Converting from Propane to Induction

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Nosybear, May 8, 2018.

  1. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I just converted from gas to electric (induction). Will report back once I can get a couple of brews under my belt. I have two units: The small one (1,800 Watt) will heat water from tap temperature (mid-50's) to a rolling boil in about 85 minutes. Being the alpha geek I am, I took time and temperature readings along the way, did curve fitting to the scatter plot and here's the time vs. temperature curve for four gallons of water in an uninsulated, thin-walled kettle:

    View attachment 3013

    Using this, I know if my wort is about 150 degrees, I can expect a full boil in 45 minutes (85 mins-40 mins). Less if I simply let the wort run out into the burner on top of the cook top. My other is a 3,500 Watt unit - I haven't tested it with my large kettle.
     
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  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Your link has a permission error.
     
  3. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    I have been thinking about making the switch to induction as well, I will be following this thread closely. If the 1800w unit is your small one, can I assume the larger is a 3500w?
     
  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    no permission nosey.
     
  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've thought about that too, but I don't have the power in my garage to support it and my wife is not going to be on board with me moving stoves or dryers to brew. I just got a second kettle for my HLT and I may wire in a 1500W element for heating the strike water. Put it on a timer and let it heat up before I get going.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the permission error. Will post later, it's just a time-temperature curve, no big deal. Once I get the brews going, I'll post some pics of the "system" in action.
     
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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Got the stuff to do a 1554 clone (three gallons) to test out the induction rig. As to the Time/Temp curve, trying again....

    upload_2018-5-8_21-0-13.png
     
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  8. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I ended up with a 1800W induction burner and my small 3 gallon pot will work with it. So I could do dedoctions and what not but I'm not entirely sure I care enough to do them. Everything I read seems to indicate that's not really necessary with modern grains.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I agree, mostly, that decoction is not necessary with modern malts. There are exceptions but they're more stylistic or flavor related than converting the malt. The 1800 W burner is for three-gallon batches and heating stuff outside of the main boil (you mentioned decoctions). The 3500 W burner is for 6-gallon batches. I can do a full boil for the three gallon batch in my five gallon pot, the one that produced the curve above. I have another, insulated 5-gallon pot I have yet to test (insulated with Reflectix - since the heat is directly applied to the bottom, I don't have to worry about it melting or burning). I'll also have to etch volumes into the other pot before testing.
     
  10. DanC

    DanC Active Member

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    I am really interested in the 3500 Watt induction heater. How does it compare with a 65000 BTU gas heater?
     
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    If my garage had 240V I would be thrilled but it doesn't.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That part did cost me a bit. As long as someone can run the 1800W unit on a circuit with nothing else on it, it's a great option for small-batch brewers, much more efficient and cheap than burning gas.
     
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  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Eventually I'll look into my options for that, but for now propane is working fine.
     
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  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That should be, small boil brewers. Batch size is not the same as boil size.
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    First induction brew day behind me, 3 gallon batch of 1554 clone. To begin with, a rather silly error: I scaled the recipe down from the original 5-gallon batch. Ingredients scaled nicely; however, the losses do not scale, resulting in me making far too much wort. I had some problems with the recipe as well. It wasn't dark enough, nor did it include enough grain, despite the calculator telling me it did. But I could make up for it. The induction units performed nicely but I discovered a couple things: First, the boil-off rate isn't as high as on my propane rig because I don't have to boil as hard, second, one of the units has a failsafe that cuts it off at one hour. I was boiling away, went away for a while and came back to a "flameout" situation. But all in all, I liked using the units. No fighting the wind, a good, consistent boil. I'm not doing away with the propane burner in case I have to heat something very quickly but I won't be using it often, and not at all for 3-gallon batches.
     
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  16. DanC

    DanC Active Member

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    Nosy did you perform a temperature vs time graph with the 3500 watt unit?
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Haven't yet. Will get around to it sometime soon (hopefully).
     
  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Was working on it tonight, ran out of time. It seems that the 3500 watt unit will heat eight gallons of water at the same rate as the 1800 watt unit will heat four gallons. Makes sense - double the mass, double the energy input, should get the same curve, meaning I can brew a 6-gallon batch on the induction heater.
     
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  19. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    #19 Nosybear, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
    Okay, got it. The 3500 Watt unit will bring 8 gallons of water to a boil here in Denver (6,000', or 201 degrees F) in just over an hour. It's a nice, rolling boil. I'm looking forward to doing a 5 gallon batch on the new "system." Here are all the relevant time-temp curves - the 5-gallon curves are on the 1800 Watt unit, the 10-gallon on the 3500 Watt unit, 4 gallons and 8 gallons.
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Time/Temp curves:
    upload_2018-5-23_21-21-0.png
     
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