Home Brew Forums

Home Brew Forums (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum.php)
-   DIY Projects (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/)
-   -   Improving my AG Indoor setup (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/improving-my-ag-indoor-setup-136713/)

Picobrew 09-14-2009 09:14 PM

Improving my AG Indoor setup - maybe a heat stick?
 
I envy all of you with lots of room and fancy brewstands. They look awesome.

I am stuck in a townhouse with a pretty compromised outdoor scenario - no opportunity for a brewstand. I have been brewing outside with some success, but now that the sun is going away, I am thinking about how to improve my indoor experience.

Here are my questions/problems:

1. My boil is weak on my stove. Can I compensate with a helper heat stick? Is this easier to buy or build?
2. My outlets are non-gfci. Can I replace them myself with gfci?
3. Does anyone in their right mind do 10g all grain indoors? I would like to make this happen, but not sure how I would boil. Maybe 10g is outside only.

TeufelBrew 09-14-2009 09:17 PM

Google the "Brew Ladder". At least one person on here had some pic's of their setup. Looks like a great way to do the outside brewing on a very small footprint.

Picobrew 09-14-2009 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TeufelBrew (Post 1547024)
Google the "Brew Ladder". At least one person on here had some pic's of their setup. Looks like a great way to do the outside brewing on a very small footprint.

I am thinking I'll work on something that like for next summer. Or by then I'll have to rent a space (ha!). In the meantime, I need to tweak my indoor setup (in my kitchen) so it is optimal. Any tips appreciated on how to do more volume faster, I barely have time to brew but I make time by going late into the night or starting very early now.

stevea1210 09-14-2009 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Picobrew (Post 1547017)
Here are my questions/problems:

1. My boil is weak on my stove. Can I compensate with a helper heat stick? Is this easier to buy or build?
2. My outlets are non-gfci. Can I replace them myself with gfci?
3. Does anyone in their right mind do 10g all grain indoors? I would like to make this happen, but not sure how I would boil. Maybe 10g is outside only.

1. sorry no clue on that
2. you certainy can. Be careful and turn off the breakers first. it's easy.
3. No. Therefore I say you need to go for it. :D Someone needs to forge the path to indoor 10gall, and I think you have just volunteered.

Boerderij_Kabouter 09-14-2009 10:49 PM

Do you have a budget you are working within?

Are you just trying to cobble something together to get by?

How big of batches do you want to do? 10 is fine but you need space to put the beer and equipment.

Do you want something permanent? i.e., rig, or sculpture

Without knowing anything about your desires it is tough to give good advice. I heat stick is definitely easy and will help if you just need some more gusto for the boil.

I would plan and start building something nice, but that is just what I do (says the guy who has slowly been collecting parts for two years already :().

Anyway, I would build this if I were living with space restrictions or in an apartment:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/Twent-E.png

You could do 4-5 gallon batches with regular outlet power, or 10g batches if you step up the system to run on your range outlet (could be done pretty easily). Check out my blog if you are interested in stuff like that, I have a whole design series that details several systems I have designed and how they work.

Picobrew 09-14-2009 10:58 PM

Thanks for the advice guys.

Here is the breakdown:

a. I am in this for the long haul. I have enough "gear" to get by with now, and already have a pretty good (albeit a bit awkward) system for doing 6g indoors and 11g outdoors. I'm just looking to optimize, evolve, improve. That being said, I don't really have a budget, and I am a bit unsure regarding permanence. I like the idea of permanence, but it is also nice to be able to put everything away in the garage and have it out of sight in my tiny place.

b. I have a garage where I ferment and manage most of my gear. I have 8 kegs and 8 fermenters and can manage a lot of beer. I have two filing cabinets full of bottles, a ghetto temp control station (think water+ice), and enough physical room for improve some things there. In the near term I am going to work on proper temp control, better shelving etc. However, for a variety of reasons, the garage is not suitable for any kind of brewing; gas or electric.


c. regarding power, I'm not sure I have access to 220v without doing some rewiring. My range is gas. I do own the place, so I have a bit of freedom here.

I am sort of attacking this in priority order based on limitations:

1. boil time
2. boil size
3. mash size
4. moving the liquid around

Boiling outside sort of solves 1 and 2 (albeit inefficiently, in my mind).

My mash tun (10g igloo) is big enough for most 10g brews, although sparging twice is a pain and so is moving around all the liquid.

tjferris 09-15-2009 12:48 AM

how about something like this???
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/8504/170wj.jpg

indoor all electric, check it out here:
Wort-O-Matic: Baltobrewer's Electric Stand

Catt22 09-15-2009 01:21 AM

"1. My boil is weak on my stove. Can I compensate with a helper heat stick? Is this easier to buy or build?
2. My outlets are non-gfci. Can I replace them myself with gfci?
3. Does anyone in their right mind do 10g all grain indoors? I would like to make this happen, but not sure how I would boil. Maybe 10g is outside only."

1. Maybe, but not the way I would go.
2. Yes, absolutely, but avoid using them on circuits with freezers or refrigerators. The GFCI's sometimes trip due to an electrical anomaly of some kind and you don't want to lose a bunch of food because of it. This is epecially important when you go on vacation!
3. Yes, I do it in my garage and could do it in the basement if need be. I'm running on propane too. Code violation, but I'm careful and never leave anything unattended.

My advice would be to go modular rather than with a brewstand of any kind. Go electric if you can, but be sure to do it properly. Sloppy electrical projects designed and built by amatuers make me nervous and especially so where large volumes of liquid are present.

Go modular and get a pump to move the liquids. Boil with electric if you must be indoors the entire time or if the logistics are a barrrier. Outdoors with a canopy overhead works pretty well so long as it's not too cold. I've brewed outdoors in the snow, so it can be done. Do you have a patio or balcony near the kitchen? That would help. That's all that I can think of without knowing more details.

UnaBonger 09-15-2009 01:55 AM

Interesting topic. I'd love to be able to use electric (110v or 220v) and brew 5g batches in my basement in the wintertime. Subscribed...

Picobrew 09-15-2009 06:11 AM

I bet the non-gfci outlets (in my kitchen) are that way because of the damn fridge. Good call Catt. I was wondering why two of the outlets (very close to sinks) were that way.

I have a narrow walkway next to my front door and kitchen, but there is a wooden fence and a bunch of plantlife and it is narrow - not good for a burner. This leads me to brew out on the front of my house, which is near a very very busy street and is a bit awkward because of the spectacle and because it is remote from the kitchen, and my gear. I can't have a bunch of junk out there cuz it is a common area with other neighbors and because of the walking by grab something factor of the busy street. This is also why a brew stand out there is non optimal or just not doable.

One option I haven't explored yet is upgrading my stove or at least getting a "wok burner" on my stove. Aren't those things rated at a ton of BTUs? I think I would need a proper hood.

I have a workbench right in the kitchen area that we use for cooking - it has butcher block on it. If I could come up with something modular that I could disassemble, I can imagine having an electric setup on there. I guess I'll check all my electric options out. I'm assuming that most electric setups use a water heater element at the core, which is essentially what a heat stick is.


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:43 PM.

Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.