Author Topic: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.  (Read 3052 times)

Offline MrNate

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Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« on: December 23, 2010, 10:30:53 AM »
As some of you may or may not know, I am going through some changes and will likely have to move into an apartment for a year or so. I haven't had a chance to brew recently, but I was wondering how feasible electric systems are for apartments.

If I'm thinking about this right, any apartment with an electric stove or dryer is going to have a 220v outlet. I used to have a 2000w 110v AC HLT, which took quite a while to heat up. I am working on a 110v electric RIMS MLT, which I think would be suited perfectly once I get it together. Question is, how well do 220v boil kettles work? Could one be used on a dryer or stove circuit? Are there 5 gal and 10 gal versions?

Anyone who brews AG on an electric system in their apartment, stop on by and let me know what you think is a good setup.
“If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception.”

Offline dj99

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2010, 10:40:03 AM »
I don't use it anymore, but I have a 5 gallon 240V electric element in a plastic bucket.  When I did use it years ago, I would unplug the dryer, and plug this beast in there with an extended piece of wire.  I just found I didn't like messing with it in the basement with all the extra moisture, cleaning, etc.

I did just run across this, if you have the inclination and cash:

http://theelectricbrewery.com/
I loves to Homebrew!
(in SW Washington)

Offline MrNate

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2010, 11:04:18 AM »
Yeah, I've seen that setup before! A bit overboard for my needs and abilities, though.  ;D

Also, I have issues with boiling in HDPE buckets, but maybe that's just me.
“If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception.”

Offline dj99

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2010, 11:44:48 AM »
I didn't like that part much either.
I loves to Homebrew!
(in SW Washington)

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2010, 12:36:38 PM »
a couple of the brewers in my club use electric boil kettles with good success. they both use keggles, not plastic.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2010, 01:00:28 PM »
I brew 3gal batches in the kitchen on my electric stove (conventional coil element).  Works great if you can keep up with yourself.  I like brewing often (as in weekly) and this gives me a chance to brew lots of styles.  I have a 5gal kettle, I cool in the sink with cold water changes.

As an aside, I have fond memories of apartment living.  They crop up every time I have a clogged drain line or a yard to mow.  I've found that no matter how much room you have, you will fill that with "stuff" and need more.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline MrNate

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2010, 01:21:51 PM »
I have a keggle I was thinking about having a heating element half coupling welded onto. Do people just use the 220v water heater elements? Anyone know how much amperage they draw vs what an electric stove draws?
“If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception.”

Offline MrNate

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2010, 01:25:40 PM »
I brew 3gal batches in the kitchen on my electric stove (conventional coil element).  Works great if you can keep up with yourself.  I like brewing often (as in weekly) and this gives me a chance to brew lots of styles.  I have a 5gal kettle, I cool in the sink with cold water changes.
I assume you can't do a full 5+ gallon boil on the electric cooktop, right? I don't want to brew that often, but I was thinking I could probably split the boil into 2 kettles if I had to.

As an aside, I have fond memories of apartment living.  They crop up every time I have a clogged drain line or a yard to mow.  I've found that no matter how much room you have, you will fill that with "stuff" and need more.
I hate apartment living. But I agree with you about filling space.
“If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception.”

Offline noonancm

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2010, 01:55:20 PM »
I use heatsticks in the basement. Two in fact; both 110 volts. The sockets are near the washer and dryer. I won awards using them but the only drawback is one I experienced today as I was brewing today. It seems that wheat will leave a buildup on the heating elements.

Offline weithman5

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2010, 02:33:52 PM »
something i have been toying with but haven't done which may be useful for small batches is the electric roaster. these are varied in size but i have seen 20+ quarts for 40 bucks. i have thought you could do complete step mashes in the thing with the grain in a bag, similar to boil in a bag.  easy to change and control temperature.  then crank it up for the boil.  I have gas burner stove and is simple enough for small batches but i am intrigued by trying this. 
Don AHA member

Offline MrNate

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2010, 05:12:12 PM »
Not sure how I feel about combining the mash tun and boil kettle in one unit. For some reason I'm just not a fan of the "bre in a Bag" idea.
“If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception.”

Offline narcout

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2010, 06:38:56 PM »
I assume you can't do a full 5+ gallon boil on the electric cooktop, right? I don't want to brew that often, but I was thinking I could probably split the boil into 2 kettles if I had to.

When I lived in Nashville, I had an old electric cooktop that could do full boils no problem.  Then I moved to an apartment in Brooklyn that had one of those tiny gas stoves so I had to split the boil between two kettles - it worked totally fine though.

Now I've got a nice big stove in my place here in LA and can do full boils in one pot on the stovetop once again (straddling two burners). 

Offline kgs

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2010, 09:46:10 AM »
While apartment-hunting a year ago, I admit that when it came down to choosing between two apartments, I chose the one with the great kitchen appliances over the one with better parking. I have not regretted that decision. I can brew 3-gallon all-grain batches on the range, no problem, and can also do the kind of cooking I was used to in our house several thousand miles away (now rented out). There's always parking around the corner...
K.G. Schneider
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2010, 10:21:07 AM »
The moral majority, is neither.

Offline MrNate

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Re: Electric Apartment Brewers... I have questions for you.
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2010, 11:14:25 AM »
Here ya go. Lonnie approved!

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/countertop-brutus-20-a-131411/

I immediately questioned the single 110v element for a boil kettle, having run a 110v HLT for a season. Sure enough, he's doing 3.5 gallon batches. What I'm looking to do will be very similar, I just want to do 5 gallon batches and I'm hoping that 1) a 220v element will be able to do a full boil, and 2) I will have enough amperage on your average electric stove circuit to run it.

Assuming that I can't boil on the stovetop, that is.
“If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception.”