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Old 11-22-2008, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default Masterbuilt Electric Turkey Fryer

Hey all. I'm relatively new to the brewing world (about 8 batches over the past 12 months) and I'm quickly become addicted to the whole process. At this point I am still extract brewing, but I see moving on to more complex brews in the near future.

Due to my 2 young daughters aversion to the brewing smell (how can they NOT love the smell of hops), I'm contemplating building a brew station in my basement. Of course, propane is not a good idea inside, but I have come across some adds for the Masterbuilt Electric Turkey Fryer.

Here is the link to the manual: http://www.masterbuilt.com/pdf/manua...tal%20ETFV.pdf

What are everyone's thoughts about using something like this as a brew pot?

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Old 11-22-2008, 05:02 PM   #2
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Check out the FAQ where it says it will use about 1.5 gallons of oil and that the fill line is the max amount of liquid that can be used safely.

Doesn't give you much to work with.

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Old 11-22-2008, 05:40 PM   #3
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Well, that assumes that there would be a turkey in the pot as well.

I have a Charmglow electric fryer that I bought at Depot a few years ago. It's terrible. Worthless for brewing. Just doesn't have the oomph to generate a good boil. Remember, it's harder to heat water or wort to boiling temps than it is to heat oil for some reason that I do not remember or understand. This one might have some bigger cajones than mine, but best-case, you're looking at doing partial boils and struggling with that.

Really, all I've used it for has been heating sparge water, and even that's pretty slow going. If you were local so I wouldn't have to ship it, I'd sell you mine cheap.

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Old 11-22-2008, 07:26 PM   #4
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I've read that in other posts that the fryers don't seem to be able to get a good boil, however, I was interested in this one because it can "Boil or steam 10lbs of crab legs and shrimp". Sounds like it was made to boil large amounts of water, although according to the manual, it "may take up to 55 minutes".

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Old 11-22-2008, 08:42 PM   #5
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I have/had one that I filled over the line with water, than set my stock pot (canning pot) with 2 gallons of extract wort in it. Even with the lid kind of on (wouldn't go over the stock pot) it could not boil the wort. Water around the stock pot, inside the fryer pot, was boiling like mad. I had it set to the highest setting and still could not get it to boil, even after two hours. In other words; DON"T BOTHER!!!
The only reason I had it was a neighbor gave it to me new for $10 a couple of years ago. The spigot came in handy on my 60qt aluminum boil kettle, so it wasn't a complete bust.

Get a propane unit and move it outside!

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Old 11-23-2008, 03:50 AM   #6
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I'm reading the responses, but who has used the exact model in question? To me, it seems there is a whole lot of unqualified comparison going on here.

BBB, I built a custom all-grain brewing rig using two Masterbuilt electric turkey fryers about 6 months ago. Out of the box, the 1650 watt heating element will boil ~6.5 gallons of water (starting at 80F) in ~30 minutes with the lid on. With the lid off, it takes much longer. This is due to the lack of insulation on the walls of the unit. I then added R3 pipe insulation to the walls of the unit and it now boils ~6.5 gallons of water in ~15 minutes.

Here are the facts:

  1. Can easily boil 6.5 gallons of water/wort.
  2. In factory form, requires the lid to be partially on to reach a rolling boil. With insulation, no lid is necessary.
  3. Costs less than $0.50 in energy (at SA, TX rates) to mash/sparge/boil a 5.5 gallon batch.
  4. Accepts 3/8" rigid tubing for easy pickup tube and/or filter connection.
  5. Allows you to conduct a step mash with the digital temperature controller (limited to 25F steps).
  6. Can be purchased for $110 - $130 (varies seasonally).

With two fryers, I can mash/sparge/boil a 5.5 gallon batch (~80% efficiency) or use the "grain in a bag" method to do an 11 gallon batch (~70% efficiency). I use a pump for mash recirculation and to provide positive pressure through the counterflow chiller, so it's just a matter of turning a few valves to change the configuration from a 5.5 to an 11 gallon setup.

So, I guess I'm trying to say - don't let the negative comments discourage you. The fryers do what they advertise and work well (with slight modification) for brewing. I'm quite happy with my brewing rig and the guys at my local homebrew club definitely aren't complaining about the quality of my brews.
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:18 PM   #7
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Thanks lamarguy. I was hoping someone had used these before for and I'm glad to hear that it works will for your rig (which is way more complex than I'm looking at). This unit is on sale at the local Bass Pro Shops for $99. I guess, the worst that could happen is I'm out $100 and I go back to stinking up the kitchen.

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Old 11-23-2008, 05:37 PM   #8
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I have the Charmglow electric fryer, same as the masterbuilt I think. It works, I brew it occasionally. Kind of slow!!, mine needs the lid on to reach boil and will maintain boil w/ the lid cracked. I also supplement heat by using a heatstick. Depending how handy you are and what power sources you have in the basement, you could consider heat sticks or an electric kettle. I paid 50 bucks shipped.

Two 2000 watt heat sticks will outperform the 1650 watt fryer, can be used for strike sparge water in most brewing vessels.

The electric fryer is safer in case you have a blonde moment???


Hope this helps???

Mike

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Old 11-23-2008, 08:12 PM   #9
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i have brewed in 7 gallon turkey fryers, you just ahve to pay attentino and be patient...

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Old 11-23-2008, 10:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
I'm reading the responses, but who has used the exact model in question? To me, it seems there is a whole lot of unqualified comparison going on here.

BBB, I built a custom all-grain brewing rig using two Masterbuilt electric turkey fryers about 6 months ago. Out of the box, the 1650 watt heating element will boil ~6.5 gallons of water (starting at 80F) in ~30 minutes with the lid on. With the lid off, it takes much longer. This is due to the lack of insulation on the walls of the unit. I then added R3 pipe insulation to the walls of the unit and it now boils ~6.5 gallons of water in ~15 minutes.

Here are the facts:
  1. Can easily boil 6.5 gallons of water/wort.
  2. In factory form, requires the lid to be partially on to reach a rolling boil. With insulation, no lid is necessary.
  3. Costs less than $0.50 in energy (at SA, TX rates) to mash/sparge/boil a 5.5 gallon batch.
  4. Accepts 3/8" rigid tubing for easy pickup tube and/or filter connection.
  5. Allows you to conduct a step mash with the digital temperature controller (limited to 25F steps).
  6. Can be purchased for $110 - $130 (varies seasonally).

With two fryers, I can mash/sparge/boil a 5.5 gallon batch (~80% efficiency) or use the "grain in a bag" method to do an 11 gallon batch (~70% efficiency). I use a pump for mash recirculation and to provide positive pressure through the counterflow chiller, so it's just a matter of turning a few valves to change the configuration from a 5.5 to an 11 gallon setup.
Got any pictures of your modifications?
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