3.5 gallon boils on electric stovetop

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kdog93

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Me and my girlfriend just moved into an apartment on the third floor of the building and can't use propane and electric burners are a bit pricy for me at the moment. I was wondering if our standard electric stovetop would work if I got insulation for the outside my stainless steel pot? Or I may get an shorter, elongated pot and set it across 2 burners? Any thoughts?
Im in an experimental stage with extract brews and I don't plan on switching to all grain anytime soon.also I only make 5 gallon batches. I just really don't wanna carry my wort up 3 flights of stairs, and I don't wanna advertise"free beer(samples)" to our hundreds of neighbors who will inevitably be curious as to what I'm doing down on the sidewalk.not that I'm stingy I just don't have the money to get everyone drunk for free.that's just from my experience with my friends back home and most of the people that live here are college age like myself.
I know people use aluminum pots with foil insulation, are there any special materials I can get to make this work?
 

scottm1

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I do 3gallons on mine with out any problems at all. So I think you'll be fine.
 

madscientist451

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I do all grain 4 gallon batches, my pre boil amount is almost 6 gallons. I use a 6 gallon pot that I put about 4 gallons of the first runnings and part of the first batch sparge.
I put that on the stove and get it started while I'm doing batch sparge #2.
The runnings from the second batch sparge go into the smaller pot that I then start heating.
After the initial boil over stage, I let it boil for about 15-20 minutes then start pouring from the small pot to the big one, I guess I could dump it in all at once but I make sure it keeps
boiling. Eventually I get it all in the big pot. After cooling, I transfer about 4 gallons to the fermenter and 1 gallon is "trub" that I throw out. Some people put the whole amount in the fermenter, trub and all, so I guess you could say I'm doing almost 5 gallon batches on my stove. All electric stoves are not the same, so you'll have to experiment a little to see what works for you.
 

DaNewf

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I brew all grain BIAB style with a sparge step. I collect around 4.5 gallons of wort in a five gallon pot and boil on my electric stovetop. My post boil volume is around 3.5 gallons.

My stovetop does get the job done but does take a while to heat up that much liquid. I don't use any insulation on my pot but I've been considering it.

One thing I do is use my counter top tea kettle to help things along. For instance, if I want 3 gallons of strike water I put 2 gallons in my brew pot on the stovetop and then boil my tea kettle and add that to the pot. I repeat that until I have 3 gallons. It makes getting to 165F a lot faster than dumping 3 gallons of cold water into the brewpot and making the single stovetop element do all the work.
 

kingboomer

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Here's a thought: do you by chance have roof access? If your building's not that big and you can get up there to brew, would that be feasible?
 
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kdog93

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Here's a thought: do you by chance have roof access? If your building's not that big and you can get up there to brew, would that be feasible?

Unfortunately no the building isn't designed like that. I think I'm going to start experimenting with 1 gallon batches though I can bring.6 of a gallon up to a boil in a couple minutes I did it the other night start to finish including steeping crystal for a half hour and clean up was less than 2 hours.
 

Elfer

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I live in an apartment and do full boils for 5 gallon extract batches on my crappy electric stove, using an insulating jacket as you mentioned. Doing a partial boil should be totally fine.
 

MindenMan

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Hey Mad..... Dude! Here's an idea to better control trub liquid loss. I use Irish Moss @ 15, and get the wort as cool as is possible after boiling, wait until the trub drops out. I use a SS strainer with 2 of the 5 gallon paint strainers from HD or Lowe's stacked on top of each other, making 4 layers. My BK does not have a valve, so I scoop the wort onto the paint strainers. There will always be a little "silt' that gets through, but not much. If you are patient, all but maybe 2 tablespoons gets through, and the trub is basically gone. When bottling time comes, cold crash for 2 or 3 days, or until beer is clear. Then slowly rack into bottling bucket, leaving the congealed trub behind.
 

unionrdr

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I still use the same SS stock pot I started with for everything from kit-n-kilo to pb/pm biab. My initial boil volume is 3-3.5 gallons. I use spring water for all. PB/PM BIAB goes 5-6 pounds of grains in 2 gallons of water. 1-1.5 gallon dunk sparge @ 170F for about 10 minutes in a smaller 3G SS kettle. All on our electric stove. I do have aftermarket heating elements though, from Amazon. Link is on my profile page. I can heat the 3-3.5G of mash wort from mash temp to boiling in some 18 minutes. In the case of AE or E/SG, boil that volume of water & add a 3lb bag of whatever plain DME that fits the recipe for hop additions.
 

Yreval

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I do full five gallon boils on my electric stovetop, but it has a couple of fairly large burners. Even if your stove is smaller, though, I doubt you will have much trouble getting 3.5 gallons to boil. The jacket will probably not be necessary, and I get the feeling that they're more helpful on gas burners anyway.
 

unionrdr

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That looks just like the one I've seen Craig use on craigtube in some of his videos. Could be handy for adding top off to the kettle I think?...
 

Limestone_Cowboy

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Except a new countertop burner, I don't think anything is going to help (insulation, etc.) other than a good tight fitting lid.. that you'll have to babysit for some time until you know how long a specific volume of wort takes to come to boil on that stove. This is what I do for my 3g stovetop batches. But I've done enough to know when I need to start hanging around to pull that lid as the boil approaches.
 

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