Burner on wood deck? Steam in the house? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 02-17-2009, 04:37 PM   #1
Feb 2009
Newport, RI
Posts: 9

So, SWMBO recently decreed that brewing in the kitchen was verboten. She thinks the steam produced will have a detrimental effect on the old timbers of our house, which was built in 1792. I was wondering about it myself. Do any of you engineers out there know if the steam could be problematic?

Also, I recently purchased an SQ14 as a result of the dictate. Can I use it on a wooden deck? The ground around our house is all uneven. And should I upgrade from a 10 psi reg to a 20? I typically boil about 7 gallons at a time.


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Old 02-17-2009, 06:02 PM   #2
Feb 2009
The Land of Beer and Cheese
Posts: 2

To be strictly on the safe side, no, you should never run any sort of burnerating equipment on a wood deck. On the other hand, if you're already comfortable running a grill on your deck, running a propane burner to heat water should be less worrisome, depending on how stable your rig is.

Most dangerous would be a wobbly turkey fryer with peanut oil. The whole thing is decidedly unstable and burning, and just for good measure has three gallons of 300-400 degree peanut oil -- that also happens to be very flammable at those temperatures. I've used a turkey fryer several times and quite frankly they scare me. Even if you don't burn your house down, dumping three gallons of hot oil anywhere is going to be inconvenient at best.

I think ideally, you'd run your rig on a nice level, non-combustible surface. If you really want to run the burner on your deck, you might want to invest in a stove mat, like you might place under a wood burning stove. Or use one or more patio pavers, so that even if the burner tips, it would not come into contact with the wood deck.

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:20 PM   #3
Jun 2008
Posts: 1,389
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+1 on protecting your deck; Many a brewer brew on their decks, with nothing underneath. Personally, I would put a mat or something just to help some with radiant heat, but more so any accidental splashing/spills, such as accidental boil over.
Broken Face Brewery
Est. 2008

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:29 PM   #4
Jan 2009
Ames, Iowa
Posts: 268
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I don’t think that the moister from your boils would hurt your timbers in the house at all. If it does stop cooking, bathing, washing cloths and humid summers. Some humidity is good for wood as it prevents it from cracking and getting dry rot. I would say unless you brewing every other day it's fine.
Torrent Brewing Company

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:38 PM   #5
mikfire's Avatar
Nov 2008
Richmond, VA
Posts: 236
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What kind of burner are yall using? Even if mine tipped over, the flames wouldn't come near my deck. I suppose if it flipped upside down I may have a problem, but that is an unlikely scenario at best.

Keep a fire extinguisher at hand and I wouldn't worry about it. If it really causes you to lose sleep (and it could within a house that old), get a Grill Pad.

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:51 PM   #6
CBBaron's Avatar
Feb 2007
Posts: 2,786
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The moisture from boiling won't do any direct damage to your timbers, especially during the heating season when the indoor humidity is very low. However excessive moisture will encourage the growth of mildews and molds and lead to rot where it condenses around windows or outside walls. If you have a decent exhaust fan then that should be no problem.

Using a fire proof pad under your burner is a good idea. You probably could get away without one but better safe than sorry. A fire on your wood deck will do much more damage to those house timbers than any steam will. Even a large piece of sheet metal would work well if other choices are not available.


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Old 02-17-2009, 08:52 PM   #7
May 2008
Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 1,329
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First, if you shower as a bathing practice it puts way more moisture in the air than boiling water for beer. Think about that on a daily basis for two people over the total number of years showers have been in your home. Boiling water for your beer doesn't come close to the volume of moisture from the shower. Second,add to that the amount of moisture from you and your wife through sweat evaporation. But now you have the ability to boil with gas outside. That is a bonus.

One idea would be to get 12" square pavers and make a level spot in your back yard somewhere. It would be level, stable, and non-flammable. To make it more aesthetic get stained and stamped concrete pavers. Probably no more than 4 would do.

Just some thoughts.
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Now, Harry you must know all about Muggles, tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:21 PM   #8
zman's Avatar
Apr 2008
Posts: 2,647
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What about using a piece of Hardibacker on the deck?

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Old 02-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #9
Apr 2008
Stony Brook, NY
Posts: 486
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I BBQ and use the turkey fryer to boil wort on my wood deck. I'm much more worried about stains from a spill than anything catching fire. Not sure what kind of turkey fryer some people use, but even if tipped the flame would not touch the deck, not to mention 5-8 gallons of wort hitting it.

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Old 02-18-2009, 08:15 AM   #10
Nov 2008
SLC, Utah
Posts: 174
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Moisture is good for wood. Fine acoustic guitars are kept in humid enclosures to prevent the wood from cracking. And like many have said, you release as much moisture into the air by showering.
Sounds like the real problem is your wife has delusions of being a structural engineer. Demand to see her degree in structural engineering. When she does not produce one, pull out the brewpot and start brewing on the stove. INDOORS.

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