Indoor Brewing project

I’m new to this forum, not really a forum guy but would respect input from other brewers considering the nature of my project. I’m currently in the middle of a basement remodel in our home, and in the works is a second kitchen for me to do my brews and whatnot. I’ve been all-grain brewing for more than 10 years, now it almost seems that I’m doing more wines and ciders, but beer is my favorite.
The kitchen is going to be about 200 square feet and I’ll be installing a large sink, a gas range, exhaust hood, and a rack to store carboys. I’m looking to have room for about 16, seeing as I’ve got 12 going right now i think. As far as brewing the beer goes, I’m mostly interested in a natural gas setup. I know everyone is going to say this is a no no indoors, but I think with proper ventilation, it won’t be an issue. At out previous house, I used an old turkey burner indoors without ventilation at least 50 times with no noticeable brain damage. This room will have a tiled floor, finished walls, cabinets, countertops, a commercial style sink w/ sprayer and centrally located exhaust hood to run during brews and probably a normal range hood for the stove to be used when cooking. I would have liked to get a drop-in style burner, or a commercial type range with a high power burner for a more integrated look, but it looks like i’ll be doing a quick connect with a blichmann or a hurricane burner directly under the hood. I’d like to note than I only do five gallon batches and I’ll certainly be installing a minimum of one CO/CO2 alarm. Any input is helpful. Thanks in advance.

How sweet, you get to brew indoors and the wife doesn’t mind the odor!

There are some nice “wok” burners out there if you can fabricate you own stand. ... burner.htm

Do you have a relationship with a HVAC guy? He should be able to give you some good advice on proper sizing of the exhaust hood and make up air.

I was looking at commercial ranges the other day, the burners on them were only rated at 28000 btu, might work for 5 gallon batches but still kind of weak.

I brew in my shop with one of these natural gas burners:

It’s awesome, it only takes ~15 minutes to get to boiling after sparging. I don’t have ventilation, but it’s a large shop with a tall ceiling, you would definitely want it in your basement, my burner boils off ~1.5 gallons in an hour. Every now and then I’ll run my single gas analyzer, never had any CO.

???Why? People cook with multiple natural gas burners and no ventilation all the time inside.

I have been using natural gas (with some decent ventilation) in my basement for a dozen years. No problems. Carbon monoxide detector has never went off. No major problems with steam.

Thats what I want to see. Now I know I’m not crazy. I know theres a large difference in volume of fuel consumed during brewing versus cooking on a normal rangetop, but with air moving it shouldn’t be a big deal.

[quote]I was looking at commercial ranges the other day, the burners on them were only rated at 28000 btu, might work for 5 gallon batches but still kind of weak.
I’ve looked all around, and all I can find is ugly old one with giant burners, or new ones like the Wolf and BlueStar. Ugly isn’t going to work for this project, and if I’m paying BlueStar prices, that stove isn’t going in my secondary kitchen which defeats the purpose.

I have a mig welder with gas in the garage, and I’m pretty handy when it comes to fabrication, the problem is that I’m looking for something “integrated” into a conventional style kitchen. I’ll have a commercial style stainless table sink with drainboards to clean the carboys nice and easy, but you can match counter depths so it doesn’t look ridiculous. Thought about building a stand to go into a stainless work table, but thought the table might get hot too.

Sort of. But I am well aware of makeup air requirements, and will make sure everything is solid. Rumor is that it wont even require an extreme amount of air as long as the hood is centered over the source. There are windows nearby, so I may not need a motorized door for the makeup air. A lot of people simply pull it into the returns on their forced air furnace.

You don’t know the half of it. While I was posting this she made me a BLT with like seven pieces of bacon(as a snack), and the reason I won’t brew in my garage is because of this:

I’ve been in the HVAC business for over 25 years. A standard range hood should be more than adequate for most home brewers, crack another window in the basement for intake air, an actuated intake damper isn’t necessary.

I just wrapped up a basement buildout and added a 50a line to the brewery and set up an electric brewery. I had been a gas brewer for over a decade, but going to electric was a real eye-opener. Its way better than I imagined. The time to achieve boil was significantly reduced and the control systems are working out very well. I would never consider going back to gas unless I was kicked out of the house!

Another good thing with an electric setup is that I could make the vent hood out of anything, since I don’t have to worry about open flame. I ended up creating a wood frame and inserted plexiglass panels in the frame so that my overhead lighting wouldn’t be blocked by the hood. This custom approach also allowed me to make the hood fairly large without costing an arm and a leg. A 6" centrifugal fan does the venting. It works very well

Electric sounds great. Any links to the equipment used? I am curios about cost and btu output. My trusty burner is 100k btu (allegedly) and gets five gallons boiling in less than ten minutes. How favorably does electric compare? Nice job, your living my dream to have a dedicated homebrewery!

I think electric would be great if I ever change to 10 gallon batches or more, but with 5 gallon batches, it doesnt really seem worth it. I’m not that interested in drilling my kettles for heating elemnents when I may sell them to finance a larger project. I currently am using 42 qt. Polarware kettles. I have one plain and one with the false bottom, Blichmann thermometer, welded fittings, etc. I’m less interested in building my own wood/plexi exhaust hoods and whatnot because this project has to remain very presentable and i’m looking for a kitchen with integrated brewability factor. This kitchen will be adjacent to a basement great room, and while brewing/winemaking is the first reason for construction, it needs to remain able to produce a tray of pizza rolls while the kids trash the rest of the basement.