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Electric Stove

Hey I only have an electric stove at the moment… Other than it taking forever to bring my water to a boil, are there any disadvantages of electric stoves? Plan on getting a gas one soon, but in the mean time.


Well the issue may not be that it takes forever to boil. Depending on the volume, it simply may not ever get hot enough to boil.

What size batches are you planning to do?

If you can find a big enough pot it is possible that you can put it over two burners on your stove. One of the oblong ones for a turkey in the oven might fit the bill. With two burners going you might be able to speed things up.

The other down side to electric IMHO is that if it starts to boil over turning it off won’t stop it like a gas stove.

Depending on the stove, a gas stove may not be any better than an electric one.

If you can boil a 2g pot of water for spaghetti, you can boil wort.

I used to do 5 gallon batches on an electric stove when I lived in a rental house. I would do a split boil using two 4 gallon pots, which were then combined into the fermentor. Just make sure your stove can handle the weight, mine would creak pretty bad when loaded up with both full pots.

I boiled my first batch, 5 gallon kit so i think it was 3.5 gallons in the pot. It took like an hour to boil. After it was in the fermenter for 2 weeks I lifted it out of my swamp cooler and the bottom of the glass fermenter fell out of it. NB is sending me another fermenter, but before I start the 2nd batch I wanted to make sure that these long boil times didn’t add any bad flavors to the beer. Thanks for any knowledge you can give.

To speed up getting to a boil, place a lid on your pot. Leaving it 1/2 on during the boil will help in maintaining the boil.

The only thing the longer time on the heat should cause is darkening of the wort. You can minimize this by only boiling 1/2 of the extract. Adding the remainder at “flame out” to pasteurize it.

Bummer on going through all the work and the carboy breaking. Glad to hear you didn’t injure yourself.

Your electric stove may not be the whole problem. Equipment ages. The burner coil you are using may be near the end of its life. I normally use the large front burner of the stove for all the big pots. I noticed it was takeing longer to heat the pressure canner last month. I switched the large front and back coils. Problem was solved. At least until I wear this one out also.

If it’s a glass cooktop I feel your pain. I brewed my first beer on one of those and the NEXT DAY went out and bought a gas range. Took over an hour to get 3.5 gal to boil, removed it from the heat to add the fermentables and took another 20 minutes to get it back up to boil. I had to keep a lid on during the entire time to keep it boiling and every 30 seconds i drained off the precipitation on the inside of the lid to reduce the possibility of off-flavors.

By far one of the worst inventions ever.

I started out brewing 14 years ago on an electric coil stove. Heck… I still use an electric stove 100% of the time today, but it is a nicer one. Anyway… you will have no problems at all brewing smaller batches like 2.5 or 3 gallons. If you want to brew 5 gallons, then you really just need to split the batch and do two boils at the same time in two kettles. Not a big deal. But if you reduce your batch size, you’ll be brewing in one kettle just fine. It’s what I’ve done since I started 14 years ago. I still do not own any gas burners, after almost 100 batches. My stove today can get 4 gallons (pre-boil volume) up to a boil in roughly 20 minutes. It is a pretty nice glass top I have now, not the old coil from my apartment days, so it works a little better/faster.

When I bought my house, I got a cheap electric coil stove. I brewed around 100 batches on it and totally destroyed it… I splurged big bucks for a gas (actually, propane) range that looks beautiful and functions no better, maybe worse, than my coil stove.

My brother has a flat top electric range and the thing is a horse. Don’t knock electric.

Another thing to consider is the quality of your brew kettle. Your boil will only be as good as the ability to transfer the heat of the coil to the contents inside. Lower quality pots will do a much poorer job of this.

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