What is a Brewery heater?

What is a brewery heater? is a regularly asked question, so rather than keep repeating myself, here is a video in my very dull, Middle England tones.

Informational content provided by Jamie at ImmersionHeaters.UK or 01827 215684.

A Brewery Heater is a hopefully easier to clean immersion heater. Not so much of an issue in your HLT, as it’s only heating council pop (water). But even that gets clagged with magnesium & calcium, our Hard Water. Our ii Range is best suited to the HLT as it has looped elements & a therefore a lower watt density. But in the Copper or Kettle, the wort & hops sticks to the elements like brown & smelly stuff to a blanket. So it’s best to have good gaps for cleaning purposes.

Hence we designed the Bi Range for use in the Copper/Kettle. Have a look at those lovely big gaps between the elements!

Brewery Immersion Heaters
Brewery Immersion Heaters

Having said all of that, they are still a bugger to clean. I know from grim experience in borrowed wellies at Green Duck Brewery in Sunny Stourbridge. Alex & Nathan take great pleasure in encouraging me from above to rub harder. “Winking the Elephant” was I believe the phrase that got coined.

I want to improve this horrible end to the brew day, so please share your ideas. We will try them.

My first attempt at Evolution was this…

Brewery Bend Immersion Heater
Brewery Bend Immersion Heater

…which was an attempt to reduce the watt density by squeezing in more element, and to “Flay” the upward element legs to aid scrubbing.

Sadly the tight bends at the bottom are even more of a bugger to clean. I know. Nath made me do it. Over & over!

So, please talk to me, share your ideas, nowt is too daft as an idea to share. It might lead to cross fertilisation with other ideas, and many minds make light work, hopefully.

If you are that rearest of breeds, The Rich Brewer, you may wish to consider Removeable Heaters which really are the best solution yet, but are bloody expensive, kinda twice the price of 2.25″ stock heaters. This is because they are made bespoke to fit your vessel perfectly, thus maximising the element squeezed into the space available, thus reducing the watt density, & therefore hopefully reducing the amount of sh1t that sticks. They can be straight across the tank, or hooked, following the circumference, getting even more element in.

Stacking straight heaters as London Brewing did (2nd image) prevents clashing in the middle of the tank. If your entry ports are at the same level, as 4th image, curved heaters make sense. These have the added benefit of a “Rolling Boil” which rolls up the outside of the vessel, over the heat, & then down the middle, creating it’s own vortex. This makes some Brewers moist and I’m not clued up enuf to know why. If somebody wants to explain it to me, in small words, I will happily share that learning here.

A major consideration is the “Wiggle Room” required to get these in & out of the tank at regular intervals. An inconvenient wall or obstruction within may scupper your plans.

But when you get them out, they can be soaked overnight & cleaned/jetwashed/steam/sand blasted, whatever you choose, on a bench, rather than in situ, in wellies.

My Collaborator Dave & I had visions of shiny stainless steel tubes, munsen ringed to a wall, for overnight soaking.

Niall at Stone Barrel Brewing had much more efficient ideas, and did it with a bit of toilet pipe and some gaffer tape, see images below.

And I love it. And am happy to share it. That’s how we get better, by Collaborating.

Further Immersion Heater Basics.

An immersion heater is, simply put, a number of elements, usually 3, elements, a screwplug and a IP rated terminal box to protect the connections.

3 of these (preferably not chopped up) and
screwplug sizes
…one of these, drilled through, for the elements to be braised or welded into…
Terminal box
…and one of these to attatch to the screwplug, to house the terminals and wiring.

And, in the best Blue Peter traditions, here’s
one we made earlier…

 Immersion Heater
II Industrial Immersion Heater

You then screw the heater into the tank. Usually via a weld boss.

weld boss
Mild steel weld boss

Mild steel tanks require mild steel weld bosses, and likewise, stainless steel tanks require horribly priced stainless steel weld bosses. Brass bosses are for copper tanks, alledgedly.

What is a Brewery heater? More useful info on ElementsOfHeating

All of this information & more is available on our blog, ElementsOfHeating where there is a wealth of relevant and useful information. There is an explanation of what a heating element actually is. Also we have a full description and explanation of the component parts of a screwed immersion heater. Furthermore ther is my best punt at explaining the joys of watt density, and it’s crucial importance when choosing the most appropriate immersion heater for water, oil, and breweries. Also available is an informational entry about the process we go through when designing immersion heaters generally.

If you now realise that what you are in fact searching for is a Heating Element, as opposed to an Immersion Heater, you have two options. You can stay on this website, research Heating Elements, find what you need, & then call Jamie on 01827 215684.

Or you can go to our sister site, HeatingElements.co.uk where you will find additional information, and you are able to buy online, should you wish to avoid a long telephone conversation with Jamie, about Life, the Universe & Everything. Or perhaps you love banks & their 2% charges. I don’t. So please call Jamie on 01827 215684.

Informational content provided by Jamie at ImmersionHeaters.UK or 01827 215684.

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