I am getting back to brewing after a (too long) hiatus owing to the birth of my daughter, moving, and general busy-ness (in fact, when I logged into the forum this morning, I see that I hadn’t logged in since 2006! – the brewing hiatus has only been since 2010, though).
Anyway, I always brewed indoors, as I had no choice. I did split-pot full-batch boils on the stovetop. Now that I have a real house, I have new options. I’m sure it will take me some time (years, decades) to finally settle into a setup I’m completely satisfied with, but as an initial matter, I have a Blichmann floor burner w/ leg extensions and natural gas conversion kit on the way. While I enjoyed the comfort and weather-proof aspects of indoor brewing, I will also appreciate having the whole batch in one pot and not challenging my cooktop to the brink of its limits.
I have a wooden deck off the back of my house with a screened in gazebo (about 12’ diameter hexagon) w/ ceiling fan on the deck. I also have an outdoor gas line on the deck, currently used for my grill.
My current thinking is that I would brew inside the gazebo. But reading the Blichmann floor burner manual, I am wondering if this is a feasible/safe plan. The manual warns, “NEVER operate on soft, combustible or uneven surfaces like dirt, gravel, wood or asphalt” and “NEVER operate indoors, in a garage, under an overhang, porch, deck, carport or similar structure.” It also states, “ALWAYS OPERATE OUTSIDE ONLY, AT LEAST 30FT FROM OTHER STRUCTURES.”
So, I realize, they have liability issues and want to include these warnings to cover themselves in case of mishaps. But how seriously should I take these warnings? 30ft? Do, I need to build a concrete slab 30 feet away from my house to brew on? My driveway is asphalt – I can’t even brew there? Do I need to scrap my plan of brewing on my wooden deck? Is the gazebo out of the question? I know people brew in their garage with these with doors open – yet, according to the Blichmann manual that is a no-no.
Can others who have experience with this shed some light on the feasibility and practical safety of my plan to brew in the gazebo?