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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > For all you guys brewing in the basement
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:50 AM   #1
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Default For all you guys brewing in the basement

I am moving my rig inside, my basement to be exact. Am I going to run into a bunch of moisture issues if I forgo a range hood? I didn't run into issues upstairs but it did get super humid on brew day. If I cover the Keggle most of the time will it take care of it? What's working for you guys?

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Old 10-21-2013, 01:07 AM   #2
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Personally, I would be prepared to have some type of forced ventilation from the basement to the outside. Above-ground areas of the house seem to have more inherent ventilation - opening and closing doors, occasional bath fans, and such. Basement air moisture is more critical depending on the construction of your below-ground basement walls. if it is bare concrete, there would be fewer problems than insulated and finished walls which could trap moisture long enough for mold to grow.

A keggle would boil off, what, two gallons? That is like filling up a garden sprayer and emptying it on the ceiling and walls. Maybe that is OK for your construction, maybe not.

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Old 10-21-2013, 01:47 AM   #3
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Brewing in my last basement I had condensation forming on the exposed ductwork and plumbing. I went around with a towel at the end of the brew wiping things down for a while. I didn't have problems beyond that. However, it was a rather large space, with exposed concrete block on 3 walls.

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Old 10-21-2013, 02:14 AM   #4
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When I brew in my unfinished basement area, the humidity will spike for short time. I don't use a range hood.
During the winter months it drys out again within a day.
During the summer, I mash inside but move the boil outside. Never had any long term issues related to brewing indoors.

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Old 10-21-2013, 02:18 AM   #5
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I really think you are going to need lots of ventilation. Or maybe you really like mold.

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Old 10-21-2013, 02:36 AM   #6
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Don't cover your boil kettle! Sure, that will slow down evaporation but that causes flavor issues with the beer (as boiling is what boils off the DMS precursors).

I have a big fan and an open door when I brew, blowing over the boil kettle and out the full length door, and I brew in a ground floor room. Even so, after a couple of years of this I'm having some ceiling tiles looking a little, er, bulgy. I like in a fairly dry climate, although we will get up to 60% humidity in the summer. In the winter, the moisture is probably welcome in my house as the hygrometer says around 30% humidity in my house in the winter months.

A range hood is a great idea, but if not a range hood then there needs some way for the moisture to escape.

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Old 10-21-2013, 02:48 AM   #7
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I put a fan in a basement window. It gets a little humid and I can see some steam during the boil. I run the fan for 20 - 30 minutes after the boil and it airs out the basement very well...no issues. Must work pretty well, as I get no scent in the house upstairs, yet the entire back yard smells like a brewery.

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Old 10-21-2013, 03:19 AM   #8
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Running a dehumidifier (they are standard items here in Wisconsin) while you brew and for a few hours afterwards might be a good idea. That will quickly extract any of that moisture out of your basement.

If you can, brew closest to a window and open it. Place a fan in that window. I would also make sure there is no ducting, wire, pipe directly above your kettle. If you have old ducting/plumbing/etc and hit it with steam for an hour +, it is going to be dripping back into your kettle. Depending on the material, that could be toxic.

If you dont have a range hood directly above your kettle, I recommend you cover the ceiling portion above your kettle with a large piece of plastic like this: http://buy.gissn.com/Sheet-HDPE-Whit...In-p/3hml4.htm

It also wouldn't hurt to use this on the wall behind your kettle. They have it in larger sheets. It wipes clean and is food grade.

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Old 10-21-2013, 03:24 AM   #9
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I think you really need something, but that something can vary from a nice inline fan and ductwork outside the house, to a simple box fan shooting air over your kettle and out the window. Depends on your basement layout, of course.

If I try to boil without a fan pushing that steam outside I get a fog in the room, really thick, and really bad idea. I now throw an inline fan suspended from hooks between my boil kettle and my window, works great. Take it down after. But it does require a window...

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Old 10-21-2013, 02:14 PM   #10
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I bought a 300CFM SS range hood with a 4" exhaust line for my setup. Boiling off about a gallon or so an hour, that range hood still can't keep up. I have to constantly wipe down the under side of the hood.

I plan to eventually upgrade to something closer to 600 CFM.

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