Portable Induction for Small Flat Brewing

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by AJIsaaks, Jan 10, 2019.

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  1. Jan 10, 2019 #1

    AJIsaaks

    AJIsaaks

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    Good morning everyone,

    I am very very new to brewing - it has something I have been interested in doing for some time now and for Christmas I received a brewing starter kit and brewed my first 1 US gallon batch over the weekend. I had bought a 10L cooking pot to brew the wort in on my electric hob top and then siphoned it into a demijohn - however I found it incredibly difficult to get the wort to fully boil and to then maintain a rolling boil.

    I’ve tried looking for a kettle element that can be hung ‘over the side’ and plug into the wall for more oomph, but no luck so far. I don’t have the facilities or tools to purchase a normal element and drill a hole into the side of the pot so for me that eliminates that avenue. However, I came across a page (https://byo.com/article/induction-brewing/) that wrote about using a portable induction hob for those brewing very small/small batches. Some brand recommendations I have seen includes Buffalo, but I’m put off the price tag at this moment because I’m still in the infancy stage of brewing. I have seen some glowing reviews of IKEA’s own branded induction hob - would anyone recommend this? I live in a tiny flat in London so I’m going for small and few items (for space) rather than specialist stuff at this moment in time - my goal is to steadily build up equipment in the future as I delve deeper into brewing.

    As a secondary question - I’ve brewed from a kit that came with malt extract, packaged hops and yeast. This has been fun but I was wondering what the next natural progression would be from kit brewing? I’ve seen BIAB being thrown around but would be interested in knowing how people progress for more customisation.

    Really appreciate everyone’s feedback, especially if there are some terms I have used incorrectly.

    Best,

    Adam
     
  2. Jan 10, 2019 #2

    IainM

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  3. Jan 10, 2019 #3

    BeerCat

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    Keep an eye out for a sh buffalo induction. They are fantastic. Cant comment on any others. What wattage is it? The buffalo is 3kw and will boil 50l.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2019 #4

    foxbat

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    I think the IKEA is 2kW. That's more than enough to boil 10 litres with induction because the efficiency is so good.

    Keep the lid on while it comes to the boil then take the lid off and set to about 1.5-1.6kW to maintain a gentle rolling boil until you're done.

    I assume that you know your pot has a base that is compatible with induction?
     
  5. Jan 11, 2019 #5

    AJIsaaks

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    Thank you so much everyone, and thank you to whoever moved this post to the right place (accidentally posted it in the 'welcome' forum!)

    I'm pretty sure it's stainless steel and had an induction symbol on the side when I bought it - I'll stick a magnet to the bottom when I get home this evening and check.

    Thanks for the feedback as well. Specs of the IKEA Tillreda below:
    • Hob with induction cooking zone: 1x185 mm.
    • Current: 8,5A.
    • Connection rating: 2000W.
    • 1x2000W induction zone.
    • Voltage: 220-240V.
    My only reservation with this model is that I've seen some people say that the hob turns on and the turns off, I presume as a way to 'control' temperature. But I feel I agree with you Foxbat - keep it low and get a gentle rolling boil, keep the lid on, should be fine.

    Thanks BeerCat, I will certainly keep an eye out for a Buffalo if I was to upgrade my quantities/manage to get a place with a garden shed. I'm only in need of something cheap, cheerful and easy to store that can boil 7 litres at most.

    Thanks also IainM for the link to the forum discussion All Grain.
     
  6. Jan 11, 2019 #6

    Ben034

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    If you're using induction, you can also wrap pot in insulation (camping mat with duct tape works) to improve boil and also get to the boil quicker. Either way youy shouldn't struggle with 10l.
     
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  7. Jan 11, 2019 #7

    Leon103

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    You say you are kit brewing, why would you need to boil the wort.

    I see shops like aldi and lidl do induction hobs that get good reviews.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2019 #8

    AJIsaaks

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    Hi Leon,

    The kit instructions specifically asks to boil the wort. I can't recall the exact wording but after steeping the grains, I had to bring the wort to boil, boil for an hour, and add the hops and malt at various times (during that hour). Maybe this is not classed as a 'kit'...?

    Thanks for the advice about Aldi and Lidl, there's one nearby so I'll go check out the middle aisle.

    Hi Ben,

    Great idea. Although I did see a 'what not to do' where somebody had wrapped the entire setup (hob included) in insulation, which then obstructed the airflow to the fan. The unit broke of course. But certainly wrapping the kettle in a sleeve of insulation would help reduce heat loss and therefore provide a quicker and easier boil.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2019 #9

    Leon103

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    Sorry misunderstanding. When I read malt extract i thought it was liquid malt extract from a tin, didn't realise you had grains etc
     
  10. Jan 11, 2019 #10

    Ben034

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    Yep, definitely don't wrap the induction unit! The insulation will help at a later date if you decide later to follow the BIAB method where you mash in the pot and maintaining a steady mash temperature is important. You may also then want a bigger pot though! I have an induction hob and it boils 18l (pot wrapped in insulation) without issue.
     
