Author Topic: The new apartment dilemma  (Read 3537 times)

Offline brewmandan

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The new apartment dilemma
« on: September 12, 2012, 10:40:01 AM »
Hey guys I really need some help here.

I just recently moved from San Diego to San Francisco, and really downgraded the size of my apartment.  My wife and I share a 600 sq. ft. studio.  Before I was heating my mash in my backyard on a propane burner, but that is no longer an option.  Although I do have a small patio currently, our complex is completely gas-free, and they will not allow me to use an outdoor burner.  I would be OK with simply doing partial mashes with extract in the kitchen, but we have electric burners and I dont think they will perform well.

I have been living in SF for almost 3 months now, and I just cant figure out a solution to my problem.  My wife let me bring up my home brew kegerator in our small studio, and I am getting anxious to fill it up again.

HELP!

Offline erockrph

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Re: The new apartment dilemma
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 10:49:46 AM »
I do 2-3 gallon all-grain batches on my electric stove. Anything much more than 3 gallons preboil volume requires me to leave the lid about halfway on my kettle to hold a strong boil. It's not ideal, but it's manageable. I use a converted 5-gallon cooler as my mash tun, but BIAB is another option for indoor brewing.

You could also look into making an electric heatstick if you want to try to do full volume batches on your patio.
Eric B.

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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: The new apartment dilemma
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 11:09:57 AM »
It's not as convenient and likely more expensive but are there any "Brew on Premise" places within a reasonable distance?  You could do the boil there and add the yeast at home.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: The new apartment dilemma
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 11:24:16 AM »
Find a good club in SF, there are several, and find someone who will let you brew at their place? just have to bring the fermenters home afterward.
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Offline cheshirecat

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Re: The new apartment dilemma
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 11:44:51 AM »
Welcome to the Bay!!!  I struggled with same problem in my apartment. I've started doing 4.5 gallon batches (with 4 gallons going into a keg) and use a 5 gallon gott cooler as a mash tun. To do full boils I use this:

http://www.amazon.com/MARSHALLTOWN-Premier-742G-Bucket-Heater/dp/B000BDB4UG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347475124&sr=8-1&keywords=bucket+heater

It is pretty powerful so you might need to mess around with your stove temp to get the boil you want. I've used it for about 6 months and it works great.

Good luck...

Offline weithman5

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Re: The new apartment dilemma
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 01:04:31 PM »
do small batches. i brew all grain in a four gallon electric kettle with a 1500watt element. works swell
Don AHA member

Offline kgs

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Re: The new apartment dilemma
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 08:39:03 PM »
I'm an apartment brewer in SF. Go small. Also, the San Francisco Homebrewers Guild started up this year and has done some great events--check them out on Facebook. You may be able to partner with some folks with more space. I just saw a post on Facebook about using small kegs. (I have more space than average--such as a deck--just no time right now. But message me anyway. There are three homebrewers on this block alone, and we brewers need to stick together!)
K.G. Schneider
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Offline punatic

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Re: The new apartment dilemma
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 09:27:53 PM »
I have been living in SF for almost 3 months now, and I just cant figure out a solution to my problem.

Well, the solution is pretty obvious to me; move back to San Diego!   ;D
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline AmandaK

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Re: The new apartment dilemma
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2012, 07:48:37 AM »
I brew 5(ish) gallon batches on the stove top. I just use a fat pot and straddle it over two burners on one side of the stove.

That method brought 7.5 gallons to a boil in ~25 minutes just last night. Been doing that for years now.
Amanda Burkemper
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Offline madscientist

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Re: The new apartment dilemma
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2012, 09:54:21 AM »
I live in a tiny apartment with the same "no propane burners/grills" rule.  I've resigned myself to the electric stove, which although not ideal, does still work.  As many people said you can do smaller batches, and that is one way to go.  If you still would like to do 5 gallons, here's my tips.

1. Partial Mash/Partial Boil.  I boil 3 gallons of wort on an electric burner on high.  It's slow, but it does work.  I will dilute everything to 5 gallons or so in the fermenter.  I use a 2.5 gallon cooler to do my mashing. (Batch sparge)

2. Always remove the pot from the burner when adding extract.  I've been told and what I have experienced is electric stoves are notorious for scortching extract.

3. Late extract additions. 

Homebrewed since 2010