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Indoor electric brewers unite, I need exhaust hood ideas!

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HarvInSTL

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I'm in the final stages of converting to an all electric indoor brewery. My final major hurdle is designing/purchasing a proper exhaust system.

So please chime in with your experiences and/or pictures of your exhaust setups.

Thanks!
 

SpanishCastleAle

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I'm not sure how much help this will be because I deal with exhaust hoods/fans at work and that's different from home.

For the best results you want the fan 'pulling' the air out so it needs to be on the roof (or as close to it as possible). The crap ones in many homes are just a fan that exhausts into the room (like 2' away from where it was pulled...lol).

Most homes (at least in the south) don't have any make-up air...they just recirculate. Obv any 'real' exhaust fan is gonna pull air out of the room and I don't know how home exhaust systems handle that. You might consider some make-up air.

In a chemical lab...ALL air from the A/C/Heat is make-up air. 100% percent of it. All air is from the outside and all of it gets exhausted by the exhaust system...none of it is recirculated. Not very efficient regarding cost!
 

conpewter

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I just have a regular range hood over my brew pot and HLT. I had to go cheap so bought it off craigslist ($15... new in box). I think it is fairly low CFM so I may replace it in the future. For the most part it works just fine and sucks most of the moisture and smell (wife doesn't like it) out of the house.
 

wilserbrewer

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I'm in the final stages of converting to an all electric indoor brewery. My final major hurdle is designing/purchasing a proper exhaust system.

So please chime in with your experiences and/or pictures of your exhaust setups.

Thanks!
Well, so how much you boiling? How much power do you have? This will determine what kind of vent you really need. I boil around 8 gal. w/ electric in my basement w/ nothing more than a simple fan propped up in a double hung window adjacent to the kettle. You can smell the boil in progress in the basement, not upstairs though, but I usually run the fan for an hour or so while the wort is cooling.

IMO a simple fan will clear the humidity if left to run for a bit post boil. The choice is yours...sure I'd love a blingin stainless hood over my kettle but is it worth it to you?? We are not generating toxicity, only humidity, given a chance, even a nominal amount of airlfow will rebalance the room. YMMV
 
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HarvInSTL

HarvInSTL

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I will be brewing in my basement and my major concern is the moisture. I have hardwood floors above and don't want to ruin them.

I will be boiling 13 gallon batches (down to 11-11.5 post boil) with a 4500watt ultra low density element in my BK and a 4500 watt high density element in my HLT.

So I've had two trains of thought. First would be to just build a hood out of MDF or plywood, seal it and put that thin laminate on the inside. (Same stuff people use on the inside of fridges when they remove the door shelves for a kegerator.

My second thought was to put two 30" range hoods together, upgrade the fans and have them both exhaust out the window. Realistically the closer to the kettles I would assume the better, as they would capture more moisture hopefully eliminated the possibility of the steam escaping around the hood(s). Since I was thinking about using dryer vent hose, I was considering making the hood(s) able to move up and down.

Which would allow me to move them up out of the way while I stir the mash or add hops to the boil.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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With all that moisture getting exhausted I would expect a lot of condensation on the inside of the duct...enough to puddle at low points or drip out of the duct at the ends...maybe something to watch out for.

EDIT: I would also expect the whole thing to get funky pretty quickly so make it easy to clean.
 

drayman86

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I just have a regular range hood over my brew pot and HLT. I had to go cheap so bought it off craigslist ($15... new in box). I think it is fairly low CFM so I may replace it in the future.
Regular, inexpensive range hoods are not a good application. Inexpensive hoods typically have very low CFM ratings, and cannot remove enough moisture, particularly from a basement room.

Here's my installation. I'm fortunate in that I don't have finished ceilings in my brewing area. Pics are clickable thumbs:






This fan is available HOME DEPOT

Fan, ductwork, exterior exhaust vent, etc. were less than $125. I'd recommend NOT skimping on an exhaust system; you'll just end up installing a proper system, and risk moisture damage to building construction materials.


You can view the product specifications including size and installation instructions HERE.

The fan is rated at 160CFM, which blows away the typical residential kitchen range hood. I too have hardwood floors above my brew area and excess moisture was also a concern. I've brewed over 6 times already with this ventilation, and have experienced ZERO moisture problems such as stained floor joists or odors permeating the rest of the house.


Electric brewing is THE way to go for indoor applications. Check out my system HERE.
 

drayman86

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EDIT: I would also expect the whole thing to get funky pretty quickly so make it easy to clean.
Wouldn't expect that. Only thing going through the ductwork will be water vapor and a bit of dust from surrounding air. If the brew locations isn't too dusty, there shouldn't be an issue with dirty ducts.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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You have mnore experience with homebrew ventilating drayman...but that's not just water vapor. It carries some 'funk' with it too. But it may not be enough to be that much of a problem. Maybe see after 20 brews or so.

