After years of drooling over other peoples kettles I’ve finally acquired a big stainless brew kettle. No more plastic boiling vessels for me, and I can finally make my electric brewing rig look good, work well and allow for easier cleanups.
I’ve already drilled a 32mm (1-1/4″) hole with a step bit for the 5500w heating element I will be using. I had read reports, for example on Kal’s site about step bits being unreliable for big holes like these, but I had no issues whatsoever. I just used alot of cutting oil/grease and made sure to keep the battery drill steady and the hole came out very nice I dare say. I also drilled another 22mm hole to accommodate a 1/2″ 3 piece stainless steel valve from bargainfittings. I also got a pickup tube with the valve. Here’s what the pickup tube and heating element look like installed in the kettle.
The 3 piece ball valve is connected to a Tee, where the pt100 temperature probe is. Next in line is the pump, which is used during mashing and cooling. More on that later in the post. I have a couple of reasons why I wanted to mount the probe outside the kettle, inline with the pump. First was that I didn’t want to drill another hole into the kettle, and wasn’t sure what placement of the probe would be best.
The kettle has a false bottom, that sites roughly 8cm above the bottom of the kettle. The false bottom is 45cm diameter and was laser cut for me by a friend.
While mashing the pump is on, recirculating the mash water and ensuring even temperatures throughout the mash. The PID controller keeps the temperature constant within about 0.3°C.
So that’s a typical brew day for me using my shiny new kettle. I’d love to hear about your brewing systems in the comments!
Next post I will write about the control box I’m using to control the element.