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Brewing in the basement...first timer ?s

Hi All…

First post and soon to be brewing my first batch. My loving fiancé got me the advanced starter kit for my 29th birthday and I’m getting ready to start the adventure!

I would like to set up a section of my unfinished basement to do the brewing. I was thinking I could get a couple of folding tables and a propane burner (like what you might use while camping). In general, the goal was to not need to take over the kitchen to brew.

My questions really lie in overall set up advice and determining if I will run into any sanitation/cleanliness issues. I see so much importance put into making sure everything is super clean. Although I’m no slob, my basement is unfinished and not necessarily a place I’d eat off the floor.

So…good idea, bad idea? Advice on how to make it work? Things I should do, shouldn’t do?

Cheers all…looking forward to this.

carbon monoxide poisoning is your 1st issue.

What kind of burner are you thinking of? One of these? ... &FORM=HURE

I don’t think it will have the power needed. Most kitchen stoves have a hard time getting 3-4 gallons to a boil. And are way under powered for a full 6+ gallons.

A turkey fryer is best. But I would not recommend one in the basement.

The basement is a great place to keep your fermenting beer. The floors help to maintian a good mid 60* temp. Other ways to keep things cool…


Yeah, something like in your link. I guess that’s a bad idea. Sounds like keeping it completely in the basement wont really be feasible.

i also started with deluxe starter and a 3 gal. pot on the kitchen stove. (partial boil) i have since stepped up to the turkey fryer and a foll boil. i. use the one step sanitizer and have not had any issues with sanitation. just make sure anything that touches your beer after the boil is sanitized. once you get the routeen down its all pretty easy. good luck and have fun, youll have 6 carboys before you know it.

Don’t listen to Don - get buckets!

Brew in a garage if you have one, you can get a turkey fryer and 30qt kettle for around $50-60, they have plenty of power for 5 gallon batches. I’m sure one step is fine, but I love star-san, a little bit goes a long ways, plus it’s ‘no rinse’ at the proper dilution.

The first three years, I used 1 Step exclusively. I have switched to Star San and will never go back. It is awesome.


+1! Check Home Depot periodically. They sell a turkey frier with 30qrt aluminum pot that will go on sale for $40 from time to time. It’s normally $60-$70. When i bought mine they made a mistake at the register… got it for $30!!!

The turkey frier to mash and boil along with my minifridge to control fermentation temps are the best brewing related purchases I’ve made, hands down… oh, well there’s also the kegerator… but that’s not brewing related. That’s drinking related :smiley:

You might be able to make an electric brewery in your basement, either with a used stove, an electric element or an induction hotplate with stainless steel kettle (make sure its magnetic, many of them aren’t). The stove would take a 220V plug, the other two could be used on a 110V line if theres not much else pulling on it.

Brewing in a basement will probably be safer than brewing outdoors. Theres no wind blowing stuff around.

Awesome advice so far. Glad I found this forum. I’ll be watching the DVD and checking out all the parts this week. From there, I’ll be back with more questions I’m sure… Maybe for the first round I’ll brew in kitchen just to learn the ropes and keep my eye out for the fryer…or a used electric stove.

Also depends on your ventilation situation - I brew in my basement. But, it is a walkout basement and the room I brew in has a vent van in the wall to the outside and it also has a full size window that I open. And, I use natural gas. I love that I can brew inside, instead of hauling everything out in my garage. It is a HUGE time saver to have everything set up and ready to roll.

If this is your first beer, I’d definitely recommend keeping it simple and doing it on the stove. Especially if you’re not doing a full boil.

Sanitation / cleanliness is probably easier to accomplish when inside, fwiw.

just keep an eye on it after you put the hops in. you will have a boil over at least once, i think everyone has?

[quote=“Don Cuz”]
just keep an eye on it after you put the hops in. you will have a boil over at least once, i think everyone has?[/quote]

+1. Stickiest mess EVER!

Taking over the kitchen? Your fiance can’t stand not having the kitchen for a few hours? I wouldn’t worry about it! Keep it simple and use the kitchen stove.

Well, we washed the DVD that the kit came with last night…I think she is actually excited to do this with me now! Gotta go get a big pot and we are all set…

Sounds like you won’t have any cleanliness issues . . . :wink:

dont you second stage any of your beer?

I have brewed almost a hundred batches of beer… only the very first one was brewed indoors… the sugary malty smell you get from boiling for an hour indoors , and that lingers for days, was more than even I thought was reasonable for me to expect my family to endure… outdoor turkey fryer all the way, baby!

I initially started in the garage with a bayou burner and found that it was easier for me on the stove. I found myself running in and out of the house a lot and generally in spaz mode. But I was using snow to cool the wort then and it was close to the source in the garage. The less you have to move a boiling hot kettle of liquid the better. As spring is here and I have my routine down I may do my boils in the garage again just to keep the heat down in the house. I now have a wort chiller that I connect to the garden hose spigot which has made my life easier. I ferment in the cellar and use buckets for my primary and move to glass for conditioning.

Primary - NB Sustainor 2 Rye Maibock Limited Edition
Conditioning - NB Denny’s Wry Smile Rye IPA

Consuming - Ultimate Warrior IPA,
NB Sinistral Warrior IPA

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