Electric Elements and Controller for 380L-A with 8" Column with 8 Plates?


I am looking at the agitated version of the 380l with 8 inch 8 plate column. I am having difficulty figuring out what the best solution is for elements, the material they are made from and the controller? What sort of power I need from the elements (there are all sorts of kw available) It is not a home set up, it is for a small commercial distillery. I want it to be safe and solid with good control and some heat up alarms, etc...( i have seen some options in brewing forums). Would other commercial distillers using elements mind posting some pictures and description sod what they are using? I am in Canada so I need to meet whatever electrical standards we have here. I will be going into an industrial space, so I should have a choice of single or three phase power.


  • @Smaug is your distributor so this should be directed to him instead of the forum, @BCproduct as this is exactly the kind of request that he works with daily.

    Glad you are here and hope you contribute here often. We have every level possible represented here from absolute noobs to distilling professors and everywhere in between...

    ... including still designers, Pro folks that sell liquor for a living to buy their food and pay their mortgage, people that teach others to live the dream and @Moonshine to hold it all together so that the most free distilling forum on the plant is available for your resource.

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    Give more than you take if you can. Give openly and freely and I PROMISE you will get more than you give.

    I guess you know this was directed to everyone, not just you @BCproduct, right? We are a business that is part of a family that helps to drive distilling forward.
    Welcome to the family. Enjoy the experience of unabashed distilling freedom.

  • Hi BC, Many of the new, small start ups are simply using 5500 watt elements. The 380L kettles are set up with 5 element ports. The element ports are a 2" ferrule that works very nicely with our Element Guard Kit.

    The 5500 watt elements are readily available, low cost and easily sourced at many hardware stores for about $20 (USD).

    On the 380L, most users only need a controller for one element for precision control. The remaining elements only need a simple on/off switch.

    If you are planning on charging your kettle with a beer/must that has any suspended solids at all, I would highly recommend that you consider using a jacketed tank.

    We do have our Baine Marie version (jacketed, electric fired) available. The distillers are using various heating mediums within the jacket. An outfit in New York that is doing apples seems quite satisfied to use water as a heating medium. They will later bring in a steam generator in which case this tank can also be used for steam. We have a user in Missouri using peanut oil for the heating medium and also seems quite pleased in doing so.

    Please email me any time with questions.


    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • edited July 2014

    @Lloyd said: ... and Moonshine to hold it all together so that the most free distilling forum on the plant is available for your resource.

    Of course @Lloyd means the real Moonshine as in Moonshiners as in booze, because only the real stuff can it hold all together. The booze is pretty much like super glue. Where would we be without the it... I? I only live here... heh 8-}

    Your Place to be >>> www.StillDragon.org <<< Home of the StillDragon® Community Forum

  • Here is my 380L with 5 elements, it should be put into production any day now. I have 5 Camco 5500W ULWD ripple elements in StillDragon Element Guard Kits, but you could use the following straight elements for the same power and maybe not experience the tight fit that some elements have in both the StillDragon Element Guard Kit and the return tip almost touching the 380L boiler when rotated flat... I know this is US info, and you are in Canada... but how it helps: Home Depot $18 Camco 5500W straight element but if you want the wavy since it is a bit lower watt density (not much though) look on amazon for the best deal, the Camco Ripple is about $26

    My power is 3-phase high leg, 120/120/208 to neutral, and 240/240/240 leg-to-leg, so I have three elements in a Delta connection on a contractor, and the other two are just on the breaker (I will hook up controllers after the electrical inspection, a simple on-off is less likely to trigger them asking UL to do an on-site inspection).





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  • Thank you all for the feedback, and Kotherman, thank you for posting pictures. I will speak with Smaug some more.

  • Industrial 3 phase elements are quite expensive. I mean the type where you have 3 elements mounted in the same fitting.

    However, if I had the option I would go for a 3 phase supply and put different elements on each phase for redundancy. That way if 1element failed mid run you could continue on the other phases. Use single phase elements for lower element cost.

    You have to balance out the cost of the 3 phase supply vs the single phase to see which is more viable.

  • If you go with single phase and it's normally delivered as a 200 amp circuit you might wish to spec higher.

    You'll need 5 30 amp circuits for the heating elements and another 15-20 amp circuit for the agitator. Amp draw during heat up will be around 125 amps, give or take depending on the agitator. Not sure if you are planning to use a chiller or not but a couple additional circuits will have you maxing out a typical 200 amp service. You'll be in the clear once you've got to temp.

    Elements + Chiller will probably push you firmly into 3 phase territory.

  • holy cow is that cheap! The local small breweries near me have semi-automatic keg washers by Premier Stainless, 3-phase, and they have that style element.

  • That is a dirt cheap element, although I would definitely check the watt density on that unit versus what your intended wash is going to be to make sure you don't run in to any scorching issues, even with the agitator.

  • Your Place to be >>> www.StillDragon.org <<< Home of the StillDragon® Community Forum

  • be great for a steam generator for a steam stripper ;-)

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