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Old 03-04-2013, 04:30 PM   #1
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Default Venting question - no hood, no duct work

Hey guys,

I have made the decision to migrate my rig to an all-electric, single-vessel BIAB rig. Currently, I use a BIAB propane setup using a 15.5 gallon keggle and a pump-in-a-toolbox with Camlock QDs. I brew out back, just outside of my bulkhead.

The main reason I want to make the electric switch is for the improved mash maintenance and the ability to brew indoors. That said, I know I need ventilation. My basement area has a door with direct access to an outside bulkhead. With the bulkhead open, stepping through the door in the basement wall puts you in fresh outside air.

Rather than put in any ductwork or a range hood, could I just use a wall mounted fan angled over my brewpot toward the open bulkhead? I figure that couple with my dehumidifier, this should work well.

Thoughts? I posted a diagram that might help illustrate the layout more.

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Old 03-04-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
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A fan as you suggest will likely work fine IMHO. Do you have a window? I use a small fan propped in an open basement window behind my kettle, it falls behind a little bit during the boil, but I just run it for 20 -30 minutes after the boil is done.

I would put the fan near the point of exit, rather than near your kettle...I guess. It takes a pretty good hood and fan to eliminate all steam during the boil, but even a simple fan will air out the basement pretty quickly once you are done boiling.

Also, leaving the door open on a windy day, could actually result in lots of fresh air entering the building, not so great on a cold winter day.

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Old 03-04-2013, 06:12 PM   #3
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If you want to get air going outside consider moving the fan closer to the bulkhead so it will pull air into the bulkhead and ultimately outside.

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Old 03-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #4
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This is all theoretical at this point so I have no problem changing fan placement. I may also just put my brew cart on casters and move it next to the open bulkhead if need be.

How long does moisture build up take to become a problem? Would an hour boil (with the fan running) and half an hour or so afterward running the fan, coupled with my dehumidifier for my basement, be enough to avoid the risk of any mold, mildew, or rot on ceiling beams?

I'm a homeowner, but I'm still new to a lot of these types of problems!

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Old 03-04-2013, 06:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modernlifeisANDY View Post
...to avoid the risk of any mold, mildew, or rot on ceiling beams?

I'm a homeowner, but I'm still new to a lot of these types of problems!
IMO, mold, mildew, and rot are the result of long periods of neglect, NOT getting a little steam in a room and airing it out in 20 -30 minutes. Some likely feel different, but this is just my experience with basement brewing. Hot humid weather will put much more constant moisture in a basement than making a batch of beer occasionally. Your dehumidifier will pull a lot of moisture as well if needed after a brew session.

No window in the basement Andy?
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
IMO, mold, mildew, and rot are the result of long periods of neglect, NOT getting a little steam in a room and airing it out in 20 -30 minutes. Some likely feel different, but this is just my experience with basement brewing. Hot humid weather will put much more constant moisture in a basement than making a batch of beer occasionally. Your dehumidifier will pull a lot of moisture as well if needed after a brew session.

No window in the basement Andy?
Sorry, meant to address that in my last reply! One window, very small tilt-in. The bulkhead is definitely the best option I'd think, especially considering I could repurpose fans I already have.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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I was looking for a bathroom vent at lowes.com this weekend. They had one that was 400+cFM and I think one that was 800 CFM.... I can't immagine they are quite, but they looked 'industrial' to vent out large bathrooms - or possibly a kitchen. They also looked like wall mounts, so I don't know, but they could move air.

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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As a liscensed mass tin knocker i say go for the duct work! Just kidding fans should work i would open the window and aim the fan at the bulkhead.

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Old 03-04-2013, 11:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modernlifeisANDY View Post
Sorry, meant to address that in my last reply! One window, very small tilt-in. The bulkhead is definitely the best option I'd think, especially considering I could repurpose fans I already have.
The tilt-in might be easily removable, and perhaps something like this would be easy to put into the window...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Westpointe-Twin-120-Volt-2-Speed-7-Inch-Window-Fan-/160781113429?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item256f4d 1855

My issue w/ using the walk out door is that on even a slightly breezy day, depending on wind direction, more air will likely come in the door than the fan will push out because the opening is so large, but even worst case, that is still "ventilation" of sorts, but on a cold day, ya might get a little chilly. A box fan hung in front of an open window will exhaust a lot of air without opening your entire house.

Sorry Andy, but I'm stuck on the window idea, also the window is up high where most of the steam is FWIW. Or, if even a slight breeze outside, opening the door and the window might be all you need...cheers!
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
The tilt-in might be easily removable, and perhaps something like this would be easy to put into the window...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Westpointe-Twin-120-Volt-2-Speed-7-Inch-Window-Fan-/160781113429?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item256f4d 1855

My issue w/ using the walk out door is that on even a slightly breezy day, depending on wind direction, more air will likely come in the door than the fan will push out because the opening is so large, but even worst case, that is still "ventilation" of sorts, but on a cold day, ya might get a little chilly. A box fan hung in front of an open window will exhaust a lot of air without opening your entire house.

Sorry Andy, but I'm stuck on the window idea, also the window is up high where most of the steam is FWIW. Or, if even a slight breeze outside, opening the door and the window might be all you need...cheers!
I will have to do some more investigating into that window. Maybe it is a bit easier to work with than the door would be!
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