Using an Immersion Element + Burner Setup for BIAB

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Nizmoose

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Thought I'd post up a thread here showing a few results of a test I did with my new grimwood 2400W element, and when I say new I mean olllld but I scored it for 99c on Ebay which I'm quite pleased about as I was looking for a solution to a few issues I have been having using just gas for my small BIAB setup. SO firstly my current setup consists of a 4 ring burner with standard reg, a Big W 19L Stainless pot and a BIAB bag obviously. I've loved all grain brewing and BIAB made the transistion so much easier and cheaper than it could have been however one thing that been bugging me is hitting step temps as I do enjoy a good stepped mash schedule. With the burner I could normally hit the lower targets but trying to achieve and maintain a mashout temp was just not happening for me, lifting the bag off the bottom of the pot, holding it up, getting the water up to temp, dropping the bag down and finding I'd hit 72C by the time it was all wrapped up was a pain in the arse and trying to hit higher temps before dropping the bag was doing little to help.

So the element has been purchased with the aim of using it for the entire mash from heating the strike water to hitting each step and perhaps assisting with getting up to a boil. Using the element will help me hit targets as well as save me lifting and holding the bag up and will remove the need for me to take insulation on and off the pot. I tested the speed of the element in 14L of water and timed each step, obviously grain will alter the times slightly but it gives a good idea. Obviously there are heaps of people on here that use electric systems and will gain little to nothing from this post but I thought I'd post up my results in case someone else who is all propane is considering using an element or heat stick to help them along a bit when it comes to control. My mash 'steps' were 54C, 64C, 69C and finally 78C before going to a boil. I also took a sample of water at the start and end to see if I could taste anything that might have been caused by the element as the last thing I wanted was terrible tasting wort because of an element that is supposed to improve my process.

The times were as follows:
12.3-54C took 16 minutes
54C- 64C took 4 minutes
64c -69C took 2 minutes
69C - 78C took 4 minutes
78C to a boil took 13 minutes
Total mash ramp time of 26 minutes, which beats the hell out of my gas mashes which were closer to 10 minutes a step after screwing around with the bag and insulation.

I tasted both the before after and water boiled from the kettle and couldn't taste anything bad in the water boiled with the immersion element which is great.

Finishing off I just have a couple of questions regarding using an immersion element:
After turning the element off how long if at all do you have to wait before removing the element from the water without it burning up? Also is moving the element from the brewpot into cold water (to prevent the element from burning up out of liquid) a bad idea in terms of throwing something quite hot into cold water (cracking/warping issues?)? And lastly is the element okay to sit on the bottom of the pot or will it burn where it contacts the pot? For the test run I was stirring the whole time and would do the same for the mash steps for the sake of not burning the mash but it'd be nice to just let it sit when getting the strike water up to temp.

Cheers and sorry for the thesis paper length post
 

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