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30-40 Litre Hot Water Urns

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T.D.

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Hi all,

I think I will get myself a hot water urn to use as a hlt in the coming weeks. I don't mind buying one new (unless, through some miracle, a good second hand one turns up) but I don't really know the best place to get one from. I am in Sydney by the way. The options I have seen so far are:

The Hospitality Store http://www.hospitalitystore.com.au - 30L:$276

Hospitality Warehouse http://www.hospitalityware.com.au - 30L:$265, 40L:$290

Allquip: 30L:$232 (but this is a "web price" - does this mean I can't go to their store and buy one for this price?)


Does anybody know of any other places that have better deals than those mentioned above?


The other (slightly less sexy) alternative I have is to get a 30L plastic fermenter, use a boil-proof plastic tap on it, and install a kettle element in it. Should be able to do all of that for around $40 - hell of a saving compared to the urn. Is this possible? Is it potentially dangerous (I am not that electrically savvy)?

Cheers :beer:
 

WillM

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I use a 25l bucket with an element in it for my boils and it works pretty well. It has a box that allows me to adjust the temperature.

I'm no electrician either, but I'd assume if you just wanted it on at maximum temperature it would work just like a kettle, and you would not need the control box.

I bought mine made up (it was about $100, a long time ago)

Please keep me posted as to how you get on with it. I could use another one.
 

T.D.

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How do the kettle elements attach to the fermenter (say the stock-standard ones that Big W apparently sell)? Are they already set up ready for a bulk-head type fitting, or do they require some modification before you can just drill a hole in the plastic and attach one?

This may be a pretty good option, as long as I know it will be safe and I am not going to fry myself! :unsure:
 

Duff

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TD,

Have a search on the site for some posts by Plastic Man, I recall he did what you are thinking of and posted some excellent pictures and details.

Mine's easy, I use the fermenter the finished beer is ultimately going into, fill it and dunk my immersion heater into it. It takes 60 minutes to heat 30L to 80C, and all I do is switch it on or off when needed to keep it between 75 - 80. One day I might get around to buying an urn, but I find it is a cheap and effective way of heating sparge water. It doesn't take much then to keep an eye on the temperature of the water during the sparge (continuous) and I heven't seen any adverse effects on the fermenters at all over the past 12 months of AG brewing.

Cheers.
 

Samwise Gamgee

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I use the same method as Duff for a HLT.

It does the job and if you don't have much storage space, you don't have more bulky items around as you are using a currently owned fermenter.
 

T.D.

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Thanks guys. I currently brew with an immersion element, so I could simply do exactly what you do (ie just get another 30L fermenter for the hlt, and use the element). My biggest issue with my current setup is that my hlt and kettle are both 25L pails which means my boil and sparge water volumes are quite limited. I plan to get a 50L kettle soon (even though I would rarely have a boil volume over 35L), which will solve the boil volume issue, but I would like to have a bit of room up my sleeve for sparge water volume too (even though >25L is plenty for a 30L batch size), in case I decide to do some double batches in the future.

As usual with these things, I go in with elaborate plans of wizz-bang new setups, and then end up saying "ahh, stuff it" and sticking with something very similar to what I currently use!
 

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