Author Topic: Utility Sink for Electric HLT  (Read 1131 times)

Offline mabrungard

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Utility Sink for Electric HLT
« on: August 18, 2011, 12:21:10 PM »
I just thought of an interesting and inexpensive alternative to create an electric-fired HLT for my new all electric brewing system.  The typical SST keg or pot is the typical vessel for a hot liquor tank, but that was going to be expensive and require some modification.  Not too bad an alternative, but I was searching.  Aluminum pots are another alternative, but again they will require modification.  Either of those vessels would be more difficult to insulate since they are cylindrical.  

A typical insulated water keg is another option, but I am concerned with placing an electrical element in a plastic vessel with thin plastic walls.  Plus, they have relatively small diameter and that would require installing the element vertically in the keg.  

I pondered other barrels and tanks and then lit upon the idea that a typical single-basin sink could suit my requirements.  I brew batches up to 10 gallon volume, so I might have the need for about 10 to 11 gallons of sparge water.  A utility sink would work since they typically have 20+ gallon capacity.  

The good thing with a utility sink is that a drain outlet is standard and the typically straight side walls are well suited to mounting a flange-mounted heater element so I wouldn't have to deal with a 1" NPS fitting or nut.  There are stainless utility sinks, but there are also the thick plastic or composite sinks that might also be suited to this elevated temperature duty (say 180F).  

The flat sides and bottom of the sink should make it pretty easy to glue on panels of foam insulation.  I figure that insulation shouldn't cost too much and it should pay off with less heating losses.  Another slab of foam can be employed to serve as a lid to the HLT.  

I think this could be pretty neat and effective.  Any other thoughts?
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Utility Sink for Electric HLT
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 02:00:34 PM »
Sounds like a great idea Martin.  My only concerns are things you've already thought of - food grade and able to handle hot temps.  If you can find the right sink to address those issues, I think you'll be happy with it.
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Utility Sink for Electric HLT
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 03:33:38 PM »
post a pic when it's finished.  sounds like a good idea to me.  i'm still heating my water in the kettle and then transfering to a 10 gallon cooler.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Utility Sink for Electric HLT
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2011, 01:38:16 PM »
The temp tolerance would be the concern.
All that said I got these Utility tubs for CIP.
I think I will limit temp to 150F thou.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Utility Sink for Electric HLT
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2011, 12:54:31 PM »
And some contain lead, apparently. :o

So food grade is not a given.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Utility Sink for Electric HLT
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2011, 06:54:36 PM »
And some contain lead, apparently. :o


That is an interesting tidbit.  I have not heard of plastics containing lead, but I don't doubt that it could be.  Do you have more information beyond the statement above?  If it is true, that would be a deal killer.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Utility Sink for Electric HLT
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 07:06:14 PM »
And some contain lead, apparently. :o


That is an interesting tidbit.  I have not heard of plastics containing lead, but I don't doubt that it could be.  Do you have more information beyond the statement above?  If it is true, that would be a deal killer.

I wouldn't think so but this would be a question best suited for a materials engineer. It's a polymer...right?

Lead sulfate comprises 2.3% of a typical polymer.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015626468800033
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Utility Sink for Electric HLT
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2011, 06:39:41 PM »
And some contain lead, apparently. :o


That is an interesting tidbit.  I have not heard of plastics containing lead, but I don't doubt that it could be.  Do you have more information beyond the statement above?  If it is true, that would be a deal killer.

I just Googled "Utility Sink" and then at one of the sites it had a message about the lead warning.  Maybe it was the Ace Hardware site... I don't recall specifically, sorry. :-[
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