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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Phil_M on November 03, 2017, 12:44:27 PM

Title: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: Phil_M on November 03, 2017, 12:44:27 PM
I've finally moved, and I'm thinking of starting back up brewing. Our new home has a nice garage, and I'm trying to decide if I want to build a brewing sculpture that can be wheeled out into the driveway, or just brew in the garage.

I know there are safety considerations with burning propane in the garage, but I don't know any more than that. Getting the moisture from the boil out of the garage will be really important as well, I don't want to rust any of my tools.

Can anyone who's looked at this sort of decision chime in with what they ended up doing, and why?
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: kramerog on November 03, 2017, 12:57:27 PM
Is your garage detached or attached?  Burning down your garage is not that a big deal compared to burning down your house.

While I don't brew in a garage - I brew in a basement - CO monitors are key.  I use two for redundancy. 
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: denny on November 03, 2017, 12:57:57 PM
I have a large sliding door on one side of the garage and windows on the other.  I open them all when I brew.  If it's really cold, not al the way.  I also have a CO monitor which I feel is invaluable, as well as a fire extinguisher handy.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: Wilbur on November 03, 2017, 01:16:18 PM
I also have a CO monitor which I feel is invaluable, as well as a fire extinguisher handy.

I have the CO2 monitor, but not a fire extinguisher. Top priority before I brew again. Side note: CO2 monitors/smoke alarms/fire extinguishers have an expiration date. 10 years typically for smoke alarms, 5-15 depending on your fire extinguisher.

I'm currently planning a stand (BIAB, looking at a propane tank weight sensor, table/drawers for brew day gear, mill, etc.). I usually brew in my garage, which is fine and comfortable. Crack the garage door and the rear exterior door in the winter, wide open in the summer. I brewed a batch with a buddy in my backyard (extract), and it was SO much nicer: 1. Not being in a garage (It's usually pretty clean, but still), and 2. Being fully outside, in the woods. I'd say if you can figure out how to get to the backyard/deck/patio, do it.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: goschman on November 03, 2017, 01:21:38 PM
I brew in an attached garage that has a small window. I open the window and open the garage door about a foot from the ground. Never had an issue. I also have two fire extinguishers nearby. I suppose a CO monitor is a good idea...
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 03, 2017, 05:27:36 PM
Like Denny, I have a large garage door, window and service door.  I use a CO detector and a fan for better ventilation....but I recently went electric.  After installing a controller and GFCI at the breaker, I still use everything but the CO meter (it’s there, but I have no worries about propane now - ventilation is just for steam venting).  Go for it....safely!
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: Phil_M on November 04, 2017, 08:12:10 PM
So, basically make sure there's plenty of ventilation, and use a CO detector.

Garage is an attached three car with a window and back door, so ventilation won't be a problem. I've already got a couple fire extinguishers out there, since I do auto work out there those aren't optional.

Might be able to score a nice used system...if that works out I'll likely just wheel it out front to keep any sticky messes off the garage floor.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 05, 2017, 06:53:03 AM
That’s what I’ve done for years and no problems.  Of course, if you are storing other flammables in the garage, I’d suggest outside brewing.  Best of luck to you - I hope your new arrangement works out.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: denny on November 05, 2017, 09:07:13 AM
I also have a CO monitor which I feel is invaluable, as well as a fire extinguisher handy.

I have the CO2 monitor, but not a fire extinguisher. Top priority before I brew again. Side note: CO2 monitors/smoke alarms/fire extinguishers have an expiration date. 10 years typically for smoke alarms, 5-15 depending on your fire extinguisher.

I'm currently planning a stand (BIAB, looking at a propane tank weight sensor, table/drawers for brew day gear, mill, etc.). I usually brew in my garage, which is fine and comfortable. Crack the garage door and the rear exterior door in the winter, wide open in the summer. I brewed a batch with a buddy in my backyard (extract), and it was SO much nicer: 1. Not being in a garage (It's usually pretty clean, but still), and 2. Being fully outside, in the woods. I'd say if you can figure out how to get to the backyard/deck/patio, do it.

I hope you mean CO and not CO2.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: jimmykx250 on November 05, 2017, 10:43:34 AM
Ive brewed in the attached garage for 2 years now no problems. Door stays open garage door about a foot but all the way when the full boil happens too much team to get rid of. By the way dont store you propane tanks in the garage either.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: Phil_M on November 05, 2017, 04:22:50 PM
That’s what I’ve done for years and no problems.  Of course, if you are storing other flammables in the garage, I’d suggest outside brewing.  Best of luck to you - I hope your new arrangement works out.

Aside from a tin of denatured alcohol and a stock of motor oil, no. Gasoline and lawn mowers NEVER belong in a garage, let alone one where any real work gets done.

I'm hoping to have an arc welder shortly, so I'm becoming a stickler about flammables...
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: Wilbur on November 06, 2017, 11:25:41 AM
I hope you mean CO and not CO2.

I'm so glad I don't proof read my posts! Good catch Denny.

Whats the plan for the welding gear? Welding SS, or for working on cars?
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on November 06, 2017, 01:07:07 PM
I did it once when it was raining outside.  Large garage door. two windows and smaller door open.  Good cleanup before firing up propane burner.

No sweat, but I prefer to brew outside and have  done it in somewhat cold weather--okay, not cold by N. Dakota standards.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: Phil_M on November 06, 2017, 06:17:43 PM
Whats the plan for the welding gear? Welding SS, or for working on cars?

Hopefully both, but definitely more on the car side.

No sweat, but I prefer to brew outside and have  done it in somewhat cold weather--okay, not cold by N. Dakota standards.

+1. Brewing in Maryland cold can be fun.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: el_capitan on November 06, 2017, 06:54:15 PM
I've brewed in the garage for many years without even cracking the door, but our garage is not insulated and has vented soffits, so there is a lot of airflow.  I've never felt weird or anything.  The moisture is kind of a concern, but with the vented soffits I think it's a non-issue.  Better safe than sorry, though.  A bit of prevention goes a long way.  Recently I bought a Grainfather, so I'm shifting to indoor electric brewing, and it is soooo sweet.  Be safe out there, fellas.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: a10t2 on November 07, 2017, 09:34:12 PM
So, basically make sure there's plenty of ventilation, and use a CO detector.

Garage is an attached three car with a window and back door, so ventilation won't be a problem. I've already got a couple fire extinguishers out there, since I do auto work out there those aren't optional.

I'd guess you'll be fine. I'm brewing in my attached greenhouse, which isn't much bigger than a one-car garage. I open the window and the window in the screen door (not even the door itself) and the meter has never even chirped.
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: jtoots on November 08, 2017, 06:17:03 AM
I might be sensitive and/or my burner might not be efficient, because I can't get away with this... I feel pretty crummy, light headed dizzyish when I burn in the garage.  Outdoors for me, it's usually more enjoyable out there anyway!
Title: Re: Brewing with Propane in a Garage
Post by: Phil_M on November 11, 2017, 06:39:06 PM
Well I scored a used brewing sculpture for a price that was too good to pass up. Since it has wheels, I don't intend to brew in the garage. Any vapors, and sticky messes, will be out in the driveway.