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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 19, 2003 * Burner hood in the basement < Previous Next >

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Ethan Yankura (208.153.21.21)
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 08:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know this has been addressed recently, but I am thinking about putting a hood in my basement to brew inside with my high pressure propane burners. I tried looking in the archives for info on hoods, basements, etc, but didn't turn anything up yet. What kind of air turn over will I need, and does anyone recommend any specific cubic foot per minute exchange or source for blowers? I know I'm leaving myself wide open with the blower question, so have at me. Thanks
 

John From NH (64.222.176.220)
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not sure if it was addressed in one of the articles that you read but you might want to think twice about using propane in a basement (even with a hood) as propane is heaver than air. I'm sure that other people here will be able to give you some more information and this may even be safe for all I know but I would guess that you would need a pretty powerful fan to run a propane burner inside. But then again what do I know? :)

Is natural gas an option for you?
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 09:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Someone around here has theirs in the basement with a big ole hood..
I think using NG though...
Who was that?

Walt
 

big earl (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 09:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I 2nd nat. gas,

a guy I know uses a propane type burner adapted for nat. gas, he uses no hood
 

davidw (209.107.44.126)
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 09:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In his former life as an Iowan, Bill P. had a hood in his basement and I believe used NG. Speaking for Bill here, if I recall the blower was out of an old trailer or something. I myself saved the blower out of our furnace when we had it replaced last summer with the intent of using it to build a hood. You should be able to find one relatively cheap at a salvage yard or perhaps check the farm and home type stores. Adequate ventilation and make up air is a necessity when brewing with these type burners indoors. I personally wouldn't even consider using propane indoors even with the hood. If unburned propane were to pool on the floor and find its way to the pilot light on, say, a hot water heater, well, boom.
 

Paul Edwards (68.249.107.3)
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 09:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yup, I'd also recommend not using propane indoors.

I run a 30,000 BTU Superb NG burner in my basement. My basement windows are above ground, so I placed the burner under one of the windows, and fitted the window with a gable-end attic exhaust fan from Lowe's.

I made a hood from galvanized sheet metal.

It's not just fumes you want to exhaust. There's a lot of steam, too.

My CO detector has never gone above zero.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 10:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's not the use of propane indoors that's the problem. Lots of people in rural areas use propane for heating, cooking, etc, including in basements. The risk is from *storing* the propane indoors. This is not allowed anywhere I am aware of for the reasons John mentions about propane being heavier than air. Propane cylinders must be located outdoors.

Many (but not all) propane burners can be converted for natural gas, which is often available in indoor locations. The safety issues are in plumbing the gas properly (an entire section of the building codes deals with this) and in ventilation. The kind of burners used for homebrewing produce considerable CO and require prodigious amounts of air, much more than is commonly available indoors. You can't just open a door or a couple of windows, or even place an ordinary box fan in a window or use a standard kitchen exhaust fan.

Brewing with gas indoors requires an exhaust hood on the order of what is used in a restaurant kitchen. Such a thing certainly can be constructed but it's more than a casual project. Perhaps you are lucky enough to acquire a used hood at auction or from a restaurant supplier. I built one a number of years ago with the help of a friend who had a sheet metal brake and experience in the HVAC business. We found a blower salvaged from a mobile home furnace. It was vented through a stack into the replaced pane of a basement window. I also installed a kitchen exhaust fan in a window at the other end of the basement. It ran backward to provide "make-up air" for the air consumed by the burner. When the blowers were running you could feel a noticeable breeze as you stood under the hood.

I'm sorry I don't have specific figures on cubic feet per minute or air exchange requirements. Perhaps someone else here does.

I would never consider brewing with gas indoors without a CO detector and a fire extinguisher at the ready. I don't mean to sound paranoid but your own and your family's lives are too precious not to exercise a great deal of caution.
 

Ethan Yankura (208.153.21.21)
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 10:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the input. I had always said I would never use propane indoors for the above reasons, but was looking at a bunch of other brewery designs and came across some really big blowers really cheap and got thinking about it. I have a daylight basement with 4 LARGE windows and a bulkhead, so I thought I would throw the question out. I think I will throw the idea out again as well. Thanks. BTW, here in Maine, almost every gas stove is propane powered. I know they are much lower BTU than my burner, but it's a fact of life here.
 

John From NH (64.223.170.218)
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 10:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Ethan,
Where in Maine are you? I used to live there...and will probably move back when my wife is done with med school.
John
 

Ed Jones (65.60.139.114)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 04:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a hood in my basement. http://ironacres.com/brewery.html

Ed
 

Joe Williams (144.106.63.60)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 06:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ed,

It looks like you are running propane. Are you? I am considering doing a similar hood for mine when I get home, how much did the whole hood and fan combo cost you?
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 06:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thats the one I was thinking about..
Ed's :)

Walt
 

Ed Jones (65.60.139.114)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 11:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No, I'm using natural gas. I live in the city so natural gas was easy. If I had better electrical service and I had it to do over again, I would have built and electric brewery. But, my brewery works great. If you go with the furnace blower route like I did, I'd suggest you find a way to vent from both the top like I do and down closer to the ground. That's about all I would change. It cost me $5 for the blower from a scrapyard and maybe $25 to build the hood.

Hope that helps :)
Ed
 

Ed Jones (65.60.139.114)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 11:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No, I'm using natural gas. I live in the city so natural gas was easy. If I had better electrical service and I had it to do over again, I would have built and electric brewery. But, my brewery works great. If you go with the furnace blower route like I did, I'd suggest you find a way to vent from both the top like I do and down closer to the ground. That's about all I would change. It cost me $5 for the blower from a scrapyard and maybe $25 to build the hood.

Hope that helps :)
Ed

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