Quantcast

Induction cook top heat control?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

AlZilla

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Greetings all,

A new guy here but no stranger to fermented libations. Here's hoping I haven't overlooked the answer to my question. It seems this forum is teeming with experts and experienced users of induction cook tops for our intended purpose.

I'm considering a 3500 watt induction cook top for my brewing and wondering about the ability to hold a given temperature for things like starch conversion. I'll be working up to about 8 or 9 gallons at a time, if that makes a difference. Weight capacity is some concern. I will be running a dedicated circuit if I go this route.

The Avantco IC3500 seems to be a very popular model. This unit, and the majority I've been able to research, allow temp control in 10 degree increments. 5 degree units are few and far between. I'm pretty certain that the set temp on the unit wouldn't be totally accurate but as long as I have the ability to make small changes I can zero in on a target temp. Lots of things in cooking require accurate temp control.

So, the question - can I hold, say 155F with the Avantco IC3500?

If not, can someone recommend a more suitable unit?

Thank you!
 

McKnuckle

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
2,656
Location
Anywhere But Here
I have used the IC3500 for a number of years. It's a great asset to my brewery, convenient for heating water, mashing, and especially boiling. It's on a dedicated 240V circuit, so it leaves my single 110V circuit in the brewery free for normal stuff.

However, the unit does not accurately hold temperature to a numeric value despite settings that imply it will. If you insist on that, you'll be frustrated. What it does, though, is to very adequately hold a temperature range, certainly enough to survive a 60-90 minute mash. If you set it to 150F, for example, it may climb to 152 within 10 minutes - but that's a lot better than dropping. And it probably won't climb higher, either.

The performance you experience will be dependent on your mash volume and kettle size as well, different from mine - but the same limitations exist.

You can also do some interesting things like start your mash at 145F, set the cooktop to a very low setting, and allow the mash to slowly climb over an hour, moving through the entire beta/alpha amylase range into mash out.

If you insulate your mash kettle well, you can rely on stable temps for a 15-20 minute mash step, then recirculate and apply heat only to reach the next step. Turn off both and rest again at the new temperature.
 
OP
A

AlZilla

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Thanks, McKnuckle. No, I don't imagine 150 on the controller would actually be 150 in the kettle.

Some of the units seem to allow wattage control rather than temp. I'm not sure how finite I could control temp then, For example, tempering chocolate requires precise control. Not that I'm tempering chocolate but I'm wondering how precisely I could control temps with the 10 degree range so many of these induction tops offer.
 
OP
A

AlZilla

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
I appreciate the benefit of your experience. Looks like this unit will do what I'd want it to do.
 

McKnuckle

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
2,656
Location
Anywhere But Here
The more time I've spent with PID-driven temperature control - RIMS and kettle elements - the less I see it as absolutely critical and the more I see the utility in a simple induction cooktop.

Don't get me wrong - I don't mean that mash temp doesn't matter, far from it. I employ step mashes and mashouts nearly every time, and want that capability. It's just that dead nuts accuracy and stability are pretty elusive and is a target you can never really hit, since the mash is stratified anyway. The cooktop is "close enough" - it's mostly a mental OCD thing.

Unless you have programmable mash steps like some of the higher end systems, you have to enter those manually, requiring at least periodic checking in on the mash. That's not too different from how I described doing step mashing on the cooktop. Insulate the mash kettle. Apply heat and recirculate til you achieve the next step, then turn off the heat and pump and let it sit for the rest period. You can leave it alone during that time. I use a BBQ thermometer with Bluetooth so I can wander the house and check the temp with my phone.

The benefit is a simpler setup in the kettle, no element to clean, easier to use false bottoms and other gizmos without worrying about element clearance, etc.
 

jtgoral

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
17
Reaction score
8
I am setting kettle temp + 10F in Avantco IC3500 and check with kettle termometer.
 

Consigliere

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
17
Reaction score
3
I use induction cooktop stove with 3700
Burner. I can keep mash temp within 1F for 60-90 min using my recirc
Pump flow and burner output as the controls. I have insulated kettle as well. 9/10 I set the induction output constant and slightly adjust recirc flow -
Lower flow keeps heat in and higher flow loses it. My setup based on what I have to use. I brew 5G batches so usually mash with about 7G or strike water.
 
OP
A

AlZilla

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
I use induction cooktop stove with 3700
Burner. I can keep mash temp within 1F for 60-90 min using my recirc
Pump flow and burner output as the controls. I have insulated kettle as well. 9/10 I set the induction output constant and slightly adjust recirc flow -
Lower flow keeps heat in and higher flow loses it. My setup based on what I have to use. I brew 5G batches so usually mash with about 7G or strike water.
1 degree is awesome. What is a "3700 burner"?
 

Consigliere

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
17
Reaction score
3
Sorry I have a Bosch induction cooktop for my home stove and it has a 3700 w burner in it that I use for brewing. So in my kitchen. Wife loves it!
 
OP
A

AlZilla

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Sorry I have a Bosch induction cooktop for my home stove and it has a 3700 w burner in it that I use for brewing. So in my kitchen. Wife loves it!
I got it. Does the Bosch adjust in 5 or 10 degree increments?

Thanks,
 

jerrylotto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
118
Reaction score
57
Location
North Chelmsford
My biggest concern about these things is weight. I use a 20 gal pot and often have 15 gal in it at a time. My propane burner and my gas stove are both built to handle that kind of weight but is there a portable induction unit that I could trust?
 

McKnuckle

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
2,656
Location
Anywhere But Here
Depending on the diameter of the kettle base, you can set it upon blocks that flank the cooktop, so that its weight is not held by the cooktop itself. It doesn't have to touch the cooktop, it just has to be very close in order for the magnets to work.

Have a look at what this fellow did.
 

brewman !

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
2,058
Reaction score
200
 

cbier60

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
194
Reaction score
85
Location
Atlanta
My biggest concern about these things is weight. I use a 20 gal pot and often have 15 gal in it at a time. My propane burner and my gas stove are both built to handle that kind of weight but is there a portable induction unit that I could trust?
I have been using an Avantco IC3500 with my 20G Spike kettle for 4.5 years. The outside kettle diameter is ~18", so it sits on the outer frame of the IC3500. There is no problem with the weight nor getting the heat into the kettle.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,698
Reaction score
6,831
Location
Pasadena, MD
I have been using an Avantco IC3500 with my 20G Spike kettle for 4.5 years. The outside kettle diameter is ~18", so it sits on the outer frame of the IC3500. There is no problem with the weight nor getting the heat into the kettle.
Exactly, I have the same experience. Although I usually use an 8 gallon kettle, I also use a 17" diameter 15 gallon kettle for larger batches, full, with no problem. It overhangs the frame by several inches all around.

But that same 8 gallon kettle on my glass top stove top always scared me due to the sheer weight. Besides, the stove top's largest (triple) burner could not boil it very well unless I had the lid on most of the way. It kept cycling on and off. :drunk:
That's why I bought the IC3500, and never looked back.
 

cbier60

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
194
Reaction score
85
Location
Atlanta
Besides, the stove top's largest (triple) burner could not boil it very well unless I had the lid on most of the way. It kept cycling on and off. :drunk:
That's why I bought the IC3500, and never looked back.
My lid is almost always on. I have been using the IC3500 for 4.5 years as mentioned above, and have added a boil condenser for the last 3. Simple DIY BIAB indoor electric brewing. I have no interest in expanding to a 3V system.
 

Latest posts

Top