Author Topic: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate  (Read 1559 times)

Offline dilluh98

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question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« on: June 15, 2015, 09:48:18 PM »
My wife gently suggested to me this weekend that it might be best if I took my brewing hobby into the garage for the summer as 4+ gallons of boiling wort on the gas range top in the kitchen leads to a very hot house in an already very warm part of the US during the summer. I agree with her and there would be some other significant advantages of moving the operation outdoors (or at least into the garage).

My question is in regards to those who use induction portable hot plates for home-brew at the 3-gallon batch scale. I seem to remember that someone was doing exactly this but I’d like opinions on how significant a difference there is in induction-ready stock pots. I have a 24 L Update International induction ready pot (model # SPS-24) that’s made in China. I have read a bit into induction heating and have seen some argue that US made induction pots are significantly better in terms of the induction elements built into the base. How much better? How much difference in time is there to get 4.5 gallons of wort to a gentle boil in a US vs Chinese made induction pot? In other words, am I justified in going out and buying a 24 L US-made induction pot or will what I have suffice? Of course I’d love to have more/better gear but the price difference between US vs Chinese-made in this case is significant.

Also, would this induction plate serve my purposes for 3 gallon batches (4.5 gallon starting volume):

http://www.amazon.com/Burton-6200-1800-Watt-Induction-Cooktop/dp/B0037Z7HQK/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

Offline Stevie

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2015, 01:20:58 AM »
Mark V is the man to talk to. He has a few posts in other threads that contain good info.

Offline wobdee

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2015, 12:33:16 PM »
I've been brewing 3 gal BIAB with induction for about 3 years. I started out with the same burner you have linked and found it to be a bit underpowered for my 8 gal Mega Pot so I upgraded to a 220V 3500w burner. To keep a good rolling boil with the 1800w burner required leaving the lid partially on.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2015, 12:38:48 PM »
I've been brewing 3 gal BIAB with induction for about 3 years. I started out with the same burner you have linked and found it to be a bit underpowered for my 8 gal Mega Pot so I upgraded to a 220V 3500w burner. To keep a good rolling boil with the 1800w burner required leaving the lid partially on.

careful with covering your boil. it's a good way to get corny DMS laden beer.
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Offline wobdee

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 02:36:37 PM »
I've been brewing 3 gal BIAB with induction for about 3 years. I started out with the same burner you have linked and found it to be a bit underpowered for my 8 gal Mega Pot so I upgraded to a 220V 3500w burner. To keep a good rolling boil with the 1800w burner required leaving the lid partially on.

careful with covering your boil. it's a good way to get corny DMS laden beer.
I never did get any DMS with the 1800w burner but I upgraded anyway to a 3500w burner for more power and getting to a quicker boil.

Something else to add is these burners require a single circuit. I had an electrician wire up an outlet for me in my basement on its own breaker because I was tripping breakers at full power with that 1800w burner. When I upgraded to the 220V 3500w burner I used the same circuit but upgraded to breaker and changed the outlet.

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 02:44:09 PM »
If you are planning to use an 1800W unit, then stockpot quality absolutely makes a difference.  With that said, a low pressure propane-fired stove will handle the job much better.   My propane stove is a Camp Chef Pro 30, which is a low pressure 30K BTU stove.  The stove is small enough to sip propane, but large enough to bring 7-gallons of wort to a boil when I brew the occasional 5.5-gallon all-grain batch.

Offline euge

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2015, 10:58:56 AM »
Your induction ready pot will do fine. No need to upgrade. Save your money.

Look around for deals on Induction burners. I found one priced to move, an 1800w floor model still in it's plastic wrap for $50 at a restaurant supply store.

But worth it! I keep it in the garage as well...
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Offline ajk

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2015, 11:10:28 AM »

I have read a bit into induction heating and have seen some argue that US made induction pots are significantly better in terms of the induction elements built into the base.
I've not heard of this concept of a pot containing an "induction element." The pot I use with my induction unit is just stainless steel that's appropriately ferromagnetic, and it works great. My understanding is if a refrigerator magnet sticks to the pot, it's good for induction. Too basic?

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2015, 01:39:19 PM »
I've not heard of this concept of a pot containing an "induction element."

Good catch! I missed that part on my first posting. 

An induction range heats a pot by inducing an electric current into the pot itself via a magnetic field.  That's why the pot has be magnetic.  The induced current is converted to heat by the pot.  The element (hob) in an induction range is not much more than a coil of wire that creates a magnetic field when power is applied.

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2015, 04:21:43 PM »
I've been brewing 3 gal BIAB with induction for about 3 years. I started out with the same burner you have linked and found it to be a bit underpowered for my 8 gal Mega Pot so I upgraded to a 220V 3500w burner. To keep a good rolling boil with the 1800w burner required leaving the lid partially on.

Do you think it would work on a 5.5 gallon pot?
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Offline euge

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2015, 09:50:39 PM »
The best induction pots have a tri-ply base with an aluminum core.
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Offline wobdee

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2015, 01:44:56 AM »
I've been brewing 3 gal BIAB with induction for about 3 years. I started out with the same burner you have linked and found it to be a bit underpowered for my 8 gal Mega Pot so I upgraded to a 220V 3500w burner. To keep a good rolling boil with the 1800w burner required leaving the lid partially on.

Do you think it would work on a 5.5 gallon pot?
It may work better than my 8 gal pot,  a smaller kettle should be a little narrower. I think my kettle is about 12" wide and the actual heating element in the burner is only 5 or 6" diameter. I haven't tried any other kettles on mine so I couldn't say for sure.

Offline wobdee

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Re: question about 3 gallon batches on an induction plate
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2015, 01:45:53 AM »
I've been brewing 3 gal BIAB with induction for about 3 years. I started out with the same burner you have linked and found it to be a bit underpowered for my 8 gal Mega Pot so I upgraded to a 220V 3500w burner. To keep a good rolling boil with the 1800w burner required leaving the lid partially on.

Do you think it would work on a 5.5 gallon pot?
It may work better than my 8 gal pot,  a smaller kettle should be a little narrower. I think my kettle is about 12" wide and the actual heating element in the burner is only 5 or 6" diameter. I haven't tried any other kettles on mine so I couldn't say for sure.