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Old 11-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #11
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
This is one of the main reasons why I'd like to go electric- I can move indoors in winter. Problem with moving indoors, as I understand, is that you're boiling off a gallon or two of water pretty quickly, and this is not necessarily a good thing to be doing indoors. In the summer, I can stay out in the garage.....easy to put 240V service to either location.
Yes, moisture is my biggest problem. That's why I decided against the basement, as I didn't have any good place to do ventilation except by the outside door. I set up now in my first floor laundry room, as it has a door to the outside, and I just prop the door open and blow a fan out the door to get rid of moisture in the summer. In the winter, it's not that big of a deal- our house can use the moisture and I just turn on the bathroom fan to avoid a steamy room.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:42 PM   #12
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Realize that you're not cooking with your brewing set up. You are usually either boiling or trying to hit an exact temperature. It's easier to do both with electric. Here's why:

Trying to boil - Crank the element all the way up, get to boiling ASAP. Reduce output to element using PWM+SSR is as easy as turning a knob. Trust me, most turkey fryer adjustment is somewhat finicky. I suppose if you are boiling on a nice professional gas stove, you could do it easy enough.

Controlling mash temps. I don't think most people just use a plain heating element to heat their mash. They are usually using a control of some sort. This is much easier to make for electric than gas. Set the temp and walk away. The controller senses the temp and will adjust the output of the current to get to temp and from there to maintain it.

It really goes hand-in-hand with a recirculation system, which produces a fairly continuous temperature plus the added benefit of a clearer wort; automatically.

Plus, it's cheaper and quieter than gas. All of the heat from the element goes into the water/wort, while with gas a substantial portion is lost.

I agree, gas is for cooking, but when it comes to brewing, that very fine control is not necessary, and the edge goes to the more expensive, but easily automated electric rig.

 
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:16 PM   #13
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I've brewed both ways and I can testify that its is a luxury to have an electric system. Such easy, precise control of temps. No running to the store to fill up propane tanks. I can brew indoors no matter what the weather outside. And its much cheaper per brew day. You spend a bit more to get started initially depending on how fancy a system you build, but its money well spent IMO. For a chef, obviously a gas stove is far superior to electric ranges, but that's comparing apples to oranges.

 
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:32 PM   #14
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I'm seriously looking at going to electric. The main reason is to be able to brew in my basement where my equipment is stored and I have a nice SS sink. I must go up and down the stairs 40 times when I brew, hauling all that stuff out to the garage and then back down. It's going to make brewing so much more enjoyable.

 
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:50 PM   #15
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Thanks for the great replies. Living near Atlanta, winter isn't usually too brutal although last year with over 30 days with highs at or below freezing was an exception. Generally waiting a few days anytime except late Jan - February gets a day when outside is OK. Yesterday was in the mid-70s - cold front last night and mid 50s today - outside isn't an issue. And since all our stoves are propane in the house, along with the grills and smoker (300 gal buried tank), propane is cheap and available.

However, I'm intrigued. May just be the engineer in me. Can anyone point me toward a link with some plans. I've got space in my box for another 220 circuit and could run an outlet this weekend.

Thanks again for the great info.

Rick near Atlanta

 
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickprice407 View Post
Thanks for the great replies. Living near Atlanta, winter isn't usually too brutal although last year with over 30 days with highs at or below freezing was an exception. Generally waiting a few days anytime except late Jan - February gets a day when outside is OK. Yesterday was in the mid-70s - cold front last night and mid 50s today - outside isn't an issue. And since all our stoves are propane in the house, along with the grills and smoker (300 gal buried tank), propane is cheap and available.

However, I'm intrigued. May just be the engineer in me. Can anyone point me toward a link with some plans. I've got space in my box for another 220 circuit and could run an outlet this weekend.

Thanks again for the great info.

Rick near Atlanta
This forum is fantastic for all the different member builds. One "gold standard", but FAR from the only method or system that can be used, is Kal's The Electric Brewery
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:58 PM   #17
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+1 on Kal's Electric Brewery.....that's what I'm building currently!

 
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:17 PM   #18
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My reasons for going electric were mostly because I wanted to do it indoors (it's too *@#$&@#& cold in Canada for most of the year).

Here's my short list of other reasons to brew with electricity instead of gas:

- Easier precise control of temperature
- Safer for indoor brewing (no poisonous gases, no emissions)
- Absolutely silent (the bigger gas burners required for brewing sound like jet engines!)
- Much more efficient use of energy (our 5500W heating elements produce ~20,000 BTUs of heat and will outperform an 80,000 BTU propane burner)
- No tanks to refill
- Cheaper to run (use $1-2 in electricity instead of approximately half a tank of propane per batch)

I don't know of one brewer who, after switching to electric, wished they were still using gas.

Kal

 
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickprice407 View Post
Thanks for the great replies. Living near Atlanta, winter isn't usually too brutal although last year with over 30 days with highs at or below freezing was an exception. Generally waiting a few days anytime except late Jan - February gets a day when outside is OK. Yesterday was in the mid-70s - cold front last night and mid 50s today - outside isn't an issue. And since all our stoves are propane in the house, along with the grills and smoker (300 gal buried tank), propane is cheap and available.

However, I'm intrigued. May just be the engineer in me. Can anyone point me toward a link with some plans. I've got space in my box for another 220 circuit and could run an outlet this weekend.

Thanks again for the great info.

Rick near Atlanta
I'm using a SLC5/03 your options are endless. What do you want out of your process?

Honestly the reason for me is money. I have access to old items from recontrol updates that are just scrapped. Propane is outrageously priced compared to electric.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:08 PM   #20
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I recently completed my all electric brew station, and although I did it for the "Coolness" factor (I'm a gadget freak, and love all the lights and digital controls! ) the biggest benefit I have come to appreciate is the noise.

I brew outside under a covered deck area on my farm. When using propane, the two hours of heating water and boiling the wort used to drive me crazy. Now, I flip a switch, set a temp and all I hear is my liquid quietly boiling away!

 
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