Informational content provided by Jamie at Immersion Heaters UK Ltd.

By far our biggest seller to Brewers, our favourite customers, is the 18kW 2.25″BSP 990mm IP65 beast that is the BI18.

It is good value for money, at a tickle under £300 (and if you call me on 07897 246 779 and say BLOGPOST, BABY! you will receive a healthy discount) and at a tickle under a meter in immersed length, it is a good fit for most vessels.

The BI18 benefits from –

  • 10mm diameter Incoloy 800 elements, with huge great wide open spaces between elements for cleaning purposes
  • 2.25″ BSP Brass Screwplug (suits 95% of brewers, SS bespoke II Range available for other 5%)
  • 6″ or 150mm inactive or cold end
  • 33″ or 830mm  immersed length
  • ABS IP65 terminal enclosure rotateable through 360 degrees
  • 10.7 w/cm² or 69w/in² watt density (the lower the watt density, the less sh1t sticks!)
  • 415v 4 wire STAR by default
  • complete with 11″ thermowell.

Here is my friend Alex from the Green Duck Brewery in Sunny Stourbridge using one for a guitar solo. Worry not, it’s not plugged in! Mind you, neither is he.

Having spent a little time with Alex & Nathan brewing, trying to learn as much as I can about the process to be better able to understand & problem solve, two things struck me.

Firstly, banging heavy rock music is a subtly essential part of the process.

Secondly, the worst part of the day is the last part of the process, cleaning that awful grey sludge off the elements, in a process that I think Nathan refered to as “Winking the Elephant” whatever that means?

This involves some serious welly trouser type things, scotch green scouring pads & wire wool, and an awful lot of elbow grease & swearing. To have that “Turd in the Swimming Pool” job hanging over your head all day, somewhat spoils an otherwise pleasurable, if damp, day.

So I have made it my mission, my Holy Grail to make this better, to remove said turd from the horizon. I’m not clever enuf on my own, so let’s Collaborate. Please call or email me with mad ideas from other areas of industry or applications, share ideas you have tried that failed, & why, or just to tell me how you do the cleaning process. I have spoken to Brewers cleaning with acids, lemon juice, caustics (FFS, NEVER USE CHLORINATED CAUSTIC! Nameless Brewery did, shiny new heater very dead inside a month), but surely the prize for Best in Show thus far, albeit with an expensive DN80 removeable Heater, goes to Nial Fitzgerald at Stone Barrel Brewing in the Emerald Isle for this inspired creation of purest beauty…

My Collaborator In Chief, Dave, and I had visions of shiny stainless steel tubes, munsen ringed to a wall, sold for huge sums of money to that rarest of breeds, the rich & shiny obsessed brewer. And Niall goes and achieves the same easy cleaning with a bit of drain pipe & some gaffer tape! I love it! Basically, the idea is to take the heater out of the vessel, (intermittently or every brew is question 1), soak it overnight in ???, then jetwash/steamclean the bugger off in the morning. Hopefully with nonchalant ease.

My first question to anybody brave enuf to read this far is, what precludes the same thing from being done with a screw in (considerably cheaper) heater such as my BI18 fan favourite?

If it is the faff of disconnecting power, could one of these not be fitted?

The only other idea currently percolating around my head is this…

A heater with elements bent in such a way as to allow flexing for insertion/removal, supplemented by possibly a cleaning block with the correct sized holes to clamp a scouring pad around the 2 legs of the element. To facilitate easier winking 😉

Alex the Guitarist, above, is a willing volunteer & test pilot, but many heads make light work, and I want to build Win-Win relationships with as many folks, particularly brewers, as possible. So, gissa call on 07897 246 779. Cheers, Jamie.