Upgrade - advice needed please

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mozza
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Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by mozza » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:07 pm

I've not been brewing for a good couple of years now, but I really want to start again. I'm currently living in a small two bed and don't have a garage so space is a big factor. I've been eying up the single vessel systems but I can't justify spending that much. For me the biggest part of brewing is the satisfaction in knowing I can make beer for virtually nothing!

With that in mind I'm probably going to carry on using my DIY mash tun and just upgrade my boiler to something shiny. My current boiler is a blue drum with kettle elements that I've bodged together. She's done me well but is definitely a bit past it

Gas or Electric?
I like the idea of electric but my worry is that Using two elements will trip the electrics. In our old house I could run one element from the garage and the other from the house as they were on separate circuits.
How do others get around this? Can you use a more powerful element than a standard kettle jobbie and fit a temperature controller to dial it back once you hit the boil?

Im tempted with getting a burner and was eyeing up this in my local home brew shop http://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/aca ... meter.html but the pot seemed a bit flimsy...

I'd really appreciate any advice!

Cheers,

Sam
Cheers and gone,

Mozza

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themadhippy
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by themadhippy » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:15 pm

In our old house I could run one element from the garage and the other from the house as they were on separate circuits.
How do others get around this
If you have an electric cooker switch with a socket outlet then 1 element powered from there and the other from a normal socket
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Fil
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by Fil » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:48 am

Yes most of us with 2 x electric elements do source power from 2 distinct ring mains, just ensure any extension leads used are suitably rated for the full 13a and are all fully uncoiled before use ;)

regarding more powerful elements the weak link in the 'chain' is the 13a plug/socket, So No element that can draw more than 13a is a good idea. going more powerful will require new a suitably rated plug/socket installing and probably the wiring to a dedicated mcb too.

gas is less efficient with a lot of heat lost to the wind even if a windbreak is employed.

buying the stockpots direct from the ebay.fr suplier will save you a lot of cash(50-60%) catering-portal.bergland@msg.afterbuy.de , though you will need to fit your own tap if needed. the dial thermometer is eye candy and not very useful in fact would be more of a hinderence for a simple biab brew technique getting in the way or worse ripping the bag.. IMHO Your better off with an accurate thermometer that looks less snazzy Accurate Mechanical dial thermometers that you can calibrate are far from cheap while a £3 digital thermometer can read true +/- 1c ..
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by chefgage » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:08 am

If space is an issue why not scale it down a bit. What i have done recently is scaled it down to 10l batches using the biab method. I have then converted my 50l stainless boiler from gas to electric. By having the smaller amount of wort to boil i can get away with one element so no extension leads etc..

By brewing the smaller amounts i seem to be brewing more often, i put this down to the fact i am not using three 50l vessels any more only one vessel is used so cleaning up takes alot less time which in turn makes me want to brew more.

Another benefit is that i am able to experiment with different recipes more that if i am brewing larger batches, well for me anyway.

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Hogarth
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by Hogarth » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:34 pm

It's okay to run two elements from the same ring circuit, as long as you plug each element into a separate socket. (Not a double socket; two physically separate sockets.) Two 2.4kW elements (say) will draw a total of 20 Amps. A domestic ring circuit can handle up to 32 Amps. To be safe, don't use the kettle/dishwasher/microwave at the same time.

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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by vacant » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:05 pm

chefgage wrote:why not scale it down a bit.
Good point. I'm missing brewing - three months today, 'cos I filled all five of my kegs and still have plenty left. I should probably sell a couple.
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Kyle_T
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by Kyle_T » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:23 pm

I went with a 50L Bergland stock pot and a Home Brew Builder 3kw ripple element, only draws 13amps and works a charm through the control panel.
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Kev888
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by Kev888 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:10 pm

I slightly prefer using gas-powered kettles, for similar reasons to people liking gas hobs in the kitchen; its easy and responsive to control. It also avoids various reliability issues with elements or limitations on mains power-supply capacity that some people have.

But gas is something of a faff to deal with, has issues with drafts and needs ventilation etc, so electricity is nicer to deal with and considerably better (IMO) for indoor situations or where you may want to automate control. If on a half decent electrical supply tariff, the running costs are cheaper too.
Last edited by Kev888 on Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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orlando
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by orlando » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:06 pm

Kev888 wrote:
But gas is something of a faff to deal with, has issues with drafts and needs ventilation etc.
Particularly if you run out mid boil. #-o
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by aamcle » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:28 pm

If space is an issue then consider Biab most of the kit will pack back into the boiler/kettel when not in use. I'm haply doing 23 litre batches using only 1 x 3 Kw element and a 13 A supply.

I can't really understand why anybody would want to use gas when electricity is cheaper and much more convenient and far easier to manage with feedback control. I don't have a fully automated system but when I set a temperature the controls will maintain it with out me having to intervene.

Good luck with whatever you decide. aamcle

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mozza
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by mozza » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:41 pm

Cheers for the replies! Scaling down in size makes a lot of sense but I'd still like to be able to brew a full 20 litres or so if I fancied it.

I'm leaning towards a 33L / 35L stock pot and probably run two elements- at least then you have a spare if one goes tits.
When not in use I can use the pot for storing bits and bobs. Anything any bigger and the misses would kill me!
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mozza
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by mozza » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:45 pm

Kyle_T wrote:I went with a 50L Bergland stock pot and a Home Brew Builder 3kw ripple element, only draws 13amps and works a charm through the control panel.
I was gonna ask if they're worth the money!

They do look the business!
Cheers and gone,

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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by chefgage » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:47 am

orlando wrote:
Kev888 wrote:
But gas is something of a faff to deal with, has issues with drafts and needs ventilation etc.
Particularly if you run out mid boil. #-o
That was my fear so I always had a spare bottle ready just in case. My other problem with gas is as I brew in the kitchen (at the minute but I am converting an outhouse into a brewery/bar/seating area - I have a thread about that) I have to then take the 50l pot with the wort in out to the garage which is at the bottom of my garden and then back again when its boiled. Thats whats put me off brewing more often. Now I have moved to electric everythings done in the same place so no more moving large vessels of liquid down he drive :)

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mozza
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by mozza » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:18 pm

Where's the cheapest place to buy a 30-35 litre stock pot? Looking on eBay but not a lot on there?
I'm good with DIY so tempted to assemble everything myself
Cheers and gone,

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orlando
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Re: Upgrade - advice needed please

Post by orlando » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:02 pm

mozza wrote:Where's the cheapest place to buy a 30-35 litre stock pot? Looking on eBay but not a lot on there?
I'm good with DIY so tempted to assemble everything myself
Did you not see this from fil?
buying the stockpots direct from the ebay.fr suplier will save you a lot of cash(50-60%) catering-portal.bergland@msg.afterbuy.de , though you will need to fit your own tap if needed.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting:
Conditioning: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy) till December.
Drinking: Hollywood Perfume (American Kölsch), Blitzkrieg Hop, Brown Sugar "How come you taste so good" (Brown Ale), From Russia With Love (RIS)

Up Next: With A Bitter Luck, Yellow Light
Planning: Spring drinking Beer

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