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  1. #1
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    Building an electric keggle


    Hi guys,

    So I got my hands on two decommissioned 50l kegs. They're rubber coated, which is a bit of a bummer for me, but that also kind of made up my mind so I'm going electric keggle route. I want to install a heating element and a tap in the bottom of the kegs so I can use them as water heating vessels, mash tuns, sparge water containers and boilers all in one. Is there anything I should keep in mind when I do this? Specific things I should look out for?

  2. #2
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    Soooo...nothing? I'm considering getting a submersible heating element rather than a built-in element. They're more expensive, but then I can use the element everywhere (considering I brew in all kinds of stuff these days). I have no idea what size to get though. 2,000W in my urn gets 18l of water to a rapid, vigorous boil and keeps it there easily. I don't plan on boiling 50l of water in the keggle, but I would like to be able to boil maybe 40l. Doesn't have to be a big strong rapid boil either, even if it's just a simmer that'll be fine. So what element size should I look for? I read that 2,400W would be able to get to the boil, but perhaps 3,000W is a better call. Anything bigger I'm worried I might have to wire up a new plug that'll handle the amperage. Cost is a thing though. I can get a 3kW geyser element from Leroy Merlin for R180...

    Regarding taps and spigots and things - I want to install a spigot at the bottom of both vessels. However, I'm not sure how to mount the spigots to the kegs? Just drill a hole and screw it in? That doesn't sound very secure to me, so I was wondering if there's something specific I need to look out for?

    PS: I want to get only one heating element for now. I'm on a limited budget here and don't want to end up with a few massive keggles I can't use if this doesn't work as planned.

  3. #3
    Good day Sir,

    2400 would probably work on the 40 l especially with insulation. The major change is time taken to get there. And I know you are very patient.

    Last time I was at brewmart Pretoria they had all the fittings one would need to connect a tap into a pot.
    Cheers,
    Lang
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Dudddde...Hold my beer!".... ; "I wonder what will happen if I ...."

  4. #4
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    I don't really mind the time. I rarely start early mornings these days anyway. In fact, I usually tap in the water the night before, add a dash of k-sulfite to drive off the chlorine and kill goggas and then I'll switch it on when I wake up, and brew when I get there. I'll probably mash in about 25l of water at a time, so that's fine for me. I have this planned:

    1. Heat up around 25l of water (or enough for my grain bill). Once it's heated, transfer water to second keg. Mash in that keg.
    2. While mashing, heat up another 25l or so of water to sparge. Once mashing is done, dunk bag in sparge keg and sparge.
    3. Transfer all wort to one keg, boil.

    I did this with my currently fermenting batch, and it turned out pretty great actually. Good process, got a good efficiency and it is quite convenient. I mashed in 8l of water (with a raised bag, so only mashed in top water for a porridge-like consistency) for an hour. Stirred two or three times in this hour to make sure the wort moves at least a little bit.

    At 15 minutes to go I heated up another 8l of water to boil. Poured this boiling water into my big brew pot, lifted the grain bag out of the mash and into the sparge pot. Left it in there for another half an hour or so, until it cooled down enough for me to work with the bag. Poured everything together and boiled. It worked great.

    EDIT: As a PS, I caught the "Sir" part. Not funny :P

  5. #5
    I digress...

    You now have options for a full 3 tier system? You can't unhear that so now I have complicated your life
    Cheers,
    Lang
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Dudddde...Hold my beer!".... ; "I wonder what will happen if I ...."

  6. #6
    Senior Member JIGSAW's Avatar
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    I have no info on electrical keggle conversions as I never had plans to go that route, Sorry.

    I am interested in the submersible heating element tho to help assist my gas setup just to get to the numbers quickly. Where did you spot them ?
    The Problem With The World Is That Everyone Is A Few Drinks Behind.!


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIGSAW View Post
    I have no info on electrical keggle conversions as I never had plans to go that route, Sorry.

    I am interested in the submersible heating element tho to help assist my gas setup just to get to the numbers quickly. Where did you spot them ?
    TAKEALOT, Builders, etc. They're differently priced for different sizes and brands, of course, but I'm wondering if I couldn't just take a normal element and insulate the rear connectors. It seems like those elements are significantly cheaper and they have wattage ratings on them. The nice one I want to buy from Builders, which costs about R400. It has a protective cover around the element so it won't burn the grain or grain bag. This one here: https://www.builders.co.za/Plumbing/...00000000046773

    As a PS, I see they pushed up the price since I checked. It used to be around R401 or something like that. It's now R500. Makes me wonder about just buying a regular element and sealing up the connections again. Something like epoxy, perhaps?

    EDIT: Epoxy like this should work: http://www.alcolin.com/diy-products/epoxy/aqua-mend It's apparently made to seal electrical connections underwater, and chemical and temperature up to 150C proof, so should do just fine.
    Last edited by Toxxyc; 22nd May 2020 at 07:23.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JIGSAW's Avatar
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    Aah ok, I thought you meant elements like the ones in this video (9:22 min in) >



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    The Problem With The World Is That Everyone Is A Few Drinks Behind.!


  9. #9

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