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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 9, 2003 * Stove-top woes. < Previous Next >

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Brian Garber (24.145.155.115)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 03:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So I just got a brand new Volrath 38.5 qt. brewkettle today and decided to put it to the 5 gallon boil test on my electric stovetop. About an hour and fifteen minutes later I had lukewarm bathwater.

Looks like I need a turkey fryer burner. Thankfully my brother bought one several years ago and he has only used it once. The thing I'm dreading is carrying about 50 lbs. of boiling hot wort in the house to hook up the wort chiller. (I don't have an easy way to do this outside.)

Does anyone else have a similar situation, and how do you deal with it?

Thanks,
Brian
 

gregory gettman (209.66.128.130)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 03:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I boil out side and carry it in. But then I'm 6 foot,weight lift,and am 195 lbs.

Seriously though you could get hurt real bad if you dropped a 6 gallon pot of boiling wort.

I usually enlist the help of a unsuspecting bystanderd. Some relitive or freind over for a brew day. Works ok except after so called "helping" they think that gives then the right to drink some of your beer, those mooches. :)
 

Chuck Denofrio (64.135.203.60)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 04:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brian is electricity your friend? If so join the the club of electric brewers. If not, back outside and deal with it. If your doing 5 gal batches you can power 1 kettle for hot water and to boil the wort. Cost about $150 to 200. Add a mash tun of your choice and your in bizz. If you have a large budget, there are lots of nice add ons. I needed to brew indoors, with electric I can year around.
I run 10 gal batches using a 12 gal HLT and a 12 gal Mash tun with a Vollrath 15 gal kettle. By the way you bought a nice kettle....top of the line!
 

Ken Anderson (24.55.255.75)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 04:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chuck, what size and how many elements? Thanks.
Ken
 

Chuck Denofrio (64.135.203.28)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 04:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The HLT has a 240V 4500W, the kettle has the same and none in the mash. The HLT has a pump to recirc and transfer and the mash has a pump to to do the same. Unlike some of the other systems, I have plugs wired from each to allow moving kettles and cleaning. I'll try to put up some photos(not good at it).I like the manual control it keeps you involved.Hope this helps.
Chuck
 

Wm John Ivey (12.72.100.94)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 05:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brian, if your problem with the chiller is lack of outside faucet, then use a waterbed adapter to hook-up to your kitchen sink. Go to HD buy gardenhose and a discharge hose long enough to go back to the sink and you're there.
John
 

Ken Anderson (24.55.255.75)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 05:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, thanks Chuck. I have a buddy who owns an HVAC company. When I tell him what I want to do, he'll fix me up. The indoors option, and no propane hassles, sounds pretty sweet.
Ken
 

Streb (68.166.204.25)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 05:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a similar problem and ended up running a water line out to my back patio from underneath the kitchen sink. I drilled through the wall and installed an outdoor faucet there - total cost ended up running about $25.00. If you have a bathroom or kitchen close, you could just run a line from the cold water port outside...
 

Brian Garber (199.64.0.252)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 02:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey thanks guys. Yeah Chuck, electricity is my friend, I'm an EE! :) Can you tell me more about the heaters you use for your kettle? (I'm going to brew 5 gal. batches)

In the mean time I'll use the 'ole turkey fryer out in the garage.

John, I like the waterbed adapter idea. I have a utility sink next to the garage. Would the adapter work for those threads on the utility sink? I should be able to run the cold water and discharge from it.
 

Rob F (12.154.254.158)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The utility sink probably has a hose connection on it. Mine does. No adapter needed.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 03:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brian, I think ultimately you'll want a turkey fryer and to brew outside. Stovetops are far less than ideal heat sources and for the sake of domestic tranquility you should get out of the kitchen. In the meantime you might look at the Heatstick. If you have a 20 amp outlet near your stove this will provide enough additional heat to bring the beer to a boil more quickly.

Whether to use electricity or gas for your ultimate system depends on your resources and your batch size. Electric brewing is feasible for 5 gallon batches (and possibly for 10 gallons) if you have sufficient electric service and know a little about wiring. On the other hand almost anyone can use a turkey fryer (assuming you're not a total idiot and are safe about it).
 

Drew Avis (209.226.137.108)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 04:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, I don't think 10 gals is the limit to electric brewing. I do 15 gal batches all the time w/ my 6kW system (ok, 12 gal, and dilute up to 15 when done), and it's faster than most of the folks using propane around here. 6kW is the limit for a 30A plug (ie your dryer). You could easily put 8kW on a 40A plug (most stoves), which would probably be perfect for a 20 or 25 gal system!

Anyway, electric definitely costs more to set up, and some people aren't comfortable with electricity. But the convenience of brewing indoors is worth it, IMHO.
 

Vance Barnes (69.15.38.210)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 04:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill wrote,

almost anyone can use a turkey fryer

Guess you haven't seen the World's Funniest Video's where they were frying a turkey. Way too much oil and the propane tank right next to the burner. Turned into quite a flaming volcano ;>)

Good thing for us that wort isn't flamable.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 04:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just use the turkey fryer and use a hose to get your chiller over to the turkey fryer...

