Electric Hot Liquor Tank — The Electric Swizzle Stick

This is the last post in the series on my electric hot liquor tank.  You can reference the initial post here.  I want to reiterate my warning about mixing electricity with water.  It can be deadly, and if you decide to venture into this, you do so at your own risk.  Please get the help of someone who knows what they are doing, like an electrician.  This is just to document what I did, and is not meant to be any sort of expert opinion or instructions.  So, if you get hurt, it is your own fault.

Ok, as I outlined in my prior posts, I was now at the point where I had a fully functioning 10 gallon hot water tank, with temperature regulation.  The issue I was concerned about was stratification of the temperatures.  I am going to be using often up to 3-4 gallons of water out of this at a time, and I wanted the temperature to be as accurate as possible, so I needed agitation.  After doing some research (ok, surfing the internet for a while) I found a website where someone had mounted a stirring motor to the lid of a hot liquor tank.  Unfortunately, I can’t find the link, and I apologize for not being able to properly give credit where credit is due.  This gentleman first used some motors that burned out quickly before he ended up purchasing a more robust ac gearmotor.  I ended up purchasing one from McMaster-Carr, that was (#6142k59).  To complete the mechanism, I purchased a (#34935K66), and a (#6412K12).  Then it was just a matter of drilling the appropriate holes in the lid of the tank, and attaching it with screws, nuts, and washers from the hardware store.

Gearmotor mounted on lid


The motor is off set so it does not interfere with the element.  When I wired it, I attached the ground wire to one of the anchor screws (green wire in top picture above), so it is securely attached to the motor metal gearbox and the lid.

Propeller relative to element

My plan is to eventually have a copper coil mounted inside this that will allow me to circulate the liquid from the mash through it, acting as a heat exchange coil for a system.  This will  let me keep a constant temperature in my mash, and allow me to reproduce the same mashing temperatures for repeatability.  However, that is a project for another day, once I have more time, and I can convince my wife that purchasing a food grade hot liquid pump is a good idea.  That will likely require I produce more furniture for her to build up the brownie points, which is fine by me.

Well, that is it on the series on the electric hot liquor tank.  I learned quite a bit in building this, and having hot water at exactly the temperature you want without having to constantly fiddle with burners has tremendously increased my enjoyment of the whole brewing process.

Electric Hot Liquor Tank — The Basics

Electric Hot Liquor Tank — The Element

Electric Hot Liquor Tank — The Temperature Control

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