converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

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wilfh
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converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by wilfh » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:17 pm

Hello all,

I have a 50L stainless pot with a copper hop strainer that following a house move I need to convert to electric as I no longer have gas available.

The question is how?

I see that you can get a 2.4W stainless kettle element for about £30. Is this big enough to bring 30L to the boil and therefore should I get two? What happens if it is on when the pot is drained? Will it break?

What’s the difference between the above and a 3W LWE fitting such as this one?
https://www.brewbuilder.co.uk/3kw-lwd-elements.html

I can’t get easily to a HBS at the moment so the postman is my friend and I’m relying on my own skills to install.
Cheers
Wilf

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Pinto
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by Pinto » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:30 pm

Size of hole and method of mounting. To insert an element into your stainless pot will require you to cut a hole - that will require the correct size hole saw or q-max punch cutter and some careful drilling as stainless can be a real ass to drill into/through.

You say you issue in the main is the loss of your gas supply - is it beond the realms to consider a portable burner/propane cylinder setup ? or even one of THESE -assuming your pan is induction rated (or you use a converter) ?
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...
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wilfh
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by wilfh » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:46 pm

Hmm it's an option.

Going for propane would mean being weather dependent outside so with electrics I have some flexibility of being inside and having the element in the boiler would be neater.

The hole shouldn't be a problem. It's the sparky bit's I'm not so sure on.

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Pinto
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by Pinto » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:03 pm

Thats the simple part - if you can wire a plug, then you're more than capable.
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

wilfh
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by wilfh » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:17 pm

So will a 2.5w element be enough or should I go for two for 30l?

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Pinto
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by Pinto » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:09 pm

my boiler can bring 23l to a good rolling boil on 1800W so yes, should be fine, just not rocket ship fast
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

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Dads_Ale
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by Dads_Ale » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:27 pm

I have two 2.4kw elements in my 56 litre boiler and generally fill to 40 litres. with the two elements on it gets to the boil much quicker then you can turn one off for a rolling boil.

And yes you have to turn them off when draining. They must be covered with liquid when on.

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Monkeybrew
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by Monkeybrew » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:29 pm

wilfh wrote:Hmm it's an option.

Going for propane would mean being weather dependent outside so with electrics I have some flexibility of being inside and having the element in the boiler would be neater.

The hole shouldn't be a problem. It's the sparky bit's I'm not so sure on.

If you go for one or two of these.........
http://www.angelhomebrew.co.uk/en/kettl ... t-kit.html

........then no sparky skills are required, just drill/punch your hole, fit the element and then insert the kettle lead.

Cheers

MB
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JonoT
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by JonoT » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:02 pm

Monkeybrew wrote:
wilfh wrote:Hmm it's an option.

Going for propane would mean being weather dependent outside so with electrics I have some flexibility of being inside and having the element in the boiler would be neater.

The hole shouldn't be a problem. It's the sparky bit's I'm not so sure on.

If you go for one or two of these.........
http://www.angelhomebrew.co.uk/en/kettl ... t-kit.html

........then no sparky skills are required, just drill/punch your hole, fit the element and then insert the kettle lead.

Cheers

MB
I have the same elements in my boiler. I have a brew size of 30l. I use 2 elements to bring to the boil, though I can bring to the boil on one its just much quicker with 2. I then switch one off one at the boil. Having 2 means that when one fails, which did to me the other week I was able to finish my brew!

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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by alexlark » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:17 am

Monkeybrew wrote:
wilfh wrote:Hmm it's an option.

Going for propane would mean being weather dependent outside so with electrics I have some flexibility of being inside and having the element in the boiler would be neater.

The hole shouldn't be a problem. It's the sparky bit's I'm not so sure on.

If you go for one or two of these.........
http://www.angelhomebrew.co.uk/en/kettl ... t-kit.html

........then no sparky skills are required, just drill/punch your hole, fit the element and then insert the kettle lead.

Cheers

MB

I like the look of these! Do they seal ok on the Bergland pots?

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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by lord groan » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:42 am

Putting the element in through the curved side of the pot adds a degree of difficulty in getting it to seal, is the base a single skin? You could fit a burco element clone in the base.
( http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BURCO-3kw-urn ... SwBLlVG-I3 )

This has a decent element surface area to reduce scorching, replacements are easy to get, and getting a watertight seal through the flat base is much esier but you need a reasonable understanding of leccy to wire them up and of course you need a stand to support the pot once you've got the gubbins coming out underneath. Because they are very low in the pot you can boil pretty small amounts, much less than with side mounted elements that are higher up in the pot.

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alexlark
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by alexlark » Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:20 pm

The single skin pots I'm on about. Good idea with the bottom mounting but I'd rather not build a base. I was gonna go with a gas boiling ring but may go leccy now.

Be interested in hearing from others that have used the side mounted elements in a 50l pot and if they seal ok without jip!

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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by simon12 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:33 pm

I have 2 £5 kettle elements in a 33L plastic bucket and it seals fine using the rubber seal from the kettle I suppose the plastic being flexible helps. 1 element maintains a strong boil but 2 helps it get there much quicker.

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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by alexlark » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:00 pm

I was thinking of going the el-cheapo route as i love diy but i also like the shiny :D

JonoT
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Re: converting a 50L pot into a electric boiler

Post by JonoT » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:03 pm

I tried budget kettles and couldn't get them to seal in my metal boiler. However with the Haden type elements I used a KM8 locknut which I was able to get much tighter than the plastic one.

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