Please tell me how to use an induction burner with BIAB

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PersonalBrewer

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Please tell me how you are using an induction burner and help me understand if it's a good way for me to go.

I would like to look into this further. I use a stainless steel basket and a 15 gal Megapot by Northern Brewing
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The upgrade that made a huge difference was going to electric induction which your kettle supports. This way I can wrap the kettle in reflectix and still add a little heat during mash if it drops too much. And never have to deal with propane tanks again.....I know, not the answer you were looking for. :)
I'm looking for anything that makes a better brew and is a relatively successful upgrade!

I keep thinking about this and could easily run power out to where I brew.

I do have some questions for Spivey 24 or anyone that does a similar thing.

Would the weight of a 15 gal kettle, water/wort be too much for most induction systems to handle?

I'm looking at 30lbs for kettle/basket/lid, 30 lbs grain, 92 lbs of water = 152 lbs

What about temp for a simmering boil? The models I have seen go in 20 degree increments. How does someone keep a simmering boil going for an hour?

Any suggestions for models that would work well would be great.

Thanks
 

IslandLizard

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The Avantco IC3500 will hold up easily with all that weight due its sturdy stainless base. I use an older 15 gallon Heavy Duty MoreBeer kettle for 10 gallon batches, without any issues. With "only" 3500W it does take a while to heat, though. Also a full 3500W to keep it boiling, with some insulation around it. Compare to a full 8 gallon kettle only needs 2400-2700W, without insulation. That's indoors. Outside, in cold and/or windy conditions you'll need to add more insulation. Maybe keep the lid on part ways too.

Automatic temp control is wonky, as the sensor is under the glass plate, so it doesn't know the wort temp inside the kettle. But it's still useful, like when I make soup stock, I set it at 170F (or 180F) and it will keep a very low simmer, although heating happens in pulses of course.

I don't do BIAB, but I sometimes step mash in the boil kettle, under constant stirring and scraping the bottom with a wooden paddle.

How much space is underneath the basket? Are you going to recirculate while heating the mash? Stirring won't work, because of the wort pocket underneath.
 
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PersonalBrewer

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How much is under the basket?

3/4 inch under the basket, but another 1/2 inch to basket bottom if you exclude the basket framework.
 

IslandLizard

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3/4 inch under the basket, but another 1/2 inch to basket bottom if you exclude the basket framework.
It's a relatively small amount, about a gallon I estimate. But without recirculation you really can't add heat to your mash above, that easily. There's also some "dead wort space" along the side.
 
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PersonalBrewer

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I do realize that the wort around the basket is 8/10 degrees different than the grain bed.

Currently, I ignore that and try for an average temperature in the basket, with stirring.

I don't think I will go with recirculating, too many issues for too little payoff.

However, the induction burner mentioned in that thread may be an excellent way to go.
 
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PersonalBrewer

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The Avantco IC3500 will hold up easily with all that weight due its sturdy stainless base. I use an older 15 gallon Heavy Duty MoreBeer kettle for 10 gallon batches, without any issues. With "only" 3500W it does take a while to heat, though. Also a full 3500W to keep it boiling, with some insulation around it. Compare to a full 8 gallon kettle only needs 2400-2700W, without insulation. That's indoors. Outside, in cold and/or windy conditions you'll need to add more insulation. Maybe keep the lid on part ways too.........
I am going to look into that model and may well give that one a try.

I had been thinking along these lines, and this past week my induction burner died, so I'm thinking might as well get one that will work inside and outside. When it's cold or really hot I don't brew outside anyhow:D

I live in Greenville SC and we have pretty much four full seasons here, none of which are usually bad but the heat can be brutal in summer at times.
 

IslandLizard

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Ah, I just realized we had talked about your system in your other thread. The wort spaces around the basket sounded familiar. And wort recirculation is not easily implemented either.

Direct heating a mash without being able to stir/scrape is not a good idea. The bottom will overheat denaturing enzymes gradually from the bottom up, and possibly scorch any fine dust that settled out.

Again, good, thorough insulation is key to a good mash tun design. Adding heat without some form of re-mixing is not.
 

IslandLizard

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I'm thinking might as well get one that will work inside and outside.
You will need a 240V 20A connection outside, or use a 20A extension cord.

I am going to look into that model and may well give that one a try.
It would be hard going back to propane. I love induction, and have 2 of those IC3500 units, just in case... ;)
 

cbier60

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I BIAB indoors with an Avantco IC3500 and a Spike 20G kettle. I bought a HotRod Heat Stick from brewhardware.com to supplement the 3.5KW to reduce heating times. Not too long afterwards, I installed a boil condenser, which has negated the need for higher power. I do not try to actively control mash temp, and you simply adjust power level to maintain the boil (as opposed to controlling temperature). And I agree with everything IslandLizard said.
 

