Author Topic: Newbie trying to move forward  (Read 503 times)

Offline chuckc1

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Newbie trying to move forward
« on: March 07, 2014, 03:47:19 PM »
HI all,
I am new so please bear with me if I ask an obvious question. I need to talk about burners. So far, I have done all on the wife's gas range. I have been reading I need to have a jet burner or turkey fryer to get  the correct boil. I thought all that was necessary was to break the surface to let the bad stuff out. What am I missing? Oh yeah, I got started with a mr beer kit this Christmas. That is how new I am. Thanks for the input!

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7341
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 03:57:11 PM »
all depends on your gas range and your batch size. I generally brew 11 gallon batches. my electric glass top stove, I suspect, although I've never tried, would not be able to get that up to a boil.

However you are correct, if you can get a gentle roll going you're okay. This means more than a simmer but it doesn't have to be all foam and leaping out of the pot.

Are you brewing extract or all grain? or more accurately, full boil or topping off in the fermenter?

If your stove will boil your full preboil volume so that the surface is turning over well and you get the boil off you expect (somewhere in the range of 1-2 gallons an hour) you are fine.

I got a Bayou classic outdoor turkey frier burner and I love it but if I was doing small batch brewing I would likely still be in the kitchen.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

Offline Joe Sr.

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2889
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 04:00:03 PM »
I have a turkey fryer.  In a box in the basement.  Someday I will hook it up and use it.

I've been brewing for 20 years on the kitchen stove.  As long as you can get a rolling boil, you're good to go.  You want something more than just breaking the surface, but you also don't need it to be the hardest boil you've ever seen.  Stove top brewing is typically concentrated boils (adding water to the fermenter to get your full batch volume) or small batch brewing.  I do concentrated boils.

As new as you are, I'd concentrate on learning how to brew.  Get a handle on ingredients, sanitation, fermentation temps, yeast pitching rates, etc. 

If you keep at it you'll be learning more every time you brew, but getting a good foundation early is important.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 04:12:58 PM »
there are as many opinions on this as there are forum members.  but as John mentioned. if you can get a boil you are fine.  a lot depends on batch size, type of brew (all grain, extract) which can influence your boil volume.  I can do just fine on my gas burner on my stove. however, my wife is not fond of the smell and even without boil over there will be evaporation and condensation around the stove top that can be a sticky pain to clean. I made a cheap small batch electric kettle that i can use anywhere. I would focus on process, especially fermentation if you have the ability to boil your volume already.
Don AHA member

Offline flbrewer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1559
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 04:26:19 PM »
A jet burner, no. I would recommend this http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/blichmann-floor-burner.html.
I really like mine and have used it over and over for 5 gallon full boils. I have also used our gas range to do one gallon batches a lot lately. I have found that indoor nat. gas burning on the stove top can get real pricey. So I've cut back to 15 minute extract boils for now. Give the Blichmann a try, you can get about 4 full 60 minute boils on a standard propane tank.


Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7341
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 04:40:15 PM »
A jet burner, no. I would recommend this http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/blichmann-floor-burner.html.
I really like mine and have used it over and over for 5 gallon full boils. I have also used our gas range to do one gallon batches a lot lately. I have found that indoor nat. gas burning on the stove top can get real pricey. So I've cut back to 15 minute extract boils for now. Give the Blichmann a try, you can get about 4 full 60 minute boils on a standard propane tank.

Yikes! 150 bucks! I paid ~50 for my Bayou Classic but it's not nearly as shiny at that beast.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

Offline flbrewer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1559
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2014, 04:50:24 PM »
Haha, yeah it WAS shiny. That was until I dripped LME on it, I almost cried. It also weighs about 20 pounds and gives you a good arm workout while transporting.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5880
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2014, 05:04:06 PM »
Hey OP - first, we don't need to 'bear with you' - we're here to help !  I have a Bayou Classic which I love, but also boiled (off and on) for years on a gas stovetop. I have a 10 gallon SS pot that is wide enough to straddle 2 burners on the kitchen stove on a day like some we've had this winter. I also like the wide design because I can generate a nice spoon-induced whirlpool, leaving a tight cone of trub to siphon away from. I recommend a multi-use pot that can boil under either circumstance. I got mine from a local restaurant supply company. Just realize you have options.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 05:06:09 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline klickitat jim

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4572
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2014, 07:11:30 PM »
After looking around, went with a Camp Chef Explorer. Its two burners and I've had two 15 gallon pots on it, completely full during clean up, no problem holding the weight. My biggest boil is 8 gallons for a 90 min lager, which I get to from 175° to 212° in about 20 minutes. Cost is~ $100. I'm not a stock holder, or employee, just sharing my experience with it. By the way I have two of them.

But, I fully agree with a previous poster. Temp control for fermentation will effect quality more than about anything else in brewing. That would be my first equipment purchase.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 07:13:07 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline chuckc1

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2014, 04:44:47 AM »
Thanks to everyone for their input. I will follow the advice and concentrate on the fundamentals for now. Thanks to all.

Offline Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3604
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2014, 06:03:53 AM »
+1 Fermentation temperature control is the best improvement to make.  To bad for most brewers it's usually the last.

Sent from my XT1030 using Tapatalk

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5924
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2014, 07:03:07 AM »
Jet burners put out tons of BTUs. They also are inefficient, put all the heat in one spot, and sound like - a jet.

The Blichmann is pricey, but spreads the heat, is quiet, and relatively efficient.

I use SP-10 burners that I have had for a long time. Those are in between the examples above for efficiency, spread of heat, and noise. Some day I might get a Blichmann.

NG is much cheaper than propane around here, and you don't run out.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline leejoreilly

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 147
  • Washington, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Newbie trying to move forward
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2014, 08:32:33 AM »
I've been brewing in the kitchen for years now, and I have no plans to change, especially after the winter we had in Michigan this year. I use two boil kettles that can comfortably hold more than 4 gallons each, and each gets it's own gas burner powerful enough to get to a rolling boil pretty quickly. I do have a third kettle that I use for top-up and clean-up water, too. Our stove has a vented hood, so condensation isn't an issue. Yeah, the whole house smells like wort for a few hours after brewing, but I consider that a plus! Also, having two boil kettles (which also double as my hot liquor tuns) reduces the load on my back and may even make transferring hot liquids a bit safer. After the boil, I dump the hot wort in a bag-lined fermenter bucket, which allows me to get rid of a lot of trub. I use an immersion chiller in the bucket, which may be marginally more efficient because I don't have to chill the hot boil kettle.

Anyway, the point is, use what works for you and what's available to you. There's nothing magical about any particular source of heat.