If you like to entertain your friends at home with bbq’s or football nights you might like the idea of brewing your own beer, if you don’t do it already. Did you know that you can get away with an electric hot plate for brewing beer if you make smaller batches?
So why would you want to use electric when most people who make their own beer use a propane burner?
If you’re a beginner or if you don’t have an appropriate outside area where you can set up a propane burner being able to brew indoors can be a great incentive to give brewing beer a go.
What do you need to make homemade beer?
The experts at Northern Brewer.com suggest you start with this equipment list if you want to buy the parts separate or you can buy a kit.
- Brewing Kettle.
- Fermenter + Air Lock.
- Funnel (optional)
- Stir Spoon.
- Beer Recipe Kit (or individual ingredients)
You then need a heat source.
If you’re brewing indoors you can use your kitchen stove if it can handle a large brewing kettle (if it has a glass surface it might have a weight limit). You’ll probably find it takes a bit of time to heat up the contents to the required temperature but it’s do-able to start off with
You can buy an electric brew kettle which is more of an all-in-one solution or you can try an induction unit.
What’s the difference between induction and electric brewing
Electric brewing is using a stainless steel kettle with an incorporated element so that you can do everything in one unit, controlling the temperatures with the incorporated thermostat. T
hese kettles have in built in timers and delays, built in pumps for keeping a steady temperature throughout the brew and an internal sparging basket so you can mash and boil in this one kettle. It’s a bit more expensive to buy but you can place it anywhere you have an outlet as it doesn’t need a stand.
Induction brewing uses a ferromagnetic kettle which means it has a magnetic base so that it can work on the induction surface. You can set your kettle on the induction hob and start the boil. The control panel gives the option to use different power levels so you can get fast heating.
Your aim is to get the contents to a rolling boil as quick as possible. This is a more manual system as you will need to monitor the temperature of the water, add your mash then monitor and measure the temperature and timings. As the hob is a separate unit it can be used for any other cooking needs.
The electric brew kettle is larger and designed for better temperature control but has a higher initial cost, the induction brewing method is better for small 3-5 gallon batches and the whole kit required is easier stored. It’s easy to buy kits of beer ingredients that will make 5 gallons and there are many choices to try.
Why you should seriously consider using an induction cooker
It’s a smaller setup so it’s much easier to make a small batch size. You can try different beers and your own recipe tweaks in smaller batches which is much better for testing.
If you haven’t tried home brewing before and you decide you don’t like it you could probably use all of the equipment for other cooking needs.
Best Induction Cooktop For Brewing
The reason home brewers are leaning towards an induction hot plate is the fact that you can get higher wattages. This means you can get your brew made in a reasonable period of time and the cost is more affordable.
You will need an induction brew kettle, they come with a lid, ball valve spigot and thermometer, but if you already have stainless steel pots you can easily do a magnet check on the base to see if they’re suitable.
Check out these top induction burners:
Mai Cook burner
Push-button controls and digital display; Timer, Temp, Watts
Overheat sensor; Auto shut-off; Max load bearing: 133lb (about 14 gallon)
Stainless steel body; Digital timer setting, max time 23:59
3500W~208/240V，6-20P plug ; Measures:13.9” x 17.5” x 4.1”
This requires a 240v outlet in the USA. This seems to handle a 10 gallon size pot ok and no problem getting to the right boiling temperatures.
Device Dimensions: Width 12″, Depth 15.5″, Height 4.25″
208 / 240V Electric Power, NEMA 6-20P plug
Suggested Max Weight: 65 lbs
This is similar to the hotplate above. It’s a little smaller in size but packs the same power punch. It’s a little cheaper so might be worth consideration
LKZAIY 3500W Induction Cooktop
MADE OF STAINLESS STEEL: This LKZAIY induction cooktop body is made of thick stainless, the material of the panel on top is black crystal tempered glass.
WATER PROOF: The Water proof control panel of the induction burner can fully protect internal electrical components.
11 POWER LEVELS: You can quickly choose suitable levels from 400W to 3500W. 3500W power to meet your needs.
TEMPERATURE LEVELS: Adjustable temperature ranging from 140°F (60°C) to 464°F (240°C); sensitive large touch buttons for enhanced usability.
This cooker can hold up to 110lbs in weight so can handle a full brew kettle. The dimensions 17 x 14.2 x 4.3 inches are similar to the Mai. These 3500w induction burners are commercial products giving the power that you need to brew beer but they require a 240v outlet.
Duxtop Professional Portable Induction Cooktop
PORTABLE INDUCTION BURNER: Duxtop professional countertop burner uses 120V 15 amp electrical outlet–standard in all North American homes.
HIGH EFFICIENCY: Choose from 20 preset power levels (100W to 1800W) and 20 preset temperature level settings (100°F to 460°F). With an 83% energy efficiency rating, provides quick heat-up and faster cooking times.
SENSOR TOUCH PANEL WITH LCD SCREEN: The sensor touch panel is sensitive to touch and easy to operate. The angle control panel features a large LCD readout display screen, providing easy viewing, even from a distance.
DURABLE & EASY TO CLEAN: The stainless steel construction ensures durability and reliability. Equipped with a 7-blade fan and back tuyere to rapidly dissipate heat.
This Duxtop is the commercial equivalent of a home countertop burner. It can hold up to 65lbs in weight and is well constructed from stainless steel. At 1800W it is going to lack the power of the commercial models but should allow you to work on smaller batch sizes. Perfect if you don’t want the added cost of having a 240v outlet installed.
Classic Cuisine Multi-Function 1800W Portable Induction Cooker
DIGITAL CONTROL PANEL – There are 5 pre-programmed power settings. You can also choose from 10 power settings ranging from 200W – 1800W
COMPATIBLE FOR MANY TYPES OF COOKWARE – All pans with an induction bottom, cast iron, stainless steel with a magnetic bottom are induction cooker compatible. An easy test, if a magnet sticks to the bottom of your pan it will work on the Classic Cuisine Induction Cooker.
PRODUCT DETAILS – 1800Watts, 120 Volts, Temperature Range 60 – 240 degrees Celsius (140- 460 degrees Fahrenheit) – Dimensions: 14 inches (Length) x 11.4 inches (Width) x 2.5 inches (Height), Color: Black
This induction Cooker is designed for a standard home kitchen. It’s half the power of the previous models so expect it to take longer to heat up. It has a reasonable sized top and it only requires the standard 120v outlet. You may have to keep to smaller batches if using this size burner to get the desired temperatures. Some people have found they need to insulate the outside of the pot to conserve the heat better. It’s very reasonably priced for a beginner setup.
If you’re looking for an electric burner, for brewing beer induction electric hotplates are a great choice. Especially if you want a setup that you can use indoors. Now there’s no excuse for trying to make your own beer at home.