Walt
Lama Brewery
----
 

Chuck Denofrio (64.135.203.154)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 05:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brian, the heaters are elements used in domestic water heaters. I preffer the lowest watt density , something less than 40w per sq in. The 4500w will easily boil 11 gallons. I tested the boil with a 1.100 batch and had no sugar burning on the element. Also, you can control the elements with a
electric stove control or thermostat w/bulb. I use a thermostat for HLT will be adding stove controller to the boil. I can get you the co web site for elements if you would like to have it.
Chuck
"I will never go back to gas."
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 05:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> Does anyone else have a similar situation, and
> how do you deal with it?

My utility sink is in my laundry room which is the room that gets you from the garage into the house. I end up having to carry the brew kettle that distance (about 50ft.).
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 08:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

While if i brewed inside, id have to say electric is the way to go. But i still dont like the idea of a red hot element in my beer...
Just looking at that thing says some kinda burning has to be taking place, even if it isnt alot...
just my 2 cents worth..

Walt
 

Bob B (129.128.11.184)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 08:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brian,

I've started using an outdoor burner and it's definitely worth it. Not only does things heat up much faster but it also keeps down the moisture inside. However, when it starts to get too cold and dark to safely stay outside on the balcony, I heat up the water or wort close to boiling and bring the kettle inside the apartment to do the actual boil on the electric stove. Of course, I been doing primarily 3 gallon full-boils at this time.

If you decide to drag a chiller outside, both More Beer and Williams brewing have metal quick-connect faucet adapters. Or, head to a plumbing/appliance store and get the metal quick-connect adapters for portable/rollaround dishwashers. Depending on the distance from the house to the outdoor brew site, spend the money for a larger diameter hose to avoid pressure loss due to friction.

Bob
 

Drew Avis (209.226.137.107)
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 08:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Walt, the elements never get red hot, unless you forget to put wort in the kettle! Seriously, there's no scortching or burning, though I do get some calcium deposits on the elements. Check out my buddy's kettle:


Those are tiny, high-density elements, and he makes the palest pilsners and blond ales you'll find.
 

Chuck Denofrio (64.135.203.51)
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 12:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Drew, your setup really helped inspire me to go electric. After 3 years with gas I had had it!
Electric power is expencive, but consider this:
--98% of the energy is delivered in the product.
--no gas by products
--no fire hazard
Maybe its something primal, playing with fire.
"The bigger the fire the better the beer??"
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 12:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

well...
I hear ya :)
Ill stick with gas though... how many amps do you think itll take to bring my 55 gallon kettles to a boil?
In the end... what ever works, and makes beer, is my friend :)

hehe
Walt
 

danny roy (207.179.148.53)
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 02:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hey,up here in the Maritimes we call a 150,000 btu propane burner a "lobster cooker". We usually put ur turkeys inthe oven. Fried turkey?? Sorry I know this doesn't help,I just thought it was interesting
Cheers
Danny
 

Kevin Clifford (65.96.205.161)
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 04:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just started using the electric heatstick I built a few weeks ago in combination with my kithcen's gas stove, and I have to say it works great so far. No worry about running out of propane, I'm nice and comfy in my kitchen, and I haven't electricuted myself yet. Personally, I don't think the electric costs are all that bad, depending on the size of the elements, you are using maybe 6kw total, if that, figure around 10 cents a kw and its only 60 cents. Probably not that much of a difference from the cost of propane per batch.

And for Walt,
If my calculations are correct, you would need 23,581 watts to bring 55 gallons to a boil in half an hour, and that works out to about 98 amps.
Cliff
 

Drew Avis (209.226.137.108)
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 03:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kevin, that sounds about right. Walt - there's a brewpub in Montreal that's all-electric. I found a photo of it on the web somewhere, but can't find it now. I think they were 100A, and had something like 6 or 8 elements sticking into the kettle!
 

Mike (38.115.128.67)
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 09:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here in Chicagoland, our Target advertisment in last sunday's paper lists a turkey fryer setup with 30 quarter pot and I forget the wording, but it says the pot has a faucet or spigot or . . . you get the idea . . for $30. I thought the pot alone might be worth more than $30. For those with an ax to grind, of course, it is an aluminum pot.
 

don price (65.32.41.166)
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 11:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kevin,

It's not the $0.60 of electricity...it's the $97 30-amp GFIC breaker. Once you get into 30A @ 230V rated components the $ starts to add up fast.

Don
 

Mike Vachow (216.170.178.59)
Posted on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 01:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brian:

As Bill mentions, the largest factor in heat sources is location. Whether you use electricity, propane or natural gas, the main point is to get yourself outside. My spouse is probably more accommodating than most, but by batch 4 or so, I could already see the end to my kitchen brewing. That was about 8 years ago, and I feel that I can attest to a major, prolonged shift in domestic equilibrium since I began brewing outdoors. As for weather, I find that even here in northern Illinois, the winter weather is flaky enough to do quite a bit of winter brewing. There are plenty of 40F+ days even in the dead of January to haul out the hoses and get brewing.

Mike
Lake Bluff, IL
 

Chuck Denofrio (64.135.203.47)
Posted on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 01:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don, its not the price of wood .its the tools that will get ya"!!
 

don price (65.32.41.166)
Posted on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 01:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don't do this....

ooops...image file too large

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