considering that option.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 09:38:07 AM by mabrungard »
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