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Old 11-11-2006, 02:36 PM   #11
oznozz
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Thanks for the advice on the kettles. Have you tried drilling a hole in them for a spigot?

I actually live in a college town, so I was thinking about checking out the local dump for kegs and then building my own keg based system. Unfortunately, that would exclude induction heating from my system. I'm also a little scared of trying to cut sheet metal, but if I can get a 15 gallon keg for... nearly free, I feel like I could save a lot of money.

I'm still kind of amazed that it should be possible for an urban brewer to easily set up an indoor induction based all grain system that could handle 5 gallon batches. My girlfriend wants to live in a city for a while, so I find that to be encouraging if I live in a city with her! It's also nice to know that induction elements are so darn energy efficient.

I'm about to go in search of some homebrew shops to see about making a hopless pumpkin ale (I have a friend who is alergic, and I promised a hopless ale at some point and the rest of my friends are bummed that we only managed to find one 6 pack of pumpkin ale in town).

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Old 11-13-2006, 03:35 PM   #12
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I drilled my own pot. I fretted over this for quite some time. My original plan was to drill a 3/8 hole and use a reamer to enlarge it. I really did not want to screw up a $125 pot. I finally broke down and bought a step-drill bit (~$35) from Lowes. It worked great! I also used the bit to drill holes in the side of my kegerator.

I've got a buddy hooked on all grain. He talked his wife into starting the hobby by saying he would make several beers to give as Xmas presents. He was doing extracts, but now uses my equipment to do all grain. He needs to get his last batch started so tonight we are going to mash and sparge at my place and then he'll take the wort home and boil it tomorrow night on his own at his place. Therefore TONIGHT I will do the temp and time recordings for mashing on my induction cooker and post them tomorrow.

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Old 11-14-2006, 05:42 PM   #13
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Therefore TONIGHT I will do the temp and time recordings for mashing on my induction cooker and post them tomorrow.

.......make that next Monday. Too much other stuff had to get done. I've got two brews ready to put into kegs and that won't happen until Sunday at the earliest
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:27 PM   #14
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Where did you find this metal bubble wrap? I'd use some! I hunted around online, but I didn't see anything like that mentioned

The way I currently mash is to add hot water to grains in a pot and then collect all manner of blankets, towels and coats available and "insulate" it. Sometimes this results in lots of washing later, and it doesn't seem to do an ideal job of insulating the mash. *sigh*

Right now I'm trying to decide whether to upgrade to a SWIG system or a 3 tier. hmmm... I'm thinking SWIG because I need mobility and I like the idea of brewing several styles at once.

SWIG :
http://www.strangebrew.ca/swig/

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Saisson
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:05 PM   #15
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I bought mine at the local Lowes. Reflectix foil bubblewrap. There is a picture of the stuff at this link:

http://www.canadianhomeworkshop.com/...sulation.shtml

I cut slits in the wrap on each side for the handles of my pot, and a notch for my spigot as I wrapped the pot for the first time.

Tonight I'll be doing so brewing so I will report on the temps and times for the induction cooker.

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Old 11-21-2006, 02:56 PM   #16
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Last night we finally mashed and sparged my friends brew. We started with 3 gallons of water at 70 F (24 C) and it took 40 minutes to get it up to 168 F (85 C). My unit is rated at 1300 Watts. The temperature easily held at 154 F for 1 hr.

OK oznozz, do your calculations. How long would it take to go from 170 F (mash out) to boiling? (6 gallons after sparging). I suspect it might not be too bad. Archie, I bet with a 2500 Watt unit, you would have no problems brewing beer - might even be quicker that a propane burner. Of course a 2.5K unit is not cheap. I think even my little 1300 Watt unit could do the job. One could have two pots going on a regular stove to heat sparge water while mashing.

If one was doing partial boil extracts, I bet my unit could have 3 gallons up to boiling in under an hour. Obviously not as good as a propane burner, but I think it is better than a standard kitchen stove and a real option for people where a propane burner is not an option. The portability of the unit is nice too. A person could still cook a lovely dinner for their significant other while brewing (or just spread their mess out more).

