Quantcast

Gas Fired 70l S/s Pot Or Electric Urn

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

Aydos

Well-Known Member
Joined
22/9/11
Messages
486
Reaction score
77
I am really undecided on how I would like to progress into AG brewing as I don't want to go down an avenue and find out that I am going to need more parts or things are going to become obsolete to me in the future. I have decided for now that I would like to get into it via BIAB as it seems to be far cheaper to start out with just the one vessel and build from there. Now before everyone tells me to search this subject, I have already and there is so much information on multiple sites that the information just starts to get a bit conflicting and I end up in the same place as I was when I started, very confused and over-whelmed.

I have a few questions that I would really like answered and this should really help with making my decision all that easier.

1. How much does gas cost to run? how long will a 9kg bottle last me for if I was to be only mashing for a 23L batch into the fermenter? This includes heating the mash water, doing mashout and mostly 60 min boils?

2. There are so many threads on the benefits of exposed elements for having a far better boil and that the concealed element in the crown urn isn't up to the task of boiling full volume but how bad is the concealed urn really for its boil. I don't want to modify the urn if I was to purchase the concealed element urn as I believe that the protection is there for a reason. If I was to go down the electrical side then I would be boiling indoors and I would most likely lag the urn. I have been told that the concealed element will sufficiently boil a wort under 1.060 but struggles with anything over 1.060. Not saying that it is a problem for me now but could limit me in the future when I decide that I want to make stronger beers down the track. Does anyone have much experience with the concealed or exposed elements with batches that are over that 1.060 reading? Does the wort really burn on the exposed element versions that bad that it changes the colour of the beer or 'caramelise' it? Also how often does the wort burn on the concealed versions and is there easy ways around cleaning it with the wort still in the urn during the boil so that it doesn't continually cut the element out?

3. How much electricity do the urns use? Is it comparable to gas?

4. How fast does it really take to boil 30L in a 70L pot using either a 3 ring burner (31.5mj burner) in comparison to an exposed or concealed element, is it that different?

Just a little info on my part to make it easier to understand where I am at. I am only new to brewing and I really like the idea of making better tasting beer and being able to completely customise it to suit my needs, this is why I want to start doing AG for myself. I like to challenge myself and I feel that going into AG brewing is going provide that challenge that I need. I don't have any plans on making larger batches as of yet (still happy to continue making 23L batches) but I would like to get into Kegging in the future so I probably still wont have any need to make any larger batches. I don't want to spend a fortune on a set-up as the more that I get into home brewing, the more that it is costing me to get set up for it. I know it all pays for itself in the end but I just want to go with the cheapest but most efficient method to get my foot in the door for starters.

I will be posting this on a few different forums just to see if there are different views on them all.

Thanks in advance

Regards
Aydan
 

black_labb

Well-Known Member
Joined
16/2/10
Messages
1,022
Reaction score
121
Electric is going to be quite a bit cheaper in terms of energy. Will cost $0.50-$1.00 or so depending on specifics. Gas will use quite a bit more and you have the added hassle of refilling bottles. 5-6$ sounds about right but others with gas will be able to tell you.

Electric can be done inside where gas needs to be done outside

You shouldn't leave your gas burner going without watching it. Electricity is safer to leave going.

Gas is more adjustable, you can have a quick ramp up then dial it down when you get to the boil. With electric your likely to have to wait a while between mash out and boil as it heats as you only have an on off switch. You can make good use of this time by doing a dunk sparge or painting your toenails.

Electricity gets complicated when you want to do larger batches as you either have to have 2 elements plugged into different outlets or get someone in to wire a 20a+ circuit to the house, but for single batches it makes a lot of sense to people.

I'd recommend electricity for single batches, it's the big batches that get more difficult to manage on electricity without modding the wiring of the house



If you are a handy person then you could put an element into the 70L pot which might be a suitable option. The 70L pot would be suitable for double batches if you put a second element into it (and plugged it into a different circuit) or for a HLT or similar, though doing it with gas you would be pretty ready to do a double batch without a change of equipment.
 

adniels3n

Well-Known Member
Joined
15/2/11
Messages
134
Reaction score
0
Welcome & hello! I started out last year with the plan of going all out 3 vessel with all the trimmings. I now BIAB in a 50L keggle with an over the side immersion heater. Easy as.
Gas will run out as you're about to mash out. Or 30min into a boil. Gas was getting more expensive each time I swapped a bottle (no refillers here).
You can use the keggle elsewhere if you decide to move away from BIAB later.
If you can find a good 70L pot, I'd recommend it over a 50L Keggle for easy bigger batches (19L of AG beer doesn't last long)
My lagged keggle ramps up at 1degC/min and boils 40L no worries. Holds +/-1degC over a 60min mash.

