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Turk'N'Surf Electric Turkey Fryer

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ryser2k

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I'm looking to go all-grain and I've been weighing my options for a brewpot. From what everyone says, you need at least a 7 gallon pot, which in any case will be too large for you to use on your regular stovepot. I've read here that most people use turkey fryers, be it with an aluminum or stainless steel cooking pot.

Well, I could get a 30qt aluminum turkey fryer from Lowe's or Walmart for $50. Of course then I will also need a propane tank, and I will have to do all my brewing outdoors. This doesn't particularly appeal to me, considering that Pennsylvania winters are not all that pleasant. And I don't want my brewing schedule to be dictated by the weather...

So I found this indoor, electric turkey fryer at http://www.masterbuilt.com/store/etft.html. It is a 28-quart aluminum fryer, and the electric heating element is stainless steel and is actually submerged in the pot. I've found it for about $100 at other sites, which isn't much more than your standard fryer plus propane tank.

I'm really considering this but I wanted to get some opinions from everyone as to whether you think it will work for brewing. If you've got a few minutes, watch the video on the site and let me know what you think.
 

uglygoat

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i looked at this exact same unit at gander mountain. i think the heating element could cause some serious scorching depending on how you are using it, i could see grains/hops/extract getting burned to the element and making the beer taste like a shoe.

i personally would be leary of using electric, but i am a complete slob and know i would fry the components that control the heat by spilling stuff on it ;)
 
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ryser2k

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Yeah, I was excited about the thing until I saw that the heating element is submerged... I just wonder if you could control the temperature well enough to avoid burning things....
 

uglygoat

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it's my opinion, that for the buck sixty and change they want for that thing, you can get a sweet stainless steel kettle with a spigot, maybe two. if you are only doing five gallon batches, you only need to boil six or so gallons of wort so even a thirty quart pot will boil on a traditional gas range.
 
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ryser2k

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I guess that was my major concern... if I can just boil it on my stovetop then I would just buy a stainless pot and do it that way. However, I have an electric stovetop and you said gas... I'm curious if anyone else is doing all-grain on an electric stovetop. That is definitely the way I'd prefer to go...
 

Dude

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You might want to consider the "heat stick" option for your scenario. Its a device that you stick into your brewpot and it heats the water via electricity. Technically you could brew on your kitchen table. I believe the elements are ceramic, and completely adjustable for temperature. Most bigger online brew stores have them. Look into that option?
If you are really concerned about price, and halfway handy, I read the other night where a guy made one from scratch with a hot water heater element, available from any hardware store. It looked nice. I'll see if I can find the link if you want it.
 
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I would be VERY concerned that the heating element (probably 1500watts or more) is in direct contact with your brew. There is more than just a 'potential' of scorching especially if using whole hops.

The unit is very tempting to me however, for my cooking hobby ;) My fried chicken is just calling out for this device!

If you are looking to do this hobby indoors, propane is not out of the question. Propane heaters are very common in work shops and garages where the fumes will not be such a concern and where concrete floors are the norm. I wouldn't use propane inside the house, but any shed or basement or garage would be fine.
 
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ryser2k

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Maybe I'll do it in my basement... I don't really have all kinds of room for this, that's why I'm asking about alternatives. Perhaps going all-grain isn't the best option for my situation... maybe I should do partial mashes instead. Or, maybe I'll get the $50 turkey fryer from Lowe's and brew outside and all-grain if the weather permits, if not, inside and partial mash...

That could work.... ;)
 

Janx

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It sounds like you should maybe stick to mini-mashes in your situation.

A submerged electric element is a bad idea because you'll get a lot of caramelization.

Cooking beer on an electric stovetop is no fun at all, especially if your kettle is all-grain size, and can't easily be removed from the heat. You can't turn down an electric stove and have the heat drop quickly like with gas stoves, so you'll get boilovers and a huge mess in the kitchen.

FWIW, I love brewing outdoors, but we can do it here most weekends of the year.
 
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ryser2k

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Removing the kettle from the heat is easy, I have a glass top stove which is totally flat, so I just have to slide it off the burner. I've only had one boilover so far, and that's only because I stepped out of the room at an inopportune time. ;)

I'll probably get the turkey fryer, and maybe I'll try one time to do it on the stovetop just to see how it goes. Of course, I'll have that propane burner set up and ready to go just in case...
 

Janx

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It's weird how electric burners are som much more common back East than they are out here. It's definitely one thing I don't miss. Gas burners are so much nicer for all cooking. I wonder why electric is more common in the east and gas in the west.

I'm sure you're hep to it, but be darn careful if you fire up that propane burner indoors. Fire and fume hazards abound...
 

l3lackEyedAngels

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I was putting away stuff in my garage and I discovered one of my Christmas presents. It is a 28 quart countertop electric fryer/boiler. Google tells me that 28 quarts is 7 gallons. The gift includes an immersed electric heating element which is "digitally" controlled. I was hoping Santa would bring me a traditional propane turkey fryer for my first all grain batch but I guess the counter top unit will have to do. What can I do to prevent the heating element from burning the wort? It will be nice for getting sparge water to boil really fast, but maybe I should use a low setting for the wort. Is it bad for the wort to take a while to boil?
 

the_bird

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Honestly?

If it's anything like my electric fryer, it really doens't have the power to bring wort to a boil. It seems that it's much more difficult to get wort up to 212 degree than hot oil. I bought mine at Home Depot for $70, can't remember the exact brand, but if I hadn't already used it I would bring it back. I'll use it for heating sparge water, but that's about it. :(

I ended up using it twice, then buying a big, 210k BTU propane burner and getting a converted keg. No more worries!
 

l3lackEyedAngels

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But aren't you suppose to heat up oil to ~370 degrees farenheit to fry a turkey? That has got to be enough heat transfer to get wort to boil. If what you are saying is true then I might be better off with coal. :mad:
 

Seveneer

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I use an electric boiler which holds 75l. It's powered by 2 x 3kw elements that are submered in the wort. I've not had any problem with caremelisation.

