Induction burner or Heating Element for renter

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sbwiles

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I have been brewing 3 gallon batches on a stove top for the last few years. I rent an apartment with no outdoor space and looking to go to full batches.
Knowing that I rent and unable to do any electronical work would you suggest I go the induction burner route or heating element with a temperature regulator?
 

SZaleski

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Couple things to ask first. Are your brew kettles induction capable? If not then that answers that and you have to go with heating element. Your next question would be 120V or 240V. If you have a drier hook-up for 240V then you can simply use that. If you do not then you must go 120V. With 5 gallon batches that won't be too bad. However, you will need something to control the heating elements which is where it gets pricey. Blichmann makes a fantastic set-up but you have to buy ALL of the parts to make it work. You could also buy one of the set-ups from ElectricBrewing.com (I think that is the site). That is the route I will eventually be going with their system that is roughly $900-1000 that will run my HLT and Boil kettles on a 240V hook-up.

If your kettles are induction capable then I would recommend purchasing an induction plate to save you some money since you're just doing 5 gallon batches. You'll need one of the larger ones that runs 120V (I think most of them do so not much worry there).

Hope that was helpful. I am sure others will have some experience in this area and can recommend a lot of stuff better than me. That is just the basics of what I would answer first before proceeding.
 

McKnuckle

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Last time I checked, 3 gallon batches were "full size" - they just produce 3 gallons! I brew that batch size a lot. But that said, I use the ubiquitous Avantco IC3500 which is a 240V cooktop. My boils are generally in the 4-4.5 gallon range. It does a great job with this volume. It would work well with 6-7 gallons, too. But no way would I bother with a 120V cooktop and that much water. Slllloooowwww... and just a gentle bubble is all you'll get.

If you can hook up to 240V as the other poster mentioned, the Avantco would be a good bet. Check your pots to be sure they will work (as also noted).
 

TexasWine

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I have been brewing 3 gallon batches on a stove top for the last few years. I rent an apartment with no outdoor space and looking to go to full batches.
Knowing that I rent and unable to do any electronical work would you suggest I go the induction burner route or heating element with a temperature regulator?
Can you describe your current system and what kind of system you're wanting? Single vessel (BIAB), multi vessel, HERMS, RIMS, something else? You mention a temp regulator. Do you want to apply heat during the mash to maintain temp?

All this will help people give you some valid recommendations. For instance, I often tell apartment brewers to just go with 2x1500 watt elements on two separate 120v, standard household outlets. The Hot Rods from Brewhardware.com are great for this. Or you can use your stove top and supplement with a single Hot Rod.

BTW, I use a 2x1500 watt setup and I'm not even in an apartment. Works great and is plenty fast at 3°F per minute temp rise with 7 gallons.
 
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