To combat this I decided to build a heat stick. I know that a lot of guys just mount the element right to the pot, but I liked the idea that I could take it out when I'm done and have no obstructions for my immersion cooler.
Basically you are taking a hot water heater element and attaching a handle to it. Pretty simple.
You neet a 110V hot water element, a 1 1/4" chrome sink pipe, a 1 1/4" abs slip adapter, 1 1/4" abs pipe, 1 1/4" abs cap, chord (i used the chord from an old hair dryer), and a weld bond kit. All together it cost about $30.
First I had to round over the nut portion of the hot water heater element. This was so I could connect it to my sink pipe. I did have to cut down the rubber gasket as well but I am pretty happy with the fit.
Then I connected the wire, threaded on the pipe, and covered all of this will my weldbond. Weldbond is pretty thick and doesn't poor very well, so I thinned it with acetone to make it poor better. It takes about 24 hours to cure.
Then you just attach your abs handle and you are good to go. Make sure you put the element in the fluid before plugging in or you will be in for a loud surprise!
Check out the photos and ask if you have any questions!
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How do you secure this in the kettle? Do you hold it in place to raise the temperature to a quick boil and then remove it?
Besides the element is there any other parts submerged in boiling wort? Is the unit watertight if or when submerged in liquid?
Swan Lane Brewery and Winery
Thanks for the input! I typed my thread once then lost it all when I tried posting pictures that were too big, so when I retyped it I was a little less descriptive.
This is not an original idea. It was in a BYO brewing magazine a few years ago and a lot of people tried it out then. People were relying on silicone for sealing their element to the pipe and finding that they were shorting out after 6 months to a couple years due to failing caulking. Yikes!
I found a guys thread where he used the Weldbond to epoxy the element to the pipe and he had a lot of luck with that.
I ground down the nut of my element so that I could actually attach my sink fitting right to it. Hopefully the o-ring will make a water tight fit and if not the epoxy definitely will.
I just did it late last night and am waiting for the weldbond to fully cure before I water test it. I do feel pretty confident with it though.
Once it is all good and water tight I will brew up a Pilsner Urquell that I have been waiting to make. I'll let you all now just how much faster I can boil my wort. Lautering was a bitch before, doing a single mash infusion that should have taken an hour (adjusting the flow of wort to control the boil) was taking me over 2!
I hope it works soon as I'm down to 1 keg and the playoffs start this week!
This guys site is a little more descriptive http://www.3d0g.net/brewing/heatstick
Scott - the handle is long enough that it protrudes well above my kettle so no need to hold it in place.
Play safe with electricity! Make sure that you are plugged into a gfi and if you ground your metal parts, bend the ground wire over the lip of the chrome pipe when you slide it into the abs slip adapter.
Electric breweries are cool but I'm paranoid about massive amounts of liquid and a ton of electricity. I figure my insurance guy would not be too thrilled to see an electricity brewery in my house running off a 30 A circuit. I guarantee you that if you start a fire with this rig (no CSA sticker) your insurance company will abandon your claim quicker than Steven Harper at an environmental convention! I'll stick to a propane rig and a simple manual shutoff! Its easy to brew outside and wheel into the garage when you're done.