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I decided to go for 3kW elements, it seems that would be about the biggest I could go for without requiring new switches and fuses in my house. My circuit breaker is rated to 20A, and as a good rule of thumb I'm going to try and keep this below 15A. Basically, the bigger the element, the quicker I can heat the water to start the mash and get the boil rolling.
20A x 230V = 4600W (max)
15A x 230V = 3450W (my target)
Therefore: 3000W/230V = 13A
I have some pumps and relays that could draw up to 1A or so but all up I should be less than 15A I think.
I bought the elements from Bunnings Warehouse for about $60 each. These guys were by far the cheapest that I found and I'd heard of the brand so I think they will be pretty sweet - Hermatic I think it was called.
I bought the junction boxes from Jaycar Electronics here.
Sealing the element took a couple of attempts, I couldn't seal it from the outside like I had with the valves, so this time I had a silicone rubber O-ring on the inside. However it wouldn't seal on it's own, so I added a few twists of thread tape to seal the backnut against the thread, and the O-ring actually seals quite nicely against the wall of the pot and the backnut.
Drilling the holes was a major hassle, I used my trusty step drill as shown in a previous post, but the max size is 39mm and I needed about 43mm so I had quite a bit of filing to do. Pretty much zero fun, but at least it didn't cost me anything. Next time I would consider buying a chassis punch, I actually looked into hiring one, but nobody had the right size.
Links to all posts in this series:
Update 1: I was getting thirsty (and low on beer) so I had to brew a batch of beer this week - a Kolsch by the way. I wanted to give the electric heater a whirl so I heated up the water in my BK - basically using it as a HLT. It took about 25min to heat 30L to 72ºC - not bad I reckon.