Hot plates

Other discussions for folks new to the wonderful craft of home distilling.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:53 pm

I was planning on using it for 3gallon runs off a stock pot still

SaltyStaves
Trainee
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Hot plates

Post by SaltyStaves » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:10 pm

What you need to understand is that the element itself, which is embedded inside that cast iron plate, is designed in a way that when it heats up, it separates (bi-metal bridge) and effectively breaks the circuit. You cannot get to it to modify it. Its a built in safety feature. When the plate is too hot for an extended period, it will stop working. The light stays on and you think its working, but its not. The plate has to cool back down again before it will work.

That is why I could get through a gin run at a low drip, but as soon as I wanted to do anything that required a bit more heat, it would shut down on me. Stripping runs were absolutely out of the question.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 9108
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Hot plates

Post by NZChris » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:19 pm

Those solid plates are simply the wrong type of heater for distilling for the reason Salty has given you. I've taken one apart. There are two internal elements, one of them connected through a bi-metal switch. When the switch opens, you lose half the Watts.

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 8353
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: Hot plates

Post by still_stirrin » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:25 pm

Is the “power dial” a simple on-off switch? What does it do?

The temperature dial needs to be eliminated from the circuit. Your heat element is a simple resistive element and could run directly from the mains power. What you need to control the power is NOT the STC-1000, which is a temperature regulator. You do NOT need thermostatic control...you need POWER control, be it voltage, or better yet....current control.

I don’t have the schematic diagram for that hotplate, but I’d bet you can simply bypass the “temperature control” knob to get it to work.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
My Cadco hotplate modification thread: Hotplate Build
My stock pot gin still: stock pot potstill
My 5-grain Bourbon recipe: Special K

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:57 pm

Ok well I guess I've got to find something else.. I live in a small town and there's not alot of places out there even Walmart only has 3-4 different ones.when I go back into town I'll take a few pictures of what they have and hopefully someone recognizes a good one to buy. Thanks.

P.s still stirring this is the heat nob and I wasn't sure about the STC 1000.. I got it for free from a friend and it looked like the controllers some people use.. but it sucks if Botha things I got are wrong complete fail on my part 😐
IMG_20210109_135536094.jpg
IMG_20210109_121740378.jpg
Last edited by Seanjohn19 on Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:06 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:25 pm
Is the “power dial” a simple on-off switch? What does it do?

The temperature dial needs to be eliminated from the circuit. Your heat element is a simple resistive element and could run directly from the mains power. What you need to control the power is NOT the STC-1000, which is a temperature regulator. You do NOT need thermostatic control...you need POWER control, be it voltage, or better yet....current control.

I don’t have the schematic diagram for that hotplate, but I’d bet you can simply bypass the “temperature control” knob to get it to work.
ss
It sounds like I'm up shit Creek no matter what. I was trying to get something out together cheap.. buying a new hotplate and heat control probably isn't in the budget right now but thanks for being honest guys it's alot better than failing.
I'm going to end up having to use propane heater and at that point I'll need to go outside the shed and just run my bigger reflux till I can figure out something else.

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:19 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:25 pm
Is the “power dial” a simple on-off switch? What does it do?

The temperature dial needs to be eliminated from the circuit. Your heat element is a simple resistive element and could run directly from the mains power. What you need to control the power is NOT the STC-1000, which is a temperature regulator. You do NOT need thermostatic control...you need POWER control, be it voltage, or better yet....current control.

I don’t have the schematic diagram for that hotplate, but I’d bet you can simply bypass the “temperature control” knob to get it to work.
ss
The power switch when I turn it to the on position I can see it move and click when it's set on don't know if it's a simple on off switch I might have a on off switch laying around.
IMG_20210109_141458252.jpg
IMG_20210109_135536094.jpg

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 9108
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Hot plates

Post by NZChris » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:21 pm

What you need is a hot plate with a spiral element. They don't have the internal switch, so all you have to do is turn the dial to full and control the power to the unit. I don't modify the unit at all. I plug it into the same controller I use for my main boiler.

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:23 pm

Both knobs do the same thing they just move together until the click and connect the points

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:24 pm

Ok thanks

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 8353
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: Hot plates

Post by still_stirrin » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:28 pm

Seanjohn19 wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:57 pm
...I wasn't sure about the STC 1000.. I got it for free from a friend and it looked like the controllers some people use...
The STC-1000 will work a treat for controlling the heat pad for your fermenters. Just not for a boiler.

