Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Indoor boiling alternatives?
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:57 AM   #1
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Default Indoor boiling alternatives?

So I just moved into a new apartment and I tried a batch on my new (to me) stove. I was able to get it up to a boil, but it wasn't a rolling boil and it wasn't very strong. On old stoves I've been able to put the kettle on two burners, but the burners are too far apart on this one. The burner I used is even labeled as a high-output burner, but obviously not high enough.

The big problem here is that I can't just get a propane burner and do it outside because my back porch is made of wood and it's illegal to have open flames on a wooden porch in Chicago. I'm also three flights up... so doing it on the ground is not an option.

Are there any indoor alternatives I could try that wouldn't kill me with carbon monoxide? And how important is having a strong boil? The batch I made last night is fermenting fine (I even had to put in a blow off)...


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Old 01-10-2006, 02:11 AM   #2
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Hiya. I'm in the same boat. From what I understand, the main importance of the vigorous boil is to get the hop oils to dissolve.

Were you trying to do a full 5 gallon boil? My electric stove will happily boil 3 gallons, but not much more. I had one batch a while back that I couldn't get to a rolling boil - too much water. But the beer came out perfectly fine.

So you can either do smaller volume boils, or split it into two seperate pots.


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Old 01-10-2006, 02:19 AM   #3
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Gee, certainly liiks like your stuck in all directions. You might see a range repairman and ask if it would be possible to install yet a larger burner.
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Old 01-10-2006, 02:58 AM   #4
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How much are you trying to boil at one time? Most 5 gallon recipes call for boiling 2 gallons of wort and adding it to three gallons in the fermenter. Most stovetop burners should do that easily. You may want to experiment with getting a different stockpot. Some of them have copper (an excellent conductor of heat) in the bottoms.

If that doesn't work, you probably need to look at why your stove isn't hot enough.

Oh-- one more suggestion. It may be cumbersome, but if it is the only way, why not get two stockpots and make duplicate one-gallon or 1.5 gallon batches of identical wort at the same time. Simply divide all of your ingredients in half. If you watch it carefully you should be able to stir both of them enough to avoid boilovers.
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Old 01-10-2006, 02:59 AM   #5
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I did a full boil on my gas stove Sat. for the first time. My polarware covered two burners and was able to bring it to a boil in a reasonable amount of time with the lid on but unable to keep a strong boil once I took it off. My preboil volume was 7 gallons and usually boils down to just under 6 gallons on the propane burner. This time it was a little over 6 gallons but I still had a decent gravity since I based the recipe on a lower than normal grain extraction rate to compensate for any unseen short comings such as this. If I was forced to rely on the stove I could probably scale back my batch size to a 5 gallon preboil volume to get a more vigorous boil.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:00 AM   #6
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SWMBO, sorry, I didn't read your post carefully enough-- I think I repeated your advice.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:01 AM   #7
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The more I think about it, doing two smaller boils seems to be a good solution.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:44 AM   #8
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I was only boiling about 3.5 gallons. In retrospect I probably could have just done 2.5 gallons and it would have been fine. The pot I have is all stainless and has a very thick bottom. It's also a little wider than most pots (but still doesn't fit on two burners!). That might have something to do with it. I'm pretty sure I got all the hop oil out of my hops though. Very aromatic wort and the stuff pushing up through the blow-off tube smells great!

I've read on other boards about heat sticks, but I'm worried about safety issues with that one. I'm also worried about scorching, even though nobody else seemed to be that concerned. Anybody tried one of these?
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Old 01-13-2006, 02:16 PM   #9
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For full boils

http://www.appliancesonlineus.com/Me...gory_Code=MACS.
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:46 PM   #10
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I was wondering if those burners would work. Not talking about the propane ones... the ones with the heating elements that plug in....


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