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Old 09-24-2010, 03:20 PM   #1
devilishprune
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Default Need advice on where to brew

I can't come to a decision on this for myself, so I thought that I would ask the hive mind.

The situation is this: I have been brewing on the stove top indoors, but I have recently decided to make the jump to outside brewing with propane. However, I have a bit of a dilemma in deciding where exactly to locate myself while I partake of the malted arts. I live in a third story apartment, with no garage (which would have been my first choice), so basically I have 3 options. The water spigot is located out back, which I figure is important to brew day.

1. Behind my apartment building, on a grassy area
Pros: Close to the water spigot, plenty of ventilation
Cons: Possibly unstable surface, have to carry large volumes of water/equipment down 3 flights of steps

2.In front of my apartment building, in the parking lot
Pros: Stable surface to work on, plenty of ventilation
Cons: Carrying things up and down steps, farther from water spigot, in between two foul smelling dumpsters, possibility to get hit by cars (maybe?)

3. Brewing on the 3rd floor, outside my apartment (basically on my floor there is a breezeway. It has a roof and floor, but is open on 2 sides where the wind can blow through).
Pros: Close to my apartment (no lugging things around), stable surface
Cons: Medium distance from spigot, ventilation/safety issues?


Anyone have any advice for me here? I feel like I'm stuck.

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Old 09-24-2010, 03:42 PM   #2
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If your breezeway floor is concrete and your neighbors aren't going to give you trouble... that would be my choice. If the breeze is too strong, you'll probably need to rig a wind block of some sort or you'll lose a lot of effectiveness from your burner and you'll be there all day.

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Old 09-24-2010, 04:34 PM   #3
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I'd go with option #3 as well.

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Old 09-24-2010, 04:48 PM   #4
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From personal experience you want to be as close to a water source as possible. Lugging water blows (plus wort cooling is much more effective with it ). As long as you have water, basically outside, then you're good.

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Old 09-24-2010, 05:27 PM   #5
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I have the same sort of situation. I live in a 3rd floor apt that has a small deck. It's convenient because it's right off my storage room so I don't have to move stuff too far, but there is no water spigot on the deck. The closest water is either on the ground 3 floors below the deck (cold water only) or from the apartment. My solution is to haul hot water in 5 gallon buckets from the spare bathroom to fill the kettle and hlt, and then run a hose from the ground for cold water used in my immersion chiller. It actually works pretty well. I don't mind carrying a couple buckets of water during the session and the hose is only a minor inconvenience at cooling. I get some exercise running up and down the stairs a couple times to set it up and turn on and off. When I'm done, I can either clean equipment at the spigot or take it inside and do it in the kitchen sink. It just depends if its 95 degrees or -10 degrees.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.

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Old 09-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
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Anything that saves the risk of dropping/dumping a pot full of hot brew sounds like the best option, as long as the neighbors and anyone that might possibly walk by are ok with it. I'd rather clean up a spill of plain water than have to clean up a spill of sticky sweet brew.

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Old 09-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #7
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I forgot to mention that I have at times run a hose directly off the drain on the hot water heater which isn't too far away from the deck. It worked OK, but I got some sediment from the bottom of the tank and eventually figured that it was more trouble than it was worth. A couple trips with a bucket was easier for me, but it is an option.

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Old 09-24-2010, 05:50 PM   #8
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I bought an adapter for my kitchen sink to work with a garden hose...no one else does this? You can have water out on your porch easily this way.

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Old 09-24-2010, 06:42 PM   #9
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What about building a 1500w or 2000w heatstick and brewing in your kitchen on the stove? Most codes specify that the garbage disposal outlet be a dedicated 20A circuit. You may have a 2nd circuit in your bathroom (run an extension cord).. I can easily boil 7.5 gallons with 2 x 2kw heatsticks - no stove or propane required.

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Old 09-24-2010, 06:45 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the advice. Looks like I'll just keep it on my floor then, I don't think anyone would mind (and to that end, I don't care if they do or not). I have a long enough hose to be able to run it from the ground to my floor, so that shouldn't be a problem. My biggest concern here was having to carry 5 gallons of nature's sweetest nectar up the steps.

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Originally Posted by TheMan View Post
I bought an adapter for my kitchen sink to work with a garden hose...no one else does this? You can have water out on your porch easily this way.
I have one of these too, and I might try it here. My thinking is that the water from that spigot outside is coming out at a much faster rate than the water in my sink, so maybe faster cooling?

Either way, I can't wait to brew outside and get rid of some of the worry about cleanup that I had before. Boiling 5 gallons on my stove always created this black crap on the top that I had to scrub to get off. No more!
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