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Old 09-14-2013, 08:55 PM   #1
vindee
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Default Electric Brewing vs Gas

I'm looking for advantages and disadvantages of electric over propane.
I personally use propane and a SS turkey fryer for my boil. I don't have to pay for the gas so it's cheap brewing for me, but are there advantages to going electric?
I am an industrial electrician by trade and could put together an elaborate control system, but I'm not sure if it would just be feeding my hobby or...

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Old 09-14-2013, 09:10 PM   #2
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Electric:
Brewing inside
Pinpoint control on temps (more consistency, etc.)
Cheap

Gas:
For you, it's free
Get to freeze your @ss off when brewing in the winter


For me, going electric is a no-brainer.

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Old 09-14-2013, 10:21 PM   #3
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Electric is more efficient assuming you have the elements in the pots. On a 3 bbl system a friend I was chatting with uses commercially, they are seeing a 5'F temp difference in the top vs the bottom of the mash tun even with a RIMS coil so that is kind of a pain. Likely less of an issue on smaller scale. As said above, brewing inside with AC/Heat makes the process much more enjoyable on nasty days and affords for late night sessions as well. Really comes down to preference in the end though. You can automate the hell out of electric and leave yourself with a lot more free time during a brew session or you can play with fire and watch over it a bit more but keep things simple and reduce cost in that you get the gas for free and you wont have to fabricate your system further. Good luck.

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Old 09-18-2013, 04:06 PM   #4
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If your gas is free, that is one big advantage gone.

But, I prefer electric for the reasons that it's quieter (My burner is LOUD) and is much cheaper and easier to control. It produces no emissions so it's safer for brewing indoors.

But it also ties you to your brewery location. With propane you can move your setup around. With electric (220V) it's harder to just up and brew wherever you want.

Then again, if your gas is coming out of a 20lb. tank, you still run the risk of running out if you didn't prepare for that in advance.

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Old 09-18-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Great points, thanks for the feedback.
I'm still on the fence. I'll stick with propane until I here enough pros and cons to convince me.
Propane is a bit of a hassle for me since I use the same bottle for my grill. And I have to divert the heat away from the site glass and ball valve handle when the burner is on.

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Old 09-18-2013, 04:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vindee View Post
I'm looking for advantages and disadvantages of electric over propane.
I personally use propane and a SS turkey fryer for my boil. I don't have to pay for the gas so it's cheap brewing for me, but are there advantages to going electric?
I am an industrial electrician by trade and could put together an elaborate control system, but I'm not sure if it would just be feeding my hobby or...
An industrial electrician is wondering if he should move to electric brewing. That's a new one. I would have thought that you would have been all over that like white on rice. But then again, I work with computers and I don't ever want a computerized brew setup, so maybe I do see where you're coming from.

Electric setups can be pretty pricey, but you probably know all about that.

I'm personally loving my basement electric brewery over my old propane setup. I used to brew on the back deck of my house.

All of my stuff is right there in my basement, so I don't have to haul a bunch of stuff from my basement to the back deck and then back down to the basement. That right there makes the switch-over worthwhile to me.

Venting was a concern in the basement. Obviously, this was of no concern with my old setup. But I built a wooden hood and have a nice 8" exhaust fan and duct work, so for about $250 it's no longer a concern.

I no longer have to check the weather reports for possible rain/snow/high winds/extreme hot or cold. There have been a couple of instances where I had to cancel brew days because of weather.

Mosquito bites have gone way down. Don't have to worry about bugs flying into the wort. But it is nice to sit outside and brew on a nice sunny day and make your neighbors worry about your nefarious activities.
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