You don’t need “temperature control” on a boiler....the composition of the mixture inside the boiler will do that for you. What you need is control of the vapor production rate, or rather power input to the heat element.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
My Cadco hotplate modification thread: Hotplate Build
My stock pot gin still: stock pot potstill
My 5-grain Bourbon recipe: Special K

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 8353
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: Hot plates

Post by still_stirrin » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:40 pm

If you unplug these connectors, can you measure the resistance of the element?
Hot plate
Hot plate
If so, you should be able to power it directly and regulate the power with a SSR or Triac circuit.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
My Cadco hotplate modification thread: Hotplate Build
My stock pot gin still: stock pot potstill
My 5-grain Bourbon recipe: Special K

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:48 pm

Can I use a simple multimeter to check it? If so what setting should I put bother the multimeter and hotplate on?
IMG_20210109_144609447.jpg

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:55 pm

Well that all kinda sucks, but what can ya do😐
Do you think I can use a propane burner from a crab heater on a 5 gallon heavy duty stock pot? If how far off the flame should the pot be? Originally I wanted to run with a hotplate in my she'd that has good ventilation. Haven't done much research on using propane and it's hard to find a detailed forum on hot too.. at least it should heat up faster I guess but it's super cold outside and neighbors can't see but at about 500 feet away. Thanks for all the help with the hotplate and temp controllers I've got, much better than trying and failing.👍

User avatar
SomethingObscure
Bootlegger
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:17 am
Location: England.

Re: Hot plates

Post by SomethingObscure » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:15 pm

Seanjohn19 wrote:Can I use a simple multimeter to check it? If so what setting should I put bother the multimeter and hotplate on?
IMG_20210109_144609447.jpg
You want to use the green section of the dial to measure resistance. Start at 2000k ohms.

But may I suggest that if you don't know how to measure resistance on your multimeter. And more importantly why you are, that messing around with mains voltage electronics isn't adviceable.

That said I don't see why you couldn't wire the heating elements directly to an scr voltage regulator.

Just my 2 pence.

Cheers

SomethingObscure



“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
-Albert Einstein


Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:28 pm

SomethingObscure wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:15 pm
Seanjohn19 wrote:Can I use a simple multimeter to check it? If so what setting should I put bother the multimeter and hotplate on?IMG_20210109_144609447.jpg
You want to use the green section of the dial to measure resistance. Start at 2000k ohms.

But may I suggest that if you don't know how to measure resistance on your multimeter. And more importantly why you are, that messing around with mains voltage electronics isn't adviceable.

That said I don't see why you couldn't wire the heating elements directly to an scr voltage regulator.

Just my 2 pence.




Cheers

SomethingObscure



“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
-Albert Einstein
I know a bit about electronics but I was asking for some help just to find out if it could be done with my hotplate.. I'm probably just going to have to use propane. The controllers I've got aren't the right one neither is the hotplate from what I'm told.. I do have one of those propane burners for crab or turkey.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 9108
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Hot plates

Post by NZChris » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:43 pm

SomethingObscure wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:15 pm
That said I don't see why you couldn't wire the heating elements directly to an scr voltage regulator.
For the reasons SaltyStaves and I have already posted, you can only count on reliably getting about half of the stated Watts using that type of element. If half the rated Watts is enough, you're good to go. I sometimes use a similar solid plate for my mini gin stills, but I don't need half of the stated Watts.

I wouldn't bother building an SCR into any hotplate. It's convenient to have an SCR, router speed controller, variac, whatever, as a separate unit that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:57 pm

NZChris wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:43 pm
SomethingObscure wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:15 pm
That said I don't see why you couldn't wire the heating elements directly to an scr voltage regulator.
For the reasons SaltyStaves and I have already posted, you can only count on reliably getting about half of the stated Watts using that type of element. If half the rated Watts is enough, you're good to go. I sometimes use a similar solid plate for my mini gin stills, but I don't need half of the stated Watts.

I wouldn't bother building an SCR into any hotplate. It's convenient to have an SCR, router speed controller, variac, whatever, as a separate unit that can be used for a variety of purposes.
I was planning on doing 2.5 gallon runs with my small pot still I'm building. Ive got a bigger 10 gallon reflux and if I'm using gas I'll probably just run the bigger unit.. half of 1500w is 750w don't know if that would do it or not for the potstill.. eventually I will put internal elements in my big reflux but can't do that yet so I'm trying to make due with what I've got right.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 9108
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Hot plates

Post by NZChris » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:20 am

I sometimes run my 8.5g pot still with 750W, but that is with two internal elements connected in series and the boiler is insulated. I only do that if I've got plenty of time to kill.

