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Old 19-06-2015, 06:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by winstonia View Post
Anybody on here have any feedback on these? I see they ship to Ireland now but know they are sourced from China so wondering if anyone has any horror stories.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-BEER-M...3D271859876863
I have one of the cheaper ace boilers without the timer and single wall thickness. Got it at Christmas and so far done 6 BIABS and a couple of kits with it. No horror stories yet. My only gripe is that it's difficult to clean out, the plastic rim round the top is a trap for hop debris. But looking on the bright side any crap left in there is going to be boiled in any case.
So basically very happy with mine.


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Old 19-06-2015, 11:02 PM   #12
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Cheers, I'm after buying a mash tun and stock pot for £40 so think I'm going back to 3 vessel route minus gas for the cooler


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Old 20-06-2015, 09:01 AM   #13
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Slightly OT but pertinent to this thread.

If you have Nectar points, you will be refunded 50% of them if you spend them on Ebay.
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Old 20-06-2015, 10:15 AM   #14
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£99.99 Ace Insulated, timer version, boiler/mash tun arrived just now. It looks good. A couple of inconsequential manufacturing marks on bottom hotplate. Warnings on lid against carrying it by use of plastic handles when full of boiling water.... Pretty obvious really, but still, the world is full litigious nutters I suppose.

I'm quite satisfied. It seems to be what it claimed to be. I have to go out now, but later I will test out the thermostat by setting it up for a mock mash run, and I will test with the thermometer whether I can run it with the power on, and also whether if I switch it off the insulation will hold the temperature and will report back to the thread.

Given the crudity of my previous pan on the stove, wrapped in towels approach and the pretty good efficiency I got, this has to be a hell of a lot better way of doing it.......

More later.
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Old 20-06-2015, 04:41 PM   #15
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QUICK & SHODDY TEST OF ACE BOILER / MASH TUN.



EDIT:

Mistaken remarks have been removed and corrected later after further tests.

Initial tests with about ten litres of water showed about 6 degrees of cooling every hour - not really adequate for mashing without additional insulation, but a proper test with the boiler full showed a different cooling rate.
The measured cooling rate of the full boiler over the range 100c to 45C is about 3C per hour.

When I was mashing I wrapped the boiler in a blanket and it lost no heat at all.

Thermostat test.

The dial on mine is slightly out but not more than about three degrees. There is obviously some swing on the temperature between cutting in of the power and cutting out. It was quite easy to measure the temperature and slowly cut back the thermostat until the heater switches off and once done the thermostat behaved in a fairly predictable and repeatable way.

When set to cut off power at 68C, it switched on again at 63C and cut off again at 68C and repeatedly cycled in this way afterwards during the test.

I'm no expert in mashing as a new AG brewer, but I would say it would be a safer bet to get the temperature to the ideal mashing temp (say 68C) and then insulate and take regular measurements while stirring the mash. In any case, I am not that sure how well a mash conducts heat applied from the bottom like this. It might be that a thick mash or a BIAB setup would be near enough at the bottom and cooler in the middle of the bag. I won't rely on the thermostat for temp control of my mash with this boiler.

Test of the boiler heat up time.

So far I have not filled it right up and done a boil, but with my ten pints, it rapidly rose from the tap temperature of 14c to 71c when I first switched it on. I doubt it was as long as ten minutes. MUCH quicker than my old method of boiling kettles and dumping them in a pan, but the heater is 2.5kw.

Sorry that I haven't had time to do a really systematic test, but I've had to fit it around other things I have had to do this afternoon.

I certainly don't have any regrets. This is going to revolutionise my AG brewing. A good buy in my opinion so far.

Cheers.

Tony
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Old 20-06-2015, 05:01 PM   #16
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Hi Tony, can do an actual boil test and time it?

I'm brewing a 15L Stout as we speak and it took my pot 45 minutes to get from mashing temperature to boil. No big deal in the scheme of things but anything that would save time helps.