I realize it's not nearly like a full-scale restaurant kitchen but I used to have to clean the exhaust hoods in restaurant kitchens. Just one day builds up a lot of nasty ****...there are drip trays that if you don't empty will overflow from grease (and grease is non-volatile...so it's obv getting 'carried' up by the moisture).
 

kal

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Careful with typical range hoods. The fans in those are not meant to drive any length of duct as the have very little static pressure. You need an inline fan such as those from vortex like this one: Atmosphere Inc -- High Performance Inline Duct Blowers
They don't lose CFM as much over longer/small runs with turns.

Even the inexpensive range hoods (under $50) have almost 200 CFM rating but that's only 200 CFM if you run it directly outside with no duct. Stick any length of duct on there and they'll drop way down.

Then you need a condensate hood if you want to do things right:





They have a drain for condensation run off. Simply attach a vinyl hose and have it dump somewhere. I'm looking at something like this for my setup. They are not inexpensive however since they're industrial. Any hints are appreciated!

Kal
 

airbalancer

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The 6" vortex inline fan I just put in is rated for 449 CFM, but after adding 20' of 6" duct and two elbows, it dropped to 333 CFM. Even with the temporary hood I put on it still picks up all the vapor coming off the kettle. I also see very little condensate dripping out of the end. I was expecting it to drip out of the fan because that it the low point but nothing yet. That could be because the fan is so far from the intake though.


 

kal

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The 6" vortex inline fan I just put in is rated for 449 CFM, but after adding 20' of 6" duct and two elbows, it dropped to 333 CFM.
How'd you measure the drop? Just curious. I just ordered the same inline fan.

What sort of hood are you using? I can't tell from the picture. I just looks like an HVAC diffuser of some sort right? Simple!

Kal
 

airbalancer

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I used a Shortridge ADM-860C micromanometer with a pitot tube to traverse the duct :)
The hood is just a rectangular to round duct fitting from HD. Its just semi temporary till I find something better.

Mike
 

kal

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The Vortex VTX600 in-line 6" duct fan comes with a regular power cord so I build my own speed control for it using a regular 600W wall light dimmer and other spare parts that I had. Looks like this:



The slide control sets the speed, the switch underneath turns it on/off, and the fan plugs into either outlet on the right. Simple.

It works, but it causes the fan motor to emit a low buzz any time the speed's not at 100%. When I measure the output of the dimmer with a voltmeter it's always putting out 115VAC so I take it it's simply chopping off part of the AC sine wave like explained here: HowStuffWorks "How Dimmer Switches Work"

It's not actually changing the output voltage which makes sense as that's more $$$.

So the question is are fan speed controls the same as light dimmers like this? Is the slight buzzing ok for the motor?

Kal
 

kal

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Update for my own use (and anyone else who cares): Fan speed controls are not the same as light dimmers. Most fan speed controls have built in noise reducing circuitry to avoid fan 'hum'.

Kal
 

kal

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I also see very little condensate dripping out of the end. I was expecting it to drip out of the fan because that it the low point but nothing yet. That could be because the fan is so far from the intake though.
I forgot to ask earlier: Where exactly are you seeing this condensate dripping out? Out of the end of the pipe outside the house? Or somewhere else?

Kal
 

kappclark

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I'm in the final stages of converting to an all electric indoor brewery. My final major hurdle is designing/purchasing a proper exhaust system.

So please chime in with your experiences and/or pictures of your exhaust setups.

Thanks!
So - how did you solve the problem ?

I am interested in improving on my window fan solution (which is ok for now, but when I goto 10 gal batches, I think I will need something beefier)
 

AiredAle

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Airbalancer,

I am in the final design stage of my all electric brewery ventilation system, and your ducts caught my eye. What is the material of construction of the ducts you are using? PVC? Any advantages over standard big box store galvanized steel ducting?

Also, I am going to build my vent hood from baltic birch plywood, since I don't want to spend big bucks on a stainless hood.

Anyone have any opinions on the shape of the vent hood - simple box versus tapered? Does it matter if the flow is fast enough to be turbulent in the hood?
 

Bowtiebrewery

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Here is my hood solution:

Its over 900cfm's of pulling power NT Air




No problem at all handling boils... And because my setup is temporary I have it going through a wall into my garage and out the window for brew sessions... Have yet to do an actual brew session due to waiting on some customized parts but it definitely can pushes the water vapor out...
 

kevreh

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I used a Shortridge ADM-860C micromanometer with a pitot tube to traverse the duct :)
The hood is just a rectangular to round duct fitting from HD. Its just semi temporary till I find something better.

Mike

Did you ever update your hood? I have the same type of vortex fan, and used a foam hood like kal's early version. Getting a lot of moisture and dripping water in the opening in the hood that the fan is connected to. Fwiw, my fan is right above the hood. Wonder if that makes water collect more. ?

I dont want to spend $$$$ on a nice ss hood, so may make one and put a moisture channel like kal shows.
 

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