Heat Element Size


I plan to buy a kettle with a 30cm diameter.
Does the heat element from the shop fit?
The data sheets does not state the length of the heat element inside of the kettle.
Or does not recommend the minimum diameter for a HLT or Boil Kettle.


We don’t sell heating elements yet, just holders/enclosures to mount them nicely in your kettle.
They are designed to work with Camco heating elements, which you can find on Amazon. Look for the ultra low watt density types.

Typically you see most people use these:


Thank you,

I checked 5500W element and it is for a minimum pot diameter of 15’’+

But I found the following element that would fit my planed pots of 21L and a diameter of 30 cm.

Thought delivering from US is expensive with shipping and customs but turns out it is quite alright.

I’m building an electric kettle myself, should one of these elements be enough to bring 40-50L of water to a boil in a reasonable amount of time?


You can go to this wattage calculator and reverse-engineer the amount of time for a given heater element power and volume of boil. I figure a 50L volume can be brought to a boil by a 5500W element in 27 minutes, assuming an approximate rise of 40F from mash-out to boil temp.

Hello brewers,

Apparently as a new user I am not allowed to start a new topic so I will try and revive an old one that touches on a similar topic that I would like to request help on.

As a person living in the Netherlands I am running into the limit of our circuit breakers which only allow a current of 16A max which on 230V would imply my max heating element of 16 x 230 = 3680W…knock of a little for the lights, the pumps and some current variance would be put the more likely scenario between 3000-3500W. Which in my book would limit the batch size one can brew to below 10 gallons unless you have a very very very long brew day or is this all in my mind?

Clearly this is a very international and well diversified forum (except for gender it seems) but how have my fellow country people tackled this issue (legally)?

Reason to bring it up is that I am currently in the process of building a house with the potential to add a homebrewery in the basement so I have an electrician on stand by to help put in place what is necessary, unfortunately he likes to drink beer only and has no clue about the electricity need for a brewery. Also brewed outside a week and a half ago and I can tell…not funny

Many thanks for helping out/your feedback.


Use a ‘perilex’ 3 phase connector (like the one for an electric stove)

or put two 3500 watt elements in your kettle and connect them both on a different group.

I use the 2 elements solution, works fine!

PS: I also live in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, most houses have 3 phases coming into the house.
You can have 1 connected, for a 1x40A connection, or have 3 connected for a 3x25 or 3x40 connection.

Switching from 1x40 to 3x25 costs about 400 euro, one time fee. The yearly rate is the same.
With 3x25A coming in, you can divide your existing groups over the 3 phases and add a 3-phase group, with its own GFCI and main switch.

Note that the new smart meters use one of the 3 groups for solar panels if you have them to deliver energy back to ge grid. I am not sure whether it is possible to have 3x25A and solar panels.

The energy required to heat water is 4200 kilojoule per degree Celsius per liter.
So to heat 40 liters takes:

  • 40*4200 / 3200W = 52 seconds per degree
  • 40*4200 / 5500W = 31 seconds per degree
  • 40*4200 / 8500W = 20 seconds per degree

You can use the 5500W element on a 25A single phase connection (5500W/230V = 24A), but you’ll have to ensure everything is dimensionsed at 25A (thicker wiring, bigger fuses and GFCI).

You are required to have a separate mains switch for 3-phase in your ‘meterkast’, but can use an overload + GFCI in one behind it, called an ‘aardlekautomaat’ in Dutch.

P.S. to be allowed to make a new post, you just need to have read a few other posts. It is an anti-spam measure.

Hi Elco,

Thanks for your feedback. Given my house is a newbuild and my own focus on sustainability we are building an all electric house (ground water pump for heating/cooling + and whopping 56x 330wp solar panels) and we have a grid connection of 3 * 25. We have looked at moving to 3 x 35 but the EUR 70 per month in grid connection cost (“vastrecht”) feels a bit excessive given we will likely deliver back to the grid 66.6% of the time.

My understanding is that each of the 3x25A main fuses are secured by a 1.6x smaller fuse down the line which is where I get to the 16A breaker and the max out put of the element being somewhere close to 3250-3750.

At the moment, I am looking to construct a control panel for a 15G 3 vessel system to replace my trusty GF. Although I am comfortable with the plumbing, I need to get my head around the electricity bit. So I want to make sure I get that bit right.

I have checked with many of the online offerings but given the US nature of most, they think stepping from 120v to 240 is already a big step and although they say they are 400V ready they actually mean that in a different way than we Dutchies/Europeans think about it and it is not a “pure play” 3-phase offering. As said the wiring of the electricity already sounds a bit daunting and going full 3 phase would basically tripple the wiring and nobody can offer me a wiring diagram for it.

