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Thread: Heating element Sizing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017

    Heating element Sizing

    How to size a heating element for home brewing system?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Carmel, IN
    Element sizing and numbers are based on basic energy input. This matters more with respect to the time needed to raise the wort temperature to boil. Once the wort is boiling, it is likely that much less energy input is needed to maintain the boil. Many commercial electrically fired boilers employ multiple elements and the number of energized elements are reduced after the initial heating.

    If a single element is used, then some form of energy modulation is needed to avoid excessive boil vigor. I estimate that about 100 watts per liter of wort can maintain a boil, but you'll want double or triple that amount to heat the wort to boiling in a reasonable amount of time.

    A significant consideration is the watt density of the elements used in the system. Low or ultra low watt density is recommended.
    Engineering Consultant

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Phoenix, AZ area
    McMasterr Carr has some really good info as well:
    Robert "Red" Westphal
    Quality Manager/Certified Welding Inspector/Independent Stainless Steel Fabricator
    Phone: 719-661-8602

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    western , NY
    Quote Originally Posted by Dheeraj View Post
    How to size a heating element for home brewing system?
    have you tried homebrewtalk? it really depends on a number of things such as demensions of the kettle(s) and insulation if any as well as amount of liquid you will be heating and ambient temps.

    for most 5 gallon systems 3000w is plenty and having more will speed things up but its very important to make sure they are ULWD (ultra low watt density) to prevent scorching and other negative effects.

    as mentioned you also need a way to modulate or pulse the heat to control the heat output of the element unless you size the element on the weak side where you can get away with just 100% on..

    companies like stilldragon sell inexpensive ssvr control kits that will allow you to build a control box with a knob to contrrol the intensity of the heat output of the element.

    If you want temp control more complex means are needed such as a PID temp controller and a temp probe using a solid state relay to tuurn the heat on and off possibly multiple times in a short period of time. (a regular mechanical relay will burn up quickly when used for this)
    Last edited by augiedoggy; 10-02-2019 at 06:38 AM.

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