The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Safe garage brewing (fire safety)

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-31-2010, 04:45 PM   #1
dandw12786
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 202
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default Safe garage brewing (fire safety)

So I finally got my propane burner, and I'm pumped for my first garage brewday when it gets a bit warmer (or at least the wind dies down). I've been researching the safety of using these in the garage, and everyone seems to agree that it's fine with proper ventilation and using some common sense.

I do have one nagging issue, though I think I've figured it out, but just want some people to tell me I'm right :-). The issue is the risk of fire. I'm not worried about lack of O2 or CO poisoning as I plan to open the garage at least halfway or all the way, and I have a back door I can open, as well as a window, and I have a CO detector I will be using. My issue is with fire. I have to be able to have a good explanation for SWMBO as to why this is safe, and using a turkey fryer in the garage would be an exercise in stupidity (because, lets face it, the setup is basically a turkey fryer with water instead of oil, which I'm guessing is the important distinction).

From what I can come up with, the dangers of the turkey fryer lie not in the propane tank or burner (as long as the equipment is free of leaks and functioning properly), but in the fact that a lot of oil is used, and oil, at high temps, is flammable, and can even combust if not monitored correctly (and wort will not). Is this basically the issue? Is garage brewing safety more an issue of CO and not fire hazards? I only ask because I find a lot of info about CO poisoning on this board, but really not much on the risk of fires. Please weigh in, I appreciate your opinions!

__________________

Disagreement Brewing

Primary: American Wheat

Conditioning: BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde

Ready to drink: Biscuits and Honey Amber Ale

dandw12786 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2010, 04:48 PM   #2
cheezydemon3
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cheezydemon3's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: louisville
Posts: 12,695
Liked 1506 Times on 1156 Posts
Likes Given: 2706

Default

YES.

I would crack the back door and 1/4 open the big door (if it is that cold) or open both fully if possible.

I would also look for any spilled gasoline, gasoline in containers, gasoline popsicles, .....you get the idea.

Gas cans OUTSIDE.

Cars OUTSIDE.

Good luck soldier.

__________________
this IS texas! we kicj u in pit. die code monkey!!!!@


- a very......very.....druck Zul'jin
cheezydemon3 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2010, 04:50 PM   #3
Reelale
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 17,736
Liked 1373 Times on 1331 Posts
Likes Given: 55

Default

I brew in my garage with the overhead door open, as well as the entrance door on the opposite side. This allows for cross ventilation, and I have had no problems whatsoever. IMO, you are correct about the added risk with hot, combustible oil vs. water. I do keep a fire extinguisher on my brewstand due to the open flame.

__________________
Reelale is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2010, 05:39 PM   #4
theonetrueruss
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
theonetrueruss's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Woodstock, GA
Posts: 787
Liked 37 Times on 23 Posts

Default

I brew and fry turkeys and you are correct. The hot oil is the real issue. The propane tank is not a huge risk.. it jusut isn't going to leap into the flames and explode. The Wort will never get ot enough to flame.. though a boil over in the garage would suck hard so watch it carefully... My wife insisted that I keep a fire extinguisher there and monitor closely. I couldn't argue much with that.

__________________
theonetrueruss is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
Sawdustguy
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Manorville, New York
Posts: 2,758
Liked 28 Times on 25 Posts

Default

The big problem with propane used indoors or your garage is if you ever get a flame out or develop a leak without shutting off the propane quickly. Propane is heavier than air and does not dissipate quickly like natural gas. The propane vapors will hug the ground and find all kinds of spots to hide in that you would not expect. If you are in an attached garage the vapors could easiler get into your home. I am not going to tell you what to do, I am just making you aware of the hazards and let you make your own decision.

PS: If you ever have a propane fire, your extinguisher may not be your friend. Putting out a propane fire is asking for an explosion. It is better to turn off the source of the gas. Once the gas is off use your fire extinguisher.