  11. Jan 11, 2019 #11

    terrym

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    @AJIsaaks
    If you dont want to spend much money at the present time there is a half way house between kit and all grain brewing which might be worth a thought, That's extract brewing which is covered here.
    https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/a-simple-guide-to-extract-brewing.75501/
    One advantage is that you don't have to boil all the wort volume. I make up 15/16 litre brews with two pots nominally sized at 3.5 and 5 litres. And you can make up many AG recipes by simply substituting malt extract for grain, although you can still use some grain if you wish by doing grain steeps.
     
  12. Jan 11, 2019 #12

    AJIsaaks

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    I'm humbled by everyone's responses so thank you.

    @terrym , I've read your guide and it sounds a lot like what I've done with my kit brew. I think it's classed as a kit brew but I'll roughly outline what I did and would appreciate if anyone could let me know what kind of brewing this is classed as:

    Northern Brewer - Caribou Slobber:
    Fill stock pot with about 6 litres of water. Heat up and allow grains to steep in muslin bag for about 10 minutes to get some colour going.
    Bring the liquid to a boil and add the liquid malt extract along with 7g of hop pellets. Boil this all together for 30 minutes
    Add 3g of hop pellets. Continue boiling for 15 minutes.
    Stop boiling and cool the wort down (I did this buy sticking the pot in the sink and filling it with water).
    Sanitise equipment and transfer wort to demijohn (Fermenting Vessel - FV?). Aerate and add beer yeast and air lock. Allow to ferment for about 2 weeks.
    Sanitise bottles and fill, add priming tablets and cap. Leave to ferment again for 2 weeks.

    I guess the key difference here is, as you mentioned, if I substituted the malt extract for grain then that would be how you described in your guide? Also interested in how you went from 3.5 litre pot to a yield of 15 litres...is it concentrated and then you add water; or is it a case you brew several batches and add them all to the same FV?
     
  13. Jan 11, 2019 #13

    Clint

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    With your limited space etc why not,for now,stick to top end two can kits such as the Young's range. They just need tipping into the fv,rinsing and topping up. They make very good beer too! And...using one can kits with some malt extract,dry or liquid,and pimping with some smaller amounts mashed grains. Check out the recipes on Coopers web site. I've done this and this also makes great beer! You can still dry hop to give a bit extra too!
     
  14. Jan 11, 2019 #14

    terrym

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    It looks like an extract brew with a grain steep. A grain steep is where you soak kilned grain, usually at about 65/70*C, to extract flavours and sugars, filter off the liquor after 30/60 mins and then boil that to sterilise with or without hops. Kilned grain is used because the starch in it has already been converted to sugars or burnt sugars and there is no need to mash it. However you need to mash some grains because they contain starch and the mashing process is what converts the starch to fermentable sugars by an enzyme action. The enzyme is present in some grains like pale malt but not others and so the mash must contain enough grain with the enzyme (diastase) so that all the starch is converted. That is what AG is all about. In extract brewing you don't need a mash (unless you want to augment it with a mini or partial mash using a small quantity of grain) because the maltster has already mashed the grain for you in the process that makes malt extract.

    And to make a 15 litre extract brew I use a 3.5 and also 5 litre pot to boil the wort etc etc and then top up with water like a kit all as described in 'the guide'
     
  15. Jan 11, 2019 #15

    BeerCat

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    Even the buffalo turns on and off until it's on 1.7kw then it's constant. All induction hobs work the same as far as I know. It's magnetic pulse.
    2kw should boil 30l but bear in mind you need a decent extractor to deal with the steam. Mine would not cope but I brew outside.
     
  16. Jan 11, 2019 #16

    Ben034

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    There's definitely a lot of steam. I've found a desk fan pointing towards an open window works a treat!
     
  17. Jan 12, 2019 #17

    AJIsaaks

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    Thanks everyone. Unfortunately disaster yesterday evening as I discovered my new pot is not magnetic and therefore will not work with an induction hob! Never mind...

    If there’s such a thing as a plug in kettle element that I can hang over the side then let me know!

    Adam
     
  18. Jan 13, 2019 #18

    Dutto

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    Have you actually checked with a magnet that the pot is non-magnetic? I had an induction pad that wouldn't work if the pot overhung the small circle in the middle, no matter what was placed on top!

    I CANNOT recommend it and I WILL NOT show it in a photo, but I did fit a kettle element into the bottom of a plastic bowl so that the element hung down into the wort, the bowl floated on top and the cord hung over the side of the Boiler.

    I made it when I only had a small gas-ring to boil the wort and the kettle element was used to speed up the process of bringing the wort to the boil. However, it was DANGEROUS even though protected with a variety of electrical cut-outs.

    It is the reason why I purchased a much larger gas-ring and put the kettle element and bowl up on the shelf ...

    ... as a reminder that an ex-HSE Manager should never have made it or used it!
     
  19. Jan 14, 2019 #19

    AJIsaaks

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    Thanks @Dutto , I tried again with a magnet after reading your comment because I thought 'maybe it's only magnetic towards the centre', and in fact it is - albeit very slightly. I can get a magnet to pull itself towards the pot but it's not particularly strong (but maybe it doesn't need to be). I might just bite the bullet and try an induction hob and see if I can get it to work. If I can't then I'll buy a new pot and use the old one as a FV maybe?

    Very interesting idea with the floating element. I think I can picture what you're describing. Sounds quite ingenious albeit dangerous.
     
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  20. Jan 14, 2019 #20

    alsacebrew

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