Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Anyone using induction cook ranges?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-06-2006, 03:13 PM   #1
Archie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 7
Default Anyone using induction cook ranges?

I was looking into getting an induction cooker for brewing use, but I'm not sure if it's anywhere near powerful enough. Does anyone use anything like this:

http://theinductionsite.com/buy-induction/buy-sr1851.shtml

I'm mainly doing extract brewing so 2.5-3 gallons with everything in it. I was hoping this would bring everything to a boil quicker than my gas stove. Or I could just go with a propane burner. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Arch

__________________
The police never think it's as funny as you do.

--

Brewing
Primary: Liberty Cream Ale
Secondary: bleach water
Next up: Oatmeal Stout


Drinking
Skullsplitter Clone
Coffee Stout
The "I don't remember what this one was because I forgot to label it" Ale
Archie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-06-2006, 03:20 PM   #2
the_bird
10th-Level Beer Nerd
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
the_bird's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Adams, MA
Posts: 20,486
Liked 359 Times on 296 Posts
Likes Given: 95

Default

8,600 BTUs doesn't sound like a lot. Most cheap turkey fryers are around 55k. If you are ever thinking of going to AG, and have a good place to use it, I'd go with propane right now. I bet you'll struggle to get a good boil up with this unit (note the description of "fair" cooking power), which will lead you to going the propane route after a couple of brews anyway! Doesn't seem like a very good solution.

__________________
Come join Yankee Ingenuity!

"I'm kind of toasted. But I looked at my watch and it's only 6:30 so I can't stop drinking yet." - Yooper's Bob
"Brown eye finally recovered after the abuse it endured in Ptown last weekend, but it took almost a full week." - Paulie
"no, he just doesn't speak 'stupid'. i, however, am fluent...." - motobrewer
"... I'll go both ways." - Melana

That'll do, Pigley. That'll do.
the_bird is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-06-2006, 03:33 PM   #3
Archie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 7
Default

Yeah, I was thinking this one was rather small, but they do list some with higher ratings.

http://theinductionsite.com/buy-induction/buy-mc3500.shtml


I'm really just wondering if there's a way to be 1.) more efficient energy-wise and 2)more efficient time-wise over a propane setup.

I've seen these things bring small pans of water to rolling boils in less than a minute. I was hoping it would work as well on a larger scale without having to raising the costs too much.

-Arch

__________________
The police never think it's as funny as you do.

--

Brewing
Primary: Liberty Cream Ale
Secondary: bleach water
Next up: Oatmeal Stout


Drinking
Skullsplitter Clone
Coffee Stout
The "I don't remember what this one was because I forgot to label it" Ale
Archie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-06-2006, 03:50 PM   #4
the_bird
10th-Level Beer Nerd
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
the_bird's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Adams, MA
Posts: 20,486
Liked 359 Times on 296 Posts
Likes Given: 95

Default

Did I just read that the 25k-BTU-equivalent one was $800?

__________________
Come join Yankee Ingenuity!

"I'm kind of toasted. But I looked at my watch and it's only 6:30 so I can't stop drinking yet." - Yooper's Bob
"Brown eye finally recovered after the abuse it endured in Ptown last weekend, but it took almost a full week." - Paulie
"no, he just doesn't speak 'stupid'. i, however, am fluent...." - motobrewer
"... I'll go both ways." - Melana

That'll do, Pigley. That'll do.
the_bird is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-06-2006, 04:00 PM   #5
sirsloop
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South River, NJ
Posts: 2,592
Liked 16 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

a turkey fryer may be 55k BTU, but how much of that heat is lost pouring over the side of the pan and into the air? Probably A LOT. You kinda limited by the heat of the flame and the heat transfer ability of the metal. I don't have any scientfic data to back this up but 8000 BTU's induced into the pan may very well be enough to match a 55k air to metal turkey fryer.

