Steel electric brewing kettles

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monkeyboy
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Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by monkeyboy » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:55 pm

After my old faithful electric brewing kettle packed up on me mid-boil, I thought it might be time to consider an upgrade. My old one is very similar to the Electrim mashing bin. Plastic bucket, kettle element, plastic tap. Apart from being a total pain in the arse to clean the element properly, it's been fine up to now. Not quick to bring 25L to the boil though.

I'm thinking of trying to justify an upgrade to a stainless steel electric kettle. I don't really want to go down the route of using a propane/gas burner and boiler because of the fire risk with kids and a dog all running around. As far as I can tell my options boil down (pun intended) to

1) An induction pad (buffalo or the like) and an induction-compatible kettle
2) A stainless kettle with a hole cut in it, and then find an electrician to wire in an element
3) A stainless kettle, tri-clamp hole and a tri-clamp compatible element (I think brewibuilder may offer something like this)
4) Something horrendously over-specced and expensive like the new SS Brewtech electric brewing system, when it finally makes it over here. Of course, it'd probably mean selling a kidney to fund it.

Anyone got any experience of this route, or know of an option I've not considered?
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bitter_dave
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Re: Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by bitter_dave » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:19 pm

I’ve got a stainless steel 30 litre Burco Cynet boiler with bazooka filter and a 3kw concealed element. Changed the tap to a ball valve. The boiler was about £80 and the other bits probably about £40-ish. Basic but works a treat - much better than my old plastic boiler. The only thing I would change is to make it a bit bigger, but the quality of it is decent.

aamcle
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Re: Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by aamcle » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:04 pm

Tea urns/Burco boilers go cheap on the FaceBook buy/sell groups it might take a week or two for one to turn up near you.


Good Luck. Aamcle

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HTH1975
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Re: Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by HTH1975 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:13 am

I got a good deal on a 3kW Buffalo induction hob about a year ago and have never looked back. The advantage over an element in the kettle is that it can be used in various ways, so you’re not just stuck with the one solution (as with an element). Plus, the induction job has built-in heat control so it’s easy to dial down the wattage if the boil is too fierce.

monkeyboy
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Re: Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by monkeyboy » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:07 pm

I confess I'm more inclined to go to the induction hob route than the Burco route (although thanks for reminding me that it exists). I've always kinda assumed that it was hard to keep a rolling boil going with the Burco, but that could be my misunderstanding.
We've got an induction hob and it's bloody brilliant. I'm not sure it'll withstand the weight of 25L of wort in a big heavy kettle or I'd simply use that. Break the hob and I'll be sleeping in the shed. Again ;)
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bitter_dave
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Re: Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by bitter_dave » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:43 pm

monkeyboy wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:07 pm
I've always kinda assumed that it was hard to keep a rolling boil going with the Burco, but that could be my misunderstanding.
My Burco gets a reasonable boil going and you can adjust the temperature (for example while sparging into it if you don't want it to come to the boil too quickly). There was no need to adapt it or bypass anything. I can see the advantages of an induction hob though and can understand why people go for them.

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Jocky
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Re: Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by Jocky » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:39 pm

If you buy a stainless kettle with a hole ready cut in it, the installation for a 2.4kW element is just tightening a nut up at the back.

Currently at Brewbuilder:
33 litre pot - £47.50
Hole cut - £5
Element - £22.50
Delivery - £7.50
https://www.brewbuilder.co.uk

A bit more expensive than a new mashing bin, but works very well, and elements are easy to replace if anything goes wrong (I've only broken one by by own misuse by turning it on dry and melting plastic to it).

- Personally I'd also buy the element shroud (£14.50) as it means you can attach/remove the element by hand rather than using a tool to tighten a lock nut, and it also provides protection for the element socket from spillages.

- You could also fit a tap (2 piece kit £25 plus another £5 for the hole) and possibly a bazooka screen (£5), but frankly I find using a tap more of a pain these days and I just use a siphon.
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monkeyboy
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Re: Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by monkeyboy » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:29 am

Thanks for all the info. Plenty for me to think about. I'm unlikely to brew again this side of Christmas, so there's no big rush, but I'll be looking into this a bit more over the next few weeks. I like the simplicity of a standalone boiler/kettle.
Fermenting: AG#22 San Diego IPA
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Mjr6313
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Re: Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by Mjr6313 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:42 pm

47.50 is the cheapest I've seen
My wife wanted me to get a hobby now I make beer. She says I'm always in my shed I KEEP TELLING HER IT WAS HER IDEA.

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DethApostle
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Re: Steel electric brewing kettles

Post by DethApostle » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:12 pm

I've been building my new setup and although I've gone a bit OTT and bought 2 new SS Brewtech pots I was able to get two Buffalo induction hobs for just over £100.
One from ebay for £65 which was actually faulty when I bought it but was repaired with a £2 replacement fan from China and the other reconditioned unit from a user on here for £35. Deals on them are rare but they do exist!

My first kit was 40l Buffalo water urns with replacement taps. They were brilliant! Probably did around 30 brews on them before I sold them and bought a GrainFather.

Good luck with your build!
DA
Brewery Build in progress!!!
--------------------------
Brewed in 2012: 200 pints
Brewed in 2013: 560 pints
Brewed in 2014: 360 pints
Brewed in 2015: 280 pints
Brewed in 2016: 320 pints
Brewed in 2017: 280 pints
Brewed in 2018: 320 pints
Brewed in 2019: 120 pints

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