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Home Build Mash Tun/Boiler Combo (BIAB)

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cammmy

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Hi Guys

I moved to a flat that has an electric stove top rather than gas; I figured this wasn't going to be good enough to keep stable temps for my partial mash brews. After investigating mash tuns and deciding they were rather expensive for what is essentially a chilly bin, I thought I'd have a crack at making my own. The results:







And yes, I realise the tap looks a little lewd :lol:

With a partial mash of under 10L, the temp only dropped around 4c over an hour, so should be even less when doing all grain mashes but this leads me to another problem. With a 10L pot, the electric hob struggles to bring the wort up to boil. I can't imagine it will fare very well with 23L plus. Would I be able to get a couple of kettle type elements and dangle them into the mash tun to boil once the grain bag has been removed? This would be ideal as A. I would lose far less temperature than having to pour into another pot, so it should be easier to get up to a rolling boil and B. it would mean minimal extra equipment to be able to move to all grain.

Thoughts?
 

Ducatiboy stu

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You could...BUT....boiling wort will make the plastic nice and soft.....make sure you stand well back when it fails and collapses

Do a search for " bucket of death " on here

The arguments will at least keep you entertained :lol:
 

cammmy

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Okay, cheers. I figured it might be okay as the walls are really quite thick and it's food grade HDPE.

"HDPE or High Density Poly Ethelene plastic has an amazing temperature range, and is considered safe for short periods up to 248°F (120°C) or for long periods up to 230°F (110°C.) Since boiling water never gets above 100°C, this means that anything boiling and below is safe for a food grade bucket."
 

kaiserben

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Before I started with my electric stove top I stressed so much about whether I'd maintain mash temperature, whether I'd get a boil etc etc, but I needn't have worried.

Using a Big W 19L pot I have had no problem at all maintaining temperature with 2-3 towels wrapped around during the mash. I give it a stir every 15-30 minutes and it usually drops only 1 degree C in that time. (While I'm stirring & checking temp I switch the stove top on full for about 20 seconds. This brings the temp back up 1 degree C, or thereabouts).

I haven't had a problem achieving a decent rolling boil in that same 19L pot. I've boiled up to approx 16L of wort in it without problem.

My electric stove's element would be 1800W.
 

DJ_L3ThAL

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Don't forget the immersion element will be FAR hotter than 100C as it needs to be to have a temperature differential to transfer the heat into the wort. So keep it in the middle of the fluid as if it is near or touches the sides could cause failure of the bucket/drum. Godspeed.
 

cammmy

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Cheers for the replies. I might just have to bite the bullet and make some incisions through the insulation and drill a couple of holes for elements. Still got some spare insulation so can patch around it like I did for the tap.

Does anyone have a recommendation for element types and the number I'd need for a batch of up to around 27L (would it be more like 40L before the boil)?

Cheers
Cam
 

Topher

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In Iceland they use plastic buckets with elements often, heard a podcast about that.
 

michaeld16

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Yeah a bit much for a 10amp household powerpoint. Keep in mind that one kettle element will draw 9-10 amps so having two on at the same time will also be overloading
 

QldKev

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I've got a blue fermenter which looks similar to your one. I poured water at about 90c into it and it softened up quite a bit.
 

sgtpinky

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Power = Voltage x Current

So a 5500 Watt (power) element on 240 Volts will draw roughly 23 Amps (current). So if you wanted to run one of these elements you'd have to get a sparky to put in a 30 Amp circuit and then run a cable and plug to suit. As michaeld16 said, a normal household powerpoint is rated for 10 Amps.


cammmy said:
 
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cammmy

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Okay, cheers.

I'm renting while I'm in the UK so modifying the flat isn't an option.

What about two kettle elements on different sockets? Would I need to find ones on different fuses?

Brew God, how thick are the walls on your fermenter? I think the ones on mine are at least 5mm
 

michaeld16

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[quote name="cammmy" post="1241468" timestamp="1

What about two kettle elements on different sockets? Would I need to find ones on different fuse[/quote]

That will be fine mate thats what i do with my two kettle elements just use them on two seperate circuits i hardly ever need to run both just when bringing to the boil then one on its own is enough for a 20ltr batch
 

cammmy

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Cool, cheers. Did you just gut kettles and re-use the components? Is there any extra control components required?
 

crowmanz

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cammmy said:
Cool, cheers. Did you just gut kettles and re-use the components? Is there any extra control components required?
Yeah it is pretty easy to get out, depending on the kettle you get you may need an extra cable like this http://www.snaptec.com.au/power-cords-iec-c13_full_1.jpg I used a spare laptop/pc cable I had. it should plug straight into the element. I used the $9.50 big w cordeless kettle

Basically, pull off the plastic cover near the element (handle of kettle - you can snap it don't worry), then unscrew the element via the 3 screws (might be some screws around the switch) remember to keep the seal. Then cut hole in your bucket, screw in element and test to see if it is watertight. Get a sparky to look at it.

there was a video I found on here after a bit of a search which I used for the dismantle but it had alternative wire up. cant find the thread and video now, but a search on bucket of death or $9 kmart kettle should find some pictures.
 

cammmy

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Brilliant, thanks. Do you re-use the original switch for the kettle or wire it so that it's always on if it has power?
 

TheWiggman

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When you pull it apart you'll see how it works. The switch operates the thermostat and pivots off the jug. It can't be reused. Hence it is 'on' all the time.
 

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