__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
~~|=(*)[________]==(*)(*)=| \________/=(*)(*)=|~~~~~~~~~~
sirsloop is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-06-2006, 04:18 PM   #6
Fiery Sword
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Fiery Sword's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Revere, MA, Massachusetts
Posts: 908
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsloop
a turkey fryer may be 55k BTU, but how much of that heat is lost pouring over the side of the pan and into the air? Probably A LOT. You kinda limited by the heat of the flame and the heat transfer ability of the metal. I don't have any scientfic data to back this up but 8000 BTU's induced into the pan may very well be enough to match a 55k air to metal turkey fryer.
I do believe there is some truth to the heal loss concern, but I still think the difference would be dramatic. A propane burner kicking 50k+ is going to get you a boil pretty quickly. I would be surprised if that puppy could even keep a solid rolling boil going, let alone the time it would take to make it happen. I'd consider the propane proven technology, and this item interesting but no slam dunk.
__________________
Fiery Sword is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-06-2006, 06:51 PM   #7
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,427
Liked 192 Times on 158 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

I use and induction cooker for brewing. I already had one, so I figured why not.

First off - I love my induction cooker!!!! I use it fairly frequently, mostly for standard cooking. It heats just like gas. Turn it on, it instantly generates heat. Turn it off, no heat. The unit itself stays very cool. The only way to burn yourself is to touch the pot. After removing a hot pot, the surface can be touched without burning yourself within about 10 seconds! It is very nice to use in the summer as it doesn't add much heat to your kitchen. Mine is portable so I could cook in my living room if I wanted too. It frequently gets hauled outside to cook there.

They are very very efficient with very little wasted heat - it all goes into the pot.

One drawback - you must use cooking vessels that are magnetic. No aluminum, and MOST stainless steel pots are non-magnetic. When we first bought our unit, we would go to cooking stores and grab a refridgerator magnet and go test all of the pots. We have some magnetic stainless cookware and a bunch of cast iron cookware.

Also - no pacemakers nearby - apparently they can make them go haywire. I do know they make the wire probe thermometers go wacky. My temps we're jumping all over the place (my dial thermometer was not). Turned off the cooker and it immediately stabilized, turned it back on and it went haywire again.

My units is 1400 Watts. I just made the move to all grain and bought myself a 38 qt stainless pot and put a weldless valve on it. My current brewing strategy uses the one pot (and some buckets). I bought some of the insulating bubble wrap and do my mashing on the induction cooker. So far I've just done a single temp mash, but plan on messing with step mashes (as I can easily add more heat). I then drain and sparge into buckets, remove the grains, give the kettle a quick wash and slap it on the propane burner and add the wort (~6 gal) from the buckets.

It takes about 15 minutes for me to heat 3 gallons of strike water to 170 F. During that time I weigh and crush my grains. I use the propane burner to heat my sparge water, and it is faster, but not by a huge amount.

All in all, I'm quite pleased. I haven't yet tried to boil wort on it. My unit will shut off after about 30 min. on high to cool off for a couple of minutes. Then I can turn it back on again. I've processed many gallons of tomato sauce on it though. I can cook 3 gallons of tomato puree down to 1.5 gallon in about 3 hrs - and that is at half power so I don't burn the sauce. I think I could boil wort on high with no problems. If one lived in an apartment and your other option was to use the kitchen stove, I would highly recommend an induction cooker. The stove could still be used to heat sparge water if doing all grain. That plus you can use it for day to day cooking, which you can't with a turkery fryer unless you eat a lot of turkey, or seafood. We like to throw big dinner parties and having an extra "burner" is very nice.

For doing partial boils it would work great. I'm not sure if it would be a whole lot faster than standard kitchen stove. With the costs of gas these days, it is cheaper to operate though - not that it makes a noticible difference in $$ to a hombrewer though. If the $$ of the energy didn't matter, but you still like the idea of saving energy, I'm sure it would do that.

