Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

The forum for discussing all kinds of brewing paraphernalia.
raiderman

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by raiderman » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:55 pm

micmacmoc wrote:nOt being a very practical person....where could I get some of these s/s rings? I'm not best at DIY!

IN the end it really has been worth it, the cost aside, the boiler is superb now. The missus can't keep me from playing with the thing, she'm getting jealous!
I'm not practical either and if it hadn't been for jubby who is and knows about these things I'd be nowhere. The comments below are his. I've inclused the Backer link to let you double-decker itsthe same element


From Bearing boys http://www.bearingboys.co.uk/KM8_Bearin ... _Nut-961-p
Two KM8 locknuts. These are to secure the Backer elements as the supplied plastic shrouds are pants. There are cheaper ones at a couple of quid, but they are not stainless and so they will rust. Best pay the extra and have these stainless ones.

From Backer: http://www.heatingelementcompany.co.uk/ ... roduct=287

User avatar
orlando
It's definitely Lock In Time
Posts: 6821
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:22 pm
Location: North Norfolk: Nearest breweries All Day Brewery, Salle. Panther, Reepham. Yetman's, Holt

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by orlando » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:50 am

LDK, SKF,...... WTF is that about???? Thanks raiderman but I would be interested to know what the difference is between the two nuts, I obviously misspent my youth relying on girls sport and beer as my education as I don't have a clue about these things. I've decided to go for the Copper Kettle sites element. I rang them and spoke to a guy who was so helpful it made me feel confident to use him, it may still benefit from your suggestion however.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Blitzkrieg Hop
Conditioning:
Drinking: Brown Sugar "How come you taste so good" (Brown Ale), Song For Keith, 4 Hops To Heaven, No Stout About It (Porter), From Russia With Love (RIS), Twist & Stout, Reasons To Be Beerful (Part Three)

Up Next: Hollywood Perfume (American Kolsch), With A Bitter Luck, Yellow Light
Planning: Spring drinking Beer

micmacmoc

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by micmacmoc » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:35 pm

How is spending time on 'girls, sport and beer' misspent? Thats proper is that.

196osh

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by 196osh » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:23 pm

orlando wrote:
196osh wrote:I have used loads of kettle elements, all you haeve to do is make sure they are spotless prior to brewing. The black stuff is burnt in wort. you can scrape it away if you leave it in something corrosive/hot and there will be silvery kettle element under it.
This black is not wort it is a short out! Take another look at the pictures the element is "welded" to the back plate. I envy the guys that bought these ages ago and have no problems with them.
Look at a new one they are all "welded" to the backplate prior to use.

User avatar
Pinto
Falling off the Barstool
Posts: 3443
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:09 pm
Location: Rye, East Sussex

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by Pinto » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:46 pm

Not an AG brewer but I spend my life working with immersion elements :) TBH you're only looking at spending about another £5-£7 for a proper 11" Superalloy immersion element - and those will keep up with boil after boil as its what they're intended for.

raiderman

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by raiderman » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:31 am

orlando wrote:LDK, SKF,...... WTF is that about???? Thanks raiderman but I would be interested to know what the difference is between the two nuts, I obviously misspent my youth relying on girls sport and beer as my education as I don't have a clue about these things. I've decided to go for the Copper Kettle sites element. I rang them and spoke to a guy who was so helpful it made me feel confident to use him, it may still benefit from your suggestion however.
The locking nuts I'm using are stainless steel, so the element is locked hard and fast to the boiler, which is more secure than the plastic sleeve the elements are supplied with. Its just a more solid job.

User avatar
orlando
It's definitely Lock In Time
Posts: 6821
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:22 pm
Location: North Norfolk: Nearest breweries All Day Brewery, Salle. Panther, Reepham. Yetman's, Holt

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by orlando » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:52 pm

Pinto wrote:Not an AG brewer but I spend my life working with immersion elements :) TBH you're only looking at spending about another £5-£7 for a proper 11" Superalloy immersion element - and those will keep up with boil after boil as its what they're intended for.
Arrived yesterday, fitting tomorrow, brewing shortly after, hopefully happy ever after. :D
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Blitzkrieg Hop
Conditioning:
Drinking: Brown Sugar "How come you taste so good" (Brown Ale), Song For Keith, 4 Hops To Heaven, No Stout About It (Porter), From Russia With Love (RIS), Twist & Stout, Reasons To Be Beerful (Part Three)

Up Next: Hollywood Perfume (American Kolsch), With A Bitter Luck, Yellow Light
Planning: Spring drinking Beer

fen_boy78

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by fen_boy78 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:14 pm

Immersion heaters sound like the better option.

Are they easy to wire up and can they plug straight into mains?

