Brew Beer with Electricity

Info Links:

The formula to determine wattage is as follows:

Gallons * Temp Rise (F)
———————————— * 1000 = Watts Required
372 * heat up time (hours)

So, for a homebrew example of 7 gallons of wort at the beginning of your boil, and desiring to reach boil in 15 minutes, and assuming your wort temperature before boil is 150 degrees F after sparge runnoff:

7 * (212 – 150)
———————- * 1000 = X Watts
372 * .25 hours

Or 4666 watts…. or a 4500W element.

You’ll have to tweak the formula to account for your starting boil size, typical sparge runnoff temp, and desired time to boil. Another limiting factor is going to be your available amperage to hook up the element. Since watts = amps * voltage, a typical 15 amp household breaker running at 110V will at most power a 1650W element.

The other main concern you’ll want to watch out for is watt density of the immersion element. This is the measure of watts per square inch. Sugary water like wort tends to not conduct heat very well, so you want a low watt density to prevent the sugars from scorching. What qualifies as a ‘low enough’ watt density is something I’ve yet to figure out, but I suspect you’ll be fine with anything at 40 or less watts/sq in. Keeping the wort moving (by stirring) will also mitigate this potential problem.

Related links:

This entry was posted in beer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply