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Beer Brewing process Homebrew

Homebrewing on a Potbelly Stove

My in-laws have an old potbelly stove sitting around.  Some research indicates it was made around 1900.  I smoked about 3 lbs of Pils malt on this stove on the 4th of July, and decided I’d see if it could crank out enough heat to brew a 5 gallon batch of beer.

The answer: almost.

pot on stove

It heated about 4.5 gallons of mash water fairly well, heating it 86.7 degrees in an hour.  The slope leveled off a little as it reached strike temperature:

potbelly_temp_ramp

This performance of 390 degree-gallons per hour (when heating water starting at room temperature) is not too much worse than this same pot when I’m heating with a 1500W, 120V electric element – that setup yields about 480 degree-gallons per hour.

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I have a blog

Why a blog?  I have two main purposes in mind:

  1. Opinions & ideas that are too long for my Twitter my Mastodon.  I’ll probably tweet toot links to these posts.
  2. Knowledge management: I often make things after reading on the web about how to make them.  Sometimes I think, “the internet was wrong” or “I could explain it better than that.”  Now I have a space to see whether I can make some small contributions to human knowledge that others might stumble upon and benefit from.  I benefit tremendously from internet knowledge so I ought to give back what I can.
    1. I will also benefit from my own notes on past projects.  In particular, I use Brewtoad to design homebrew recipes, but lack a good system for storing notes on the process & results.  I like how the Mad Fermentationist logs his brews on a WordPress blog.

Given that this may be a jumble of posts on DIY, beer, electoral politics, data analysis, etc. I expect that very few people will read through the blog continuously or follow it.  But if a few of the right readers find each post via other means, that’ll do.  And if no one reads it, at least I have a place to take notes.