Hob/stove for boiling

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BackToBasics

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Well, it's been a while since I've been on here.

After a bit of a break I've decided to get back into brewing. I'd only done kits before and wanted to move onto all grain/BIAB. For the moment I'm sticking to small batches using a 10L stock pot for the mash and boil but I'll want to move onto 40 pint brews at some point.

I did my first brew yesterday using the 10l stock pot. The mash went well (I'm using a sous vide wand to maintain temp) but it turns out my electric hob isn't powerful enough to get the wort to boil without leaving the lid on. As a result I didn't lose as much liquid as expected and ended up with an OG of 1.040 rather than the expected 1.055.

I'm in a rented place so I can't swap out the hob so I've looked at a couple of alternatives. First option is a stand alone induction hob. Most seem to be rated at 2,000w. Second option is a camping stove using those small bottles of butane. Those that I've seen suggest they are equivalent of 2,000w. Would either of these be able to bring the 10L pot to the boil. What about when I scale up to a larger pot for a 40pint brew? If possible I'd rather just buy something that will cope with both rather than have to upgrade at a later date.

Any input appreciated.
 

Ghillie

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Watch out if you go down the induction hob route, not all pots are compatible.

If I were you, I’d look for a 30L boiler (tea urn style).
 

HarryFlatters

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You could keep the lid on but factor in the reduced boil losses when working out your recipe.
I thought that some of the volatile compounds that you don't want in your beer are supposed to be driven off during the boil, so covering up your kettle isn't the way to go.
 

phildo79

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I use a 2kw induction hob with a 15L stock pot. I have reduced my boil size from 10L to 6L without any issues. I then add water post boil to 20L. So long as you use a good brewing recipe tool (I use Brewer's Friend), you can calculate everything quite easily.

I am an extract brewer so it works well for me. If you are an AG brewer, an all in one system would seem the easiest solution. However, you could buy one of these, https://www.caterkwik.co.uk/cgi-bin/trolleyed_public.cgi?action=showprod_BUFFALOCE208
 

BackToBasics

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I am an extract brewer so it works well for me. If you are an AG brewer, an all in one system would seem the easiest solution. However, you could buy one of these, https://www.caterkwik.co.uk/cgi-bin/trolleyed_public.cgi?action=showprod_BUFFALOCE208
That's the sort of thing I've been looking at. That's the first one I've seen at 3kw though it's reflected in the price (2kw seem to comes in at £50-75).

That looks awesome and, while more than I was looking to spend, isn't as pricey as I would have expected. I'm not quite sure where I could keep it but I'm definitely going to be adding it my wishlist of equipment.

I might just get a cheap 2kw induction hob for the time being to cope with the 10l pot (I've checked and the pot is fine with induction) and maybe get the mash kettle in a couple of months when I want to scale things up.
 

terrym

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@BackToBasics
If it's any help I use the largest 'ring' on our ceramic (non induction) hob for my stock pot. The diameter of the ring is 220mm and it is rated at 2.2kw. The pot base is also 220mm (I selected it for that reason) and total volume is 11 litres but a working volume of 9 litres. I find that I can carry out the boil with more than enough in hand typically cycling between settings 6 and 7 out of the max of 9.
I do partial mashes and so the 9 litre boil wort goes into the FV and is topped up to 19-22 litres along with DME according to the recipe. This works for me and may be a solution for you with a restricted pot size without you needing to buy any more kit other than a larger hob.
However before you go down the induction route you need to check out if your existing pot is suitable for an induction hob by testing it with a magnet. If the base is magnetic it will work, if its not its unlikely to work. Best way is to try it on someone elses induction hob to be completely sure
 

phildo79

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However before you go down the induction route you need to check out if your existing pot is suitable for an induction hob by testing it with a magnet. If the base is magnetic it will work, if its not its unlikely to work.
Even if it is magnetic, it still might not work. Happened to me. Some stainless steel is magnetic.

2kw seem to comes in at £50-75
That seems pricey. I got mine for about £30. This is virtually the same as the one I have. Just a different name.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VonShef-Induction-Portable-Ceramic-Electric/dp/B017WBRY7G/ref=pd_sbs_79_img_2/262-0516889-5952758?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B017WBRY7G&pd_rd_r=99ef3d86-d32f-4174-89f7-960bafa96a17&pd_rd_w=wpxNQ&pd_rd_wg=RsAUc&pf_rd_p=e44592b5-e56d-44c2-a4f9-dbdc09b29395&pf_rd_r=CZ2PFEZBMTCJ21Z81YF1&psc=1&refRID=CZ2PFEZBMTCJ21Z81YF1
 

Subtle Duck

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If you're after cheap and cheerful. A camping stove can get a good boil going with 10ltrs. For an hour boil you use about 2/3 of a bottle of gas.
 

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Drunkula

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I use a stainless frying pan lid in a plastic fermenter on an induction hotplate and even on 1500 watts it can boil 26 litres of wort so I get almost 2 litres per hour boil off. It's insulated with some stuffing from an old sofa wrapped round with bungee cords.
 

BackToBasics

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If you're after cheap and cheerful. A camping stove can get a good boil going with 10ltrs. For an hour boil you use about 2/3 of a bottle of gas.
Cheers. I've used these on camping trips and thought that they used a lot more fuel than that but the one I was looking claims over an hour per bottle which seems to be in line with your experience. I think this might be the solution until I can justify buying the mash kettle linked above.
 

Subtle Duck

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I brewed for a while on one of these, just shows you don't need shiney kit to produce good beer. I am intregued in drunkulas set up though. It'd saved me the effort of drilling and installing a kettle element in my stainless kettle
 

Ghillie

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I'd get an all in one system.
Clint is on the money here. It’s a substantial outlay respective to a portable induction hob - but I’m sure it’s something you’ll love.

Easy to clean, don’t take up much room and can turn around excellent beer. I use a Robobrew and can’t fault it.
 

Session

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I'd get an all in one system.
+2

As someone who was in the same position as you (doing 10L batches on my stove) when I started, I enjoyed it, but would not hesitate to go straight to something like a Robobrew if buying again.

One issue you will have with AG using a sous-vide when compared to extract is it will be very difficult to ensure even temperature distribution throughout the grainbed due to the thickness of the mash. I would not rely on a sous-vide for maintenance of accurate mash temps, better to insulate the balls off your mash tun or stick it in your oven as the thermal insulation is excellent and the space relatively small - just make sure you don’t turn the oven on!
 

phildo79

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I use a stainless frying pan lid in a plastic fermenter on an induction hotplate and even on 1500 watts it can boil 26 litres of wort so I get almost 2 litres per hour boil off. It's insulated with some stuffing from an old sofa wrapped round with bungee cords.
Effing genius, mate!
 

phildo79

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You'd imagine the amount of heat generated in the lid would melt the plastic base of the bucket. I know if you stick a block of cheese on an induction hob at full whack, nothing will happen, but if you touch the centre of the hob after brewing, it's quite toasty.
 

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