Electric stove brewing

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

dexter_craig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
132
Reaction score
1
Location
St. Louis
I have been using an electric stove to brew. I use extract kits that have steeping grains in them and I notice when after my boil when I transfer my wort to the fermenter that there is a pattern on the bottom of the kettle that is the burner element. Also it has bits of grain stuck to it that have 'burnt'

I have this 'toasted' flavor to some-not all- of my brews. Also my color turns out darker than the style it should be.
Is this common with electric stoves?

I think the next batch I am going to try using the side burner on my BBQ pit.
 

wilserbrewer

BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT Sponsor
Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
11,265
Reaction score
2,856
Location
New Jersey
Yes I have had this happen years ago w/ an electric stove and a thin canning pot. Perhaps trying an "extract late" brewing technique will keep gravity down during the boil and reduce scorching, darkening of the wort.

Basicly you add around half of the extract at the end of the boil. Different ways to do it...search around.
 

BrewinDuluth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
73
Reaction score
2
Location
Duluth, MN
I'm glad this was brought up. Between my not super high-quality kettle and my electric stove I was having some major burn-in problems. I started adding my extract half-way through the boil now, and I try to stir as much as possible after that. It seems to be helping, but it would be good to know if I'm messing anything up by doing this? Beer seems to be turning out fine though.
 

Beezer94

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
637
Reaction score
30
Location
Harmony
I think the problem is the 'High' setting on stoves is overly used. That setting is meant for heating oil to 375-450F and the 'Medium' setting is for boiling. It just takes a long time to boil at 'medium' so we tend to use high heat to get it started and then leave it on it. I would experiment with a couple gallons of water in your pot and see how low you can set it and keep a moderate rolling-boil.
 

boydak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
308
Reaction score
6
Location
Orrington
I was heavy into brewing and than moved to a house with an electric stove. After a few batches I could not wait for that stove to break to replace it with a gas!!!!
 

cuinrearview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
7
Location
Delton, MI
I brewed for a short time on the electric stove and put a coat hanger on top of the element to reduce the scorch pattern on the bottom of the pot. As for grain burning on the bottom I'm not sure why you have any grain in your boil. It shouldn't be there at that temperature unless you like the astringency it imparts.

My brewing became much more enjoyable when I moved outside to the deck on a turkey fryer. No more scorching, sweating, and the beer is noticably better because I can do full boils.
 

Slim

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
South Jersey
I too have an electric stove. I'm new at this, but here's my two cents. Make sure you take the pot off the heated burner before adding your extract. In addition, do not place the pot on to a heated burner until the extract has dissolved. Place the pot on the burner and then turn on the burner. Once on, I continually stir the pot and scrape the bottom so the extract does not settle and burn.
 

Christian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Messages
321
Reaction score
0
Location
Salt Lake City, UT
During the winter i am stuck using my electric stove indoors. While steeping your grains you should bring your water up to the maximum desired temp for those grains then turn your heat off and keep a lid on while they steep. This will prevent the scorching of the grains and keep the temp up. Also the btu output of almost all side burners is not enough for the size boils needed to brew.
 

ChshreCat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
11,517
Reaction score
586
Location
Camano Island
When I'm doing a mini mash, I use the oven to maintain my temp. Works like a charm. I got a cheap oven thermometer that I sit next to my pot o' grains and water and then keep an eye on the thermometer every 10-15 minutes. If it drops below 140, I turn the oven on until it starts to climb over 150, and shut it back off.
 

cuinrearview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
7
Location
Delton, MI
During the winter i am stuck using my electric stove indoors. While steeping your grains you should bring your water up to the maximum desired temp for those grains then turn your heat off and keep a lid on while they steep. This will prevent the scorching of the grains and keep the temp up. Also the btu output of almost all side burners is not enough for the size boils needed to brew.
OOOHHHH... Winter is no reason to bring the boil inside. Man up and shovel some snow!!:rockin:
 

Christian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Messages
321
Reaction score
0
Location
Salt Lake City, UT
OOOHHHH... Winter is no reason to bring the boil inside. Man up and shovel some snow!!:rockin:
It's not just a temp thing as it is also a light thing. With my schedule i'm limited to evenings only and even with my big flood lights out in the backyard it's still not enough light. Summers stay light long enough for me to do it outside but winters nights are just too dark to soon.

Besides the wife and i love the way the house smells when i brew inside.
 
OP
dexter_craig

dexter_craig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
132
Reaction score
1
Location
St. Louis
I use a grain bag to steep my grains but some 'bits' do still get through.
I always take my kettle off to add extracts and stir them in.
I think most of the bits are from the hop addition. I use a muslin bag but some do get through.
I am guilty of high setting on the electric stove.
The beer isn't bad it just tastes a little toasted thats all. My brother likes a dark beer so he drinks it.
 

ChshreCat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
11,517
Reaction score
586
Location
Camano Island
You're lucky... my wife doesn't like the smell, so I am encouraged to brew outside. Even in winter. In Toronto!
:drunk:

Jay
Same with mine. My daughter and I love the smell, but we have to brew when mom's at work and then air the house out before she gets home.
 

Beer_Pirate

Active Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
26
Reaction score
0
Location
Alabama
I've got one of those ceramic cook tops in my house... great for general cooking, but not really good for maintaining a boil on 2-3 gallons of sugary water. I have found though that scorching is much less of a problem when you make sure that you only have the heat on just high enough to get a rolling boil, then scorching isn't that much of a problem... in a turkey fryer or on a stove.
 

Modix

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
I've got a really nice 10gallon Megapot, and I have the opposite problem with my stove. I can only get it up to 212 with the lid at least partially on. I have to put it on two burners simultaneously and heat them to full.

