Author Topic: Condo Brewing  (Read 1810 times)

Offline mikeroni

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Condo Brewing
« on: March 13, 2012, 02:46:45 PM »
Moving into a condo and my biggest fear is that I will not be able to brew like I used to. Currently I brew on a gas range, and I can achieve boil with 6 gallons no problem. My new place only has an electric range and no open flame on balcony.  I know about a heat stick but I do not know how keen I am on that any suggestions?

Offline weithman5

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 03:09:28 PM »
i am toying with electric brewing.  some good threads out there on northern brewer and hbt. also check out the countertop brew on byo.com under projects. 
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 04:18:21 PM »
I do 3 gallon all grain batches and boil about 4.5 gallons with no problems with my electric range.  I haven't tried anything bigger on my range.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012, 06:09:44 PM »
There was a good article in the Jan/Fed issue of Zymurgy by Mary Izett, "Urban Brewing - Big Ideas for Small Spaces", which discusses apartment brewing.

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Offline mikeroni

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 07:32:03 PM »
Seems like 3 gallon batches are very popular for small space brewing.  Looks like its time to invest in some new carboys and put the old ones in storage. 

Offline cheshirecat

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Condo Brewing
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 09:32:33 PM »
I moved down to smaller batches, 4 gallons or so.  When I do bigger I use a heat stick, got it off amazon works great.  You can find it searching "bucket heater", it was about $30. I know you can build them but I don't trust myself to build anything that I will plug in then put in liquid. :)


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Offline euge

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 10:03:12 PM »
Hopefully you can span some elements with your kettle.

Or you can do concentrated boils with steeping grains.

Personally, I'd do a counter-top electric system. A brand new approach for your new location...
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 05:52:26 AM »
One of the elements on my electric stove appears to be powered by a small nuclear reactor and I can easily boil full 5gal batches.  You might give it a try with water before modifying your equipment.
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Offline dimik

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 05:56:20 AM »
Most likely you'll be fine. I live in a small apartment and brew on gas, but my buddy lives in a grad school dorm and has an electric stove. In fact, his brew gets to boil quicker and boils more vigorously than mine! We make 5 gal batches.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2012, 06:27:35 AM »
I would definitely suggest downsizing to 3 gallon batches.  I brew 3 gallon batches on an electric stove.  The stove I have is a beast, it's one of those glass top deals and it can boil like 5 gallons or more.  But I usually boil about 4.5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon kettle.  I still use my 50' copper chiller and it works pretty awesomely.  Besides, brewing smaller batches is less to bottle and you get to brew more often!
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Offline bo

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2012, 06:34:25 AM »
I would think that using a large burner and a supplemental heatstick could get 5-7 gallons boiling. Once it's boiling, I would bet that the burner alone would maintain that boil. My experience in boiling large quantities has been  with the older type stove with the exposed "eyes". Not sure about glass top stoves.

Offline beersk

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2012, 09:48:58 AM »
I've heard about glass top stoves cracking with too much heat, so a huge boil on those might not be advised.  I only boil about 4.5 gallons so I'm not too worried about it.  Coil stoves suck because the coils aren't too stable when too much weight is on them.
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Offline madscientist

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 06:28:44 AM »
I brew in an apartment and can do 5 gallon partial mash batches with little issues.  I mash anywhere 2-3.5lb of grain in a small 2 gallon cooler mash tun.  Mash + sparge usually gets me to around 3 gallons for boiling.  Then I just kick up my OG with extract, usually DME.  That's just my preference, though I've used LME too.  I will also do a late addition at about 30 min.  I made a smaller wort chiller and was able to buy the connections to attatch it to my kitchen sink hose. 

Make sure, if you are using extract, you take the pot off the burner when you add it.  Electric stoves are notorious for darkening wort and scortching extract (at least in my experience and when i've talked with some people at my LHBS). 
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Offline beersk

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 06:59:07 AM »

Make sure, if you are using extract, you take the pot off the burner when you add it.  Electric stoves are notorious for darkening wort and scortching extract (at least in my experience and when i've talked with some people at my LHBS). 

I helped a friend brew last night using extract and we didn't take the pot off the burner (we did a full boil) and we noticed black stuff floating around every once in a while.  We came to the conclusion that it was extract that had scorched on the bottom, even though he stirred the whole time while he added the LME.  Damn...
I didn't think it'd add any adverse flavors, we got all the black floaties that we could out of there.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Condo Brewing
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2012, 09:22:59 AM »
I've heard about glass top stoves cracking with too much heat, so a huge boil on those might not be advised.  I only boil about 4.5 gallons so I'm not too worried about it.  Coil stoves suck because the coils aren't too stable when too much weight is on them.

I've heard people concerned about cracking, but never heard of it actually happening to someone. Those burners themselves are much hotter than the pot of 220F wort on top.
 
One downfall though is it is much harder to regulate temperature since, especially with ceramic top stoves, the glass stays hot for a long time after the burner is turned off. Boilovers made easy!
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