Now the second unit you listed, I bet that would work like gangbusters. 35,000 BTU and all of it going INTO your pot, not around it. If you are only boiling up to 3 gal. this would I think be a bit of overkill (and it requires 240 V)

__________________
pjj2ba is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-09-2006, 05:00 PM   #8
oznozz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 21
Default Induction Stovetops

I did some calculations about using induction elements for brewing.

I want to use one with a built in temperature control device in it to do mashing for a 5 gallon batch, and I figured that I might as well use the same element to boil while I'm at it.

I started with the following tidbit :

"A 3.5-kilowatt (kW) Luxine induction range was shown to boil 20 pounds of water in virtually the same time as a 5.1-kW electric resistance coil (about 15 minutes)."
http://www.appliancedesign.com/CDA/Archives/a9ed6a3235a38010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____

(conversions with help from google "convert n x to y", in USA)

20 lb water X 0.45359237 kg/lb = 9.0718474 kg

9.0718474 kg X 1 kg/L = ~9 L water (~2.4 US gal)

Not especially encouraging for fast, full boils.

However, I realized that for a full boil, with all grain, you aren't raising the water from room temperature to boiling, you are raising it from room temperature to mashing and from mashing to boiling, so to be fair, I redid all the calculations.

=== Mashing ===

Assume I have 4 gallons of water for mashing, which I could use to process 8-16 lbs of grain (2qt/lb - 1qt/lb), which seems like a reasonable amount.

Now I need to know the amount of heat needed to raise the water from tap temperature (~20C = ~ 68F) to strike temp for mashing (73C = ~163F).

4 gallons X 3.7854118 L/gallon = ~ 15.14 L

Need to change the temperature 73C - 20C = 53C.

1 calorie raises 1 gram of water 1 degree C, 1 gram = 1 ml
so,
1000 calories raises 1 L of water 1 degree C :

15.14 L X 1000 calories/L-delta_C X 53 delta_C = 802,420 calories

I don't happen to think in calories.

1 calorie = 0.00396566683 BTU.
1 calorie = 1.16222222 × 10^-6 kilowatt hours

So that's 3182 BTU, which seems ... low, more on that later. In order to accomplish that in an hour, one needs 0.93 kilowatt hours, so in order to finish in 15 minutes, one needs to apply 4 times as much energy per unit of time, so that'd be almost 4 kWh! To put that in perspective, a good 3.6 kWh element needs a 220V outlet and 16.4 amperes and they seem to cost about $1000+ online. If you can wait a half hour, the a 2kWh element would be fine (much cheaper).

Interestingly enough, the BTU figure looks incredibly low. To the best of my ability to discern, the reason why it takes a while with a 50k - 150k BTU burner is two-fold. First, propane burners only impart 30-60% of their heat to the vessel being heated. Second, the BTU ratings on burners are wildly innacurate. Induction is lauded for its efficiency, which is usually quoted at 90+%. So, technically, all those figures in the above paragraph describe the amount of energy needed, not the size of the appropriate heating element. The induction element at 90% efficiency for 15 minutes would need to be 3.72 * 1.1 = 4.09kWh (I estimated the 4 kWh in the previous paragraph). The BTU figure doesn't make a lot of sense to me, because it would indicate that only a 4772 BTU burner would be needed and that is clearly not the right size burner. A range top is something like 12,000 BTU, and I KNOW it takes more than 15 minutes to raise 4 gallons of water to 73C on that.

=== Boiling ===

We're going from about 73 C to about 100 C, so that's a 27 C difference.

I'm going to assume I did the math correctly, and I'll just say that should be possible for 6 gallons of wort in 15 minutes on a ~ 3 kWh element.



