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Old 11-14-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default Boiling on glass stovetop info

I got to surfing around and found some interesting information on home canning websites about using glass top stoves that I think translates well to brewing...

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If you have a glass or ceramic stovetop, you may have heard that you should use a flat-bottomed canner, but you have been unable to find one! Or, you may have heard that you are not supposed to can on a glass or ceramic stove top. Here's what I've found out from the manufacturers:

One of my suppliers asked a stove manufacturer as to why they were unable to find one. The stove manufacturer told they that on a glass/ceramic stove there is a sensor so that the heat can not go above a certain point thus breaking the top.

This sensor does not allow the burner to maintain an even temperature high enough for a canner to work safely. By fluctuating the temperature the bacteria is not eliminated in the canning process. Unfortunately this is not something the salesmen will tell the customer when they are buying the stove and probably many of them are unaware of this.

A flat-bottomed canner alone would not solve this problem for all stovetops. If yours has the sensor, the heat will still fluctuate and it won't get hot enough to get the big canner full of water to a full boil.

Another problem is that canners that exceed the burner diameter by more than 1 inch can trap and reflect heat to surfaces of the stove that are not intended to get that hot, and thus crack the stove top.

If you have a ceramic or glass stovetop and still have the manual, look it up there.
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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Hard to believe the entire top can't handle 240F, which about as high as a home canner will get. Boiling wort won't top 212F. The biggest burner on my stove is smaller than than my big frying pan and only the part of the pan in direct contact with the burner gets hot enough to fry an egg. If I try to do a big omelet, I end up with a ring of raw egg that I have to keep pushing into the middle.

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Old 11-14-2009, 11:14 PM   #3
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From what I've been reading, a big problem with having a kettle bigger than the element is that it triggers the thermocouple associated with the burner. It's there to sense the temp of the glass and the pan so the burner can turn on and off to maintain the selected temperature. If the pan is too big, it triggers the thermocouple and makes it think things are hotter than they are, so it never gets up to as high of a temp as it could.

If that's right, having a brewpot that's taller and narrower so it just fits the burner might allow you to boil larger volumes. So long as the glass top can take the weight.

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Old 11-14-2009, 11:16 PM   #4
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I have a glass top stove and I can't boil 3.5gal of water, AT ALL!! I have to keep the lid on to get a full boil, and if I remove the lid it drops out within a few seconds. It makes an outdoor burner an absolute necessity.

Edit: I have thought about using my massive cast iron fry pan as a heat defuser/retainer. Problem is my fry pan is about 1/2" smaller in circumference then my brew kettle.

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Old 11-14-2009, 11:18 PM   #5
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What kind of pot are you using? Does it fit the burner and does it have a totally flat bottom?

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Old 11-14-2009, 11:22 PM   #6
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My brew kettle is SS, (I can't say it's the best quality so I cant find manufacturer info) but even my expensive heavy gauge alloy stock pot we use to make pasta wont' boil more then a 2 gals of water

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