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Burners vs stoves

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Fransjoe

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Hey everyone, I'm posting this because I now have a dilemma after upgrading to 5 gallons from the MrBeer kit. Glass stoves are not good for the boil, and can't seem to find a cheap or used propane burner. I know the burner on my grill is not up to the task so I was thinking of making a small brick rocket stove. Would this be ok to build on brew day?
 

CascadesBrewer

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Where do you live? I got my burner for a reasonable price (many years ago) at Home Depot. Places like that often stock supplies for deep frying turkey. All I know about a "rocket stove" comes from looking at the search results for that term.
 

Mitch S

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Sporting Good stores (Cabela's, Bass Pro, Etc.) also carry propane burners that work. Not referring to the old Coleman Camp Stoves either.
 

JohnSand

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Welcome aboard Fransjoe.
I occasionally use my glass top stove for boiling wort, it works well as long as the bottom of the pot is flat and thick enough not to warp. If you do use a rocket stove, I suggest a test boil first with water. I believe that some members have brewed on wood fires, a search may help you. Please report your results.
 

IslandLizard

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Do you want to brew indoors or outdoors? That kind of determines your heating source choice.

FWIW, I brew in the kitchen, 5 gallon batches mostly, using the Avantco 3500 Induction plate.
Also use that burner for making large pots of soup stock, chili, soups, stews, you name it, even wokking. It can bring a pint of water to a boil in 30-40 seconds.
 
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Fransjoe

Fransjoe

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Where do you live? I got my burner for a reasonable price (many years ago) at Home Depot. Places like that often stock supplies for deep frying turkey. All I know about a "rocket stove" comes from looking at the search results for that term.
I live about 12 miles south of San Francisco, not really a great area to find bargains. As for the rocket stove, I think i could do that for less than $20 not including the wood. I'm itching to get started, but still need some equipment, which I'm spacing out so the wife doesn't go crazy with the budget.
 
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Fransjoe

Fransjoe

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Seeing my recipe, I'm going to need around 7 gallons of water for my mash a d boil, for 7 gallons, would a home stove be ok for my first batch? Or would I be overwhelming it? It's an older frigidaire glass top. Or should i try the burner on my gas grill, or maybe an old charcoal grill I have? There's no gas Turkey fryers around me right now!
 

McKnuckle

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Are you kegging or bottling? If you are bottling, then there is absolutely no reason why you can't just brew a smaller batch. There is nothing magical about the 5 gallon homebrewing standard. Just re-work your recipe for 2.5 gallons (for example), which should boil more easily on a kitchen stove.

You're likely to boil off only about 0.5 gal/hr on a typical stove, by the way, depending on your kettle's diameter.

If you are not using any software tools or calculations for recipes, but rather just going off of someone's pre-formulated quantities, then it's understood that you might need assistance with scaling down the recipe. Most homebrewers learn to do that sooner rather than later.
 

IslandLizard

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Seeing my recipe, I'm going to need around 7 gallons of water for my mash a d boil, for 7 gallons, would a home stove be ok for my first batch? Or would I be overwhelming it? It's an older frigidaire glass top. Or should i try the burner on my gas grill, or maybe an old charcoal grill I have? There's no gas Turkey fryers around me right now!
In my earlier full volume extract days I was able to boil 6-7 gallons on 2 different, newer glass top stoves, but it was slow, and wouldn't hold a steady boil, even with the lid half way on, it kept cycling on and off.
The sheer weight of the full kettle on that glass top was a bit scary. I always made sure the glass top and kettle bottom were impeccably clean, with no grains of sand or so on it to avoid point pressure. The kettle has a thick 3-ply bottom, so it was 'perfectly flat.' But I was never very comfortable with it.

When I saw the Avantco IC3500 mentioned in a thread here on HBT, it was a no-brainer. It took me about 4 hours to wire in the 240V / 20A receptacle in the kitchen. The cooker sits on the counter pretty much permanently, as it gets used a lot.
Aside from it being a lot cheaper energy source than propane, I can brew any time of day, don't have to schlep all that stuff outside, deal with the mosquitos, or weather. I put a fan in the window opening to drive off steam.

A dryer outlet in a utility room or garage can be used too. You do need a kettle that works on Induction, though, a one time investment. I found a 32 qt kettle on Craigslist I now use for temporarily storing sparge water and also make soup stocks in and what not, when not brewing.
 

MrTimV

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I second the halving your batch size suggestion.

Question though, if you did move ahead with rocket stove, what's your plan for maintaining your mash temperature?
In my mind, that is a stumbling block for rocket stove.
For boiling yeah it'll boil no problem (although I'd also be concerned about scorching on the bottom of your pot) but temperature control on wood fired cooking appliances is often an art form in itself.
 

wallyLOZ

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Sounds like you've got a couple of options. The stovetop would probably work for now. The drawbacks are power and the range hood (if your configuration has one). If your stove doesn't have the power, you can add a couple wraps of Reflectix to insulate it. You can also place the lid on part way. This will also help keep the condensation that will form on the hood from dripping back into your wort.
Second option would be a propane burner outside. If your grill is gas you already have the propane tank. Webstaurant Store has a burner for $35. https://www.webstaurantstore.com/ba...rner-outdoor-patio-stove-range/554BPSQ16.html
I've gone the induction burner route, with a slight twist. I use the 110v model, IC1800. With a few wraps of Reflectix and the lid part way on, I can bring 6 gallons to boil.
The drawbacks, as I see them, to using the rocket stove or the grill are, possibly adding a smokey flavor to your brew. Unless that's what you're after.
Let us know what you decide and how you like it. Cheers!
 
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