=== Propane Burner Actual Output Estimation ===

I'll do a calculation that figures out how much heat is actually getting into the liquid if someone posts the following : change in temperature, gallons water or wort heated, reported BTU output of propane burner. I think I read somewhere that a 100,000 BTU burner will boil 6 gallons in 15 minutes, but I am suspicious that it was from mash temp to boil, not from tap temperature. That's something like 10,250 BTUs required, so the efficiency is terrible.



=== Checking the Math ===

Starting with the 20 lbs of water example, lets see if my calculations are correct since the BTUs seems way off from what one might expect...

9 L X 80 delta_C X 1000 cal / L-delta_C X 1.16e^-6 kWh / 1 cal X 4 kW_15min / 1 kWh = 3.341

That seems reasonable.

So the element should be 3.341/.9 if it is 90% efficient, which is 3.712kWh. Dang that's efficient (about 95%!!!)!


*************************************
*Please check my math. I'm far from perfect. *
*************************************


=== Crazy Ideas ===

I've noticed that large brew kettles with spigots seem to be expensive, as are quality grain mills, and high output burners. So I had this insane idea that perhaps 3-4 of those 1.3 kWh induction elements, each with it's own wee boil pot (~2 gallons?) with a spigot might save big money. The 1.3 kWh elements were available for $65 (!) on the one site. Anyone know where to get smallish induction friendly brew pots with spigots for cheap?

I figure, even if those cheap elements are 80% efficient, one can take 1.5 gallons of water from 20C to 100C in 30 minutes, which is 2-3 times as fast as trying to boil 5.5 gallons on an ancient natural gas range top burner.

Then my only problem is finding a room I can draw 4 x 11amperes @ 120V without tripping a breaker or starting a fire...

__________________
In the cellar/fridge :
Pomegrande Ale
The Trouble with Trippels
Hard Cider
SaazSquash
Saisson
Spiced Strong Ale "D9"

Fermenting :
Son of Saisson
oznozz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-09-2006, 05:11 PM   #9
oznozz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 21
Default I forgot to add....

I remember a post on a site about a guy with an in-kettle electric heating element who said that whenever he brews, he takes over the laundry room because almost all laundry rooms have a 220V / 15 A outlet for the dryer. That's one of the biggest problems I see with those high kW induction elements for the urban brewer, is figuring out where to plug it in.

__________________
In the cellar/fridge :
Pomegrande Ale
The Trouble with Trippels
Hard Cider
SaazSquash
Saisson
Spiced Strong Ale "D9"

Fermenting :
Son of Saisson
oznozz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2006, 02:32 PM   #10
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,427
Liked 192 Times on 158 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

My induction unit has a temp setting at 158 F. I haven't tried using it to hold the mash temp. I simply bought a roll of the "metallic" bubble wrap and put about 5 layers around the pot. It easily holds the temp. for 1 hr with no additional heat needed. I really like heating up the strike water IN my mash vessel. No preheating of the tun and I always hit my mash temp dead on.

I'll be brewing again over Thanksgiving weekend. I'll take the initial temp of my strike water and record the time it takes to get to 168 F (or whatever promash calculates for my Bock recipe).

I bought my stock pot from these guys and am very pleased (38 qt)

http://foodservicenow.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=stock+pot&x=11 &y=14

I had orignally placed an order with InstaWares because they had low prices. The 7-10 days to leave the warehouse turned into 3 months before I finally cancelled the order. Which reminds me, I need to give them a call and remind them to return my money (I cancelled the order 2 months ago - they charged my card 5 months ago!)

__________________
pjj2ba is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Induction heating element Gregredic Equipment/Sanitation 42 09-14-2009 09:29 PM
Induction Cooktop Incinerator General Techniques 2 04-08-2009 01:53 PM
Brett temperature ranges.. boxcar Lambic & Wild Brewing 8 02-26-2009 07:17 PM
1800W Induction cooktop BrewDoc Extract Brewing 1 01-11-2009 11:05 PM
Magnetic induction cooktops neckbone Equipment/Sanitation 6 01-02-2009 10:32 PM