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Old 02-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
salb29
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Default Glass top stove and a 5 gallon brew pot

I've been seeing post else where on line that a 5 gallon brew pot won't come to a boil on a glass top stove due to it not being powerful enough?? How true is this wanted to know before I did my first extract brew, also should I go for a stainless pot vs aluminum? Any advice is greatly appreciated thanks

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Old 02-12-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salb29 View Post
I've been seeing post else where on line that a 5 gallon brew pot won't come to a boil on a glass top stove due to it not being powerful enough?? How true is this wanted to know before I did my first extract brew, also should I go for a stainless pot vs aluminum? Any advice is greatly appreciated thanks
I have a glass stovetop. I speak from my own experience with it when I say that a fairly full 5 gallon brew pot is unlikely to come to a boil on a glass stovetop. It's what prompted me to move my operation to a gas burner outside of my garage (much easier for me).

I don't know if the problem is the amount of heat put out (power as you say) or the amount of surface area actually in contact with the pot. Glass stovetops are very flat and many pots are not perfectly flat on the bottom. This results in portions of the pot not even coming in contact with the pot. My wife even encounters this sometimes when boiling water for cooking. If the pot is not perfectly flat and in contact with the glass stovetop, it takes forever to boil.

I didn't really have any problems boiling 3 gallons or less on the stove (though it still took a long time). I use a Blichmann floor burner now (outside) and I love it!

EDIT: Stainless vs. Aluminum...Check out this thread which I think sums it up nicely:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/faq-...kettles-49449/
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:53 PM   #3
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Either stainless or aluminum should be fine unless your cooktop is induction.

Size matters. A 10 gal aluminum pot would be better than a 5 gal stainless...

On a stove top you can use multiple pots to get to a boil, and then combine. The work is getting to a boil, once you are there doesn't take that much heat to keep it boiling.

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:02 PM   #4
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For your first extract batch, maybe try the standard method of boiling 2.5-3 gallons and then top off with cold water in the fermenter. See how long that takes before you try 5 gallons. On our flat glass stove, it takes around an hour to bring the 2.5-3 gallons to a boil. Even if I had a pot for the full 5 gallons, and if I thought our stove could do it, it would take so long I wouldn't bother.

I cool the wort in an ice bath in the sink, which takes me around 30 minutes. It doesn't have to cool down to pitching temperature because I mix it with at least 2 gallons of very cold tap water in the fermenter. You would need much more ice, or a wort chiller, to cool a 5-gallon boil to pitching temps.

I think my wife has heard all of my hints about getting a gas burner for outside, so hopefully that will be a birthday gift in a few months.

Regarding the stainless vs. aluminum question, I think there's a comparison in the This vs. That thread, which I think is one of the best threads on HBT.

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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I've been able to get 4 gallons to boil on my glass stovetop, however it took a very long time, maybe 30 min or so. This is starting with 153 to 170F degree runnings mind you. I don't think i could have gotten much more to boil than the 4 gal.

If you're doing extract i'd just use a 3-3.5 gal boil for now and upgrade later if that's what you decide is right for you.

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:06 PM   #6
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If you're going to use a glass top stove, I'd go aluminum because it's a much better conductor. I did stove top brewing for a few years and an aluminum pot helped me a lot.

My girlfriend's house has a glass top stove and I tried brewing on it several times and it was extremely difficult.

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Old 02-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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I just did my first bre last week and tried to brew a 5 gallon pot on glass top stove. It took me 2 hours together to my steeping temp on high with only 2 gallons in my pot. I happened to have a propane burner in my shed so I switched after my steep and this progressed much quicker. Hope this helps

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:14 PM   #8
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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Hello, I am brand new to the forum, and brewing (first batch this upcoming weekend) but I have a glass top stove, and an 8 gal. stainless pot. I tried to straddle two burners, thinking more heat. I was wrong! However, I put the pot with 6 gal. on the biggest burner, and it boiled the pot no problem (with the top on).
I would say, just give yours a try. I am sure burners are different for every stove.

I have been thinking of an insulating "belt" for the pot, to allow quicker boils. Perhaps out of a welding blanket, or some such.

Looking forward to learning a bunch here, wish me luck this weekend!

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Old 02-12-2013, 11:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houseoffubar
Hello, I am brand new to the forum, and brewing (first batch this upcoming weekend) but I have a glass top stove, and an 8 gal. stainless pot. I tried to straddle two burners, thinking more heat. I was wrong! However, I put the pot with 6 gal. on the biggest burner, and it boiled the pot no problem (with the top on).
I would say, just give yours a try. I am sure burners are different for every stove.

I have been thinking of an insulating "belt" for the pot, to allow quicker boils. Perhaps out of a welding blanket, or some such.

Looking forward to learning a bunch here, wish me luck this weekend!

This is a great point try a boil only run with your stove and see if it can get your water boiling. The worst thing you could do is steep your grains and then find out you can't boil you mort. Even if you do the boil later would probably sterilize it again and you would be fine. I'm a new brewer as well and I can only speak from what I saw, my stove didn't cut it but yours might. Have fun and keep brewing bro!!!!!!!
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