User avatar
themadhippy
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2856
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:53 am
Location: playing hooky

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by themadhippy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:48 pm

Are they easy to wire up
yes
and can they plug straight into mains?
depends on the size,a 3KW load is right on the limit of a 13A fuse,be much better on 16A ceeform
Warning: The Dutch Coffeeshops products may contain drugs. Drinks containing caffeine should be used with care and moderation

User avatar
Pinto
Falling off the Barstool
Posts: 3443
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:09 pm
Location: Rye, East Sussex

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by Pinto » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:58 pm

Under standardised euro-voltage (230v) then a 3kw element on a 13A supply is an overload - good job the voltage sits at ~240v 90% of the time and 13A fuses arent insta-blow at their limit :) In practice it should run fine from a socket outlet (there are tens of thousands of immersion tanks bubbling away happily out there) - but plug DIRECT into the socket, dont use an extention lead as voltage drop will increase the current loading.

The optimal solution is to run a dedicated single point spur direct from the ring main and use 16A commando plugs and sockets for the boiler
Primary 1: Nonthing
Primary 2 : Nothing
Primary 3 : None
Secondary 1 : Empty
Secondary 1 : None
DJ(1) : Nowt
DJ(2) : N'otin....
In the Keg : Nada
Conditioning : Nowt
In the bottle : Cinnamonator TC, Apple Boost Cider, Apple & Strawberry Cider
Planning : AG #5 - Galaxy Pale (re-brew) / #6 - Alco-Brau (Special Brew Clone) / #7 Something belgian...
Projects : Mini-brew (12l brew length kit) nearly ready :D

Join the BrewChat - open minds and adults only ;) - Click here

oldtimer

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by oldtimer » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:49 pm

I bought the el-cheapo kettle's from Sainsbury in 2011. Done about eight brews so far and nay problem. I find the crud comes off when I boil up again. A bit of a pain in-so-much as I have to boil two lots of water. One to remove the crud from the elements, the other to use in the brew.
Up to now I have used the boiler as a boiler for water and then used the same one to boil up the wort.
Now I have upgraded and useing three S/S tubs ( including mash tun).

User avatar
themadhippy
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2856
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:53 am
Location: playing hooky

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by themadhippy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:06 pm

The optimal solution is to run a dedicated single point spur direct from the ring main and use 16A commando plugs and sockets for the boiler
if your using a fused spur fine,however wiring a 16A ceeform directly to the ring,either as part of the ring or as an unfused spur off the ring is a big no no
Warning: The Dutch Coffeeshops products may contain drugs. Drinks containing caffeine should be used with care and moderation

BarnsleyBrewer
Under the Table
Posts: 1794
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:52 pm
Location: Wombwell (South Yorkshire)

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:16 pm

Mine have brewed over 2000 pints without any problems...

Touch Wood... :wink:
Image
"Brewing Fine Ales in Barnsley Since 1984"
- - - - - - - 30 years (1984 - 2014)- - - - - - -
Pints Brewed in 2019......... 416
Pints brewed in 2018.. 416
Pints brewed in 2017.. 416 - Pints brewed in 2016.. 208
Pints brewed in 2015.. 624 - Pints brewed in 2014.. 832

Dr. Dextrin

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by Dr. Dextrin » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:55 pm

Pinto wrote:Under standardised euro-voltage (230v) then a 3kw element on a 13A supply is an overload - good job the voltage sits at ~240v 90% of the time and 13A fuses arent insta-blow at their limit :) In practice it should run fine from a socket outlet (there are tens of thousands of immersion tanks bubbling away happily out there) - but plug DIRECT into the socket, dont use an extention lead as voltage drop will increase the current loading.

The optimal solution is to run a dedicated single point spur direct from the ring main and use 16A commando plugs and sockets for the boiler
An element rated at 3kW for a 230V supply will indeed nominally exceed 13A, but only marginally. However, running the same element at 240V will definitely exceed 13A (it'll draw around 13.6A). I think what you meant to say is that an element rated at 3kW for a 240V supply will be OK when run at 240V (and also at 230V of course).

Also, if using an extension lead, the extra voltage drop will reduce the current drawn, not increase it.

Herr Ohm would be turning in his grave. :wink: :)

User avatar
keith1664
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 610
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:54 pm
Location: Norwich

Re: Cheap Kettle Elements (a cautionary tale)

Post by keith1664 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:04 am

oldtimer wrote:I bought the el-cheapo kettle's from Sainsbury in 2011. Done about eight brews so far and nay problem. I find the crud comes off when I boil up again. A bit of a pain in-so-much as I have to boil two lots of water. One to remove the crud from the elements, the other to use in the brew.
Up to now I have used the boiler as a boiler for water and then used the same one to boil up the wort.
Now I have upgraded and useing three S/S tubs ( including mash tun).
Best way to keep them clean is a quick scrub with a nylon scourer or toothbrush straight after you've emptied the boiler before it gets a chance to set hard.
In or near Norwich? Interested in meeting up monthly to talk and drink beer? PM me for details.

Post Reply