Brewing Beer On An Electric Stove

I started brewing beer in my home by cooking it on the stove. Its probably how many of us home brewers begin, but I wondered if brewing on an electric stove was any different than a gas stove.

Can you brew beer on an electric stove? There are a variety of factors that go into brewing beer on an electric stove but it is possible. Brewing on an electric stove may take longer than on a gas stove. However, if that is all you own then there are ways to make it work.

Before you go run out and buy a gas stove top there are multiple types of electric stove tops and some perform better than others. And since this is Frugal Home Brew We don’t want you spending money on a brand new stove if you don’t have too!

How to Brew on An Electric Stove

Before we get into the different types of electric stoves and which ones perform better lets cover the basics of brewing in general.

The process for brewing on an electric the stove is the same as it would be to brew on a gas stove. You will need to boil both water and wort. Wort is simply the mixture you get after you run hot water through the grains, also known as the mashing process.

Wort is where it gets a little tricky. While it is the exact same process as brewing with gas or propane, the time it takes to heat depends on your stove type.

All of the different types of stove will get the standard 5 gallons to a boil eventually, but depending on your situation some ways may be better than others.

The Three Types of Electric Stoves

Electric stove tops are more common than gas stove tops but are broken down into 3 types.

  1. Spiral coil plates
  2. Smoothtop Radiant Electric
  3. Induction

Nearly all forms of stove-tops utilize radiant heating. The exception being induction. But which is the best?

Water is simple to boil. You have probably boiled water a bunch of times on your stove-top. But when it comes to boiling wort its a bit of a different story.

You will need to bring 5 gallons of wort to a boil for most recipes and for some of the weaker electric stove tops it can take quite a while. This is why so many home brewers suggest buying a turkey fryer and using propane to boil outside.

Learn how to brew all-grain outside by reading my all-grain brewing guide.

Since both spiral coil plates and Smoothtop radiant electric both boil the wort through radiant heat its important to utilize the ones with the most surface area. If you are using a small surface area it will be much more difficult to boil the wort.

Induction heating is a different story. If your 5 gallon pot has iron in it, you will be able to leverage magnetic heating technology. The heat will envelop the pot and bring your wort to a boil much quicker.

Small Batch for a Faster Boil

If you are struggling to bring your wort to a boil you can always try to small batch your beer. In fact this might actually give you the ability to test out different recipes and try new things.

Many recipes around the internet have the standard of brewing 5 gallons at a time. It can be a little bit daunting to even make any changes to the recipe for fear of failure, but just remember your doing this for fun!

While it may be cheaper in the long run to brew 5 gallon batches, in the end you might have much more control over smaller batches. You can even brew a 1 gallon batch of beer!

Small batch brewing is also far less daunting and the amount of supplies and equipment you will need will be much cheaper.

One last tip. Not all brew supply stores give the same quantities of supplies. This often leaves leftover ingredients. You can scrape up these leftovers for easy small batch recipes.

Beer Type Matters

Depending on the type of beer you want to brew you could run into some problems. Not all beers are created equal when it comes to the wort. Many of the thicker beers heavy on grains and hops will be much more difficult to boil and keep at a boil.

It will be much easier to bring lighter beers to a boil on an electric stove. A lager or a pilsner will be much easier to boil because they don’t contain as much sugar or hops.

As a general rule of thumb the more you are putting into the wort the more difficult it will be to boil. Keeping fruit extract, hops and other additives to a minimum will be key when you are having difficulty boiling on an electric stove.

Don’t be afraid to play around with your beers and experiment. A lot of excellent recipes come from mistakes. Even if you are having difficulty bringing your beer to a boil as quickly as possible the difference in time it takes could be a brand new flavor profile for your mixture of ingredients.

All Grain vs Extract

Most new brewers start out with extract. This is probably the easiest way to brew on an electric stove top. There is a lot of debate about which way is better but it really comes down to control.

Brewing with extract on an electric stove comes with its own problems. A problem you may run into is extract burning on the bottom of the pot. You will need to make sure that you are stirring so that none of the extract collects and sits on the bottom.

All grain brewing is much more difficult to small batch. You will need to buy grain mill it then push water through a mash. It is far more work to use all grain especially when starting out on an electric stove top.

Although it can be more difficult to small batch all grain vs extract recipes you might be able to split up the wort into small pots. Its important to collect all the wort in a large pot before transferring to smaller ones because most of the sugars come from the mash at the beginning.

When Gas is Better

Gas or propane brewing is the go to choice for many home brewers. While gas can often be a more expensive way of brewing beer it does save a lot of time when brewing 5 gallons at a time.

If you are not worried as much about the cost of brewing each batch then you should probably go with gas. If you live in a suburb or out of the city center it is also much easier to move outside to brew beer.

Electric stove tops also have some problems when it comes to boiling over. Boil overs can happen quickly and almost without warning. With gas stove tops you can quickly shut off the heat, while electric takes a while to cool off.

This can be remedied by paying close attention to your brew but distractions always happen. Induction heating does not have this issue, so if you have an induction stove top you’re all set.

Many home brewers are hobbyists and costs may not be a factor, but if that were completely true then they might all have induction brew setups. Induction brewing uses the least amount of energy to heat your wort.

Micro Breweries That Use Electric

So what do the big boys use?

A lot of the larger breweries use steam to boil their wort. Smaller Micro breweries utilize a combination of direct heat or electric.

I have a brewery near me called electric brewing co that brews small batch, by electric fire. By small batching their beer they have a nice variety of beer and maintain limited capital equipment.

No matter how you heat your wort whats important is that you bring it to a boil. There are many ways to get to the same outcome. Some of them might be better depending on your situation. One thing is for sure, all of them can certainly make some great beer.


Hey, I'm the the creator of I have been brewing beer since 2013 and started by brewing in my parents home. I have written copy on numerous websites. Most notably Seeking Alpha, where I analyze small cap publicly traded companies. I have also written content for and

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