Electric Brew Pot

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Russ, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Arbe0

    Arbe0 Member

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    I have been looking into an electrical brew pot. I am looking at getting a 5000 W / 240v heating element.
    If I just change the plug on it and plug it into a 120v house plug, do you think i would get enough heat to do a 10 gallon brew?
    There seem to be 120v elements out there too that go up to between 1500 and 2000 W. Do you think those would do ok?
    am just looking at maybe using it for the mesh water and spurg water. I dont think an electric pot would boil very well.
    Tell me what you think.
     
  2. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Contact the folks at High Gravity Brew. They have all the parts and the electric controllers.
    http://www.highgravitybrew.com/

    I'd bet it would not work on a standard 120v plug.
     
  3. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    If I understand these things correctly (a big if - electricians correct me!), plugging a 240v/5000w heating element into a 120v supply instantly turns it into a 2500w element. I think this is because the resistance (heating elements are basically big resistors) of the element remains constant, but the energy provided by the supply is half. Even at 120v that element is going to be pulling over 20 amps and if it were me I wouldn't feel comfortable pulling that much current through a normal plug socket - I'd be worried about it melting!

    Personal experience would suggest to me that even if you could get 5000w, it won't be enough power for a 10 gallon volume - unless of course you're planning on doing something clever like an external electric boiler. I'm on a 4400w 5 gallon rig (two 2200w kettle elements wired in parallel through a 32 amp rated ring supply) and I'd describe that arrangement as "sufficient". For a 10 gallon system that doesn't take 3 hours to reach boil I think you're either looking at propane or some kind of clever ancilliary e-boiler setup, which would still require at least 5kw and dedicated wiring to handle the load.
     
  4. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Actually, its worse than that. If the voltage is cut in half, the wattage is reduced by four. Therefore a 240v/5000w element plugged into 120v supply would produce 1250w output. That why in electric brewing you see a lot of 240v rigs. Four times the output.

    Here is a great writeup on electric brewing.

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/electrical-primer-brewers-145019/

    Electric brewing is a great way to go, but it is worth doing right.
     
  5. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    Something I don't understand from the article...
    I was under the impression that you'd need a transformer to step up the voltage from 120v to 240v?
     
  6. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Yes, you would need to transform up from a single 110v supply, however in the states we have two 110v legs that are out of phase. One of these coupled with a neutral makes 110v , but using both legs (110v A and 110v B) makes 220v. Something about the peaks of the two phases.
    I'm no electrician, and know just about enough to keep from getting killed, so I will defer to a true sparky.
     
  7. perogi

    perogi New Member

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  8. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    Actually there is a transformer connected to the main coming into your house, which brings the line voltage down to 220-240. The transformer has three legs (taps), 2 are hot and one is the neutral. When you connect the 2 hot legs powers moves through the entire transformer giving you 220-240 volts, the natural is a center tap which when connected to either hot tap power moves only thru half the transformer giving you 120-110 volts. When you see 2 breakers connected inside your breaker box they are providing 220 volts to an appliance. With that 240 can carry twice the wattage on the same size wire as 120, because the Amps would remain the same, and in the end Amps are what cause things to overheated and burn out/up.
    A 5000 watt 240 volt heating element, operating at 120 will use 1250 watts and pull about 11 amps, which means in theory you could run said element off a standard outlet which are rated at 15 amps. With that if anything else is connected to the same circuit you may trip a breaker.

    Now phased power is a whole different story, and normally used for larger industrial applications.
     

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