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I built an inline heating element assembly using some 1" copper pipe, a 1" threaded female fitting and some 1/2" fittings. The idea is, wort comes in from the bottom 1/2" fitting, flows over the element, and exits the top fitting. In theory, this should work swimmingly.

It's about 16" long, however, and it will be hot. I'd like to fabricate some sort of housing for it and the panel-mount thermostat controller, something that can handle the heat with no issue, and provide a solid base for this thing to be set upright next to my mash tun.

Has anyone else built something like this? What did you use? How well does it work?

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sounds a lot like a RIMS tube... –  mdma Feb 8 '12 at 23:24
    
Well yeah, it is. but I've never seen any pics or references to building a housing around it, nor integrating it with a controller. –  Jeremy Holovacs Feb 9 '12 at 0:07
    
Integrating it with a controller shouldn't be a problem. Although it's a HERMS system, theelectricbrewery.com should give you loads of tips for controlling it in the forums, I've seen plenty of RIMS setups there too. (I'm "crush" over there.) –  mdma Feb 9 '12 at 0:10
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Wrap it tightly in aluminized bubble insulation and put it into a cheap plastic toolbox. Mount the controller on the front or back and you can even open up the toolbox to get the unit in and out to clean it. Just make it easy to clean.

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