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Burners

Hello,
I am going from brewing in a small Apt to brewing in a nice sized hose. The upside is the basement serves as a great place to brew and ferment. The down size is there is no stove in the basement. I want to get a burner but I am concerned that the propane ones are a fire hazard. I am thinking of getting a electric hot plate type of thing. Has anyone used one before and what do you think of the idea?

Personally, I would just get a Blichmann Floor Burner, or if you want, grab the Dark Star on NB (I want to say $30?) and do your boils outside, then lug the fermenters down to the basement. The former will make for extremely quick brew days. A good propane burner is a great investment if you see yourself getting into this hobby.

Does the new place have a walk-out basement (ideal!!!) or even a bulkhead? Then propane outside is the way to go. If you need to go inside, don’t bother with a hotplate - you’ve never get enough heat for anything close to a full boil.
Look online for electric brewing, you’ll find advice and info on using heatsticks and submersible heating elements.
Under no circumstances run a propane burner indoors. (you already knew that.)

I’d like to add onto dp1024fj’s question and to Pietro’s reponse.

I am using an old turkey fryer. It’s sucks a ton of propane, it’s loud and I believe it’s slower due to the large flame to kettle bottom gap.

I am thinking about buying a burner designed to do the brewing job well. The Dark Star looks nice and is very economical. There are a few negative comments, but generally it’s well received. However, the Blichmann burner looks outstanding. I’ve been brewing for a long time and will continue to brew for a long time. I don’t mind a more expensive piece of equipment if it will last and if it is a meaninful upgrade. So…Dark Star or Blichmann?

Thanks for starting the post dp.

I built an electric brew kettle/HERMS kettle from the parts list and instructions at theelectricbrewery.com I don’t use theelectricbrewery control system. I drive my 4800 Watt water heater element with 240 V to boil wort or to raise temps quickly in the HERMS water bath, then use 120 V (controlled with a Johnson digital controller) to maintain temps when I’m using the kettle as the water bath for my HERMS.

It’s cheap and versatile.

[quote=“scottNU”]I’d like to add onto dp1024fj’s question and to Pietro’s reponse.

I am using an old turkey fryer. It’s sucks a ton of propane, it’s loud and I believe it’s slower due to the large flame to kettle bottom gap.

I am thinking about buying a burner designed to do the brewing job well. The Dark Star looks nice and is very economical. There are a few negative comments, but generally it’s well received. However, the Blichmann burner looks outstanding. I’ve been brewing for a long time and will continue to brew for a long time. I don’t mind a more expensive piece of equipment if it will last and if it is a meaninful upgrade. So…Dark Star or Blichmann?

Thanks for starting the post dp.[/quote]

This is quite the ambiguous statement. Can you quantify “ton of propane”?

I use an old turkey fryer. It’s not loud and uses what other report they use for propane. I believe you are running it at a higher flame than you need to.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]
This is quite the ambiguous statement. Can you quantify “ton of propane”?

I use an old turkey fryer. It’s not loud and uses what other report they use for propane. I believe you are running it at a higher flame than you need to.[/quote]

Fair point. I didn’t weigh the tank before and after, but I started with a nearly full tank and it wasn’t empty at the end of the boil, but it felt like there was less than ~25%. I certainly felt like I used more much more than 5 lbs, perhaps as much as 10 lbs.

I controlled the flame to maintain a boil after reaching temp. It wasn’t an aggressive roiling boil, but a gentle boil that kept the wort in motion. The flame was higher than I would have liked, but the frame structure required that much heat in order to keep the wort at the right temp. I have seen lots of turkey fryers and I’m sure most of them work great. This one doesn’t feel great or even good.

[quote=“scottNU”][quote=“Nighthawk”]
This is quite the ambiguous statement. Can you quantify “ton of propane”?

I use an old turkey fryer. It’s not loud and uses what other report they use for propane. I believe you are running it at a higher flame than you need to.[/quote]

Fair point. I didn’t weigh the tank before and after, but I started with a nearly full tank and it wasn’t empty at the end of the boil, but it felt like there was less than ~25%. I certainly felt like I used more much more than 5 lbs, perhaps as much as 10 lbs.

I controlled the flame to maintain a boil after reaching temp. It wasn’t an aggressive roiling boil, but a gentle boil that kept the wort in motion. The flame was higher than I would have liked, but the frame structure required that much heat in order to keep the wort at the right temp. I have seen lots of turkey fryers and I’m sure most of them work great. This one doesn’t feel great or even good.[/quote]

You should be getting 3-4, 5 gallon batches from a “full” 20lb tank, depending on air/water temp. I say “full”, because some exchange places only give you ~17lbs.

Possibly the burner is bad. You can replace theburner

for ~$10.

[quote=“scottNU”][quote=“Nighthawk”]
This is quite the ambiguous statement. Can you quantify “ton of propane”?

I use an old turkey fryer. It’s not loud and uses what other report they use for propane. I believe you are running it at a higher flame than you need to.[/quote]

Fair point. I didn’t weigh the tank before and after, but I started with a nearly full tank and it wasn’t empty at the end of the boil, but it felt like there was less than ~25%. I certainly felt like I used more much more than 5 lbs, perhaps as much as 10 lbs.

I controlled the flame to maintain a boil after reaching temp. It wasn’t an aggressive roiling boil, but a gentle boil that kept the wort in motion. The flame was higher than I would have liked, but the frame structure required that much heat in order to keep the wort at the right temp. I have seen lots of turkey fryers and I’m sure most of them work great. This one doesn’t feel great or even good.[/quote]

What’s the distance between your burner and pot bottom? You might take the burner apart, rust can build up and affect your efficiency.

I can get 3 - 4 brews out of a 20 lb tank, with three burners fired up.

I too have an old turkey burner and get at least 4 brews per tank. I do get my tanks filled at a local hardware store versus swapping them out. I’ve found that the swap out option cheats you by a half pound or so.

FWIW I’ve gotten as many as 8 brews from my Blichmann on one tank, in most cases 90 minute boils, heating strike/sparge water, and a decoction here and there.

I am not the biggest advocate of their products, because many of them are overpriced. Strike water heated in 10 minutes though, along with about 10-15 minutes from lauter to boil, and 3 1/2 hour brewdays, it is worth the money in my mind.

I went from a Kajun Kooker 200k BTU jet soot machine to the Bajou SQ14 and love it. Easily doubled my brews per tank, no noise, no soot. I spent a good amount of time reading up and dialing the gas/air mixture in…

Back to the original question, maybe get a natural orifice for a gas burner for the basement?

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