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My Hotplate

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:41 am
by Cruisaire
I got one of these because I can't use the kitchen stove and wanted to boil on my shop bench. At 1000 watts, this isn't proving to be a very powerful unit for small batch boils. I'm guessing a 1500 watt model would fit the bill. Your thoughts (other than going outside with gas)?

Image

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:22 pm
by frikz
How big is your boiler?

I recently purchased a propane/butane burner with flame-out protection that is also suited to use inside.

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:31 pm
by Cruisaire
My boiler is 16 qt and never more than half full. Yours is used indoors? Tell me more!!!

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:16 pm
by frikz
Here's a pic:

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/9945 ... ezoqw1.jpg

It's a 9.5 kW propane burner and as you can see on the picture, it has a thermocouple and magnetic valve that shut off the gas supply when the flame is blown out. Gas boilers for central heating systems and gas stoves have similar flame out protections and I would never use a propane burner indoors that lacks that feature.

By the way, I'm not shure what kind of boiler you are using, but you could also build an electric water heater element into it. I guess an element of 1.5 kW or greater should do the job. I'm not sure how much power you would need if you use an electric hot plate though, they tend to be somewhat inefficient in my experience.

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:58 pm
by As-Ol-Joe
I have that same hot plate. It takes forever to heat up. I have found if you heat your boiler up on the stove in the house t o about 120f then put it on the hot plate it works a little better. It will still be really slow.

I looked at the 1500w models also, it is not a true 1500w. One burner is 600w and the other is 900w.

The wife finally gaves me permission to use the house stove

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:02 pm
by Cruisaire
Fine woman you got there if she gives you "boiling rights"!

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:22 pm
by HookLine
I got an internal element. They are very efficient as all the heat goes into the wash. One down side of them is that they are more likely to scorch if you distill on the grain, or do fruit washes, and then they can be a pain to clean. I haven't tried running a grain or fruit wash yet, but I have read that some things you can do to prevent or minimise scorching are:

1. Use a low density element, which just spreads the same amount of heat over a larger surface area.

2. Heat up slowly.

3. Clear the wash really really well before throwing it into the boiler. Means you can't distill on the grain or fruit though.

4. Insulate the boiler well. Means you don't have to put as much heat into the wash to keep it boiling.

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:55 pm
by Usge
Boiling rights for OTF (other than food), uses up 2 WAF (wife approval factor) credits.

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:04 pm
by As-Ol-Joe
My wife knows that I'm the greatest thing that ever happened to her family. :roll:

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:03 am
by Cruisaire
HookLine wrote:I got an internal element. They are very efficient as all the heat goes into the wash. One down side of them is that they are more likely to scorch if you distill on the grain, or do fruit washes, and then they can be a pain to clean. I haven't tried running a grain or fruit wash yet, but I have read that some things you can do to prevent or minimise scorching are:

1. Use a low density element, which just spreads the same amount of heat over a larger surface area.

2. Heat up slowly.

3. Clear the wash really really well before throwing it into the boiler. Means you can't distill on the grain or fruit though.

4. Insulate the boiler well. Means you don't have to put as much heat into the wash to keep it boiling.
Thanks! If I don't get a hotplate I like, I'll look at dedicating a pot with an internal loop burner and run it slow.

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:16 pm
by Cruisaire
As luck would have it, the boss wants me to have a shrimp boil for my co-workers this Friday. So............I just went out and bought a cheap propane burner/turkey fryer set-up. HeHe! Maybe the wife won't notice the cc bill and if she does, my Boss made me do it!!

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:48 pm
by Cruisaire
Usge wrote:Boiling rights for OTF (other than food), uses up 2 WAF (wife approval factor) credits.
:P Ur killin' me!!!!

