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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Ceramic Cooktop?
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:54 AM   #1
Phunhog
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Default Ceramic Cooktop?

Hey now,
I just "brewed" my first beer from one of those Coopers kits. It was a canned kit so I know I wasnt really brewing but... Anyway will my ceramic cooktop be up to the task of some extract brewing? I know that boiling 5-6 gal. is gonna take some BTU's. Should I be looking to go the way of a turkey fryer. Just trying to keep my costs down as much as possible for my new hobby.

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Old 09-15-2008, 05:58 AM   #2
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Probably going to have to upgrade to boil more than a few gallons. Turkey fryers are cheap, and soon they will be in every store imaginable for turkey day.

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Old 09-15-2008, 05:58 AM   #3
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If it's a hobby that you feel you will be doing for quite some time I would recommend a turkey fryer. Home Depot's got a 4 legged one that is $40 and it's real sturdy. If you go on ebay and search for 40 qt aluminum you can find really cheap 4mm thick ones from instawares. I got mine for less than $50 after shipping. If you go to instaware's site it's more expensive than doing it through ebay for the same item.

I am confused somewhat by a "ceramic cooktop." I have a smooth glass surface stove. Is that the same thing that you are referring to?

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Old 09-15-2008, 06:01 AM   #4
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yeah that would be the one. I guess the heating elements are ceramic.

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Old 09-15-2008, 06:28 AM   #5
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Well, I have boiled 5.5 gallons on my glasstop. At the time by brew pot was 6 gallons. I start with my regular brew pot at 3 to 3.5 gallons of wort. I brew 2 gallons or so in a seperate pot. When both pots are boiling I add the 2 gallons of boiling water to the main brew pot. This saves a ridiculous amount of time over trying to get it to boiling temp in one pot. If you are doing extract this is the method I recommend until you can afford to upgrade. The damn glasstop elements are set to an automatic shutoff/turn-on. It greatly increases the amount of time it takes large volumes to get to boil over a traditional electric or gas stove top. The sugar in wort requires even more energy to bring it to boil thus increasing your to-boil time. When I bought my 10 gallon aluminum pot I filled it to the brim with water 1 gallon at a time and let it sit on the stove for 2 hours to test the strength of the glasstop. After the first 20 minutes I turned 1 burner on and then each of the others every successive 10 minutes to test the strenght as heat was applied. No problems. No visible stress fractures. 16 brews later as I brought my pot in with ~5.5 gallons of wort after boiling on the turkey fryer and placing on the stove while I cooled for 30 minutes, I still see no visible stress fractures. I am convinced that this stuff is pretty resiliant.

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Old 09-15-2008, 02:05 PM   #6
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Just a word of warning with the cooktop...if you boil over, clean it IMMEDIATELY! Sugar is the enemy with glass cooktops and once it cooks on it is an incredible B*TCH to get off.

I use both a outdoor burner as well as my cooktop - I usually use the cooktop in the winter and brew outside in the summer.

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Old 09-15-2008, 02:06 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=devaspawn;851126]

I am confused somewhat by a "ceramic cooktop." I have a smooth glass surface stove. Is that the same thing that you are referring to?
QUOTE]

Yes, this is what people are referring to. I have one as well.

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Old 09-15-2008, 02:25 PM   #8
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+1 on what Bopper said. You need to watch your boil like a hawk (and it'd be a good idea to get some fermcap/defoamer, and a fan) to make sure you don't get boilovers. Because I guarantee, if you get a boilover and don't immediately turn everything off and clean every molecule of sugar off of your pot and your cooktop, you will have permanent stains after a 60 minute boil.

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Old 09-15-2008, 05:54 PM   #9
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I'm prepping to brew my first batch and tried boiling 6 gallons of water on my ceramic cooktop....5 hours later, no rolling boil. I'm definitely using the turkey fryer!!!

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Old 09-16-2008, 05:20 AM   #10
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I "simmered" my first batch on my ceramic top and that was only a 3gal partial mash, and even then it took seemingly all day to get it to do anything. Batch #2 I did a full volume boil with an aluminum pot and turkey fryer burner, MUCH better.

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