Author Topic: DIY Brewery  (Read 1108 times)

Offline chinaski

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Re: DIY Brewery
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2021, 04:00:56 PM »
Using bottled propane indoors is hazardous and wouldn't be "code" in any building situation that I know of- you'll notice that propane businesses won't let you bring tanks indoors.  Not that it cannot be done physically- it's just very risky.

Offline Mt Brew Man

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Re: DIY Brewery
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2021, 04:31:46 PM »
Yes, I tapped into my main gas line (1/2 PSI) running across the basement ceiling. Yesterday I completed all connections using 5/8" OD flex copper as the last 20' for a total of 60' of 1/2" ID line. The first 40' is 1/2" black iron pipe. The 35,000 BTU low-pressure burner is hooked up and ready for use. I just need to complete the range hood exhaust duct and I'm ready to brew. This burner is very similar to a gas water heater burner, except that they are always vented to the exterior of a home. I feel confident that the 270 CFM range hood will provide enough air exhaust so that there are no worries as to heat build-up and CO in my brew room. Just so you know, I've tried high-pressure burners on a 1/2 psi system and they don't work. I was pleasantly surprised to find this burner online. Planning on brewing next week. Yahoo!

I'd send a pic of the burner but I can't figure out how to do that.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: DIY Brewery
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2021, 08:56:39 PM »
Why didn't you consider running a 240VAC circuit to your brewery?  In my humble opinion, that is an order of magnitude simpler than running gas and several orders of magnitude safer.  Is your load center (breaker box) full?

Offline Mt Brew Man

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Re: DIY Brewery
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2021, 03:56:02 PM »
I did consider a 240V burner, and yes, my panel is a bit full, and I'll admit electric is a bit safer than gas. However, one of the main reasons I went with gas was for the cost factor. I found a 240V 5500-watt single burner online and I think it was about $700.00. When you get into larger units, the price really jumps up because you step into the commercial units. There aren't many options when it comes to 240V single burners. The gas burner I bought from Northern Tool (Link below) is a 35,000 BTU burner, and to be honest, it does state for outdoor use only. It was the only low-pressure burner I could find. This is an important detail because any high-pressure burner would never work on 1/2" psi unless maybe the gas line was sized to make it so. But that might be impractical. At any rate, there are other factors that convinced me that gas would be a safe way to go. An average gas water heater can be 35,000 BTU. The ventless gas log fireplace in my living room is 36,000 BTU. I think for many gas ranges, if you were to turn on all 4 burners, you'd be close to this rating. Still, all gas water heaters are vented to the exterior of a home, so I felt that as long as I followed that requirement I'd be in good shape. The 270 CFM range hood did a great job of removing excess heat and water vapor. I just brewed my first batch in my brew room last weekend and had great results. The room temp actually never changed from 60° the entire time of brewing. The burner worked better than expected as well. I heated up 11 gallons to a simmer in 30 minutes. It reached a full rolling boil in about 45 minutes. I don't have much experience with brewing as of yet, but I thought that time frame wasn't too bad. I guess it should be noted though, the wort was 117° before the burner was turned on. In the end, I spent about $150.00 on the burner and parts together. So, not too bad on costs. I think it took about 2 hours of labor to get the burner setup, gas line run, shut off valve installed, and a supply line too. I've probably got about a day worth of work in the range hood. That was a royal pain in the butt to get installed. Now that all is set up and I got a brew day under my belt, I'm very pleased with the ease of just going to my basement, crushing the grain, and getting right to the brewing. I gotta say it's pretty darn convenient to brew inside.

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_15490_15490?cm_mmc=Housefile-_-RECEIVED-_-707-_-CONF

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: DIY Brewery
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2021, 11:32:41 PM »
Are you brewing 10-gallon batches?  If not, a 3500W induction cooktop is all that you need.  That setup only requires a 240VAC/20A circuit (i.e., 12-gauge wire and associated breaker).  It does not even require a GFCI breaker because the liquid is isolated from the power source.

Offline Mt Brew Man

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Re: DIY Brewery
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2021, 02:27:21 PM »
I was actually shooting for 12 gallons. But after sparging the 5th gallon and testing just that 5th gallon alone, I got an S.G. reading of 1.014. I thought sparging any more would give me a lower S.G. than desired. The original wort drained from the mash gave me an S.G. of 1.060. After transferring all original wort and all sparged wort, mixed together in the 15-gallon pot I got an S.G. of 1.044. Interestingly enough, after the wort cooled down overnight, the S.G. rose to 1.052 with an approximate volume of 9.5 gallons. For what's it worth, the wort in the 15-gallon pot was actually closer to 10.75 gallons prior to the boil. Not sure if that makes any difference or not.

True, a 3500-watt burner would have worked and you are spot-on with the wiring requirements. However, I performed a test on the induction range in my kitchen which has a 3700-watt burner. It took an hour and 15 minutes to get 8 gallons to a rolling boil. Not a huge time savings I'll admit, but I was trying from the get-go of this project to streamline my time as much as possible. That's why I kept coming back to a gas setup. Truth be said, if my only option was a high-pressure burner, I probably would have spent the extra $$$ and gone total electric. This is, of course, a small setup for brewing. I doubt it would be practical for someone wanting to brew, say, 20 gallons or more batches. Just not enough heat to get the job done.

Just so you know, I do have an 1800-watt induction burner that I used to get 3 gallons of water to a strike temp of 175° for sparging. That actually saved quite a bit of time. I filled that 5-gallon pot with 3 gallons of hot water from my faucet and it hit the strike temp in 10 minutes.

At this point, though a small setup, I figure I can brew every 3-4 weeks and have plenty of good ale on hand for myself, friends, and any passerby...  ;)