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Stove top brewing

Hey all. I just wanted to throw this out there. I have done a few AG batches outside with the propane and all that. Always nice to be outside. But I have less than ideal conditions to brew outside in the winter and was looking for a way to brew 5 gals inside. So I cam across a great deal on a 9 gal brew kettle WITH a welded fitting for $70 online. So I thought to myself “Self, I know I cannot boil 3 gallons of water on a burner let alone 6 or more. But WHAT IF I tried both burners”. My kettle JUST fits over both burners on my stove so I got excellent coverage. So I threw in 6 gallons water and turned them on. 40 minutes later it was hot but not boiling by any means. But I forgot something. The lid. threw that on and like 10 minutes later I had a huge rolling boil going. BINGO. Tried it with a brew the next day. I would say it took about 20-30 minutes after draining the mash to the kettle at about 150ish to bring it to a rolling boil with the lid on. Of course I immediately took the lid off and it sure held the boil with no problems at all. Perfect. So if you have a good size kettle that can cover both burner on your stove and you have a lid you should easily be able to brew stove top any time you want or need to. I also hook my wort chiller up to my sink faucet with the adapter and not a drop is spilled anywhere. I will recommend that you cover your stove top with aluminum foil or something to make sure nothing spills over onto the stove top. It is NOT easy to clean up. But other than that I hope this will work for others that want to try it. The key is the size of your kettle. Thoughts?

Sounds great!

Another option is to brew smaller batches. Possibly more often. :shock: That way you can have a lot more styles to try.
Or for the winter, brew extract or partial mash brews until the weather warms up again in the springtime.

I used to do the lid on/lid off process to do full boils on the range top. By and large, it worked great. I paid close attention to the potential defects that may result from a less than ideal boil and I wasn’t able to pick anything out. In short, it worked well and produced excellent beer.

On the other hand, I’ve introduced a 2000w heatstick to my range top and there’s no going back at this point. It has sped up my brewday and it has made childs play out of complex step mashes and and I’m itching to run a triple decoction with it.

By no means am I knocking the old range top method, but I would strongly suggest looking into a heatstick. For about $40, my brewery became much more versatile and efficient. It is an excellent tool and I wish I had built it fifteen years ago.

I looked at heat sticks a lot and the do intrigue me a lot but I have zero mechanical ability and would be afraid to build one. I wish someone would manufacture them. I would LOVE to try one sometime

[quote=“kh54s10”]Sounds great!

Another option is to brew smaller batches. Possibly more often. :shock: That way you can have a lot more styles to try.
Or for the winter, brew extract or partial mash brews until the weather warms up again in the springtime.[/quote]
I was also going to suggest partial mash batches. That or brew 3 gallon all grain batches on the stove top like I do. Allows me to stay inside in the AC when it’s hotter than hell out or inside in warmth when it’s super cold out. Either way, less moving around, less air movement = less stressful brewing. Plus, smaller batches, I get to brew more often.

Ah, that’s too bad. Perhaps if you have a handy friend, you can bribe him with a six pack of Iceman6409 IPA? Building the actual stick takes about 10 mins so you won’t be trying any friendships with this request. You can mix and pour the epoxy yourself, that’ll take a day or two, but cooking dinner is vastly more complex than mixing and pouring epoxy.

Anyway, it sounds like you’re able to make great beer as things stand (and again, your process worked great for me for over ten years) so there’s really no need to complicate things unnecessarily. Just something to think about down the road when gadget and process fever starts to rear its ugly head again. :wink:

Might you have a parts list and directions I could look at?

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

I believe that this has emerged as the standard DIY design for home brewers. I did something very similar to this. The key point here is to decide whether you want a 1500w or a 2000w stick. Combined with a reasonably powerful range top, my hunch is that a 1500w stick is more than adequate. My 2000w stick is overkill, to be frank, and I’ll likely make a 1500w stick over the winter. Given the similarity of our methods, I’d wager that a 2000w stick will be overkill for you as well.

If you do opt for a 2000w stick you really do need to put the time into verifying that you will be running it on a 20 amp circuit. The switches in your circuit breaker should clearly indicate whether they are 15 or 20 amps.

Anyway, set aside an hour to listen to the podcast and carefully walk yourself through the tutorial. You’ll come through with a solid understanding of the project, and I think you’ll find that it is entirely feasible. But if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, there’s no reason to rush in to it. You’re already making great beer.

Unless you do a lot of high-gravity brewing, there’s certainly nothing wrong with a partial boil either.

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