__________________

Guy

Brewery URL: Black Dog Brewery NY

BBQ Team URL: Two Fat Polocks BBQ Team

Sawdustguy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2010, 06:30 PM   #6
Catt22
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
Liked 57 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 51

Default

FWIW, it is illegal to use or store a bulk propane cylinder (ie anything larger than a 1 lb cylinder) in an inhabited building (including an attached garage). The propane tank IS a huge risk. It is entirely possible for the tank to leak or get punctured. The tank valve could malfunction and leak gas as can the pressure relief mechanism. While in operation, there is the possibility that the pressure regulator could fail and release a large volume of gas suddenly. The gas supply hose could rupture, get severed or even burned through. None of these possibilities are very likely to occur, but it could be catastrophic if they should. Your insurance company would likely deny the claim if you manage to burn your house down and you might even be charged with a crime, especially if anyone was injured or killed. It would be challenging to attempt to put out a fireball fueled by 20 lbs of liquid propane.

I don't mean to come off like a chicken little. I regularly brew in my garage using propane fueled burners and have been doing so for a very long time without problems. IMO, the probability of an accident is quite small and I take extra care with maintaining and using the equipment, but I'm also aware that I'm rolling the dice using and storing this stuff indoors. It's good to keep in mind that Murphy can show up at any time and when he does, it likely won't be pleasant. Probably the best advice in this regard would be to never leave a burner unattended while in operation, even for a very short time. The risks are small, but the stakes are very high indeed.

__________________
Catt22 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2010, 06:38 PM   #7
PurpleJeepXJ
Ah... Leafy Goodness
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
PurpleJeepXJ's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Acworth, Georgia
Posts: 586
Liked 22 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Since CO is heavier than breathable air it will sink to the ground. Just put a fan in the back of the garage in low to move an CO out under the half open garage door and not too fast to blow out the propane burner. If you have any doubt about using the fryer in the garage then dont do it and find a suitable place outside.

__________________
PurpleJeepXJ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2010, 06:52 PM   #8
Catt22
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
Liked 57 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 51

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleJeepXJ View Post
Since CO is heavier than breathable air it will sink to the ground. Just put a fan in the back of the garage in low to move an CO out under the half open garage door and not too fast to blow out the propane burner. If you have any doubt about using the fryer in the garage then dont do it and find a suitable place outside.
This is incorrect. The specific gravity of CO is 0.9667 relative to air. It will not sink to the ground and stay there. Instead, it will readily diffuse throughout the area. This is one of the things that makes it so deadly.

ref: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/sp...ses-d_334.html
__________________
Catt22 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2010, 07:08 PM   #9
SIXFOOTER
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Boca Raton, Florida, South Florida
Posts: 153
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

The big safety issue with frying in the garage is the boil over and flamable oil. Beer (wort) is not flamable, not easily anyways. Big difference. With brewing in the garage CO2 is the big risk and it sounds like you have that covered. As always a dose of common sence is called for. The gas can on the other side of the garage is probably ok if its not leaking, if it is then the car starting n the garage, smoking or anything involving sparks in there isn't a good idea.

__________________

==================================
Todays Brew - 5 gallons of Pumpkin Ale
In Fining; White Chocolate Port, Barrollo, Muscadine
Bottled; Octoberfest Lager, SalmonFest Lager, Big Head Red, Boca Bitch Gluetin Free, Belgian Wit, Dark Knight Sweet Stout, American Pale, Boca Brown Ale

SIXFOOTER is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2010, 07:47 PM   #10
woodstone
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 688
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

What everyone else said. And...brew away...leave the garage door open a bit...you'll be fine. I've had the burner going and a kero heater...(my wife woke me up and I shut everything down)...kidding (about the wife thing), no problems!

__________________
woodstone is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Propane Safety and Tips on Basic Brewing Podcast. Revvy Equipment/Sanitation 26 06-19-2014 08:45 PM
Who has a fire extinguisher near their brewing setup? jldc Equipment/Sanitation 24 12-08-2010 03:11 AM
Garage Brewing Year Round.... Sheep_Dog Equipment/Sanitation 15 10-29-2008 11:29 AM
Wooden Single Tier... any fire safety concerns? Anthony_Lopez Equipment/Sanitation 3 10-07-2008 01:55 PM
Brewing Indoors - How? Safe? gopherhockey Equipment/Sanitation 6 04-16-2006 05:55 PM