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I'm a long term homebrewer. I brew outside with gas when the weather is nice but when it's rainy, too cold or too hot I brew inside. It turns out that over half the time I end up brewing inside. The problem with brewing inside is it takes my electric stove over 1-1/2 hours to barely bring 6 gallons of wurt to boil!

So I decided to solve my problem once and for all - I installed a 2000 watt, 120V electric heater element in my new brew pot. Now I can bring my wurt to boil in 50 minutes or if I'm really in a hurry I can put the brew pot on the stove AND plug in the electric heater and bring my wurt to boil in less than 25 minutes! This conversion can be plugged directly into a 20 amp kitchen outlet because it only draws 16.6 amps, or it can be plugged into our soon to be released electric brew pot controller.

I used a 32 quart Polar Ware brew pot because I believe they are an excellent value for the money. They aren't over priced like some of the brewpots on the market today but they aren't flimsy stainless steel like the cheapo Chinese brewpots either.

For more information, see http://www.kegkits.com/electricbrewpot.htm.

Step 1: Disclaimer and parts list

This is a step by step guide for doing your own install but first I need to warn you - Drilling holes in your Polar Ware Brew Pot will VOID YOUR WARRANTY!

Also, don't hold me responsible if you screw up your install. These instructions are as complete as possible but we all have different mechanical abilities. If you are unsure about any of this then please invite a friend to help and celebrate with a few beers after the project is done.

Parts List (most parts available at Lowes and Home Depot):
1 – 2000 watt 120V screw in style water heater element
1 – Water tight electrical box with three 1/2" holes
1 – Water tight electrical box cover
1 – 1/2" cord connector
1 – 1" NPT Pipe Stainless Steel Lock Nut (P/N K419-16, available from our web site for $7.95)
1 – 14 Gauge, 16 Amp rated Power Cord (P/N 109284, available from our web site for $11.95)
3 – Ring terminals
1 - Polar Ware 321BP Brewpot

These parts are also available as a complete kit from amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/120VAC-Electric-Brew-Still-E...

We also offer a 240V version of this kit with a Camco 02962/02963 5500W 240V Screw-In Lime Life Ripple Water Heater Element on Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/240VAC-Electric-Still-Camco-...


Required Tools:
Drill - To drill holes in your nice new brew pot
Small drill bit - to start hole
3/8" drill bit
1/2" conduit punch
1" conduit punch
Ideal P/N 36-305 Carbide Tipped hole cutter
Drill press - hand drill can be used, but dril press is much easier
Heater element socket
Large slip joint pliers
#2 plillips screwdriver
Wire stripper
Wire crimper
1" adjustable wrench

<p>Not bad. I would have added a properly rated toggle switch to either the upper side of the box or possibly the box cover. Or, if I were feeling particularly fancy, a variable power control on/off switch. Otherwise, excellent job!</p>
<p>Thanks, our boil controllers do just that. Also, do you know how difficult a 30 Amp 240V <br> is to find? The 30 Amp switch is easy - from any car parts store, but <br>it's rated at 12 VDC. The current highest rating you will find in a 240VAC rated toggle switch is 10 Amps.</p>
Tom, <br> <br>I've been thinking of making my own electric brew kettle with a 40 qt. Polar Ware brew pot. I've purchased the Camco 4500W Ultra LWD fold-back element which was available online through amazon.ca (i'm from Canada). <br> <br>Before attempting to punch a hole on the brew pot, I've done a couple test holes on a scrap 16 gauge steel plate with a the 3/4&quot; conduit punch, and the 1&quot; conduit punch (both Greenlee). On the 3/4&quot; test hole, it was too small (1/16&quot; too small and cannot thread through), but with the 1&quot; conduit punch, it was 1/8&quot; larger than the element threads. Was this the same problem with your punch or did you use a different die/punch for a tighter fit. <br> <br>I know the electricbrewkettle site, it calls for a 1&quot; greenlee round punch, but that would produce a exactly 1&quot; hole that will not fit either?? <br> <br>Anyhow, any help will be appreciated. Thanks Tom. <br> <br>Kevin
Correction, the punch is 1/8&quot; too large, not 1/16&quot;!
The right size is 1-1/4&quot; but the 1&quot; conduit punch will work. A 1&quot; conduit punch cuts a 1-3/16&quot; hole which is 1/16&quot; too large, but the square gasket that came with your element will squish out enough to cover the extra.
Tom... <br> <br>Having something grounded and having something ground-fault protected are two totally different things. GFCI is meant to save your life. Simple grounding of something is not. <br> <br>Let's say current is leaking from the element and into the kettle, and that current is traveling to ground via the standard ground wire. Now let's say you are standing there in your kitchen with your hand on the sink faucet and you reach over to remove the lid from your electric kettle. You have now created a SECOND path for the current to get to ground... right through your heart and to the sink and drain pipes. That can kill you where you stand. <br> <br>With GFCI protection, the moment any current begins to leak to ground, the GFCI trips and the power shuts off. The trigger current for GFCI is far below a dangerous level to a person, so the GFCI saves your life. <br> <br>
I understand what you are saying and I understand how GFI breakers work - I was around when they were invented. <br> <br>GFI breakers were first installed in front of outside outlets, where it was likely for &quot;Joe homeowner&quot; to cut his electric hedge trimer power cord in half and in the bathroom where &quot;Jane Home-maker&quot; might accidently drop a hair dryer in a sink of water, both with less than pleasant results. I installed many of them in the late 70's when I used to wire houses. <br> <br>Much later, and through a lot of lobbying, GFI breakers or outlets were required in kitchens even though the data collected suggested it was a waste of money. It became another one of these &quot;If I don't, someone might sue me&quot; issues. If the trend continues you'll have GFI breakers on your cealing fixtures one day! Now, don't get me wrong. I beleive GFI is a great technology which has saved thousands of lives. <br> <br>But I also understand how grounding &amp; a proper chassis ground works from commercial &amp; home wiring experience and a appliance connected the way this pot is connected is as safe as your home wiring, which is why I suggested testing your 3 prong hitchen outlets with a hand held tester. Unless the safety ground (the third, round prong on the plug) is broken, you simply can-not develop enough voltage on the pot for a shock! <br> <br>And BTW, your refrigerator and stove and oven and dishwasher and garbage disposal are connected the exact same way - they are all kitchen appliances WITH NO GFI BREAKER!
A 2000W element will draw 16.7A @ 120V, so a 16A rated cord is insufficient. Combine that with the fact that not everybody gets exactly 120V, and you could have problems. I get 125V from my outlets, so I would be pulling closer to 17.5A with that kind of element. A 20A cord would be a much better/safer idea. <br> <br>Also, be sure to plug this into a GFCI outlet (the ones with the little &quot;test/reset&quot; buttons) to avoid being electrocuted in the event of an accident.
Thanks for the feedback. <br> <br>I understand your concern about cord wire size and amperage and I need to do some testing with higher voltages. <br> <br>As far as GFI is concerned, modern kitchen outlets are already protected by GFI. But even if you are in a older house like mine that does not have a GFI protected kitchen, this setup is safe because the pot itself is bonded to ground through the green wire that's attached to the ground lug inside the box. That green wire runs straight to the power cord round pin which plugs into the outlet's safety ground. <br> <br>With this type of grounding, any current that may leak from the element will go straight to ground and not create a dangerous voltage on the pot. The only weak spot is the house wiring itself but you can test the wiring with a relatively low cost plug-in tester.

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