Cooking with Gas

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Having brewed with gas in the Arizona desert presented unique challenges. Sweat and slippery hands aside, one of the most challenging aspects was temperature control. You could get an initial mash temp set fine but after adding the grains the temp starts to go so you turn up the heat and keep chasing it during the entire process. Boil overs were messy and you had to stay with the rig as long as it was flame on. Needless to say, I skewed a few batches due to temps fluxing. The reason I chose gas over electric was cost. We already had energy bills shooting north of $700usd mth (AC and pool pumps).

I'll soon have the chance to build a new brew room and the next brew setup will "definitely" be electric. Looking at the Grainfather G40.
So those on the fence about deciding with gas or electric take note.
 

Hangover68

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I've only used an electric kettle that i built and used an old foam yoga mat for insulation, this means that even in a cold Melbourne winter my final mash temp stays within 1-2 degrees of the initial temp.
Using gas would mean setting alight the insulation :)
 
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Gas and electricity prices are both highly volatile right now, poor predictors of future costs.

A/C, pool pumps, brewing? Sounds like a good case in Toowoomba for solar panels to meet at least part of the demand. Because feed-in tariffs have been slashed or eliminated. you might not want to install the capacity that would be required to meet simultaneous demand from A/C and brewing, because the little you'd get for the excess generated power at other times would not do much to amortise costs.

But do the research and costing yourself. Situations vary.

About mashing: I've always dropped a BIAB bag and pot with mash water into an insulated box, dropped the grain in and covered. I generally go a degree high on strike water temp to make up for immediate losses to the insulation, but subsequent temperature change is slight. If you mash in a machine, just get you initial temp, turn the thing off and wrap blankets around. Just don't have it on and blanketed at the same time.
 
Joined
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Toowoomba QLD
Gas and electricity prices are both highly volatile right now, poor predictors of future costs.

A/C, pool pumps, brewing? Sounds like a good case in Toowoomba for solar panels to meet at least part of the demand. Because feed-in tariffs have been slashed or eliminated. you might not want to install the capacity that would be required to meet simultaneous demand from A/C and brewing, because the little you'd get for the excess generated power at other times would not do much to amortise costs.

But do the research and costing yourself. Situations vary.

About mashing: I've always dropped a BIAB bag and pot with mash water into an insulated box, dropped the grain in and covered. I generally go a degree high on strike water temp to make up for immediate losses to the insulation, but subsequent temperature change is slight. If you mash in a machine, just get you initial temp, turn the thing off and wrap blankets around. Just don't have it on and blanketed at the same time.
Appreciate the feedback - excellent points. In hindsight, I would have sacrificed the cost of higher utility bills to get the consistency of electrics in the summer months. And I do not discount DIY for sure. I've lost batches, and off-flavors were challenging to deal with which I blame on the mash temps and boilovers with wort. And I won't even go into trying to cool the wort through a heat exchanger when piped groundwater is hot to the touch. Solar panels are definitely on the list.

I've seen others doing the BIAB in an insulated cooler - I haven't tried but this is something I want to experiment with.
Thanks again for your feedback - brewing is a learning and growing experience :)
Cheers
Bill
 

akx

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I'm happier with electric heating. Had a brew day planned once, and turned out to be a total fire ban day. Couldnt fire up the gas burner, total bummer. Plus everything is 240v here.
 

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