Oh yeah, big plus on the "No flames around the kiddies" factor for me.
 

wombil

Well-Known Member
Joined
20/2/11
Messages
504
Reaction score
45
Hello aydos,
I get at least 5,maybe a little more 23 litre brews out of a 9 Kg. bottle doing 1 hour boils.
I always start with hot water from the hot water system.That helps a lot.
wombil.
 

pk.sax

RIP bum
Joined
19/8/10
Messages
4,362
Reaction score
415
One advantage of gas fired BIAB is that there is no element in the way. Just pop the smallest cake rack you can find in and you are good to go for doing small step mashes by direct heating.

Gas is also quicker and easier if you have outdoors space, there is a bit of mess created with every brew, the occasional splash, near boilovers, spill from hose etc. Doing it outside is easier for cleanup. However, if you have a shed, you don't probably care either way. Electricity is better in a confined space, no suffocation etc...

People say gas is expensive, but I did my 5th brew the other day + occasional bbq use to grill corn etc... Bottle is still going. Depends on what burner/regulator you are using. I have an italian spiral, raised 25-30C wort to boil in 15ish minutes.
Electricity, well, I have the dreaded keg king element, just made an HLT, seems to heat up the water very quickly. Only problem is running a lead from inside the house to outside, again, non-issue if you have a shed/garage/brew inside.

btw, regardless of anything else, you'd be making a lot of steam, so have adequate ventilation. Again, brewing outside takes that problem away.
 

Diesel80

Well-Known Member
Joined
4/8/11
Messages
790
Reaction score
154
Location
Perth, WA
aydos,

I brew with an 80L pot, i use a 3 ring gas burner & an over the side element in tandem.
I use the element to heat the mash water.
I use both to get to the boil
I then turn the gas down and use gas and element for a 60min boil.

Go to woe, i use 400-600g of gas per brew - depending on my level of patience! (i have only weighed twice though. So not the most reliable stats!)
With a 70/80L pot a single element will struggle getting 40L of wort to boil with the large surface area. I also use an ally pot which doesn't help.
With Gas and a 2400W element there is no dramas boiling 40L of wort in good time. Can hold it at anything from a gentle boil to f*cking boiling its tits off, and adjusting up and down is easy.

With this setup i will soon try brewing a double, may take a bit longer to boil but should only add 1hour to the brew day but will require at least 2x the gas.

I BIAB also.

Cheers,
D80
 

Crusty

The Electric Brewery
Joined
29/6/08
Messages
2,614
Reaction score
601
Location
Yamba, NSW
Aydan,
I used to run lpg gas with my mongolian burners & went to a Crown exposed element urn for biab. I sourced a v-shaped roasting rack from a kitchen shop ( $16.00 ) to cover the element. I looked at the concealed element urn but see quite a few people having issues with the urn cutting out because of the boil dry protection due to gunk build up on the element. As you stated in your post, you are looking to do single batch beers, 23lt or so. I think an electric urn will suit you to a tee. If you wanted to do double batches, then a gas fired rig may be a better option. I tossed up between the advantages & disadvantages of single vs double batches & came to the conclusion that single batch beers suit me better. If you are looking to do bigger beers, maxi biab may suit you. I always brew beers between 4-6% so this setup suits me. I have to brew more often which I love to do & the single vessel simplicity of biab is awesome. I will never go back to 3V brewing, gas burners, immersion chillers ever again. No chill, electric biab, too easy.
 

Aydos

Well-Known Member
Joined
22/9/11
Messages
486
Reaction score
77
sounds good guys I am leaning towards the expose element at the moment, it seems to be suiting my needs which is great. I don't mind a little extra cleaning that doesn't really bother me, ill probable just purchase some PBW (whatever its called) when I get the urn. I wont be purchasing for about 2 months so this is definitely a good head start in the right direction.
 

Bribie G

Adjunct Professor
Joined
9/6/08
Messages
19,838
Reaction score
4,393
Exposed elements are ok as long as you give them a good scrub with a green Scotch Brite religiously after every brew. Now and again make up a paste with some supermarket citric acid from the baking aisle and brush it all over the element to descale any hidden areas and you'll be sweet.
 

Latest posts

Top