Here’s a hands on look Allied Precision’s 1000 Watt Bucket Heater…
The shield portion of the heat stick is right around 8″ This is the portion you are supposed to keep submerged in water while the heat stick is plugged in. The directions say that the unit cycles itself on and off, for safety, if the water level gets below 6″. Otherwise, the unit is constantly on.
I used my ThermoWorks ChefAlarm Thermometer and Timer (First Looks Post) to track progress. This thermometer tracks both min and max temps, has a built in timer and has an available waterproof probe. I also used the alarm feature to let me alert me to notable progress points. My tap water came in at 66.9 degrees F.
The water hit 160.5 deg F (+93.6 deg F) in about 1 hour and 10 minutes. This is notable because, depending on your beer and mash profile, we’re getting close to strike water temperature. Average increase: 1.33 deg F per Minute.
I use this to get a head start on my strike water and mash water. I can have this setup and have someone else at home plug it in. I recently brewed More Beer’s Citra Pale Ale. This heat stick was plugged in about an hour and a half before I knew I would be home. When I got home my strike water nearly ready to go. I was mashing in within 10 minutes of arriving home. That saves propane and it saves time. After starting the mash I also use this to heat up sparge water. Sixty minutes isn’t enough time to get there, but it gets me close and I can finish it off with my propane burner. Similar advantages are available for extract batches.
This saves me time and propane. It also helps me out in cold weather brewing, because I can leave my garage door closed longer. Using this, I don’t need to fire up my propane burner until just before sparging.
Safety Caveats Apply: This is an electrical device that’s being immersed in water. It does have safety features (a guard and power cycling). Always read and follow manufacturers instructions.
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