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Indoor Brewing

Currently I brew on my stovetop, however it takes nearly an hour and a half to boil my wort, and then the stovetop doesn’t keep it a rolling boil. I am looking into some electrical solutions, as 1. I rent, and cannot make gas/electrical changes, and I would also like to bring to other peoples houses for brewing parties. And 2. I want to be able to brew comfortably throughout the year, too cold outside to watch a pot boil in the winter.

Does anyone have any suggestions for electrical burners or any experience? I have looked at Induction burners which seem to be a nice solution, but more expensive. I am also looking at general electrical burners.

I do have access to either 240V or 120V outlets in the kitchen. Just have to unplug the stove for 240. What have you all had success with?

Have you looked into a heat stick? Add to the pot on the stove and I think you can get them at 120V.

I’ve seen that idea about an immersion stick. Any one know where to get one, or anyone have experience with such items?

One of the best write ups.

http://www.cedarcreeknetworks.com/heatstick.htm

[quote=“Nighthawk”]One of the best write ups.

http://www.cedarcreeknetworks.com/heatstick.htm[/quote]These are the instructions I used to build mine. Its easy & 1 1500W stick works great to assist the stove.

Probably a dumb question, but are you trying to do a full volume boil? If you switch to partial volume, you should be able to get a good boil more quickly.

Good question about brewing a full boil, and No I do not. My stovetop boils 3 gals in one and about 1 gal in another at this time and has a hard time keeping up.

As I said I rent, but can unplug things. I will look at these immersion tools, and see if that can make my gob easier.

The stove can’t handle boiling 3 gallons? Try insulating your pot. Bring to a boil with the lid on. Once you add extract, boil with the lid off. If you can’t maintain a boil, put the lid on but only halfway. Fill the pot with hot water. Possibly turn up the temperature on your water heater. Talk to the landlord about upgrading the outdated stove to one that can at least boil a few gallons of water.

Induction burners are really nice to use and they heat up REALLY fast. Can’t use copper or aluminum with them, though. They’re more efficient with SS.

Thanks for your reply, I know its a crappy stove. about 800 watts max output on the large burners. It still works though, so the landlord will not replace it.

Thanks for the idea, but if the landlord said yes to the question, “Can you replace the stove with a better one so I can brew beer?” I think I would have a heart attack.

I picked up a 3000 watt induction burner and will be ordering an induction ready pot soon. Going to check out NB pots this weekend. I will let you know when I brew next how it went.

Be real careful about condensation. I’ve brewed in an apartment and also a basement and boiling the heck out of my Wort doing full gallon boils and in the end, there was sticky wort dripping down all the walls. I even had the doors open with fans a-blazing. Even having a fan in the door still doesn’t get the moisture out quick enough. (I eventually found in my apartment the fan above the stove didn’t even direct the air outside- it just blew it back into the kitchen!)

Eventually I decided to brew outside on the porch, even in the winter because of the worry the condensation would damage the walls. I spoke to my landlord about bbqing on the porch and even though they don’t like it, they allow it. Funny story- I was boiling away with a propane burner on the porch and then all of a sudden heard a loud POW! and see a big ball of fire on the porch… I later found out my lighter was too close to the bottom of the burner and exploded. :slight_smile:

Even if you have an induction cooktop, I also strongly mention insulating the sides of your boilpot. The closed-cell foam they use for outdoor padding for sleeping bags is good. Other people use “Reflectix” from Home Depot or Lowes, as it is made for insulation. People use nylon straps for backpacks as a way to cinch the insulation on- and it is nice to take it off when you want to clean.

Even though your Induction Burner is butt-kickin, buying a bucket heater (search for 1500W bucket heater- I think the mfg is Allied Precision) or make your own heatstick as mentioned above. The cost for the bucket heater is about $40+ shipping and making your own heatstick tends to be about $45, but the bucket heater has a water level power cutoff, meaning it stops running if the water gets too low. DO NOT buy a “bucket de-icer”, as they will not boil. Most bucket heaters do not boil- the 1500W model is known to boil.

I recently switched over to an induction setup in my basement and its working out great. Here is my post from a different thread:

I just finished my first brew on my new induction system. The setup consists of a 3800W (220V service) induction cooktop w/ a 7.5 gallon kettle and I mash in a 10 gallon cooler. I was able to bring the wort to a boil in right at 20 minutes (I was starting from around 140-150 degrees, not room tempurature, mind you) and the boil was pretty vigorous. The manufacturer says that the cooktop is safe to support up to 80 lbs so 6 gallons or so and the pot should be fine. I installed a vent hood that moves up to 330 CFMs which I thought would be ample after doing a little internet research on the matter. If I were doing things over I would have installed a bigger fan as there was a little condensation on the hood. I have a dehumidifier in the basement set at 45% relative humidity, and it never showed a level above 50% while brewing so the fan may be good enough. I ended up with about 4.75 gallons in the fermentor as opposed to the 5.1 I would usually get with my old setup. I attribute this to the higher evaperation rate and higher temps as it used to take 45 minutes to an hour to reach a boil. Everything seemed to go really well and I shaved about 1.5 hours off my brew day. I was a little nervous about this setup as there really isn’t much good info out there regarding induction powered brewing, and what is out there isn’t always positive.
I’m going to have to recalibrate my recipes based on the new equipment, and I’ll bet my hop profiles change because of the increased utilization with the better boils. All in all, it was a big success thus far.

I also brew indoors - I’ve been using Lp, but just finished building a couple of the heatsticks described above. I have two 1500w/120v sticks. With a much lower flame (at least 1/4 the flame I usually use), I can keep 11 gallons rolling at 216 degrees with those two sticks.

Think awhile back I seen where Polarware was making a badd ass line of brew pots made specifically for induction heaters.

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