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Is in door brewing with propane recommended?

Does anyone brew their beers in their house and use propane burners? I am moving into a house that has a great basement that I would love to portion a part off into a personal brewery but I have my safety and ventilation concerns so if anyone has experience with doing this or has reasons why I should not do this please let me know.

Thanks!

Not only is it unsafe, it will possibly void your insurance.

Denny, why is it unsafe? Do you mean from the carbon monoxide point of view or the fire point of view? If it’s an unfinished cement basement I would not see a fire issue. And if its a standard basement with windows and the windows were open during the time the burner is going that would certainly provide adequate ventilation wouldn’t you think?

Unsafe for both reasons mentioned. Open windows alone will not provide enough circulation. You CAN brew indoors though, it is just more of an investment. I’m setting up an electric brewery in my unfinished basement now.

The problem with carbon monoxide is, it’s heavier than air, so it’s going to settle in the basement and displace the air (including oxygen). Many basements have windows above head level and/ or are contained in an outdoor sump (below ground level), so brewing with gas heat in any basement without some sort of positive ventilation is, well, potentially a death trap.

Carbon Monoxide is heavier than oxygen and if your cellar windows are up high like mine are, you could get an accumulation of CO and not know it until the EMTs pick you up off the floor. Now, if you set up a fan system piping fresh air in, maybe. I brew in my garage with the burner about 1 foot from the door cracked open about 6-8 inches. That’s safe enough for me, but I don’t think I would move my burner too far away from the door.
****oops, I see Marty beat me to it, so I guess this is just reinforcement ****

Both the CO and the fact that the propane in heavier than air and can pool and explode if something goes wrong. Google something like “explosion from propane indoors” for some graphic examples. Sure, people have gotten away with it, but you’re taking a big chance. And as I mentioned, in the cases when an explosion has happened, generally the homeowner’s insurance has been voided. Y

Hmm. Funny the things you don’t think of. Yesterday was a miserable day here in NY so I brewed in my garage. It was a rather enjoyable experience. But I had the benefit of plenty of ventilation.

Basement = bad. Open garage = good.
Mostly because you need to breathe. Please be careful.

The best advice I can offer is, DON’T DO IT! I have posted this before. I retired from one of Illinois largest utility company’s with over 35 years in their gas department. It is very upsetting to get a call to assist the fire dept. with a CO complaint, and when you pull up to the address and the fire dept. is hauling people out of a house in body bags from CO poisoning, it kind of ruins your day.

PLEASE, if you are going to do something like that have a pro build your fuel and venting system. Trust me, I have seen what Co poisoning causes more than once, plus what a in proper heating source can do to a house.

GOOD LUCK!
Jazzman

What everyone is saying pretty much reinforces my concerns and I won’t be going that route. With moving into a new house I have so many more options but the garage is not insulated or heated yet and don’t want to be hauling batches up and down stairs and keep running out and in. Obviously I want to be safe and you really can’t be overly safe when it comes to this.

Thanks for the input.

I run my 1BBL rig in my garage. But run with the door open, two high velocity fans circulating air, and use a CO detector at all times just to insure safety. NEVER brew in an area that is not well ventilated. Even if the area is well ventilated, IMHO a good CO detector and a fire extinguisher on hand is a must!

If you basement is lower than your garage just get at length of tubing to drain your pots to the fermenters in the basement.

[quote=“TheNerdyGnome”]What everyone is saying pretty much reinforces my concerns and I won’t be going that route. With moving into a new house I have so many more options but the garage is not insulated or heated yet and don’t want to be hauling batches up and down stairs and keep running out and in. Obviously I want to be safe and you really can’t be overly safe when it comes to this.

Thanks for the input.[/quote]

What kind of basement do you have? Walk out? Walk up? I have a walk up with French doors opening to a stair well about 7 feet wide . At the bottom is a space approximately 5x7. That’s where I brew and I built my 2 burner rig specifically to fit there. Easily accessible to the basement, protected from all but the worst winds on the south end of the house, and it has a drain in the floor!

My garage is actually used for cars…weird I know… :cheers:

As far as CO is concerned your stove/oven in the kitchen produces just as much as a propane burner would. And unless you have a stove vent over the stove it will build up slightly in the house. Thanksgiving time is the worst with turkeys cooking all day.

The biggest concern (and by “biggest” I mean [size=200]BIGGEST)[/size] is the accumulation of gas. Propane/LP tanks are notorious for leaks and just think of all of those ignition sources you have in your basement.

Be safe, brew in the garage or outside and live to enjoy your beer.

[quote=“dannyboy58”][quote=“TheNerdyGnome”]What everyone is saying pretty much reinforces my concerns and I won’t be going that route. With moving into a new house I have so many more options but the garage is not insulated or heated yet and don’t want to be hauling batches up and down stairs and keep running out and in. Obviously I want to be safe and you really can’t be overly safe when it comes to this.

Thanks for the input.[/quote]

What kind of basement do you have? Walk out? Walk up? I have a walk up with French doors opening to a stair well about 7 feet wide . At the bottom is a space approximately 5x7. That’s where I brew and I built my 2 burner rig specifically to fit there. Easily accessible to the basement, protected from all but the worst winds on the south end of the house, and it has a drain in the floor!

My garage is actually used for cars…weird I know… :cheers: [/quote]

The stairs to the basement don’t directly lead to the outdoors but my garage is a two stall oversized garage that has amble space so I know I can just buy a mash kettle but I don’t won’t have the funds till next year. I have my rubbermaid mash tun but I don’t know how well it will hold temp in the garage. But if there is a will there is way, it’s what makes homebrewing great.

Put a sleeping bag over your mash tun if it’s cold outside.

+1
BIAB in your boil kettle and cover it with a sleeping bag. I do that and seldom lose more than 1 degree over a 1 hour mash even in the winter.

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