In the March-April 2014 issue of BYO, Josh Weikert wrote a great story about brewing with induction heat. I have to admit, after reading the piece that even I am considering an apartment-sized setup. When I first read Josh's manuscript, I got to the section that said, "If these limitations give you a moment of pause and you're not willing to take the leap completely, that's perfectly understandable. However, let me suggest that the only thing cooler than having a homebrewery . . . is having two homebreweries! Imagine it: a production system out in the shed, cranking out large batches of proven recipes for three seasons, and a smaller 2.5-gallon (9.4-L) pilot system for when the north winds start to blow, with you tinkering away in front of a roaring fire and perfecting the next season's beers. For about $200, you can add an induction-powered secondary or pilot system to your brewing capabilities." I thought to myself, "A 1 or 2-gallon induction setup is something I could definitely commit to in my little, ancient apartment."
Apparently I wasn't the only one interested in the flexibility that induction brewing could provide as Josh's story generated quite a bit of reader mail. He even heard from a reader from Poland who translated the piece into Polish to share with his homebrew club! Normally we run most of our feedback in the "Mail" department of the magazine, but I could only fit a few letters into the next issue of BYO. There were lots of other good questions for Josh, though, so I thought I'd share the rest (look for the first three letters in the "Mail" department of the May-June 2014 issue). Hopefully he answers some of yours in the process, but if not, drop him an email at josh.weikert @ gmail.com.
I am designing a brew kitchen in the basement. It's completely unfinished, so I've got a lot of flexibility of what I can do, but not a ton of space. I've got about 7.5' x 5' of space – basically the size of a small bathroom. I think I want to go electric. The ventilation requirements on gas/propane made my head spin. I really like the induction model because it basically allows me to use my existing pot/kettles without modification. I think I can swing a 240-V model, but does that mean I will need two of them? One for HLT and the other for the boil kettle? Is there a way I could get away with one "large" induction surface? I did some research on-line, but for the size of a brew kettle (7 gallons), it didn't look like there was anything powerful enough that was also large enough to fit two kettles. The "affordable" 240-V units were all single burners – like this one – which is also rated at 20 amps, so I think I would need to two circuits for two units. Am I on the right track in my thinking?
- Stephen Reed