Taming My Urn

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
The boil on my 20 litre urn is probably too vigorous and I lose a lot to evaporation. However if I turn the thermostat down it just cuts in and out but still boils with the same intensity, a very turbulent angry rolling boil, not a nice steady cruise rolling boil.

Is there anyway you can play with the thermostat, element etc to reduce its output and tame the boil a bit? I was wondering if an appropriate resistor wired in somehow might reduce the element from 2400 watts to 1800 watts or less, with a switch to do this once you've reached the boil.
A phase controller, using a non zero cross SSR or you might be able to get a cheap controller for power tools, remember there being a triac based kit years ago, not sure if they are rated for 2400w though
maybe a light dimmer switch ?
"3800W Adjustable 0-220V Voltage Regulator for Dimming Light Lamps Speed Control" about $12 from evilbay. (thanks to ekul for finding these)
maybe point a fan at it (at the side) to "cool" it, could be a easy test

or one of these
you also need to buy the pot (470-560KΩ (Potentiometer is Not Included))

it's a variable SSR using a pot to control the output.
you could then remove the thermostat and use the VSSR to dial in any amount of power from +- 0->100% and it will just reduce the watt input not turn it on and off
Thanks guys will look into the options mentioned and see what I can come up with.

Have you ever considered upgrading to a 40L urn?

Yes and have been looking around for one on eBay etc. They are too expensive new for my current brewing budget unless I can get one without SWMBO seeing the costs. We have a deal on the money I spend on brewing gear as we're saving for an overseas trip.
Yeh I wish I could get away with just going to tassie but we've been before. She wants to go to the US. Even though she's already been 3 times.
Bali is overseas right?! ;)

Christmas island...
She wants to go to Bali....after we've been to the US. And she wants to come up your way PF to visit my folks.
Christmas island is bloody expensive to fly too. Even from WA as I looked into it when I was living over there. Nice place to go to though.
Woman just don't seem to understand that you need to upgrade your brewery equipment every 6 weeks or so.
Well at least that's the excuse I use, but doesnt always work.

Latest posts