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Old 02-10-2012, 02:55 PM   #61
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I brew in the basement next to the open bulkhead doors and with a fan going at all times.

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Old 02-14-2012, 04:05 PM   #62
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As someone who works for a company that manufacters safety equipment (gas detectors, SCBA, so on). I would echo that CO is a very dangerous gas and hopefully I don't overlap something someone else has pointed out. Whenever I am brewing in my garage I make sure that I have a fan running, just to add some extra ventilation.

At about 200 PPMs (parts per million), CO will begin to cause headaches and discomfort. At 800 PPMs you will experience dizziness, nausea, and would become unconcious within 2 hours. At about 1600 PPMs CO is lethal with 1 hour.

It is also a common misconception that CO is heavy than air. While the CO molecule is heavier than air, its specific gravity (yes..gases have a SG!) is almost identical to air. The SG of air is 1, CO is .9657. This means that CO will not just hang out at your feet. It will rise with warm air, hence why it is OK to install a CO monitor on your ceiling.

BE SAFE! VENTILATE!

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Old 02-18-2012, 06:06 PM   #63
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First Post !!

My first All Grain batch was conducted (rather unsuccessfully) in my basement with no ventilation. After about four months of gathering information on this forum and gathering supplies I was ready to spend about a week designing and building a decently elaborate setup in my basement. I put a lot of hard work into it only to find myself poisoned, angry, and let down that I overlooked the most important part .... safety.

I then had to tear my beautiful brewery apart. Each brew day now takes place in three separate places and takes an extra hour at least, but it's worth it.

Nothing beats the smell of a Bavarian Hef boiling away outside on a crisp Canadian night.

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Old 08-15-2012, 04:08 PM   #64
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CO is a very scary thing as I deal with it first hand as a first responder... I work for the gas utility as a fitter/inspector/responder and if anyone has questions regarding the use of natural gas and proper ventilation feel free to send me a message and we'll discuss your particular install. FYI - Every situation is different as everyone brews in different locations with different equipment so there isn't one rule of thumb everyone can follow other than ask questions if you're unsure and safety should come first and foremost!

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Old 09-11-2012, 12:41 AM   #65
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Moved on to other pursuits, yet glad to know this thread is still helping brewers safety some four-plus years later.

Cheers!

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Old 11-16-2013, 04:08 PM   #66
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Quote:
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Maybe OK, maybe not.

The burners on kitchen ranges are manufactured to a higher quality than the typical propane turkey fryer burners a lot of us use on our systems, and therefore are much, much more efficient at completely combusting the propane. Remember, complete combustion of propane (or natural gas) yields only two byproducts: CO2 & H2O. Cast iron burners, especially those that are well used, a bit rusted, or slightly out of adjustment, will not burn the propane completely, hence the CO.
Quality control notwithstanding, an orifice in a blackpipe jet burner will burn just as efficiently as the most expensive, fashionable, upscale gas range you can find. Adjustment and use is where the problem lays; proper adjustment and use give efficient burning. Expensive name brand burners will not overcome improper adjustment and use.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:16 PM   #67
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i tried to brew outdoors but the wind disrupted my flame. is there a way to avoid wind issues. i use propane. my flame is open to the wind and by blocking the wind with metal props I was able to improve my flame but not enough so I went indoors.


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Old 03-03-2014, 08:34 PM   #68
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Default I Second that Warning!!

I had a similar experience a year ago.............. I wouldn't be here to write about it except that someone walked in, and I realized something was wrong with me when I spoke to him....... I didn't realize until an hour or so later what had happened. It was a near thing. I suspect that if he'd been 15 minutes later, I'd have been gone...........


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Last week, my buddy and I experienced a pretty severe episode of CO poisoning while brewing in the garage. I became very light-headed, and he nearly lost conciseness.

Yesterday we brought along an OSHA-type CO monitoring device, and were able to determine the source was the hot liquor tank burner. Combination of dirty/corroded burner and burner placed too close to the bottom of the HLT nearly "snuffing" the burner flame were causing incomplete propane combustion and massive amounts of CO.

Lucky that we were familiar with the signs and symptoms of CO exposure, and could measure levels accurately to pinpoint a source. Levels returned to normal following a burner cleaning and burner repositioning.

Keep those burners clean and watch out for incomplete combustion. Pay attention to proper ventilation. We're going to have a full-time monitor in our garage for CO from here on out.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:12 AM   #69
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Default Odor and CO

It's worth noting that exhaust from anything has a distinctive odor. A rich flame has a rich gassy odor, and tends to be oxygen poor....... which equates to carbon monoxide. More carbon than oxygen. A flame that is lean.......does not create carbon monoxide to any significant degree......it produces carbon dioxide ........It has surplus oxygen, and often produces Ozone (O3). It will make your eyes sting...... it's very unpleasant, but not particularly dangerous.
The fact is that what we are aware of........ the unpleasant eye stinging effect, is NOT what sneaks up on us. CO will sneak up on you and kill you!

H.W.

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Old 06-02-2014, 09:38 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgraham602 View Post
As someone who works for a company that manufacters safety equipment (gas detectors, SCBA, so on). I would echo that CO is a very dangerous gas and hopefully I don't overlap something someone else has pointed out. Whenever I am brewing in my garage I make sure that I have a fan running, just to add some extra ventilation.

At about 200 PPMs (parts per million), CO will begin to cause headaches and discomfort. At 800 PPMs you will experience dizziness, nausea, and would become unconcious within 2 hours. At about 1600 PPMs CO is lethal with 1 hour.

It is also a common misconception that CO is heavy than air. While the CO molecule is heavier than air, its specific gravity (yes..gases have a SG!) is almost identical to air. The SG of air is 1, CO is .9657. This means that CO will not just hang out at your feet. It will rise with warm air, hence why it is OK to install a CO monitor on your ceiling.

BE SAFE! VENTILATE!
This is very good to know. My shed has been converted to a brew house. I keep the window open and barn style doors open with a floor fan running but one of my dogs in particular is glued to my side 24/7. I was starting to worry about all the "heavier than air comments" he's a dachshund and naturally low to the ground.
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