Condensation during the boil phase

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by The Green Man, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Sorry to pick your brains again brewers, so soon after last time too...but, I did my first bigger batch brew yesterday an 18 litre boil. It was an electric powered mash/ boil kettle by Klarstein. Very nice piece of kit and perfiect for my needs, mashed fine and produced a good vigorous boil, after a bit of tinkering. BUT, I ran into a problem I guess we all face...condensation/ humidity during the boil phase.

    I used to do my 8 litre batches on a stove top in the kitchen and thought I might get away with it with this new kettle...well, you know what I'm going to say...it got seriously steamy. I had the windows open the extraction fan on but, it was not effective enough. I had to open more doors and windows and in the end the whole house was smelling like a brewery! Not popular/ ideal/ sustainable...

    From what I've read, it seems that a lot of people do theirs in their garage, but surely the condensation would eventually rot the timbers in there and make everything really damp too. There must be a solution, other than brewing outdoors? Or, do you find brewing near the garage door with the door open enough?

    Initial thoughts are towards building some kind of extraction hood...but, this will be a pain in the proverbials…

    As usual all thoughts/ ideas/ opinions greatly appreciated.
     
  2. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    #2 thunderwagn, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    I boil inside but don't have near as bad condensation as you describe. My fan does a great job extracting to the outside, and my exhaust hood is hard piped through the roof. I don't know what common practice is in the UK for venting. If you aren't getting enough pull, and have room in the attic, or somewhere in the piping, there are little draft inducer fans that are pretty simple to install. I guess I'm pretty lucky also as my household loves the smell on brew day.
    Do you have the ability to modulate the heat and intensity of your boil? Reducing a bit may help also.
     
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  3. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Yeah, the draw from the exrractor over the cooker/hob doesn't do it. Even with the window open it still was too steamy with condensation building up on everything. I had the boiler ticking over between 100c-103c, the only way I can guarantee a rolling boil. So it was a very vigorous boil, which didn't help probably..
    I am now thinking about a set-up with an upside mixing bowl over the top (with the base cut out) and extractor piping (like used for a tumble dryer, or kitchen) attached. May put an in-line extractor fan inside it to help the draw. I think this would work. It would make for a sealed system though.
     
  4. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    There are some pretty good threads on condensation at homebrewtalk site. I searched there in the past when I considered brewing in my basement.
     
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  5. KC

    KC Active Member

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    There might be a condenser lid available that fits that unit
     
  6. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Thanks thunderwagon. Just checked it out. As suspected, it's a perennial brewers nightmare!
    Think my solution above should fix it, if I still work in the kitchen. If I'm in the garage the temperature difference between the ducting and the steam will probably lead to condensation in the ducting and dripping back into the kettle...
    Brewing challenges never cease.
     
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  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    a couple of guys have been on a big new home brew invention, if you want I'll lead you down that rabbit hole forum post but I'll show the product first, it uses water that spray's and creates a vacuum, pulls the steam out and turns it back into water

    02tYJ1ol.jpg
     
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  8. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Spray that creates a vacuum. That is some lateral thinking going on there. Sounds amazing. Go ahead and forward the forum link Ozarks, I may have to dive down the rabbit hole... 'Once more unto the rabbit hole, dear friends, once more!'...
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  11. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    The rabbit hole has been partly explored. Not all 18 pages, I have to confess, but this is one incredible idea! Anyone on here given this a go? The off the shelf one doesn't look like a bad deal either, considering what you'll save in energy. OK, you will use more water...but, still amazing.
     
  12. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yes it will roughly cost about $140 when all said and done and use around 6 to 10 gallons of water per hour but for people that need a massive vent hood to brew this is better
     
  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    oh and you're going to need more hardware and the correct drill bit to attach it to your pot wall or lid
     
  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  15. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Had a look at the advert and the info. Certainly food for thought. For 5 gallon batches I am wondering if it might be overkill...will have to weight it all up. Water wastage against power wastage etc... I can see me going down this road eventually, for sure.
    I love the elegance of the solution.
     
  16. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I brew in my garage with the car door cracked a couple inches, so I don't have any particularly useful advice.
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I open the basement door and use a box fan blowing outward.
     
  18. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I brewed in the garage for years with the door open or partially and a fan blowing out, but one year I had to replace my entire ceiling with sheetrock from mildew that came from my brewing
     
  19. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    That is exactly what I'm worried about. If I can deal with it without the room steaming up I want to.
    I can't spend out on the genius condensing system yet though.
    I'm thinking large, upside down mixing bowl with base cut out. Then attach aluminium duct with in-line fan pulling steam out the window. The upside down bowl will be a few centimetres above the kettle.
    Do you think that will do the trick?
     
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  20. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Maybe you can find something similar to this for your brew kettle. Attach an exhaust pipe to it and evacuate through a window.
     
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