Natural Gas or Electric for Indoor brewing - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > Natural Gas or Electric for Indoor brewing

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-09-2010, 03:00 PM   #1
Bixter1
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Bixter1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2010
Philadelphia, PA, PA
Posts: 149


Im planning on building and running my first real rig in my basement. I have access to GAS or Electric as a heating source. I would think gas is more efficient and less expensive to run. Any thoughts?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 04:08 PM   #2
Bjornbrewer
 
Bjornbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2008
St. Clair Shores, MI, USA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way
Posts: 417
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


Electric would be more efficient, but not necessarily cheaper to run. Every joule of energy in an electric heating goes to heating, unlike a burner (propane or NG) which also heats a whole lotta air. You need to compare utility costs to see which one is cheaper, but in the grand scheme of things, the energy costs aren't that much per batch anyways (<$3 ish).

Another huge advantage of electric is you don't have to worry about fumes or having enough oxygen in the room to run it. It's also easier to control (PID to SSR without worry of valves, ignitors and the risk of blowing your house up if it doesn't light) if you add some automation. On the down side of electric...you can electrocute yourself, but that's easily remedied with a GFCI.
__________________
Sand Viking Brewery

“Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman - or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” ~George Burns


 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 04:12 PM   #3
Randar
All your Ninkasi are belong to us
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Randar's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2008
Wheeling, IL
Posts: 40,379
Liked 5344 Times on 5158 Posts


You also should include the cost of converting. Not everyone has easy or obvious ability to go to electric. You may need an extra panel or, depending on the size of your setup, you basic home service may not be sufficient. So, start-up capital investment can be a significant difference for some folks.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 05:17 PM   #4
jfkriege
Recipes 
 
Aug 2009
Bloomington, IN
Posts: 418
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


My vote is for electric, but there are a huge number of factors that need to be accounted for to decide the 'best'.

If you are comfortable with electricity, or with learning about electricity, then I would go with that. If you really are not, and cant find someone who is, then go with gas and just make sure you have adequate ventilation and the proper detection systems.
__________________
The Modular Electric Brewery

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 09:11 PM   #5
Bixter1
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Bixter1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2010
Philadelphia, PA, PA
Posts: 149

Im actually good with both and am going the electric route. That leads to my next question. How big of an element? Im going to be doing up to 10 gallon batches in 15 gallon kettles.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2010, 02:05 AM   #6
P-J
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Mar 2010
Charlotte, NC
Posts: 3,336
Liked 301 Times on 235 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bixter1 View Post
Im actually good with both and am going the electric route. That leads to my next question. How big of an element? Im going to be doing up to 10 gallon batches in 15 gallon kettles.
4500W 240V elements are more than adaquate for that batch size.

There are a lot of ways to accomplish a decently controlled electric brewery. I've drawn a few different diagrams to accomplish this mission.

What is your overall plan? I'd suggest PID a controller(s). Perhaps I can help?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2010, 07:37 PM   #7
Bixter1
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Bixter1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2010
Philadelphia, PA, PA
Posts: 149

I plan on using a GHI Cobra to fully automate my system. I would just use a relay to cycle the elements on/off. I have been studying and researching over the past few weeks and think I have what I need. I'll post my design soon. I plan on making my code open source. It will be an alternative to brew troller and the like. The board is .NET MF C# based and I plan on adding many features to it.

Thanks for the offer though.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2010, 08:19 PM   #8
Bixter1
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Bixter1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2010
Philadelphia, PA, PA
Posts: 149

Any recommendations on where to source an element?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2010, 08:24 PM   #9
jfkriege
Recipes 
 
Aug 2009
Bloomington, IN
Posts: 418
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bixter1 View Post
Any recommendations on where to source an element?
Ace Hardware if you have one. They stock Camco elements.
__________________
The Modular Electric Brewery

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2010, 09:10 PM   #10
bull8042
I like 'em shaved
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
bull8042's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2008
Fort Mill, SC
Posts: 10,263
Liked 452 Times on 448 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bixter1 View Post
Any recommendations on where to source an element?
This is the route I went:


12-0003 Heater Element, 7.2kW, Side Mount Brett Aqualine PoolandSpa
__________________
"I brew with a water cooler and some part from the toilet." - JohnnyO

"I do gravity feed the last gallon or two through my Therminator, but I expect you could suck start a Volkswagen before you could suck start one of these. - GilaMinumBeer

"..... Bull was right." - TXCurtis

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Electric indoor brewers: What size (CFM) bathroom fan? (pics) kal Brew Stands 49 11-08-2010 09:26 PM
Electric brewing Gwitz Brew Stands 7 06-10-2010 03:17 PM
Indoor RIMS/HERMS with natural gas? Safe? Poppleton Brew Stands 2 12-14-2009 12:46 PM
Help! Exhaust fans for my indoor propane brewing (problems with CO) and other ideas ramz7887 Brew Stands 12 05-21-2009 05:37 PM
The joy of electric brewing Gussymo Brew Stands 5 03-20-2009 03:21 PM


Forum Jump