I make sure the elements are covered by at least 3 inches before I switch on the elements. I then have bothe elements on full power until it reaches boiling point.

The link you posted doesn't say what kind of power the turkey frier is but I doubt it's as much as 6kw. I say, don't worry about scorching your wort. It'll be fine. :)

/Phil.
 

the_bird

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l3lackEyedAngels said:
But aren't you suppose to heat up oil to ~370 degrees farenheit to fry a turkey? That has got to be enough heat transfer to get wort to boil. If what you are saying is true then I might be better off with coal. :mad:
I'm pretty sure that oil heats up more easily than water. 'Cause I could not, for the life of me, keep even three gallons at a boil without the lid on. :(
 

l3lackEyedAngels

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I tried my electric turkey fryer a couple days ago. I filled it half way with water and it took about 20 minutes to boil. The digital feature on mine requires you to set a temperature for the element to achieve and then maintains that temp. The water would not boil if I set it to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, but it boiled really well when set to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The feature uses increments of 25 degrees.
 

l3lackEyedAngels

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I did my first all-grain brew this Saturday with the turkey fryer. Worked fine. I guess it was kind of risky, using a new toy for the first time, but it worked a lot better than an electric stove. I have to say that it is a really convenient device. It came with a glass lid and a spigot. My first all-grain experience was a lot of fun thanks to my electric turkey fryer.
 

knipknup

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l3lackEyedAngels said:
I did my first all-grain brew this Saturday with the turkey fryer. Worked fine. I guess it was kind of risky, using a new toy for the first time, but it worked a lot better than an electric stove. I have to say that it is a really convenient device. It came with a glass lid and a spigot. My first all-grain experience was a lot of fun thanks to my electric turkey fryer.
Does yours say Charmglow on the front?

I bought a 28Qt electric turkey fryer branded Charmglow from Home Depot - it was 50% off, coming to $49.00.

I have used this since I bought it - probably 8 batches. The thing is awesome! I have never scorched the brew, though the element gets coated, which I clean off.

It boils 5.5 gallons of water, though it takes about 40 minutes. I just put my steeping grains in with the water cold and let the pot do the rest.

I highly recommend. I did a quick google search and was surprised how expensive these are at other places. If you can find one at Home Depot, do it!

http://www.hugediscountmall.com/Electric-Turkey-Fryer_p954.htm

Note: all the batches I have done with this fryer have been extract. I have not tried all grain with it. My all grain plan is to use this to heat my water since it has a thermostat and use my old 30qt kettle for the boils. I have coolers coming for the mash and lauter.
 

UTDoug

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Has anyone been successful doing a full boil on an electric range? I'm so pissed, my apartment complex won't allow me to boil in the parking garage.
 

l3lackEyedAngels

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Electric stove = bad news. It is a pain in the ass to get a big pot on top of as much heating element area as possible, and then you are looking at a weak boil that takes forever to achieve.

My electric turkey fryer is made by Masterbuilt and is branded as the four seasons deep fryer, steamer, boiler. The only thing I don't like about it is that the thermocouple/thermostat seems to be pretty inaccurate.

I gave my Sierra Nevada clone a sniff today and it smelled great. Starting to look like my first AG brew will be a success!
 

Plowboymiz

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Reviving this old thread... Does anyone have any long term yays or nays about this fryer? Trying to mull over some options.
 

l3lackEyedAngels

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I've done a few batches and I have only a few qualms:
- With the lid on I get a boil over.
- With the lid off I barely get a boil.
- I get a light boil with the lid partially on that doesn't look like it will boil over, but it always does when I'm not looking.

Basically I can't get a boil with out the lid at least somewhat on, and supposedly that's bad since it keeps certain chemicals from boiling off.
 

lamarguy

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Basically I can't get a boil with out the lid at least somewhat on, and supposedly that's bad since it keeps certain chemicals from boiling off.
I use the same fryer. I wrapped the aluminum pot in heat pipe wrap/insulation which allows me to achieve a full boil with the lid off. Something to consider.
 

l3lackEyedAngels

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Originally Posted by lamarguy:
I use the same fryer. I wrapped the aluminum pot in heat pipe wrap/insulation which allows me to achieve a full boil with the lid off. Something to consider.
What's your boil volume?
 

Mutilated1

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Just wait till next month - the day after Thanksgiving you'll be able to get a turkey fryer, pot, propane burner, and a whole bunch of other crap at Wal-Mart on clearance for maybe $20-30 bucks.

Be patient and keep your eyes open, I got my brew pot and propane burner on the cheap - it cost more to get my propane tank filled than I spent to buy it.
 

lamarguy

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What's your boil volume?
~6.5 gallons for a 5 gallon batch.

I bring it to a full boil (with the lid off) for ~10 minutes to achieve hot break and then bring it down to just below the boiling point (~210F) for the remainder of the time.

I only use the lid when mashing and draining the kettle to prevent evaporation and to maintain a constant temperature.
 

lamarguy

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Be patient and keep your eyes open, I got my brew pot and propane burner on the cheap - it cost more to get my propane tank filled than I spent to buy it.
Honestly, that's what convinced me to go electric - the cost and hassle of using propane. It costs me less than $0.50 in electricity to mash and boil a 5 gallon batch.

The best my friends get is about $3 in propane per 5 gallon. Natural gas is a reasonable alternative, but I don't use gas for anything else so that approach didn't make much sense either.
 
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