View Full Version : Electric brewing

Craig Dhonau
07-22-2013, 10:06 AM
I'm planning on a seven barrel system and have read that is about as big as you would want to go electrically. I've read the threads on electric brewing and have talked to the guys at Black Acre about their electric system (great beer, by the way). Anyone with experience brewing seven barrels electrically care to offer any thoughts or opinions?

I believe I've nailed down some property and will be able build from the ground up. With that in mind, what is the prevailing opinion in regards to building configuration (electric vs gas) when dealing with various inspectors, fire marshall, neighbors, etc?

Not trying to circumvent any legwork/homework, just fielding some opinions to help solidify my plan.


07-22-2013, 10:20 AM
I had a 7 bbl electric hot liquor tank at one time as part of a JVNW sytem (direct fired kettle). I wouldn't recommend it. It works but it takes a long time to heat up water using just the HLT. So basically after knocking out wort and filling the HLT with water I could crank the heating element to max and still would not be able to brew the next day. The HLT would raise ground water to about 140 overnight but not to 190. If I really needed to heat water fast I would have to transfer it to the kettle and heat it up, then transfer back to HLT.

If you had both an electric HLT & kettle I don't think you'd be able to brew back to back days. I've heard alot of nightmares about keeping the heating elements clean in electric kettles, but maybe someone else can comment on that.

07-22-2013, 10:46 AM
For reasonable performance, I'd say you want at least 5 kW/bbl in the kettle and at least half that in the HLT. 5 kW/bbl would heat water by 60F/hour, allowing for modest losses.

I think electric HLTs are definitely the way to go as long as you can supply enough power, but I wouldn't want to brew with an electric kettle again. Cleaning the elements is just a tremendous PITA.