From the HBD Archive
From: Pete Soper <soper@maxzilla.encore.com>
Subject: Electric Brew Pots
Date: 1989-04-14 17:22:19 GMT

I've used a 220v Bruheat since Christmas. From the recent
descriptions of the BrewCo unit it is very similar if not identical.
The Bruheat has a cute multicolored design on the side and claims
to be from "Cordon Brew" at Burton on Trent. It came packed with
Brit newspapers and was $69 from Koeppls (according to Santa Klaus).
I use my dryer outlet. It seems to be standard practice to have to
wire these brew buckets yourself. Let's be REAL sure we get the ground
connected properly with these things. You don't usually get a second
chance after contacting 220 volts. The 220 setup may seem like a hassle,
but according to a "Zymurgy" review the 110 volt units (e.g. Thorn
Electrim) have much lower power elements and take forever to get to
boiling temperature compared to the 220 models. Finally, if the BrewCo
unit is just like a Bruheat then it comes with a dinky 4 foot power cord.
Don't be tempted to add an extension of the same gauge. As it is with
my Bruheat, the 4 foot dinky cord is warm to the touch when the unit is
running. A 14 gauge extension is the way to go.
I use the Bruheat for preparing dough-in water, water for infusions,
sparge water, and as a boiler. I've never mashed grains in it directly or
tried to sparge in it. It holds water temperatures very accurately.
The element on the Bruheat uses about 15 amps at 220v.
My problem with maximum settings until recently had been the opposite of
Len's, in that I got at most a 1:1 on/off duty cycle and it took a long time
to get a boil started (but with no danger of boil-over!). I turned the
adjustment screw inside the thermostat unit clockwise 1/4 turn. Now I
get around 4 or 5:1 on/off cycle at maximum setting and have to manually
jocky the control at the start of a boil like Len.
Both before and after this tweak, the Bruheat element comes on *even
at the lowest setting*, so I cannot plug the unit in dry.
I find that keeping the lid on greatly reduces the time needed to come
up to boiling temperatures. I leave a thermometer floating in the wort
and when it gets to around 190-200 degrees I pull the lid back off since
a very fast boilover is guaranteed with the lid left on too long.
I calibrated the side with a grease pencil since I got tired of using
the imperial gallon and liter markings. On a level surface about
3 US gallons are left in the Bruheat when it is drained down to the tap
level. In the past for recipes that used 2 ounces of hops or less I could
usually get all the hops and hot break to settle below the tap and save
a racking step, since I ignored the cold break. I use only pellet hops.
Recently I've started racking off the cold break too, so I just tip the
Bruheat and get everything I can out of it and into a carboy for settling.
I also use an immersion chiller and found that independent of the very
poor cooling of the bottom layer of wort and hops sticking to the coils,
the Bruheat cannot stand the mechanical stress of the chiller resting on
the heating element. I bent the bottom coil of the chiller so it curves
down past the element and rests on the bottom of the Bruheat, taking
most of the weight of the chiller off the element. This was after I
discovered a slow leak around the element once and momentarily lost all
my relaxation :-(
Speaking of the drain clogging, I've noticed that even with pellet hops
it is common to get clumps stuck in the tap. But the tap is held
on with a plastic threaded collar and both it and the heating element can
be removed easily. I find it a lot easier to clean the element with it out,
just by scrubbing with a Brillo pad. I soak the tap in a bowl of hot
detergent and then flush it with water.
Overall I'm very pleased with the Bruheat. It has added a lot of
convenience to my brewing as well as some qualitative improvements like
greatly reduced wort darkening and better hop utilization.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pete Soper, Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd., bldg D
Cary, North Carolina 27511 USA phone 1 919 481 3730
arpa: soper@encore.com (129.91.1.14)
uucp: {talcott,linus,bu-cs,bellcore,decvax,necntc}!encore!soper

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