open the door, brew towards the edge of that garage
Additionally, if you have a soot buildup on the bottom of your pot it’s not burning efficiently. For certain kinds of burners some folks think it has to sound like a jet to get the most heat out of it. Not so! You want a blue flame with a hint of orange on the tip. That’s the most efficient & hottest flame, which BTW produces the least amount of carbon monoxide. Cheers, and happy brewing!!!
You could just brew outside like I do. There is something really special about brewing when it is snowing. Of course, there is also something special about having the hose freeze up when you are trying to get the chiller going, but that’s only happened to me once. And the propane tank valve has only frozen a couple times…
Some day I’ll get a garage.
Is it really necessary to bust out the chiller when it is snowing and your hose freezes up? I would just assume that you could throw it in a snow bank and let it go.
It doesn’t work that well, the snow melts away from your pot so there’s no contact, you’re basically cooling with air.
The secret is to fully drain the hose before you pull it out of the warm house, and even then only pull it out at the very last minute. One of the nice benefits of winter brewing is the cold tap water. It only takes me a few minutes to cool a batch down to pitching temp.
And yeah, snow makes a great insulator.
I brew in the garage, even installed a vent fan in the gable end at the top. When brewing about two weeks ago I had the garage door open all the way,the walk-thru door open and the vent fan on.My wife came running in from the house saying the co2 detector was going off at the far end of the house.I shut everything down and went to investigate.
A new furnace was installed two years ago,that wasn’t it,I took off the cap on the flue pipe and checked it for blockage found none.No problems with the furnace.
I took the co2 detector to the garage,it didn’t go off there.
The only thing I could think of was, the wind was calm that day and it was warm so the furnace wasn’t coming on.I think the co2 was getting into the garage vent and following it down the main plenum to the vent near the detector.After closing the garage vent and airing the house out a short time the damn thing quit going off. I still brew in the garage but I hope my experience will help others to be careful and alert. cheers Mike.
Well, I am brewing with the main door open today…not so much out of fear, but because it is not very window this morning. Also having the garage door open usually leads to a social visit by another neighbor brewer.
I think the big risk is more if you have a gas leak. The gas is heavier than air and would pool to the low spots of the floor. The fear is if it pools enough and builds up to the height of the burner flame, kaboom. Alls you really need to do is crack your garage door a few inches, assuming your driveway slants downwards. That’s how I’ve run my propane torpedo heater for the past 10 years. I have a carbon monoxide detector and it has never gone off, even while holding it directly in front of the flame.
That’s why using propane in the basement is very dangerous. And so is brewing in a room with only open windows. You’ll explode before the gas can find its way up to the level of the window. Same applies to gasoline. Sometimes I’ll brew in my breezeway with a man door open. In the event of a leak the gas would pool about an inch and then creep out the man door and down a step.
None of this really applies to natural gas as it is lighter than air.
I built an electric system so I brew in the basement in the winter and in my brewshed in the summer. I have a 40 gallon steam kettle system that is out there permanently, but the small electric system is my indoor unit. I have been really pleased with them both.
When you brew in the basement do you have to vent out the BK steam or is it fine just dissipating on its own? Being winter, if you had some open vents (in the basement) on your furnace’s cold air return and ran the furnace fan while boiling, I could see that actually helping with the dry air our furnace’s cause throughout the house.
That’s why codes in most jurisdictions prohibit furnace vents in attached garages. Imagine a car idling in the garage with the door closed, bad news.
MullerBrau wrote:A blue flame is good. If you see lots of yellow, that should send a red flag.
Also don’t forget that when you’re using propane, the majority of the heat is at the tip of the flame. I’ve got mine adjusted so the top of the blue flame (outer not inner) licks the bottom of the brew kettle. It helps with efficiency.
To be on the safe side you could go this route:
I have garage brewed for years. I brew with the garage door up 1/2 way and use a fan on each side blowing in opposite directions to move the air. I also use a CO detector and have had no issues.
Better safe than sorry.
I brewed in my garage last week. Single burner, right next to the overhead door, open all the way. Low wind, 30 degrees.