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Thread: Electric Keg (heating element capacity)

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lower Alabama
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Yes...

    QT = 2 [URL="http://www.mcmaster.com/nav/enter.asp?partnum=4452K316&pagenum=5"]4452K316[/URL]
    Low-Pressure Type 316SS Threaded Pipe Fitting 1" Pipe Sz, 1-9/16" OD, Half Cplg, 13/16" L, 1000 PSI

    These fit a standard US water heater threaded element.

    QT=1 [URL="http://www.mcmaster.com/nav/enter.asp?partnum=4452K315&pagenum=4"]4452K315[/URL]
    Low-Pressure Type 316SS Threaded Pipe Fitting 3/4" Pipe Sz, 1-5/16" OD, Half Cplg, 3/4" L, 1000 PSI

    This is for the drain valve. You could use the 1" fitting for a drain as well.

    Hope this helps!
    FlyboyTR
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    PS-II-HC, with Stainless Electric Keg
    Water Cooling via the Swimming Pool
    Parrot's Beak
    Homemade 8' Charcoal Filter

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    West by God Virginia
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Thank you.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lower Alabama
    Posts
    52

    Default

    You're welcome.
    I've ran the system 3 times since making the electric conversion. I made a switchbox that would allow me to switch one of the hot legs on the 5,500 watt, 220vac element from hot to neutral, in essence making it a 110vac element. It calculates out to be about 1,400 watts...however, there is a HUGE difference in the heat output between the 1,500 watt and the 5,500 watt (running on one leg). I really don't think it's making 1,400!

    Based on my experience with my units output using propane...the 1,500 watt is a little to slow (for me...anyway...) for a polishing run. The 1,500 and the 1,375 (5,500 watt unit runing on one leg) is GREAT for a stipping run. I'm getting a steady stream of 80-85% on the stripping run. I am considering trying a 2,000 watt in place of the 1,500 watt element and see if that is just enough to increase my polishing run...it may actually be too much!

    ...just early morning ramblings...
    Last edited by flyboytr; 12-20-2009 at 10:40 AM.
    FlyboyTR
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    PS-II-HC, with Stainless Electric Keg
    Water Cooling via the Swimming Pool
    Parrot's Beak
    Homemade 8' Charcoal Filter

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Hello, I've ran my 15.5 gal SS keg w/ Reflux head 6 times now and must say its been fun, but A fun long day. made a couple sugar washes and rum batches. Current configuration is using a turkey propane burner. I'm wanting to convert to electric so I can walk away without fear of burning down the house. My question is, is anyone using propane to ramp up temps then use 120V elect element to do the cook. I don't have 220 available. and want to know would a 1500 watt 120 element do the job
    Look forward to many posts, and sharing of experiences.
    Turtleberg

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default

    One thing to consider is the use of two 1500 watt elements in the keg. You could not run both elements off the same circuit, but if you had another wall socket around that was on a different breaker, then you could use a heavy extension cord running to the other room during heat up. Once you are up to temp then you could disconnect the extension cord and run on only one element.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    High up Hills, WNC< Occupied South
    Posts
    817

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    Welcome Turtle,

    And yes there are some that do the initial heat up via propane. I just ordered a new cooker that they claim will boil 40 gal. in 15 min. or simmer an egg in a skillet.

    Seems Flyboy has already given good advice on the 120 v. run. I personally would go a size larger than max. needed and use a controller like a cheap router speed controller to adjust to different runs.


    Quote Originally Posted by TURTLEBERG View Post
    Hello, I've ran my 15.5 gal SS keg w/ Reflux head 6 times now and must say its been fun, but A fun long day. made a couple sugar washes and rum batches. Current configuration is using a turkey propane burner. I'm wanting to convert to electric so I can walk away without fear of burning down the house. My question is, is anyone using propane to ramp up temps then use 120V elect element to do the cook. I don't have 220 available. and want to know would a 1500 watt 120 element do the job
    Look forward to many posts, and sharing of experiences.
    Turtleberg

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lower Alabama
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Hello Turtle!
    Welcome aboard. The 1500 watt, 120vac element is working out fine. I heat up on the 1500 and the 5500. I have now completed 6 runs through this new set-up. The transition from gas to electric is like working with a different animal! Your washes MUST be clean; no lees residue floating around...it will ruin your batch! There are a lot of advantages (for me anyway…) using the electric. It’s quiet, clean, safer…just a LOT more finicky about what you put in the boiler!

    If you reason for going electric is so you can walk away without fear of burning down the house…then your reason for electric is WRONG! The only thing missing in the equation is an open flame. I have learned to keep close vigilance over the beast. For example, I turn off the gas water heater (pilot light) and the gas furnace, just in case. Since I am now using Tin Man in the house…(looks real nice next to the bar!) I also use an anti-static pad just in case.