Final thing on the heating times, when you are heating through Herms, are you actually not heating the volum of both the HLT and MLT at the same time? Although, they are closed systems in the sense that the fluids don’t mix the heat exchange through to HERMS coil actually takes heat from the HLT and transfers it to the MLT but this implies that you need to re-heat the HLT or am I seeing a problem that is not there?

Really appreciate your (and others) help on my journey to full electric.

Hey DouBrew,

The two elements one makes sense of indeed but you are probably using a single vessel system or not? How do you control the temperature?

At the moment I am looking building a control panel based on the electricbrewery, electric brew supply (I like the DIN offering) or Michael Skrill their designs (or a Frankenstein of those).

My thought was to run thicker wires from the fuse box to my basement and connect those up with a CEE plug there (not so pretty but works and its a basement so it doesn’t have to look pretty) rather than Perilex as that would complicate the control panel wiring which as you might have read is already a part that I am looking up against but I think I can manage with the right documentation and logic. The CEE plug would be the power in for the control box. The heating elements (1x HLT, 1 BK) would also be connected with a CEE plug running between the element and the controller. The pumps will be connected with normal schuko as they are low amp in any case. Anyway I think the controller would force me to run it off one group unless somebody has a schematic laying around for a true 3 phase control box and is willing to share…and sharing is caring :grinning:

@Elco lco, I have just been awarded my first badge, is there a way I (or somebody) can transfer this to a new topic to not pollute the message board?

Doesn’t look like the board allows moving posts. Discussion is still appropriate to topic title, so may as well continue using this one.
If you have an unrelated question, feel free to open a new topic.

Thanks Bob, reading somewhere else on the board that you (used to) offer ready built 3 phase controllers? Is that still valid/correct. If so that might be something for me to consider?

Typically, you’d use the Spark controller to toggle an SSR. We sell the controllers, and 3-phase compatible SSRs.

We may have some relevant schematics for a control panel, but that’s a question for @Elco: I’m just the software guy.

Hi Wannabee_electric,

I use a spark controller (store.brewpi.com) with Solid-state relays (SSR). I have a HERMS setup with 4 elements (2 elements in both HLT and BK), and, as said, 2 different groups. Group 1: HLT1 and BK1 and Group 2: HTL2 and BK2. I have a Brewblox setup with a mutex block that prevents that all elements are on at the same time.
It works really well!

and a picture of my control panel.

Building a 3-phase panel is much easier than mine!

I can

I was in the same boat. 3x35 is not worth the extra monthly fees.
3x25A is plenty and more power than 1x40A.
You just have to not use your washing machine, dryer, or any other high power appliances when you are brewing.
Our 8500W elements are basically just three 2833W elements in a single flange. Each of them is connected between a phase and neutral (a star configuration). This means that the current per phase is 12.3A and you can use 2.5mm2 wiring and 16A fuses.

The elements are not designed to be used at 400V. They often call a 3-phase connection 400V, because that’s the voltage when you use a delta configuration and connect each resistor between 2 phases, instead of between a phase and neutral.

Yes, you would heat both mash and HLT, so the total volume is closer to 70L.
My system has three 70L kettles and I do 40L batches. I use the high flow herms coil, and fill my HLT to just above the coil. That’s about 30L in the HLT. Keeping the amount of water in the HLT low makes the system more responsive.

The Spark can be configured to make the element in the HLT and boil kettle mutually exclusive and ‘load balance’ them. So you can use them at the same time by quickly alternating between them and use both at 50%, or 80% and 20%.

If you can get a 3x16A group to the brewery, that’s plenty.
I can help you with the parts for a 3-phase control panel, but you’ll need to consult with an electrician for wiring it.

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You typically pre-heat your HLT. Then, when circulating the mash, you only have to reheat your HLT for the amount of energy it’s losing to the MT + environment.
In practical terms, this means you’re heating the HLT and MT contents serially, not simultaneously. Total required energy is the same, but the clock starts ticking way before you turn on the pump circulating your mash.

Actually, I heat my mash water in my boil kettle while I also heat the HLT. That way I can use a measured amount of mash water, add salts, and fill the HLT to the right level.
I set the HLT to 68C and the mash water in the BK to 73C to account for heat losses to the gain.

During this pre-heat phase, both elements are heating.

it looks really well too! I need to do some deep digging if I have the skills to replicate this…

but as my life motto is…I have never done it so I am pretty sure I can do it…I will probably get there.

And if all else fails or when in doubt…run in circles scream and shout