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Old 11-27-2006, 05:39 PM   #17
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With a 100% efficient, ideal system, it would have taken a .9kW unit 40 minutes to move 3 gallons of water 61 deg C.

That means your setup is 70% efficient, which seems low considering the apparent 92+% efficiency of that Luxine system. more on that later...

So, I would estimate that it would take your unit (at an actual output of 910W) around 30 minutes to move 6 gallons of water 24 deg C (from 76 C to 100 C).

A 2500W unit at 80% efficiency should take 3 gallons of water from ~68 F to boiling in a little under 25 minutes. I estimate that your 1300W setup would accomplish the same feat in 50 minutes.

In terms of energy :
move 3 gal 61 deg C - 692,350 calories OR 2745 BTU
move 6 gal 24 deg C - 544,800 calories OR 2160 BTU
move 3 gal 78 deg C - 885,400 calories OR 3510 BTU

(food calories are actually kilocalories)



The More-On-That-Later-Section :
Did you have a lid on?
Do you know if your unit is one of the kind that will go maximum power for a while and then cool the inductor coil down?
Was it breezy/cold in the heating area?
Did you use an insulated heating vessel?

Of course, maybe that's just standard efficiency, Luxine has a chart that says a generic 2.6kW unit is only about 80% efficient, and more power seems to translate to more effienct, especially if you use a Luxine. *shrug* It'd be interesting to find out the efficiencies of other units.
http://www.luxine.com/advantage.php


Keep in mind that my calculations are pretty simple and they don't take into account fun things like evaporation (lid), loss of heat to the air (except in the "efficiency" sense), etc.


Sorry the reply took so long, Thanksgiving vacation means no math!

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

Fermenting :
Son of Saisson
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oznozz
The More-On-That-Later-Section :
Did you have a lid on?
Do you know if your unit is one of the kind that will go maximum power for a while and then cool the inductor coil down?
Was it breezy/cold in the heating area?
Did you use an insulated heating vessel?
I've got a homemade lid for the pot consisting of 1" thick styrofoam (with one "metalized"side) that I've encased with aluminum foil. It is a pretty snug fit and I rigged it up to be height adjustable so I can keep it just above the liquid surface. The whole thing is wrapped with 5 layers of foil bubble wrap. I mash in the kitchen under a ceiling fan so it is a litle breezy, but it maintains the mash temperature for one hour with no heat additions so it appears to be well insulated.

I don't know if the max power setting cycles on and off. I do know from making tomato suace that if it has been on (not max setting) for an hour or so it turns itself off. I assume to prevent overheating

If a person was doing extract/specialty grain beers and a 3 gal. boil, I think an induction cooker as small as mine would do just fine. Maybe this winter if my brewing schedule coincides with a particularly cold/nasty day, I'll forgo the propane burner outside and try the whole boil on the induction cooker
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:12 PM   #19
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I agree. I think your type of unit would work well for extract/specialty grain brewing. It'd probably also work for partial mashes, as long as no more than 2.5 gallons of wort was run off (to leave room for the extract!).

I was figuring that while you were heating the pot, maybe some heat escaped somehow, but I'm going to guess not.

I think I'm going to end up putting together a parti-gyle/SWIG style system and brew a strong, a regular and a small batch (5 gallons each). I think that will work on my stove, although I'll still need to buy some equipment. If I move, I'm definitely keeping induction in mind.

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

Fermenting :
Son of Saisson
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:43 PM   #20
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I thought I'd give an update on my testing of induction cookers. I brewed a Czech Pislner yesterday. It was cold outside so I thought it would be nice to be outside as little as possible. After collecting my 6 gal. of wort (mashed and sparged with the induction cooker), I started outside on the propane burner and thought that once I had it up to a boil I'd bring it back inside and put it on the induction cooker. Well, all the induction cooker could do was to just barely keep it boiling. I could not get a rolling boil. I ended up taking it back outside to the propane burner for a good rolling boil. Once it got back to a nice rolling boil I went inside and assembled my new router table .

So, a 1400 Watt induction cooker is not powerfull enough to keep 6 gallons at a rolling boil. I know it will do at least 2 gallons worth of tomato puree though.

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