Brewing on an electric stovetop

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by rmalinowski4, Feb 22, 2013.

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  1. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Disciple (329) Oct 22, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Does anyone brew on the older style electric stove tops that have the exposed coils? Can you get 5-6 gallons to a boil fairly quickly? How is it working out for you? Looking into possibilities for a indoor brew room where I don't have to worry about gas fumes.
  2. benidy

    benidy Initiate (0) May 4, 2008 Missouri

    I used to. I hated it. It damaged my stove top. The stove top couldn't handle the heat radiating back from the pot. It took forever to boil. I could only do a 3 gallon boil or risk a boil over. I'm sure it scorched the wort a bit because of the localized contact with the heat source, but that was the least of my concerns.

    I stay outside now. I wouldn't come back inside unless I had a gas stove that allowed me to put the pot over two burners.
  3. mugs1789

    mugs1789 Initiate (184) Dec 6, 2005 Maryland

    I used to do partial boils on an electric coil cooktop. However, I could not get a 5-6 gallon batch up to a full boil.
  4. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (307) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    most everyone who began brewing more than 10 years ago has had bad experiences with electric stove tops. then we all discovered turkey fryers and never looked back. yes, you can boil wort on an electric coil. if you can use two coils and straddle them with the kettle even better. but 5 gallons is alot to ask from an 1800 watt coil. a 3 gallon concentrated boil is more practical in my experience. the coil scorches the wort, takes a long time to get a boil going and the boil is usually weak.

    if you want to boil indoors and must use electric, consider a 220 volt receptacle. or a coil with the addition of a heat stick immersion heater. you would need some basic wiring skills or call an electrician.
    electric heat has alot going for it, but boiling wort is not one of them.
  5. premierpro

    premierpro Disciple (384) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    I did partial boils for 4 years. I also had to listen to alot of bitching about burning the stove top. We don't even want to talk about boil overs!
  6. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Disciple (329) Oct 22, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Very well, Looks like i will be staying in the garage and using propane.
  7. od_sf

    od_sf Aspirant (265) Nov 2, 2010 California

    Yep, still using one now, and I hate it. One of the reasons I do a lot of small 1 gallon batches actually. I can't get 3 gallons of water to a vigorous boil, let alone 5+.

    This weekend I'm doing a 1 gallon batch BIAB. I'll need to mash in my 5 gallon pot, then transfer the wort to my 2 gallon kettle to boil, because I can't get any amount of water to boil vigorously in my 5 gallon kettle due to the larger surface area!

    I cannot wait to move to a place that has a nice gas stove!
  8. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,598) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    I did it for 3 years. Full boil all grain batches on a small efficiency apartment stove using a split pot approach. I had three working burners with small, medium, and extra medium power output (it was electric, so no high power!). I had a 2 gallon, 3 gallon and 5 gallon pot. 5/10ths of my wort went into the 5 gallon pot, 3/10 went into the 3 gallon pot, and 2/10ths went into the 2 gallon pot. Bring them to a boil, and then split your hop additions up proportionally among them all. Once the boil is complete, the two small kettles are combined with the big for chilling and racking.

    Now that I have a house with a gas stove, I do the same approach but only need two burners to pull it off.
  9. sclinchy14

    sclinchy14 Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2012 Virginia

    I have a similar setup. Two five gallon pots on two burners. It does take 25-30 minutes to come up to a boil, but once you're there it works fine. Can't imagine trying to get 6 gallons to boil on a single burner, though.
  10. Xul

    Xul Crusader (763) May 18, 2008 California

    I've managed a setup where I can get 5 - 5.5 gallons up to a boil, and it doesn't take too long, roughly 30 minutes between completion of the mash and start of the boil. I wrapped my kettle in aluminum foil and keep the burner on full blast. For three gallon batches, it works fine, but it would probably be impossible for 5 gallon batches (starting the boil with 6.5 - 7 gallons). It's by no means an optimal setup, but living in an apartment with no BBQs/propane burners allowed on the patio, I've made it work.
  11. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (267) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    Of course you can brew on an electric stove; altho from the sounds of it...there appears to be a decree somewhere requiring the batch size of home-brew to be 5G.

    Many...if not stoves have ED when it comes to bringing enough wort for 5G batch-size to a rolling boil; however...that doesn't mean the stove doesn't have the stamina for a smaller...perkier 2 1/2G batch-size.
  12. Ejayz

    Ejayz Initiate (0) May 15, 2011 Iowa

    If you want to set up a nice indoor brewing room this is the way to do it !
    Checkout episode 40 Bad Ass Brewery this is the best example of an indoor brew room I have seen! ( I dream about having a room like this in my home)
  13. StylzMC

    StylzMC Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2012 Yukon (Canada)

    Search for information about using heating elements in your pot ifyou want to boil 6-7 gallons. YOu can find some that'll work with a kitchen outlet and not blow anything.
  14. Darthballs

    Darthballs Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2011 Missouri

    somebody might have mentioned this, but I boil on and electric stove top from time to time, I actually split it into 2 pots. works out just fine. split any hop additions evenly as you can. hope this helps.
  15. mountsnow1010

    mountsnow1010 Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2009 Vermont

    I echo the turkey fryer comment. I think one of the biggest reasons for a "twang" in beer isn't extract, but using an electric stove. My electric coils get outrageously hot, but don't transfer the heat very effectively or over a wide space, so you get very small areas of very very VERY hot metal. I am not sure but I think that this was causing a distinct off flavor in my early batches. That flavor has gone away since moving to a turkey fryer (but I switch to all grain at the same it could have been that as well). And yes, I took the pot off the heat before adding my extract :slight_smile:
  16. beer272

    beer272 Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2009 New Jersey

    3 gallon concentrated boil in a 5 G pot is what I typically have done since the beginning on my crappy electric stove in the apt for > 30 brews. I make sure I really scrub down/ stir the pot every 5 minutes to prevent scorching. Also tends to darken the wort.

    The last few batches went with a heat stick (2 kW) I built. Wow, a super vigorous boil. I prop the lid over the pot the best I can as this super rigorous boil to try to catch as much of the splashing. I was thinking how can I regulate this guy... Now looking a building a new 1.5 kW heat stick that will come down and be at the bottom of the pot. The action of my first heat stick makes me think 5 G wort would not be a problem, just need a bigger pot. I think I am a heat stick guy now. Just did my first AG the other day with the heat stick, found out I could use another one at times.
  17. Beeranator

    Beeranator Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2013 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I've been using an electric stove in my apartment but I also do 3 gallon partial boils then mix it with 2 gallons in the carboy. It works for me so far as I have yet to experience a turkey fryer.
  18. tlacott1

    tlacott1 Initiate (0) Jun 16, 2012 Maryland

    It is a pain in the ass to get it to boil and then to maintain a boil after adding stuff. I would invest in a propane burner.
  19. jucifer1818

    jucifer1818 Initiate (0) May 15, 2011 Florida

    I use a electric range with a bucket heater (ready made heating stick)

    you can find one on amazon for about 40-50$ and it makes brewing on your stove pretty easy, tho be warned, it can damage your stove after a while (tho its just the metal plate under the burners and those can be replaced)

    I highly recommended the heat stick/stove combination, its served me very well as I like to brew indoors.
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