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RickBeer

Brewing energy consumption

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As we approach retirement this summer, and I think about my future home brewing setup, there are a lot of options.  We plan on relocating to a warmer climate, and therefore there are big unknowns as to what type of setup I can fit.  Currently I do BIAB on our stovetop natural gas stove, and can only do 2.75 gallon batches due to the ability to reach a boil.  In retirement, I'll probably want to do 5 gallon batches.

 

Where we're looking at retiring to it's very likely that we'll have propane - for heating, possibly for cooking.  Natural gas is rare there.  And of course I can go electric.

 

We're very focused on our impact on the environment, as well as ensuring that I understand the cost of any option, including energy (I don't today, no idea how much natural gas I use in the brewing process).  

 

Where we're moving to the electricity is created by water power (dam) and nuclear, so it's very "clean energy".  Also happens to be cheaper than here in Michigan where it's natural gas-created electricity.  

 

Wondering if anyone that has used an electric system has hooked up a Kilowatt or other measuring device to know how many kWh they are using during brewing?

 

Or, anyone with a propane burner that has somewhat accurately determined the amount of propane they are using?  I'll likely have a large propane tank for the house that I can utilize.

 

Thanks for any input.  

 

I'll also be moving from well water to city water, so I'll a) need to get it analyzed and b) no longer have "free" water.  I plan on utilizing lake water for cooling via my wort chiller if possible.  All sprinkler systems are powered by lake water, figure it will be easy to setup a spigot for this.

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Kinda late response, but congrats on the retirement! I’m using an outdoor propane burner that works fantastic! I think it’s a Blichmann, got a floor model and not all parts were there so the store owner took $50.00 off . Best brewing investment I’ve made. Now I use the common bbq grill size propane tanks and can usually get three batches of beer out of one full tank. Unfortunately, the brand tanks sold at lumber stores like Home Depot, and Lowe’s or any big lumber retailer, the tanks are only 65% filled. When I found this out from a friend, he told me to go to Uhaul where they max out to 80-85% capacity. And the cost here is half to fill than at the larger retailers. Plus one of the employees that work at Uhaul purges the tank beginning of fill to rid of any extra air that shouldn’t be in the tank and therefore, allow more consistent gas into the tank. 

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To add, Uhaul will basically fill just about any tank you have as long as it’s up to date with its certification. Simular to CO2 bottles certification. 

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Now if Rick is talking about the “ industrial size “ propane tank for rural homes that are filled like every two to three months, then these replies do not apply . 

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