    My cooling water is supplied via our swimming pool and pump. I have enough 55 degree water flowing that I can stop the output and hold it in total reflux. So basically I have two water hoses and my power supply cable coming in through the doggie door.


    This is how easy it is for something to go wrong. On the fourth run on electric (first run in the house) everything was going great on a polishing run. My wife is very active in this hobby with me and she was sitting on the sofa watching Tin Man while I took care of a nature call. Suddenly she started hollering for me. I stepped out of the bathroom, running down the hall (trying to get my pants up…we are all adults are we?). As I entered the living room I could hear a loud hissing noise and a cloud was forming. I had no idea what had happened. Kathy said it was an instant change. Alcohol in total vapor form blowing out the outlet, Tin Man literally jumping and twitching like he was possessed was a frightening sight. It was like someone had a pressure washer blowing mist into the room! I went through the fog, hit the floor and unplugged Tin Man. Within a few seconds things started to quiet down. We opened all the door and windows and sat a fan outside to blow fresh air into the house.

    OK…What happened??? I enjoy flying and mild aerobatics and so just like brewing;…while we do all we can to manage the risk…there is still the potential for disaster. …I’m done preaching now… In the excitement of running Tin Man in the house, I forgot to switch my pool pump controller to manual so the automatic timer would NOT turn the pump off! When the pump turned off, I lost all coolin water to the head and the condenser! All of this happened so quickly and it is still a sober reminder how careful we must be playing with vaporous explosives! …Note to self…turn the pump to manual…

    1500 watts will do a good job of heating and you will need a controller to drop the heat a little, unless you have a really cold, high capacity water supply to match the heat. I would think you could get 13 gallons up to temp with a single 1500 in an hour. Not bad…and a simple system to boot!

    Sorry to be so long in the tooth… but going electric so you can walk away is the WRONG reason to change. All that said…I am growing to love this electric thing! I even suggested changing his name to Mr. Killowatt...but the boss say NO...Tin Man lives!

    Mtnwalker2,… Super clean wash is the secret. I haven’t had any more funky brews on electric since I cleaned up my act! I think you may be next on the electric wagon!
    Last edited by flyboytr; 12-20-2009 at 10:43 AM.
    FlyboyTR
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    PS-II-HC, with Stainless Electric Keg
    Water Cooling via the Swimming Pool
    Parrot's Beak
    Homemade 8' Charcoal Filter

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lower Alabama
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TURTLEBERG View Post
    My question is, is anyone using propane to ramp up temps then use 120V elect element to do the cook. I don't have 220 available. and want to know would a 1500 watt 120 element do the job
    Turtleberg
    Sorry...missed your primary question before I broke out on that long diatribe...

    As Mtnwalker2 stated, yes you can. However, you can't fully insulate the keg if you're using fire to heat it up! I would forgo the propane pre-heater, insulate the keg and tower well and let them little killowinkles do their job. It's amazing how much heat is lost! Hope it all goes well...and again...Welcome aboard!
    FlyboyTR
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    PS-II-HC, with Stainless Electric Keg
    Water Cooling via the Swimming Pool
    Parrot's Beak
    Homemade 8' Charcoal Filter

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7

    Default

    OK, Great information. Sounds like regardless if I use Propaine or Elect. I will need more man power to stand guard. My cook times have been around 12-16 hours. First cook everyone was my friend, we had a great time and the time flew. 2nd cook all by myself, made for a long day. I like the suggestion of wrapping the Keg and Head to lock in the heat.
    I'll convert to elect before the new year. I've been toying with the idea of a better filtering tube, I saw your mother of all mothers Homemade 8' Charcoal Filter system, (you have way too much time on your hands), yet very impressive. Are you using std white pvc tubing? I was under the inpression PVC could put off unwanted gasses and nasty's.

    Any way I'm out here in California, this entire adventure started one night with friends, we ran out of drink and no one was in any shape to drive, however we had a few bottles of some junk wine and a friend said one of his Laotian renter told him you could place wine in a sauce pan on the stove, place a cup in the center and invert the lid and capture the alcohol, and so we did and here we are.
    Turtle in California

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lower Alabama
    Posts
    52

    Default

    It can make for a long day. We usually start around 0500 so we are finished at a reasonable time...plus I get up early anyway! You may want to do a couple of stripping runs...much quicker. Then spend the day doing a polishing run. Better product that way to boot!

    Yes...One heck of a filter. Thanks! I never noticed any off-tastes using the PVC filter. Everything was cleaner coming out than it was going in. However, on the last two batches I didn't use the filter. Using Mtnwalker2's suggestion of letting it sit on carbon for a week or so appears to be doing a great job. There are several threads on this.

    We just finished up a taste of homebrew brandy, it's pouring rain...and I'm going to bed. Good luck!
    FlyboyTR
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    PS-II-HC, with Stainless Electric Keg
    Water Cooling via the Swimming Pool
    Parrot's Beak
    Homemade 8' Charcoal Filter

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