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Old 08-07-2011, 06:30 PM   #1
Seb
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Default Making sure my place is suitable for homebrewing

Hey guys, I haven't bought yet all the equipment for my new adventure of homebrewing and before doing so I would like to be sure my place can host this.

First of all I don't live in a house, I live in a condo, which has no backyards. So it's impossible for me to use gas tanks to brew since it's illegal do it inside. I know brewing kettles this way is better since you have a better control of the temperature, but all I have in my disposal is an electrical oven like this one. I know ovens are what's mostly used in homebrewing and it would be more thank ok to brew with it, but I wonder if there would be some other options available for me to better calibrate the temperature.

Also, my condo is rather small, so there aren't much room to let the beer fermenting. Tho, I have a basement (which is like 4 feet tall) and it's empty there, other than the water pipelines. I think it would be a great place to put the carboys or kegs. My only concern (other than moving the fermentation from upstairs to downstairs) is the temperature. I have no idea how it is since I never go. I would like a device down there to measure the temperature and see if there are lots of variation during day and night. Smart asses would tell me to drop a thermometer, but this way I would have to stand right by 24/24 to get measurements. I would need some high tech device that would take hourly measurements and note it for me, does it even exist?

If the basement's not suitable for the fermentation, I would need to keep it upstairs, in my dinning room. The way my condo's made is like a very long corridor with all the rooms (bedrooms and bathroom aside), including living room, dinning room and kitchen. Not gonna lie, it wouldn't be really good looking, tho it might impress the buddies and the ladies and would eat lotta space. How much space does the whole kit usually take in a room?

Thanks for answering me!

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Old 08-08-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Seb View Post
Hey guys, I haven't bought yet all the equipment for my new adventure of homebrewing and before doing so I would like to be sure my place can host this.

First of all I don't live in a house, I live in a condo, which has no backyards. So it's impossible for me to use gas tanks to brew since it's illegal do it inside. I know brewing kettles this way is better since you have a better control of the temperature, but all I have in my disposal is an electrical oven like this one. I know ovens are what's mostly used in homebrewing and it would be more thank ok to brew with it, but I wonder if there would be some other options available for me to better calibrate the temperature.

Also, my condo is rather small, so there aren't much room to let the beer fermenting. Tho, I have a basement (which is like 4 feet tall) and it's empty there, other than the water pipelines. I think it would be a great place to put the carboys or kegs. My only concern (other than moving the fermentation from upstairs to downstairs) is the temperature.
I have no idea how it is since I never go. I would like a device down there to measure the temperature and see if there are lots of variation during day and night. Smart asses would tell me to drop a thermometer, but this way I would have to stand right by 24/24 to get measurements. I would need some high tech device that would take hourly measurements and note it for me, does it even exist?

If the basement's not suitable for the fermentation, I would need to keep it upstairs, in my dinning room. The way my condo's made is like a very long corridor with all the rooms (bedrooms and bathroom aside), including living room, dinning room and kitchen. Not gonna lie, it wouldn't be really good looking, tho it might impress the buddies and the ladies and would eat lotta space. How much space does the whole kit usually take in a room?

Thanks for answering me!
Stovetop brewing is fine, lots of brewers (me included) do it. if it's an electric range then I'd recommend sticking to all extract or partial mashing. And that's because of the volume of liquid you have to get to a boil if you were to do all-grain. As for calibrating the temperature, a decent thermoter and some trial and error get you to where you have to be.

Once it's in the fermenter, it doesn't take much room, but I'd recommend you put it where there's not a lot of actiivity (so it doesn't get knocked into if you have kids or animals or whatever). I went around to each room with a thermometer to find the best place. In the winter I have a corner of my dining room that stays the warmest, in the summer the best place for me is the basement.

I have a indoor/outdoor thermometer (home depot, like $12), which has the minimum and maximum temp on it. I have the part that shows the temp upstairs, and the other part in my basement, so I can easily see it. But you probably don't need that, because it's not going to change much (if at all) within 24 hours. So if you have a regular therm just use that - put it down there, check it in the morning and then check it at the end of the day to get an idea.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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This is a repost of an already existing thread, a Mod can delete it (or merge).

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Old 08-08-2011, 06:38 PM   #4
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Stovetop brewing is fine, lots of brewers (me included) do it. if it's an electric range then I'd recommend sticking to all extract or partial mashing. And that's because of the volume of liquid you have to get to a boil if you were to do all-grain. As for calibrating the temperature, a decent thermoter and some trial and error get you to where you have to be.

I have a indoor/outdoor thermometer (home depot, like $12), which has the minimum and maximum temp on it. I have the part that shows the temp upstairs, and the other part in my basement, so I can easily see it. But you probably don't need that, because it's not going to change much (if at all) within 24 hours. So if you have a regular therm just use that - put it down there, check it in the morning and then check it at the end of the day to get an idea.
I agree completely with the above statements, I will add that I would buy the best digital thermometer you can afford, be it a thermopen, or a taylor digital thermometer that can be calibrated, like this one. I have this model, it is dead on at freezing, at boiling and at 170 as crosschecked with a quality glass candy thermometer. For 10 dollars it isnt bad, it could be a bit faster to take a reading though.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:50 PM   #5
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I do small batch, all-grain brewing on my electric stove and it seems to be working just fine. To do this though I have to do a split boil. Basically, I take 2.5 gallons of first runnings into one kettle and 2.5 gallons of 2nd runnings into a second kettle. Obviously, this is a more complicated than probably most folks do on a stove-top, but it is completely doable and I end up with 3.5-4 gallons of all grain beer. So, you are fine with an electric stove top. Partial boils, extract beers would be the simplest way to go and you can make damn good beer this way. You just need to figure out a system that works for you.

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