Gas or electric...

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Paddington
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Gas or electric...

Post by Paddington » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:41 pm

My Brupaks boiler let me down for the second time today, it just can't handle high OG brews, the element overheats and cuts out. So after a truly awful time of trying to salvage the day, I'm going to relegate it to HLT and get a new kettle. I only need a 33 litre at this stage, although I'm tempted to go a bit bigger to future proof it.

I can't use the kitchen cooker, so I'm trying to decide whether to get a burner or use an lwd element. Any advice or experiences gratefully appreciated.

wolfenrook
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Re: Gas or electric...

Post by wolfenrook » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:35 pm

An easy way to narrow your choice down:-

Do you brew outside/well ventilated shed? Yes: Gas is an option, just remember to factor in the cost of gas, bottle deposit etc. No: Electric it is.

I went electric as I brew indoors, plus not having transport makes getting gas an annoyance. Not to mention how annoying it'd be to run out of gas half way through a brew, the flame blowing out etc.

Fil
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Location: Cowley, Oxford

Re: Gas or electric...

Post by Fil » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:56 pm

i brew with electric elements, and unless you brew excessively heavy and complex grain bill brews the risk from scorching from yor bog standard £5 budget kettle elements, probaly £10 budget kettle elements these days?? Is minimal.. so nice lwd elements are not a must have..

saying that using nice lwd elements in a hard water area will result in a lot less post boil element scrubbing.. the calcium build up mm's thick on a standard element can be scrubbed off fairly easily if caught soon after the boil. which is the extra work element involved with electric heating and in a hard water area.. but if left to set/cure/dry chemical (citric acid or similar) solutions become necessary to clean back to shiny.

You could also fit 1 x budget kettkle element and 1 x lwd, 2nd elements help geting the boil started quickly and can act as a quick boost or a back up durring the main boil which can generally be maintained with 1 element.. get the turbo heating from a cheap element and use a nice lwd for the main boil..

my understanding of gas from reading posts is that drawbacks include running out mid boil, the need for a wind guard as without it lots of heat can be lost to the wind. in winter bottles may need hot water baths to keep the gas flowing. but as said thats just my impression from reading posts..
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

Paddington
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Re: Gas or electric...

Post by Paddington » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:51 pm

Thanks, both. Sounds like my current boiler should be doing better. My worry with using a normal element is that the same will happen again.

Fil
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Location: Cowley, Oxford

Re: Gas or electric...

Post by Fil » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:26 pm

kettle elements often come with some dryboil protection, with my old blue barrel boiler fitted with 2x budget kettle elements this took the shape of a 'pingring' (Bi-metalic ring that would ping /spring into a new shape once hot enough), which in turn pushed in a small white pin to break the electrical contact within the elements body.

Following web advice blindly i took pliers to both the 'ping ring' and the lil white pin and pulled both from the elements. After which i had no element cut off problems..

you say brupacks boiler? one of these?? http://www.brupaks.com/boilers%20mashtuns.htm

the element cutting out suggests an issue with its thermostat/controller, can you attempt to SAFELY bypass the control by powering the element directly or via a 2ndary controller such as an stc1000. eliminating the thermostatic controller may eliminate the problem, while ive no experience with those kettles directly i do recall reading how a few folk have bypassed the inbuilt controller for a good reason but what those reasons were????

btw those are pretty good brewing elements fitted not the tight small footprint spiral found in the budget kettles..
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

Meatymc
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:36 pm
Location: Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Re: Gas or electric...

Post by Meatymc » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:26 pm

I brew in the garage with no power supply hence gas is really the only viable option. My only real comment is on the size of 'kettle'. I BIAB and bought a 33L pan assuming it was plenty big enough. Major mistake as I don't have the option to do a full volume mash. For the difference in cost - and for what it's worth, I'd always say go bigger than you think you need - you at least then have options.

Paddington
Piss Artist
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:07 pm

Re: Gas or electric...

Post by Paddington » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:41 pm

Fil wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:26 pm
kettle elements often come with some dryboil protection, with my old blue barrel boiler fitted with 2x budget kettle elements this took the shape of a 'pingring' (Bi-metalic ring that would ping /spring into a new shape once hot enough), which in turn pushed in a small white pin to break the electrical contact within the elements body.

Following web advice blindly i took pliers to both the 'ping ring' and the lil white pin and pulled both from the elements. After which i had no element cut off problems..

you say brupacks boiler? one of these?? http://www.brupaks.com/boilers%20mashtuns.htm

the element cutting out suggests an issue with its thermostat/controller, can you attempt to SAFELY bypass the control by powering the element directly or via a 2ndary controller such as an stc1000. eliminating the thermostatic controller may eliminate the problem, while ive no experience with those kettles directly i do recall reading how a few folk have bypassed the inbuilt controller for a good reason but what those reasons were????

btw those are pretty good brewing elements fitted not the tight small footprint spiral found in the budget kettles..
Yes, that’s the one. I suspect the reason people bypass the thermostat is it is useless. I just take a guess and fine tune with a thermometer.

Paddington
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:07 pm

Re: Gas or electric...

Post by Paddington » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:00 am

Thanks for the help, the Brupaks heap of crap will now be HLT when my shiny new kettle (with element) arrives from Brew Builder!

wolfenrook
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Re: Gas or electric...

Post by wolfenrook » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:33 am

Paddington wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:00 am
Thanks for the help, the Brupaks heap of crap will now be HLT when my shiny new kettle (with element) arrives from Brew Builder!
I ended up building my own with parts from BrewBuilder myself (I'd bought the stockpot from there a while ago, so just had to get the tools, fittings etc), personally I feel the quality is much higher. Plus if something goes wrong with it, I can just switch out the faulty part. I've been building my own pc for years though for the same reason, I prefer been able to rectify problems myself.

Of course, I couldn't resist also building a nice electric control panel too.... :lol:

patwestlake
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Location: Penarth, South Wales

Re: Gas or electric...

Post by patwestlake » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:35 pm

I went through the brupacks trials and went the same way - I use it as the HLT and it runs via PID control. My existing 50 litre Kettle is just being converted to electric and I'm going with the 3kw lwd element from brewbuilder just to avoid any future issues if I'm unlucky enough to move to a hard water area. Bypassing the safety on the brupacks is a doddle btw.

When you end up brewing during Beast II and you're on gas, you realise that gas has severe seasonal limitations, not to mention melting even very well insulated sight glasses.... Once you're on electric, you can insulate the kettle and heat up even quicker than gas as well. No more makeshift windbreaks! I also never run out of electricity halfway through a boil and end up faffing about changing regulators because the BBQ is on patio gas and the kettle is on calor.... Who knew a mid boil steep could taste so good!

Like Wolfenrook, I just had to build that panel....it's half the fun! Folk think I can land a 747 with it!

Pat
FV : Weiss Weiss Baby! Weissbier
Conditioning (bottles) : Citra SmaSh, Kolsch, Dirty Harry (Ghost Ship), Galaxy Delight

Next : Patersbier, some sort of Goes, Cindy Juice

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