Electric Brewing

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Frankenbrewer, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Hi folks, I'm getting beat down on brew day lugging all my equipment up from the basement to the garage and back (multiple trips).:confused: So I am looking to make brew day easier by just brewing in my basement. For those of you that brew in your basements, what is your set up i.e. brew system, venting etc. My other options are build a brew shed (way too much $$$) or continue hauling stuff to the garage. I need some ideas on this so let me thank you in advance.

    "Oh my aching back";)
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Brewing indoors eliminates propane as a heat source. You could, if available, use natural gas but you'd have to install a hood unless you're limiting yourself to small batches. I use a 220V induction cooktop (3,500 watt) to heat, my recirculation systems is RIMS based, all 110 V (1,600 watt). If you have 220 in your basement (assuming you're in the US), that might be the way to go. That would eliminate the need for venting gas from the propane flame. It generates a lot of heat and humidity, a box fan in the basement door (we have a walk-out) pulls that out. It actually improved my beer: The perverse Colorado weather gods would almost invariably stir up a wind just as I was sitting my kettle on the flame to start the boil, resulting in variable heating - no bueno.
     
  3. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    No basements here in Louisiana since the water table is at nearly ground level. I brew, ferment, and dispense in my garage. I always make 2.5 gallon batches. I have an electric 4 gallon mash/brew vessel. I use a modified BIAB technique. I have a shelving unit on the side of my garage right next to the keezer. I have the fermenter on the shelving unit. I have a chilled water reservoir in the keezer that I use to pump to the fermenter for temperature control in the summer. It takes up a small amount of space and I have all of my gear in one spot. It helps that I have a utility sink next to the shelving unit for ease of cleanup.

    The only downside to the setup is that it's very hot in the garage in the summer when I am brewing.
     
  4. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Have you thought about an all in one system? There are a variety of them available with a price range that starts at about $250 and goes up from there. The biggest difference in the more expensive ones are what they come equipped with and how automated they are. Base models generally don't come with a pump or wort chiller and you can't pre program them.

    I'm a hands on person, so don't mind changing the temperature settings for each step. I also already had a wort chiller, pump and plumbing I used with my propane setup, so went for the Digiboil with the mash upgrade kit. It's pretty much a bare bones system, but does a good job for me.
     
  5. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Is your set up garage, indoors or basement?
     
  6. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    I've been banned from brewing inside the house...the missus hates the smell of boiling wort.

    My gear is all in plastic bins is also in basement and I haul it around when I brew. I move it up by putting it out the basement window (which is just above ground level). Saves the hauling up the stairs.
     
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  7. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I am in the US Northeast. I would go to electric in a heartbeat if I can figure out how to get the moisture out without major contruction to the house
     
  8. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    If you go all electric and use Spike Brewing non-vent boil cover, you could do it in the basement without adding any venting to the outside.

    Here's the link: https://spikebrewing.com/collections/tri-clamp-kettle-accessories/products/steam-condenser-lid

    I thinking of going this way so I don't have the cost of adding a vent hood and punching a hole through the concrete wall.

    I saw this in a brewery one time and thought it was pretty slick. The steam from the boil is directed into a tube that turns downward and a small spray of water condenses the steam in the downward facing tube and it went down the drain. This one has a pump that creates a fine mist that lands in a bucket. The water can be recirculated. Very compact, but a little pricey. But so are hoods and vents.
     
  9. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Looks cool but I would still need to go electric for a heat source.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That is a problem we do not have in Denver. You would need a hood regardless.
     
  11. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I brew in the kitchen. Convenient to be right next to the sink, so I clean as I go. I built a small bench that I bring in to put the Digiboil. on so it's at a comfortable level and I can gravity transfer to the fermenters. I turn on the hood fan and open the window just behind the sink. I'm in the high desert, so humidity is usually very low.

    Digiboil.jpg
     
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  12. rolandblais

    rolandblais Member

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    I used to brew on the porch with my propane set up (basements are rare where live), but I've moved into the house. I move the dish rack out of the way, and use my RoboBrew right next to the sink. Super convenient. After I'm done and the beer's in the fermenter, I clean it and stow it in a little "annex" to our kitchen. Formerly an office but now my "beer room", where the beers ferment and the keggerator holds the fruits of my labors. The only idiosyncrasies are - I have to use a step ladder to get high enough to lift the malt pipe to sparge. And last weekend I brewed up a stout that maxed out the RoboBrew with 18lbs of grain. That was heavy. It was only after that brew session that I read about Reiterated Mashing... I should try a set up similar to Bob357's. And the second is my sink has no fixture that I can attach a hose fitting to, so I have to use a half-assed rig with a 3 gallon pot on the counter, into which I submerge a cheap pump I bought at Lowe's, hooked up to my chiller. I fill the pot with the sink faucet, and the other end drains into the sink. If I'm careful, it mostly stays balanced wth a moderate flow, and chills from Boiling to 80' in about 25 min. I couldn't put the pump in the sink, because it doesn't have enough water lift strength to pump upwards more than about a foot and a half or so. But hey it works for now.
     
  13. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Would it be possible to build shelves in the garage to keep all of your equipment there?
     
  14. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    If your kitchen faucet has an aerator, which almost all do, there are adapters available to swap out with the aerator enabling you to hook up a standard hose. If not, it's pretty simple to replace the faucet with one that will work for you.
    https://www.lowes.com/search?searchTerm=faucet+adapter
     
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  15. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I brew small batches (2.5 - 3 gal) on the kitchen stove. It's a bit more convenient but still need to get stuff out of the basement. I've got to stop procrastinating and come up with a plan.....In the meantime, I'm still brewing :D
     
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  16. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    There is nowhere near enough humidity in the air in Edmonton for it to be a concern indoors.
     
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  17. rolandblais

    rolandblais Member

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    Thank you, but it doesn't. This is what we have. It works really well for cleaning though!
     
  18. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    OK. May be grasping straws here, but if the head screws off, an adapter may work on the end of the flex line.
     
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  19. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Plastic Bin Brewers Unite! This method guarantees a good night's sleep!
     
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  20. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    It’s possible you can tap into the supply line under the sink with some kind of valve that t’s off. I’ve never actually seen this, just read about it, so I don’t know what it would take. But a little online research should give you the answer.
     

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