So i live in a condo and can't brew outside so I'm stuck in the kitchen. This means partial boils on an older electric stove. I had a hard time last night keeping more than a light boil going consistently. How can this affect my beer?
Liquid malt extract so far I'm boiling 2.5-3 gallons water and topping off with cold spring water. Last night I did a chocolate milk stout kit from NB and added 1 lb turbinado sugar to the boil. I only used 1.5 oz hops at 30 and 60 min. Never got much of a hot break even though at times the boil was vigorous. I strained when pouring into the carboy with a double strainer and did not get much sediment. Shook the shoot out of it for 10 min pitched an activated wyeast on the foam at 66-67 degrees and immediately put in a swamp cooler with water about 62 degrees. This is my third and a half batch.
I feel your pain. I'm stuck in the same scenario. What I did was wrap my BK with insulation (I used water heater insulation I picked up at a hardware store that's rated high enough for the heat, some folks use automotive insulation). I used to max my boil at about 3 gallons, now I can get away with about 4.5 gallons. Still not enough for a full all-grain boil, but a bigger boil is still a better boil.
Yeah that's a pain in the @$$! As far as the protein breaks go though, I would highly suggest brewing buying a second brew kettle. It might require you buying some back up bags to boil with as typically kits only have one. And watching two kettles from boiling over is a pain. However it would break down your proteins better and you would have your full five gallons brewed rather than a partial brew all while fixing your problem with too much wort to heat on the crappy electric top stove. Hopefully someone else will have some suggestions. Honestly I use a stainless turkey fryer and propane outside most the time. So I have zero experience with electric. I think it's a textbook fox though. Hopefully someone has some real world advice.
If it's any help, I brew in my kitchen on my stove. My stove is electric but pretty decent and I have two big crock pots that allow my to do 23 liter (about 6 gallon) batches.
While it takes a while for the boil to get going, I haven't really ever had any major problems. I'm getting pretty good at getting it to the right temperature to avoid boil over.
Electric stove in my place as well. I have yet to try a 4+ gallon batch. But when I was boiling 3 gallons of water I was having trouble getting my water to boil, it seemed i just had very hot water. My kettle is pretty big ( 9 gallons ), i dont know if this is good practice or not but I slid it across to the other burner, so it was sitting on 2 burners, a power burner up front and a regular one in the back. After that I got a beautiful rolling boil that lasted the entire hour. I was satisfied
I've wanted to try the heatstick method myself as well. However, I'm not about to attempt to wire up 220v GFCI (I'd be worried about fire risk given my apt building's suspect wiring). If you're able to do it, then I'd go for it.