I'm keeping an eye on this thread.
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Old 20-06-2015, 05:54 PM   #17
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I've been mashing with mine just using the thermostat & no insulation, checking the temperature with a thermometer throughout. Seems to work though the dial on the thermostat is variable. Sometimes it's near enough, sometimes 5 c or more out.
Mashing to full boil is about 15 minutes with mine. It's only got a 1.5kw element in it though. between 30 & 40 minutes from cold to mash temp.
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Old 20-06-2015, 05:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by GlentoranMark View Post
Hi Tony, can do an actual boil test and time it?

I'm brewing a 15L Stout as we speak and it took my pot 45 minutes to get from mashing temperature to boil. No big deal in the scheme of things but anything that would save time helps.

I'm keeping an eye on this thread.
Yes Mark, I'll do that as soon as I dare take over the good Lady's domain and start filling it up with steam like a railway enthusiast. Maybe when there is some crap 'lady thing' on TV I'll sneak in there and boil the 25 litre max they recommend for this boiler.

It has a mark on the top indicating the max level. I suspect this is for pure water rather than sugary wort with a propensity to froth up and come over the top. The gap between the FULL mark and the edge of the vessel is about 4cm (from memory). When I do my first 23 litre Mild brew which I am going to do next week, I will be keeping a wary eye on that level and the bubbling froth inside.

I think a 2.5kw boiler will probably always boil a set amount of water in a reasonably systematic time whoever made it, as long as the element is physically connected to the tank in a standard way and they are being used in similar heat loss situations ie not one in an Arctic gale and the other in a warm kitchen.

Look back and I'll do it soon. Hate wasting hot water, so I'll use it to clean my spare barrel and an FV full of bits and bobs.
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Old 20-06-2015, 06:23 PM   #19
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I wonder were you losing heat so quickly with the deadspace in the tun. I suspect this will be better when batch sparging etc
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Old 20-06-2015, 07:27 PM   #20
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I wonder were you losing heat so quickly with the deadspace in the tun. I suspect this will be better when batch sparging etc

Could be. There was a good bit of space.



Right. I have done the test.

The boiler was started with the full 25 litres (up to the max mark) of water at 14.5C out of the cold tap

The temperature was measured at 5 minute intervals, necessitating opening the lid for about 30 seconds for each measurement. This was needed because of the time the thermometer takes to register the temperature.

The gain per five minute interval was as near as damn it 7 degrees C per 5 minutes or 1.4 degrees a minute. This was true all the way up to the upper end of the scale except that for some reason between minute 50 and 55, I only registered a gain of 5.5 degrees or 1.1 degrees per minute.
The full volume boiled at 64 minutes. At this point I noticed that my thermometer (Youngs Brewing Thermometer) is out by five degrees and was registering 105C.

So, in conclusion, the full volume of 25 litres reached mashing temperature at minute 35 - 37 (65C - 68C respectively).

It took 27 minutes to go from mash temperature (68C to boiling). Bear in mind that wort boils at a slightly higher temperature than 100C so would take a few minutes more.

Now - what do I do with all this boiling water?

I suppse I could monitor the cool down to properly evaluate the quality of the insulation. Maybe I'll measure the temperature every 15 minutes.....

By the way - the thermostat dial was bang on at 100c, cutting in at 97C and off again at 100. It is possible that my earlier remarks about the dial being off are really about my thermometer being off......

Can't wait to do my 23 litre stab at an AG mild with the remains of the Geterbrewed Real English IPA kit I won last week. I have already got a 9 litre IPA brew out of it that looks like coming in at 7%. That's a bit strong for my everyday dinner time pint, so I am doing the remains - 3.1kg grains and hops as a 23 litre brew that should come in about 3%. With a little hop tinkering, it should be bang on the style guide for Mild....... I have a keg ready and waiting for that one. Come next Tuesday the Cooper's 'Volcanic' Irish Stout should be done with the fermenter and I can start with the new boiler.


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