JJinMD

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I BIAB indoors with an Avantco IC3500 and a Spike 20G kettle. I bought a HotRod Heat Stick from brewhardware.com to supplement the 3.5KW to reduce heating times. Not too long afterwards, I installed a boil condenser, which has negated the need for higher power. I do not try to actively control mash temp, and you simply adjust power level to maintain the boil (as opposed to controlling temperature). And I agree with everything IslandLizard said.
I also use the IC3500 with a Spike 20g kettle. I like the idea of the HotRod. If I am making 10g batch, I initially use the Spike BK as a my HLT, then I drain 5-6 gallons into a 10g Igloo beverage cooler and mash in there in the bag. While that is mashing, I turn the IC3500 back on and raise the rest of the water in the BK to 170 or so and after the mash is converted, I drain the bag and dunk sparge in the remaining water in the BK. Then I add drain the igloo into the BK and start the boil. It does take a while to raise 11-12 gallons up to a boil, that is why I get started by raising up the sparge water during the mash. Prior to using the igloo as a mash tun, I would do a full volume BIAB in the Spike kettle utilizing a false bottom from brewhardware and a recirculation pump.
 
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PersonalBrewer

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I BIAB indoors with an Avantco IC3500 and a Spike 20G kettle. I bought a HotRod Heat Stick from brewhardware.com to supplement the 3.5KW to reduce heating times. Not too long afterwards, I installed a boil condenser, which has negated the need for higher power. I do not try to actively control mash temp, and you simply adjust power level to maintain the boil (as opposed to controlling temperature). And I agree with everything IslandLizard said.
I also use the IC3500 with a Spike 20g kettle. I like the idea of the HotRod. If I am making 10g batch, I initially use the Spike BK as a my HLT, then I drain 5-6 gallons into a 10g Igloo beverage cooler and mash in there in the bag. While that is mashing, I turn the IC3500 back on and raise the rest of the water in the BK to 170 or so and after the mash is converted, I drain the bag and dunk sparge in the remaining water in the BK. Then I add drain the igloo into the BK and start the boil. It does take a while to raise 11-12 gallons up to a boil, that is why I get started by raising up the sparge water during the mash. Prior to using the igloo as a mash tun, I would do a full volume BIAB in the Spike kettle utilizing a false bottom from brewhardware and a recirculation pump.
You guys and IslandLizard have given me a lot to think about.

I do appreciate your responses, it's very encouraging to know that you guys are doing 20 Gal kettles on the IC3500. I'm also thinking that right under where I brew runs a 3 wire w/ground #6 cable going to the hot tub that's on a fifty amp breaker. I'm thinking it would be relatively simple to shunt the 230 volt for brewing, and just let the hot tub go without power while brewing, not that big a deal for four or five hours. There's four or five extra feet on the cable (UF if I remember correctly)and initially that's looking like a simple and reasonable way to go about getting power to it.

Thanks so much for your input.
 
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Bobby_M

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I personally wouldnt brew BIAB in a 20g kettle that cant be actively heated with recirculation but its mostly because I want to know the actual mash temp for consistency. The big flaw in induction so far is the lack of remote temp sensing and the long duty cycle of built in controllers. If someone figures out how to hotwire the Avanco temp sensor into a remote probe, that would make great strides.

Without recirc, I would use a substantial insulating wrap and when heat was needed, slowly pull the basket up and down while heating, and gently stir.
 

Spivey24

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I think your pot is induction ready so that is good. I found a 5000 watt induction cooktop on Amazon that was rated for the weight and is pretty sturdy. Brand was Warmfod or Warmford which is just a rebranded Chinese OEM - like everything on Amazon. It works great, is 240v, has a wide range of settings. I use a 15 gallon kettle and a brew bag on a hoist, and have mashed double batches in it plenty of times. i usually boil at around 4000w with almost 14 gallons and that is plenty. Not sure I can actually recommend the one I got, since I had one die when I tried to cook something with an iron skillet on it - didnt want to smell up the house. But they did send me a new one no charge. Been fine for the past year and now only use it for brewing. It took kind of a non-standard 240 plug and the description on Amazon was wrong. So once I got it, I bought the correct 240v outlet at Home Depot and wired it to the dryer circuit.

Overall, electric brewing has been fantastic. I set up a little brew station in the corner of the garage and I can brew there permanently, and not have to deal with propane or flames. The downside to these induction cookers is you really can’t hook up a controller to them unless you somehow wired into the internal electronics of it. I was 50/50 on getting one of the all-in-one electric brewers like the anvil, and sticking with single batches, but this setup works fine and I can do doubles.

And as far as holding temp during boil, it is very simple. The one I have doesn’t have a temperature control, but you can set the wattage, and once adjusted it will hold a simmer quite well.

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cubalz

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For years I used an Avantco IC3500 with a 15 gallon Spike kettle and it worked great. The only thing I had to do was to turn on the induction burner ahead of time. I usually mash in around 7:30 am so I would get up, turn it up to 3100 w and go make coffee and eat a quick breakfast. By the time I get down to the brew room, the strike water would be up to temp. It was never an issue but I ended up moving up to an Electric Brewing Supply panel to make bigger batches.
 
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