Author Topic: induction cook tops for heating water and wort  (Read 7205 times)

Offline jcksmt

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induction cook tops for heating water and wort
« on: May 20, 2010, 08:10:57 AM »
A friend recently purchased a new stove with induction cook top.  It boils water incredibly fast.  Counter top versions of this type of cook top are available.  Does anyone have any experience using one?  Could one stand up to the weight of a nine gallon brew pot with seven plus gallons of water or wort in it?  If they do work, would you recommend a 110v or 220v model?

Thanks for any information you might have.

Jack

Offline Alexander

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Re: induction cook tops for heating water and wort
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 05:41:28 PM »
Not that I use an induction cook top but here a some points to ponder as I looked into getting one at one point in time.

1. If you turn it off it stops heating immediately Just like a gas stove, so you can reduce overboil if you are currently using an conventional electric stovetop which takes a while to cool.

2.  You may need a new pot. If you pot is copper and not clad/multilayer it won't work. Also not all stainless steal pots are built the same so you pot may not work as well as it should.Enamel coated steel should work well. A lot of new pots are marked as induction ready but your old steal pot will probably work just fine, if a magnet sticks as well to or better than to your fridge, it should work just fine.


3. From what I saw while looking at the specifications for a number of different units is that, Most of the 110V single unit burns on high draw at least 13.6+ amps worth of load and multi-burners draw even more current.  Odds are that running your microwave & the stove top plugged into the same circuit at the same time is not going to happen unless you want to blow fuses/trip circuit breakers, GFI's or worse yet risk an electrical fire. As such a 110 unit should probably be the only device that is plugged into the circuit at the time.  If you happen to have wiring and breakers/fuses capable of handling 20+ amps then depending on the unit you may be able to use your microwave at the same time. Units that run at 1300watt at 110V Draw a load of ~13.6Amps so they are okay on a standard 15amp circuit. units that use 1800watts at 110V draw a load of  ~16.36Amps which means you will need at least a 20amp circuit . If you don't know what wiring you have talk to an electrician and even if the breaker is a 20amp breaker investigate the wire gauge and the approximate length of the wire run through the walls, because the previous home owner or a bad electrician could have botched the job or illegally switcher out the breaker. It is better to be sure than risk having the fire company and insurance adjusters come to your house.

4. The 220V unit will save you a minimal amount on your electric bill, but if you have to run new 220V wires for it, it will take a quite a few years of regular use to recoup the additional costs of having an electrician run the wiring.  The unit itself will still use the same number of watts. However, the fact that 220V wiring is usually fairly beefy and only 1/2 of the current will flow through each of the wires means that less is lost to resistance in the house wiring (conductors & connections). That is where the money is saved. FYI this is also why I mention the potential for a electrical fire in #3 (resistance transforms the current into heat, the thinner the wire the larger the resistance for the same load. ) If you do decide on a 110 unit plugging it into a circuit that is the shortest run to the circuit breaker also helps minimize resistance.  There is plenty of information on codes for the smallest wires size for a particular number of amps and distances of the wire run online if you want to look into this further yourself.

5.Regardless of the 110 or 220V issues if you are using a normal electric stove top you should save money & start cooking sooner.

6. As for whether it can handle the weight or not I don't know. The industrial/profssional kitech grade ones probably will. To be certain look at the manuals for the model you want. It is not there contact the manufacture. They should be able to tell you.
 However if none are strong enough for you needs and you feel like taking on a project since it only heats up ferrous metals you could potentially build a stand out on poor heat conducting non-ferrous materials that could handle the heat of the pot yet not store enough heat to ruin the instant off capabilities of the unit or burn your counter-top. Note: The further the pot gets away from the top of the cook surface the less strength the magnetic field will have causing a less efficient cooking process. So if you build a stand don't overbuild it, make the legs just high enough clear the unit and the surface just thick enough to handle the weight to keep the pot close to the unit.(If your pot is big enough you could possibly make a ring of exactly the same height as the cook top. that way the stand goes around the unit  and take some to all of the load and the pot is still directly or a sheet of paper heights over the cook top surface. ) Also be careful to allow proper ventilation for the unit so that it does not overheat.


7. An added bonus of the 110 units that run under 15Amps is that you can use it at a friends house for a party.

8. You may also want to read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induction_cooker

Hopefully I have not scarred you out of one and have provided you with useful information in deciding on which to buy.


Offline Alexander

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Re: induction cook tops for heating water and wort
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 05:43:42 PM »
For full disclosure I am not an electrician, so don't assume that I am one.

Offline jcksmt

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Re: induction cook tops for heating water and wort
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2010, 07:15:51 AM »
Alexander,

Thanks for the info.  You've given me some stuff to ponder.  If I decide on anything I will post the results.

Jack

 

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