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:04 am
by Mopar Redneck
One thing that I discovered with the "turkey fryer" propane setups: If you have a smaller still like mine (4 gallon) it is almost impossible to get them turned down low enough to cook it right. I have to have mine turned down so low that the flames are almost all beard or I am not able to maintain under a 190° temp in the vapor path. I am working on designing a burner from an RV stove top unit. That should do the trick.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:57 am
by Cruisaire
Good point. That turkey burner has essentially 2 speeds, high and off! I guess a little monkeying around with the burner and orifice might help. The other option would be just build/borrow a bigger still.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:24 pm
by Old_Blue
Most of them turkey fryer burners has one screw in the bottom connected to a bracket that runs across the middle of the burner frame. Remove the burner and cut the bracket off with a hacksaw.

Go to the junkyard and give the man 5 dollars for one of them sissy lightweight screw jacks that comes with foreign cars. Get one that has a flat plate across the top where it contacts the car. Bore a hole in the plate and put your burner on it.

Put the jack/burner under the frame in the regular position. If its still too hot on low, just wind it down and get some distance. Works just fine.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:32 pm
by HookLine
Another ingenious solution. Bought to you by Bootleggers Inc. International, experts at improvisation. :mrgreen:

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:37 pm
by Cruisaire
And they thought putting a man on the moon was big deal! :lol:

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:54 am
by Dnderhead
They do make a three ring burner that you can control
each ring separately i'v Benn looking four one

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:08 am
by punkin
Dnderhead wrote:They do make a three ring burner that you can control
each ring separately i'v Benn looking four one
Quite common and cheap as chips in Aus.

Cast ones (round) are imported from asia somewhere, for use in camping. You can get em all sizes...the three ring is what i use, i use all three on full to boil, and then turn the middle one off, the outside one down to a tiny yellow flame, and controll the heat through the run using the small centre burner.
When the tails are being collected, or during a stripping run, i turn the outside one up to half or so as well.

The three ring one at the bottom is the same as mine, but you can get some big buggers too...

http://www.campingworld.com.au/site/pro ... issubid=20" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:20 pm
by Old_Blue
I need to add this. :oops:

If you mount the burner on the screw jack it will be top heavy and will topple over. Hmmm...wonder how I know this :x .

You need to mount it to a plate on the bottom. A 6" x 6" piece of 1/4" steel works fine as a base. I tried plywood but it started smoking from the heat :shock: .
They do make a three ring burner that you can control
each ring separately
I've got a two burner model that both rings burn on high or as you cut it down to just one ring. It's mounted on a screw jack, of course. :lol:

I welded a plate to the top for mounting because this burner has 3 legs. I found it doesn't work well turned all the way down. It does better with a little pressure. I just lower it. Got about 14 inches of travel. This gives two ways to fine tune the heat.

Re: My Hotplate

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:45 pm
by high-grade
Cruisaire wrote:I got one of these because I can't use the kitchen stove and wanted to boil on my shop bench. At 1000 watts, this isn't proving to be a very powerful unit for small batch boils. I'm guessing a 1500 watt model would fit the bill. Your thoughts (other than going outside with gas)?

Image
I run indoors so I'm using a 1300W hotplate made by WaringPro. Looks like this:

Image

I made a heat controller for it using a 1500W dimmer switch, and it works a treat. I originally tried using the internal adjustment on the hotplate to control the power, but it cycled too much, as evident by my distillate 'spitting' at me during my water runs.

Here is some info on how to make a handheld dimmer http://www.dv.com/columns/columns_item. ... =196603657 You can use a 600W dimmer modified with some extra bits, there is a sticky about that mod here http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3342

My boiler is a 36QT stainless steel turkey fryer and it takes me about 90 minutes to heat up a 5 gallon wash. I use 2 stainless steel scrubbers as boiling chips. Boiler is insulated (using a car windshield heat reflector which is basically aluminum foil and cardboard) and my 2"/3' mini Bokabob column is also insulated.

Everything works very well. :D

Of course, we always are trying to make things better. :idea: I was thinking of using an aluminum baking sheet as a heat spreader... I wonder if that would improve my boilup time any?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:31 pm
by Cruisaire
Now THAT is one bad hotplate! Very nice. Worth looking around here for one.

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:59 pm
by Cruisaire
As-Ol-Joe wrote:I have that same hot plate. It takes forever to heat up.
True..true...