Best cheap kettle for home built boiler

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MightyStig

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Hi guys,

Thinking of moving on from kits brews as have done about 17 now. I see a lot of posts about making home made boilers, but there as a few years old, mostly before Maplin shut.

Anyone got an up to date guide. I will l be using HDPE buckets as vessel and really need to know which kettles are currently the best for removing the elements (UK based) any additional info on top of this would be a massive help.

Cheers

Jimbo
 

dv12

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Hey Jimbo. I am trying the same thing. I have bought a Tesco £6.50 kettle, took the element out and put into a plastic bucket I had. I used a 38mm hole saw. Fit was perfect and no leaks. However, 10l of cold water, 35mins later and it still wasn't boiling.
I'm going to get a second kettle this weekend.
There are some exposed screws, which are live. Thinking I might melt some plastic over anything exposed as precaution. I also plugged it into a RCD socket.
 

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simon12

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Hey Jimbo. I am trying the same thing. I have bought a Tesco £6.50 kettle, took the element out and put into a plastic bucket I had. I used a 38mm hole saw. Fit was perfect and no leaks. However, 10l of cold water, 35mins later and it still wasn't boiling.
I'm going to get a second kettle this weekend.
There are some exposed screws, which are live. Thinking I might melt some plastic over anything exposed as precaution. I also plugged it into a RCD socket.
That looks like exactly what I built about 4 years ago. 1 Element does work but after 2 brews I added a second which speeds it up alot but just 1 keeps a strong boil once it gets there so keep a close eye on it. It looks like the cable you have going to it is a bit thin for the amount of current I suggest using the one that came with the kettle. I also attached a bazooka filter to the inside of the tap.
 

cushyno

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The supplied cable with Tesco kettles seems woefully inadequate to use for longer periods. Not sure what rating they have but I wouldn't trust it. Ok for boiling a single kettle worth but not 30 litres.

That said, the element is rated 2.4kw and does boil a kettle nice and quick.

I have a Peco boiler rated 2.4kw and intended to add a Tesco element to get up to boil quicker. Not got round to it yet.
 

cushyno

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Another thing, if you're using two elements it's best to plug into two separate ring circuits in your house to avoid high load on one circuit. Check the circuit rating of your house electrics at the RCD. I make sure nobody else tries to boil a kettle while I'm brewing so it doesn't trip out.
 

the_quick

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I have one of those, last one I used Currys kettle. For the lead you can use a computer desktop power cable, just make sure it is 13a.
I will keep it with my Robobrew, as hot liquor tank. Boils water really quickly
 

dv12

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I had not considered a computer power lead. I have a few kicking about as well. I took the kettle base apart and used the spade connectors attached to the wire ends. Prised them slightly with a flat blade and they were a nice snug fit over the element prongs. I used shrink tube to cover everything and keep it in place.
I think the computer lead is a better idea tho.
 

Wezzle

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... For the lead you can use a computer desktop power cable, just make sure it is 13a...
Just to warn that IEC leads that come with computer equipment are usually only rated 5 Amps as most PCs pull under 300watts.
Also be wary of cheap eBay leads which could be copper clad aluminium (CCA)
 

foxbat

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I had not considered a computer power lead. I have a few kicking about as well. I took the kettle base apart and used the spade connectors attached to the wire ends. Prised them slightly with a flat blade and they were a nice snug fit over the element prongs. I used shrink tube to cover everything and keep it in place.
I think the computer lead is a better idea tho.
If you use a normal kettle lead or a computer power lead you will melt it and possibly start a fire. You need a "hot condition" cable. They're available from homebrew shops:

https://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000001.pl?WD=lead kettle&PN=Power-Lead-for-Element.html#SID=164
https://www.angelhomebrew.co.uk/en/kettle-elements/98-13a-hot-condition-element-lead.html
 

Grealish

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Thanks, guys. Frustratingly, those Peco prices are ex VAT so, with postage, the element plus lead come in at £29.
 

PeterB

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I was wondering if it is better to have multiple cheap 1kw elements or one 2.4kw element.
 

foxbat

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Looking at my last notes I can see it took about 40 minutes for my 2.4kW element to get 27 litres from mash to boil - and that's with stirring which will slow it down.
 

the_quick

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This is how I did one mine

Second I didn't remove almost anything from the black enclosure and used 13A computer lead (it gets warm, so will replace it with C15 lead) - this one sometimes cut out, I think there thermal cut out mechanism there.

If 2 are working I think it can boil full 25L in under 30 min.
My Robobrew should arrive soon and it has combines 2.4kw elements - not sure if it is a different type, but will still use my diy boiler to prepare water for mashing and such.
I have been experimenting lately with pre boiling water day before brew day, I think beer tastes better now. As in E.Sussex I think we have a lots of chalk in our water. But might add gypsum later.
 

MightyStig

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Hey guys. Never said thanks for all the replies. Unfortunately I still have not moved to AG but it's on the cards. Hope this post helped others though.
 
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