For steeping grains I normally start after it's heated a little (say around 100 degrees F) and then just take it out as the temps are approaching 170. It's normally a good 15-20 minutes. Using a good muslin bag prevents all but the smallest particles from getting through, so there shouldn't be a lot on the bottom. You can also give it a few good shakes before you put it in to get rid of the most likely candidates for falling through.

How much water are you starting with? What bag are you using? When are you putting it into the water?

I've never had any scorching issues, but I think having a nice stainless helps distribute the heat better.
 

cuinrearview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
7
Location
Delton, MI
I've got a really nice 10gallon Megapot, and I have the opposite problem with my stove. I can only get it up to 212 with the lid at least partially on. I have to put it on two burners simultaneously and heat them to full.

For steeping grains I normally start after it's heated a little (say around 100 degrees F) and then just take it out as the temps are approaching 170. It's normally a good 15-20 minutes. Using a good muslin bag prevents all but the smallest particles from getting through, so there shouldn't be a lot on the bottom. You can also give it a few good shakes before you put it in to get rid of the most likely candidates for falling through.

How much water are you starting with? What bag are you using? When are you putting it into the water?

I've never had any scorching issues, but I think having a nice stainless helps distribute the heat better.

My gawd!! Full boils on electric. I watched it happen last Friday and there's just no way. You, my friend, are much more persistant than I.:mug:
 

Dave__C

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Location
Satellite Beach , FL
I have been using an electric stove to brew. I use extract kits that have steeping grains in them and I notice when after my boil when I transfer my wort to the fermenter that there is a pattern on the bottom of the kettle that is the burner element. Also it has bits of grain stuck to it that have 'burnt'

I have this 'toasted' flavor to some-not all- of my brews. Also my color turns out darker than the style it should be.
Is this common with electric stoves?

I think the next batch I am going to try using the side burner on my BBQ pit.


I moved from a home with gas to a home with Electric. Same exact problem, but the real cause was leaving the kettle on the burner while pouring in the extract. Even if you stir, it will still scorch. Beer comes out tasting toasted like a stout and way too dark.

I think I have it straightened out now.
 

mkw87

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
54
Reaction score
0
Location
Big Stone Gap, VA
I use a ceramic top electric stove with a 6 gallon pot and have boiled 3-4 gallons for an hour with ease.....it just takes FOREVER to start boiling. The key is just what people mentioned, put it on medium and don't question it.
 

BackBayBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
168
Reaction score
2
Location
Boston, MA
I am little late to this thread, but I have a suggestion that has worked great for me. I had this problem a lot when I first started. Also, I am not very patient when it comes to sitting around and watching water, waiting for it to boil, so I didn't take very well to the "put on medium and wait" suggestion. Instead, I took a METAL wire hanger, bent it into a series of "S's" and put it between my the heating element and the pot. This has worked great, and I don't get any marks on the bottom of my kettle anymore.
 

MawrCwrw

New Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
FL
You're lucky... my wife doesn't like the smell, so I am encouraged to brew outside. Even in winter. In Toronto!
:drunk:

Jay
i am surprised at how much i actually loved the smell -- and we had multitudinous boil-overs on my electric stove.

even so, i live in FL. and brewing/BBQing outside is never a problem.
unless there's a hurricane :)
 

yeoldebrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
446
Reaction score
4
Location
American Southwest
I'm stuck with electric too--ceramic top. A 2 gallon boil is about the limit with mine.

The only additional advice I can offer is to use a flat paddle instead of a spoon. Drag it over the bottom of the pot frequently during the boil to keep that heavy stuff moving. It also helps to have one of those pots with a laminated aluminum bottom.
 

BrewStooge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
186
Reaction score
1
Location
Howard Lake
I've actually been using one of those mini 5th burner electric elements for now until a gas stove appears around here (got the line in the brew room already). Might have to take a look into that wire hanger trick that's been mentioned since I got a couple of those burn rings myself.

An indoor setup seems pretty much a must for me, I'd probably need some sort of nuclear power source to boil outdoors in January.
 

cuinrearview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
7
Location
Delton, MI
An indoor setup seems pretty much a must for me, I'd probably need some sort of nuclear power source to boil outdoors in January.
You'd be suprised how easily five gallons will boil up with a turkey fryer. I had a wall of snow on the deck almost as tall as me around one brew last winter. It's definately more enjoyable in nice weather, but totally doable in the dead of winter. If you stay near the pot and warm your hands it's kind of like a brewer's bonfire:cross:.
 

Tim27

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
165
Reaction score
3
Location
Texas
I too scorched my extract. Since it is a Stout I dont think it will be too much a problem. I will deffinitely go a little slower next time and also remove my pot from the burner when I add my extract.
 

Hollow4

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
How much of the pot is scorched on the bottom?? I did four full boils on the electric stove (shot me if i ever do that again) this weekend and had no problem with scorching. I would bring 4 gallons of water up to 155 add grains then add extremely hot water to bring it to 5ish, remove the pot from the burner and the extract and put it back on the burner bring to boil (slowly). after every brew there was a faint set of lines that were wiped away. Nothing "stuck" to the bottom. Had to have to lid on about 80% to really get her cooking though. Lots of stirring and about 60 facials later i have 21 gallons of happily churning in the closet.

Next brew session i am using the Banjo burner I just got. It just so happened to rain this weekend and everyone who owns a home (I live in an apartment) and realized how big the burner actually was said no to me using their property. Something about they were afraid of me blowing something up . . . . crazy people.
 
Top