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Old 01-28-2007, 05:03 PM   #1
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Default Going all natural (gas that is)

Ok, I've got the go ahead from SWMBO to convert my operation to natural gas.

Currently, I have a B3 sculpture with propane burners--my brew room has a gas line already, so it'll be a simple conversion of changing out the burners and running the line.

Question is one regarding CO production--

I'm going for 200,000 BTU burners, and this thing is inside. I don't want to fork over the change for a hood vent, but I might have to.

Anyone else brew AG indoors with natural gas, and if so, what kind of ventilation do you use??


I do have an outside door to the room, and I was thinking of putting in a CO meter, open the door, turn on a fan for cross ventilation, and monitor CO levels, but this might prove woefully inadequate.

Thoughts and ideas are appreciated!!

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Old 01-28-2007, 08:08 PM   #2
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Seriously, I'm going all in-doors.

Perfect all weather brewing, better temp control, no environment to f up the brew, no lifting or moving crap outside. . .

I'm also going to start pumping to the fermenter.

But first, I have to work out the logistics of the gas and CO issue.

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Old 01-29-2007, 04:02 AM   #3
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OK. Going with my original thought then.


Although, I'm going to make sure the rest of the family isn't home when I first try all this. That way, I"m the only one to get blown up or gassed.

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Old 01-29-2007, 04:08 AM   #4
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I had considered it, but I decided it's just easier to open the garage door and vent it outside.

Once we get settled into our "permanent" house (SWMBO wants to buy a new one this year, so I'm hesitant to do much to this one) I'll plumb the garage for natural gas and get the appropriate burners. It's cheaper, but ignoring that it's a lot more convenient. We have a natural gas grill in our back yard and it's got to be one of the greatest inventions ever.

Even then, I think I'll just open the garage door to brew. I've brewed when it's REALLY cold and left the door shut, and I survived ok. Not saying that's a good idea, though.


BTW, a friend of mine used to brew in his basement with a turkey fryer. He just opened one of the basement windows and stuck a fan in it. I'm not sure if that was kosher, but we're both still alive.

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Old 01-29-2007, 04:16 AM   #5
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Biermann, I think you're going about it right. With the ventilation and meter you should be fine. It's the lack of O2 in the air that gets to be a problem.

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Old 01-29-2007, 04:17 AM   #6
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Well, I don't house my stuff in a garage anymore. Our house has an outroom that I've designated a "brewery." It has a door exiting to the outside to a deck (where I currently brew). My brew day consists of lugging my sculpture, kettles, fermenter, chillers, hoses, pump, water, and crap outside. I spend at least an hour in setup and another hour in tear down. Plus, on days like today (8 degrees Fahrenheit with windchill), I can't brew.

In this outroom, there is a nice, capped, gasline run right to the area where I store my sculpture. All I would have to do is uncap it, run a flex line, change out the burners, open the door, turn on a fan and go. . . but I don't want to hurt myself or anyone else in the process.

I'm thinking I'll just get the CO detector, plug it in, and go with it. If the levels climb too high, I'll just invest in a hood vent, and get a pro to install it. It'll still be worth it in the long run.

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Old 01-29-2007, 04:57 AM   #7
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I don't see why there would be a prob with it. Get the CO detector and ventilate well and you should be fine.

Hell as it is in this state we have to have CO detectors within 15 feet of sleeping areas as of January 1 anyway, so another sure won't hurt.

It sounds like you're doing this in a large mudroom or enclosed porch right?

Ize

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Old 01-29-2007, 03:56 PM   #8
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yeah, its more of a big utility room. Its an indoors space, albeit largely unfinished.

Pics below:






The room is quite large--these pictures don't do it justice, as they just cover portions of the room. There is a nice, capped gas line over by the utility sink (that is live--I've checked).

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Old 02-10-2007, 03:46 PM   #9
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Default feasibility study

Well, I took a risk and brewed inside yesterday (at 6 degrees outside with 4 inches of snow, it was easy decision). I brewed an extract beer for time constraint reasons, and did a full wort boil utilizing just the boil kettle of my sculpture). I moved my combustible gas/CO detector to the brew room, put it more or less at the level of my brew system, within 5 feet of the burner, and began brewing.

I left the door open to the outside for ventilation--

Well, given that I ran one of my burners (170,000 BTU's) almost constantly (with a 60 min boil), the detector never showed a bump in the CO level in the room, and there was NO detectable combustible gas. Other CO detectors in the house likewise showed no bump in their levels.

This little trial seems to show that just having the door in the room opened to the outside provided ample ventilation, and it seems this project is more than feasible.

Now the next question before I go all Natural gas--

My current burners are 170,000 BTU propane. I was looking at Natural gas burners-- my choices are 100,000 BTU or 200,000 BTU-- problem is price diference. The 200,000 BTU burners run around $70 a piece, whereas the 100,000 BTU ones are about $40.

So, would it be that big of a drop to go to 100,000 BTU's for my 10-12 gallon system??

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Old 02-10-2007, 03:56 PM   #10
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from cool water to boil takes me about 40 minutes with a 120,000(?) BTU burner. Bigger is better.

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