User avatar
Demy
Distiller
Posts: 1103
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: Hot plates

Post by Demy » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:57 am

You don't have to change anything if you don't want to. Maybe you haven't read my previous post but just connect the plate plug to the regulator socket, raise the original plate thermostat to the maximum, use the voltage regulator to dose the power. I'll make you a drawing if you feel like looking at it.The regulator must be of the "voltage regulator" type or similar, so that the power can be adjusted as if it were the gas knob
Immagine.png
Immagine.png (9.02 KiB) Viewed 265 times

User avatar
Canuckwoods
Bootlegger
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:18 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Canuckwoods » Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:18 am

How about induction elements? I have been thinking of getting one mostly for mashing but if it could also be used for the still great.

User avatar
Demy
Distiller
Posts: 1103
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: Hot plates

Post by Demy » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:51 pm

Canuckwoods wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:18 am
How about induction elements? I have been thinking of getting one mostly for mashing but if it could also be used for the still great.
Some considerations: induction requires suitable cookware but it will work, they also have a limit weight that the glass top can withstand. I use those (cast iron) mash plates connected to a pid, they are still convenient for small quantities. Disadvantage, a great thermal inertia which means that when the plate is switched off it will still release the accumulated heat hence the need for the pid to manage all this. they also have the advantage of not burning the solids as the internal elements do as long as they mix continuously. For large quantities of cereals they are too slow. For distillation they are excellent if connected to a voltage regulator (no pid) but always only for limited washing quantities.

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:08 pm

Demy wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:57 am
You don't have to change anything if you don't want to. Maybe you haven't read my previous post but just connect the plate plug to the regulator socket, raise the original plate thermostat to the maximum, use the voltage regulator to dose the power. I'll make you a drawing if you feel like looking at it.The regulator must be of the "voltage regulator" type or similar, so that the power can be adjusted as if it were the gas knob
Immagine.png
I did read it, but I was told the heat controllers I've got aren't right. I got them from a friend for free so I'm not out anything. Don't get me wrong if I could use the stuff I got I can run inside me vented shop, I've also got a propane crab heater kinda thing but Ill have to run outside and it rains 9 months a year here so I'll have to build some kind of roof or something.
IMG_20210109_120236700.jpg

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: Hot plates

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:11 pm

Canuckwoods wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:18 am
How about induction elements? I have been thinking of getting one mostly for mashing but if it could also be used for the still great.
Eventually I will go with internal elements but on my bigger reflux still. I just built a smaller stock pot still in hopes to run it in the shop to stay out of the rain.

tomtom
Novice
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Hot plates

Post by tomtom » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:24 pm

Here is a good controller
I use it with a 3000 watt element

https://www.stilldragon.eu/en/miscellan ... results=14

User avatar
Demy
Distiller
Posts: 1103
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: Hot plates

Post by Demy » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:49 am

I don't know if it could be useful but I use this https://bit.ly/38z4o3t I put it in a box, I added a mini 5v fan powered by an old phone charger. I have been using it for a long time. A better option than this is the one with the use of a resistive ssr. It sounds complicated but it is a very simple and functional option.

Terrenum
Novice
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:34 pm

Re: Hot plates

Post by Terrenum » Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:24 am

I bought a hotplate before reading these threads... I guess my focus was too much on the still and not the heat source ;-)

Therefore I have a cast iron electric hotplate 1500w but it does go on/off. It stays hot however. I do see a little fluctuation when I run a stripping run full heat where flow will increase and then slow down, but overall it seems to be quite consistent. The issue I have is the maximum speed I can get is roughly 500-600ml per hour.

Are induction plate better? I have a 5G (20L) copper alembic pot still so I would need a stainless steel heat diffuser. Anyone has a similar setup and can testify it works well?

In summer time I will most likely use gas outside but where I live it gets to -30C in winter time

User avatar
zed255
Rumrunner
Posts: 717
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Hot plates

Post by zed255 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:43 am

I use an induction hot plate for one of my small pot stills. On mine, settings from 700W to 1800W are consistent heat, the 300W and 500W cycle. With a good heavy bottomed pot the 500W setting is useable but the 300W causes to much variation in output. I like induction as it causes the pot to heat directly and is not transferring heat from an element. It does seem more efficient.

I can't say if other brands or models cycle at lower settings, but if you try one get one with the widest range of power settings you can and the heavier the bottom of your pot the bette (induction compatible of course).
----------
Zed

When the Student is ready, the Master will appear.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

Post Reply