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50L Electric, wattage needed..?

50L Electric, wattage needed..?

Postby Cag » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:58 pm

Hello,

new to everything except drinking. Interested in the process as much as the product. Just learned to make sourdough bread.

I have a 2" pot still from a good house and it appears extremely well made. I am planning to combine it with a 50L beer keg boiler. I have not decided yet whether to go gas or electric and the answer will be downstream of finding whether I have enough electricity available to power a keg of this size. My shed is underpowered, I'm forever turning things off to get enough juice to do something else. The questions I am hoping the knowledgeable and generous might answer are;

I could run a 2400W element. Is this enough to power a 50L keg?

Is it just a matter of waiting longer and does anyone have a sense of how long we are talking here?

If 2400W is enough, would having variable power control still be a good idea?

And to throw in one from left field, is there any issue with an element creating localised heat in the keg and burning the stuff in close proximity.

In hopeful anticipation

Chris
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Re: 50L Electric, wattage needed..?

Postby JayD » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:25 pm

Welcome to the forum, if you are having dramas already having to turn things off to keep things running electricity might not be the way to go? a circuit has 2400 watts available to run your power requirements from drawing more power starts to pop fuses as things heat up, so first thing is to do a wattage count on your shed circuit by adding up the things you plan on running in your shed...there's usually power and wattage rating on your tools, etc etc...now a 2400 watt element can be run off this line and will two speed...flat out and stop...so a controller is a good thing here as you can back off the heat =power needed to run your boiler. Depending on your wash there's concern for scorching sometimes...other times not, gas is good but comes with its inherent danger of an ignition source under the boiler just waiting to ignite and stray vapours or dripping distillate, I use gas however I am anal on safety and always have a fire extinguisher close by and sit by my dead man switch as I run my unit...with caution it can be used and does a great job, so it's back to you to make a decision. Hope this helps....also as it is customary please introduce yourself
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Re: 50L Electric, wattage needed..?

Postby kimbodious » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:48 pm

G'day Cag
I've got a beer keg boiler which I heat with a 2200W element. That's plenty enough for the job, in fact I built a power controller to maintain the keg at a gentle boil rather than it going all hubbla bubbla and overwhelming my little still with vapour.
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: 50L Electric, wattage needed..?

Postby bigfoot » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:26 pm

I have a 55l keg and 2 x 2400 elements.
With only 1 element going it will take 90-110 mins to reach boil. I find I need about 1000w to maintain a good boil.
With both elements going (no controller) I can get up to boil in well under an hour.
Not sure on gas prices but JD you must use a fair bit quite often?
I have wondered about 1 element and a gas "kicker"...run the gas for 30 mins assistance...

Bf.
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Re: 50L Electric, wattage needed..?

Postby Cag » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:25 am

Thanks JayD, Kimbodious and Bigfoot. Based on your answers I am going to go with a 2400W element and a controller. I am very used to being careful not to overload the circuit in the shed; the element, the lights and the radio will be OK at once. As for time to wait for a boil, I have it. I'll post a pic when I get there...

Chris
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Re: 50L Electric, wattage needed..?

Postby bigfoot » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:52 pm

Even if you can get a battery bank with inverter to help pre warm the wash - it will all help.
I've known friends to place 80watt bands around wash bins the night before in winter.
Cheers
Bf
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